Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, known for fighting for labor rights and against big corporations, stood up for the little guys once again.
On Monday, Sanders called out Major League Baseball for a proposal that would eliminate 42 minor league teams across the country. Sanders directly urged MLB commissioner Rob Manfred to "stop this proposal" in a letter he penned and posted to Twitter.
"This has nothing to do with what's good for baseball and everything to do with greed," Sanders tweeted. "It would destroy thousands of jobs and devastate local economies."
The proposed MLB plan would mostly cut rookie leagues and set a franchise limit of 150 players in a minor league system. It would also shorten the MLB draft to 20 rounds.
In Monday's letter, Sanders took aim at baseball's billionaire owners and called on Congress to intervene if the league goes through with its proposed deal.
"While Minor League Baseball players make as little as $1,160 a month (less than the $7.25 an hour federal minimum wage) and are denied overtime pay, the 20 wealthiest Major League Baseball owners have a combined net worth of more than $50 billion," Sanders wrote.
Bernie Sanders pitches to his grandson in Iowa on Aug. 19. (Photo: Kelsey Kremer, The Register)
"Instead of paying Minor League Baseball players a living wage, it appears that the multi-millionaire and billionaire owners of Major League Baseball would rather throw them out on the street no matter how many fans, communities and workers get hurt in the process.
"If this is the type of attitude that Major League Baseball and its owners have then I think it’s time for Congress and the executive branch to seriously rethink and reconsider all of the benefits it has bestowed to the league including, but not limited to, its anti-trust exemption."
[email protected] is proposing to cut 42 Minor League Baseball clubs.
This has nothing to do with what’s good for baseball and everything to do with greed.
It would destroy thousands of jobs and devastate local economies.
I’m urging @MLB Commissioner Manfred to stop this proposal. pic.twitter.com/89AZduYrlT
At the start of his letter to the league Monday, Sanders wrote: "Baseball wasn’t handed the title 'America’s pastime.' It was earned in innings played all over this country in the biggest ballparks and the smallest sandlots. Some Americans express their love for the game by putting on a glove and swinging a bat, but for the vast majority of us it is a game we experience by sitting on the bleachers, eating a hot dog and enjoying a little peace."
"As James Earl Jones’ character in Field of Dreams says, 'the one constant through all the years has been baseball.' Major League Baseball’s plan to shutter minor league teams all over the country will do irreparable harm to the game’s relationship with millions of Americans."
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