There has been a rising discussion in Major League Baseball about the treatment of Minor League players, going beyond simply paying players more. Lack of housing, food insecurity, and low pay are just some of the issues that have been made public by players, and the Los Angeles Angels are at the forefront after recent comments.
These were the exact issues that MLB sought to stop when they took advantage of the pandemic-laden 2020 season. By cutting down the number of Minor League teams and leagues, the league hoped that it would allow teams to pay players their fair share and end all of the inhumane treatment that had been going on.
Angels players went on the record with some shocking revelations about how owner Arte Moreno has allowed his Minor Leaguers to be treated, according to Joon Lee of ESPN:
“It’s gotten to the point now where there are guys who are in a serious mental health crisis because of how stressful money is here,” Lovegrove told ESPN. “I really do think it affects not only their play on the field, but I think it affects quality of life overall. We’re reaching a point now where this is actually becoming detrimental to the players’ overall health, and the owner not addressing it is [the organization] actively saying that they don’t care about the health of their players.”
These comments came from Kieran Lovegrove, an active pitcher with Double-A Rocket City. Lovegrove’s most incrminating accusation, however, was directed at Moreno.
“Is Moreno completely out of touch with the reality of what it’s like to be a player? Probably. I don’t see that really changing because I don’t know that he really does care about the quality of the organization so much as the amount of money it produces.”
Angels general manager Perry Minasian quickly released a short statement about the report. “What is being reported is unacceptable, and we will look into it and address it,” Minasian said.
Obviously, this is not enough to simply say they’ll look into it. An accusation of this magnitude would likely require wholesale changes to the Angels’ Minor League system before players begin to trust that Moreno has any goal other than increasing profit.
This will not go away any time soon, especially as more active players gain the confidence to speak out. Additionally, this is not an Angels-specific problem. However, these are among the worst of the stories being told by Minor League players.
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