Minor League Umpires Reject New Deal
Posted by Jason A. Churchill on May 1, 2006
In case you've been hiding under a large stone-like structure for the past several week, you know that the minor league umpires have been on strike all season.
Strikes always appear, on the surface, to be about greedy people that are already making solid wages, if not ridiculous salaries – except for teachers, of course.
That is not the case with these umpires, either.
The attorney for baseball, George Yund, keeps using excuses as to why the umpires are paid so poorly and why they haven't received a raise in 10 years.
We'll get to the excuses in a minute.
Umpires in Triple-A make an average of $15,000, those in Double-A average$12,000 while full-season A umpires average $10,000 and short-season $5,500.
They make a per diem of $25, $22 and $20.
Yund claims that these umpiring job are "more comparable to training than to a lifetime job."
Try telling that to a big-league umpire whose career was bred in the minors.
Training? So maybe Yund should not have been paid very well until he became a partner in a firm?
What Yund refuses to admit (I refuse to believe he and the rest of baseball doesn't know this) is that these umpires, though part time employees, can't have careers outside of their umpiring jobs, because lawyers, doctors, dentists, stock brokers, day traders and all other professions require a 12-month per year commitment, which none of them can give.
They, just like the players, managers and coaches in the game, have given up the opportunity for other careers to chase their own dream of being a part of the game of baseball.
This is how greedy and cheap baseball has been thus far to the umpires.
The latest offer, the one that was rejected today by a 2-1 margin, gave raises of 100 bucks per month, about 600 bucks for the year, and 2 bucks per day in per Diem.
By offering 22 to 27 dollars per day for meals, baseball contends that an adult should be able to eat out for three full meals a day on 27 bucks.
Not in any city is that realistic, unless you expect fast food twice per day.
The umpires haven't received raises since 1995 and will continue to reject any contract offer that doesn't reflect a significant improvement across the board.
The quality of umpiring has not been that bad, regardless of what Delmon Young thinks, and the game is fine as is. The World Umpires Association is standing behind the minor league umps.
"The proposed salaries and per diems were ridiculously low," said John Hirschbeck, president of the major league umpires' union. "It would have been unconscionable to increase salaries only $100 dollars per month and to expect adults to live on the road spending only $22 a day in 2006 and $29 a day in 2011."
Has baseball sunk this low that they are offering such stingy raises to the umpires that they need?
If they don't pay these umpires a decent wage, where do they think they are going to get new MAJOR League umpires down the road?
(strike three, you're out!)