MLB Taxi Squad Salaries

The 2020 Major League Baseball (MLB) season was supposed to be the beginning of the 26-man roster, an increase of one spot from previous years. However, the COVID-19 outbreak has thrown some curveballs at the game, stopping the season prematurely, and causing one of the most intense labor union battles ever.

Part of the agreement between the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) and the MLB owners was that teams are allowed to carry a roster of 30 players for the first month of the season and after the first month carry the normal 26 players. Along with the normal roster teams will also carry a “taxi squad” made up of 3 players with one being a catcher.

The “taxi squad” will travel to every home and away game as a possible substitution for any rostered player should they happen to contract COVID-19. The issue I take with the taxi squad is that these players will only be paid $108.50 per day along with their normal minor league salary, which can vary from $290-$700 per week depending on what level of minor league baseball the player is/most recently assigned to.

The MLBPA and the MLB owners took so long to come to an agreement to play while debating over the pay that players should receive and service time earned etc. It makes me irate as a baseball fan. Players are expected to stay in game shape and travel to every game for $108.50. That’s utterly ridiculous! It’s disrespectful to the game of baseball.

It makes me question whether the MLBPA fought for every player? Or just the stars? Did Commissioner Rob Manfred fight to see that the players taking the field in his league are being paid a liveable wage?

MLB players should not be paid $108.50 in any capacity, whether it’s the taxi squad or the active roster. They took 3+ months to come to an agreement to decide that 90 players will be paid $108.50 plus their minor league salaries while facing the risk of contracting COVID-19.

The taxi squad salary puts a stain on the game of baseball. Rob Manfred has once again shown that his sole interest is making the owners money. He’s the polar opposite of a players commissioner.

Even the most casual baseball fan would prefer a players commissioner to a Rob Manfred type.It’s disgusting to know that negotiations between the league and the players association took so long and they couldn’t provide taxi squad players with a liveable wage.

This isn’t the product of the parsimonious attitude of the owners and it’s not on the MLBPA.It’s on the shoulders of both groups.

Both groups, not one or the other have come to an agreement to start the season in the midst of a global pandemic that has cost the lives of over 130,000 Americans and thrown over 40,000 Americans into unemployment that will pay players about 37% of their normal salaries, but have neglected to ensure that taxi squad players will earn a livable wage.

For perspective Major league baseball is an $11 billion dollar business. ELEVEN BILLION.

They couldn’t find a way to give taxi squad players a liveable wage. It’s mind boggling to think that a player could earn as little.

Back to Basketball

Back to Basketball

Basketball is back…or at least it will be very soon. The NBA announced that the playoffs will be played in Orlando with the players and their families staying in a hotel. The NBA will operate in somewhat of a “bubble” with the players, their families, and everyone else it takes to produce live basketball having minimal contact with the outside world. However, there’s a catch.
The catch being that the NBA will only be bringing 22 teams to Orlando, ending the season for 8 teams. 13 teams from the Western Conference will be heading to Orlando. The Minnesota TImberwolves and the holders of the league’s worst record, The Golden State Warriors are the only Western Conference teams to not make the playoffs. 9 teams from the Eastern Conference will be going to Orlando to join the Western Conference teams.
Here are the teams who won’t be making the trip to Orlando:
Minnesota Timberwolves
Golden State Warriors
Charlotte Hornets
Chicago Bulls
New York Knicks
Detroit Pistons
Atlanta Hawks
Cleveland Cavaliers
The question is If your team has been eliminated, Who are you rooting for?
COVID-19 has created a once in a lifetime scenario for basketball fans to root for the playoff team of their choosing. After the conclusion of the playoffs your partisanship can return to your hometown team.
Right off the bat a few teams are off limits.Some teams are too good and rooting for them would just be plain out front-running. These teams are the Bucks, Raptors, Lakers, Clippers, and the Nuggets.
Other teams like the Rockets and 76ers who underperformed in the regular season but could go far in the playoffs due to their star players should also be off limits.
That leaves the Jazz, Thunder, Mavericks, Grizzlies, Trail Blazers, Pelicans, Spurs, Kings, Spurs, and the Suns from the west.
From the east the Celtics, Heat, Pacers, Nets, Magic, and the Wizards are also left for consideration.
From here on out the weeding-out of teams is based on where you live and who you regularly root for. As a Knicks fan for example I can eliminate the Celtics because of a general disdain for all Boston sports teams. The Nets can also be eliminated due to cross-town rivalry reasons.
It must also be taken into consideration that I would like to pick a team that is likely to make it past the 1st round. That being said, I think it’s fair to eliminate the Trail Blazers, Pelicans, Spurs, Kings, Suns, Magic, and Wizards from consideration.
With all of these criteria in place the only teams left are the Jazz, Thunder, Mavericks, Grizzlies, Heat, and the Pacers.
Each team has an upside to rooting for them. If you feel like supporting local guy the Jazz are led by Westchester County, New York native Donovan Mitchell. The Thunder shocked the whole league by avoiding a long-term rebuild. The Mavs are led by young talent in Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis. The Grizzlies have the next star in Ja Morant. The Pacers who for most of the season have been without star guard Victor Oladipo have played solid team basketball, led by Domantas Sabonis, Malcolm Brogdon, and TJ Warren. The Heat traded for Jimmy Butler in the offseason and paired him with Kendrick Nunn, fan favorite rookies Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson, and emerging star big man Bam Adebayo.
This is an exciting time for basketball fans. Especially for those whose team was part of the 22 tabbed to play in Orlando. If your team wasn’t selected to play in Orlando choosing a team to root for may just be a great way to stay in the action.
Will the 24-team playoff return post COVID?

