Chicago Cubs: Club needs to take care of people while baseball is canceled

(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images) /
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Making sure game-day staff and minor league players get compensated relatively needs to be a priority for the Chicago Cubs

In a world where a global pandemic is on the forefront of everybody’s minds, there are more questions than answers surrounding not only the Chicago Cubs but the immediate future of baseball.

Spring training is canceled. Right now, the actual season will be delayed by at least two weeks, with sources cited by Bleacher Report predicting early May as a more realistic starting date.

The start date only scratches the surface of the questions surrounding MLB right now. The Athletic’s Sahadev Sharma outlined some of the other items in a recent article touching on everything from what the players are doing now until the season begins to get Wrigley Field ready for Opening Day.

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One of the most important questions, even more, important than if Javier Baez gets an extension or who will be on the rubber when Opening Day rolls around, is how game-day staff and minor league players are going to get paid with games getting postponed and likely not made up later.

Thankfully, according to David Kaplan on Twitter, the Cubs are in the process of formulating plans in conjunction with MLB to make sure game-day staff is still compensated.

Glassdoor.com, which details mean salaries for different types of jobs, indicates most of the Cubs stadium jobs from ticket operations to the guys and gals who work in the gift shops are hourly positions. If the season begins in early May and the MLB is unable to finagle a way to make the season 162 games still, that’s 18 home games those people can’t work. Even if the season somehow starts only two weeks late, that’s still six home games and fifty-ish hours of pay that won’t happen.

Hopefully, Kaplan’s report is correct, and the Cubs are taking a cue from another professional sports franchise on the other side of the city. Chicago Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf (who also owns the White Sox) and Chicago Blackhawks owner Rocky Wirtz pledged to pay day-of-game employees at the United Center through what would have been the remainder of the regular season after the NBA was recently canceled.

Other owners in the NBA have done the same thing. The Bulls had seven home games remaining on their schedule before the NBA canceled the season, so Cubs employees would likely miss out on more work opportunities than the Bulls employees will.

Taking care of game-day staff is incredibly important, and it’s also the right thing to do.

Making sure minor league players are taken care of needs to be another priority for the Cubs. Per Chicago Sun-Times writer Gordon Wittenmyer.

"The Texas Rangers have talked about paying their minor leaguers through the shutdown. And Epstein said decisions in general are being made “with as much empathy and thought as possible for everyone’s standing.” Long before this crisis, the Cubs were one of the teams working to increase minor-league pay, before MLB instituted increases last month."

Most of the Cubs minor-league affiliates start-up in mid-April. Admittedly, their seasons are shorter, and it would be easier to make up some of the games if the start of the season does get postponed. However, if time is missed, these guys don’t make nearly enough money for the Cubs to justify not paying them for work time lost.

To the Cubs credit, they compensate their minor league guys better than most increasing the minimum salary for these guys by 50 percent this year. This comes ahead of MLB’s initiative to increase minimum wages in 2021.

So, as far as taking care of their minor league guys, the Cubs are better than most suggesting they’d be more likely to do the right thing and make sure these guys get a full season’s pay even if all the games aren’t played. Nothing though is set in stone yet on that front.

Next. Kyle Schwarber will be an All-Star this season. dark

Hopefully, baseball will be back sooner rather than later, but until balls are being thrown around and bats are cracking for real at Wrigley and elsewhere, taking care of the people who are out of a job with no baseball being played is imperative.

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