Will the 24-team playoff return post COVID?

The NHL announced that in wake of the regular season being disrupted by COVID-19 that they will be using a 24-team playoff when play resumes.

Will we see this playoffformat after this year?

I think that A lot of revenue stands to be made by the NHL with the adoption of this playoff format and for that reason I believe that this format could return in the future.

This format has many similarities to the NCAA’s March Madness which is a revenue generating machine.
I believe that the 24-team playoff will generate more revenue for the NHL because of the increased amount of playoff games. With more games, there’s more viewership. With more viewership, there’s more advertising. With more advertising, there’s more revenue generated. This playoff format could potentially make the NHL so much money that they return to this format in the future.
In addition to the league making more money from this format, the fans also stand to benefit. It’sno secret that playoff hockey is more exciting than any regular-season game. The 24-team format brings more playoff games to the fans.
This playoff format could very easily return in the future. It could possibly make the league agreat deal of money and become a fan favorite.
Dark Days for Superman?

Dark Days for Superman?

Former Heisman trophy winner, National Champion, First overall pick, and league MVP Cam Newton finds himself unemployed after the first wave of NFL free agency. Newton has done nothing but produce when he is on an NFL field. He’s gone to 3 Pro Bowls, Using his unique skill set to become an elite quarterback. After all, his nickname is Superman. Newton is probably best known for his 2015 league MVP season where he accounted for 45 total touchdowns, threw for 3,887 passing yards, and had a qbr of 99.4. That season Newton started all 16 regular season games and led Carolina to a Super Bowl 50 berth where they fell short to the Denver Broncos by a score of 24 to 10.
Since the Super Bowl 50 loss Newton and the Panthers have struggled. Last year Newton
started the first two games before missing the rest of the season. After the conclusion of the
2019-2020 season where the Panthersfinished an abysmal 5-11, team management shook
things up. Longtime coach Ron Rivera was fired, Newton was released, and a new era beganfor
Carolina. Star running back Christian McCaffery was given a 4 year deal to make him the
highest paid back in the league, Baylor Head Coach Matt Rhule signed a 5 year deal to take the
reigns of the team and the division rival Saints backup Teddy Bridgewater was given a 3 year
deal to become the Panthers next starting quarterback.
So the question is What’s next for Cam Newton?
Is anyone going to offer him a starting spot?
Does he take a backup job somewhere?
Does he sit out for the year?
One thing is for sure, Newton will not be a backup. At least not at this point in his career.
As of right now it’s looking like he’s going to sit out the year and wait for next offseason. Almost every quarterback vacancy has been filled. New England has chosen to go with their in-house options, Chicago traded for Nick Foles, Tampa signed Tom Brady, Indianapolis signed Rivers, and the Chargers, Begals, and Dolphins all drafted quarterbacks. Leaving Newton with the choice of sitting out or, taking a backup job. Since Newton has been said to have zero interest in holding a clipboard, it’s my guess that he’ll be watching football from his couch.
Sitting out and waiting a year might be Newton’s best option. However, it does mean he’ll have to go a year without football. Cam Newton is an NFL starting quarterback who still has plenty of playing days left in him but, for now it could be dark days ahead for the man they call Superman.
A possible end to the debate over college athletes being paid?

A possible end to the debate over college athletes being paid?

In recent weeks the NBA G league has swayed top college basketball recruits away from signing with their schools of choice and instead signing with a select G League team for up to 14 times the maximum league salary. This could pose a threat to the NCAA. If top players decide to skip college and get paid to go pro the NCAA could stand to lose a massive amount of revenue.
Top recruits like Jaylen Green, Isaiah Todd, and Daishen Nix have signed with the G League for the 2020-2021 season for salaries of up to $500,000. If more and more recruits continue to do this the NCAA will produce a less exciting product with worse players and potentially lose hundreds of millions of dollars.
In response to this the NCAA has released a new NIL (Name, Image, Likeness) policy that will go into effect for the 2021 season. Essentially the NCAA will allow athletes to profit off of their personal brands without being paid by schools. Players can profit off of signing endorsement deals, signing autographs etc. However, it is strictly prohibited that a school pay a student-athlete.
This ruling seems like the NCAA’s long awaited compromise to the debate over college athletes being paid. In my opinion this is a step in the right direction. As an avid college sports fan and a staunch believer that athletes should be compensated this appears to be progress. This initial ruling will allow the NCAA to be able to afford to sponsor athletic competition and athletes to profit off of their hard work. This ruling by the NCAA could possibly be the end of the debt over college athletes being paid.