All around baseball, a major topic of conversation is the poor treatment and working conditions among Minor League affiliates. One of the teams that came under fire this season was the Los Angeles Angels, after veteran Kieran Lovegrove became an outspoken advocate on the subject in what figures to be his final season before retirement.
He described a number of deeply concerning issues within the organization, including a lack of guaranteed housing, year-round salaries, transportation, and food. Obviously, issues this wide-scale and grand cannot be fixed in a year, but Lovegrove recently stated that he’s already seeing some improvement.
Angels general manager Perry Minasian took these complaints to heart, and almost immediately offered a small, but impactful gesture: an additional free meal afforded to players pre-game.
Again, this is not a lot, and the Angels still have plenty of work to do, but Lovegrove saw this as legitimate progress in a fight he wasn’t expecting to be square in the middle of, according to Jack Harris of The L.A. Times:
“The way I went about it was aggressive and controversial, at least from the internal perspective of baseball,” Lovegrove said. “However … if we had tried to handle it internally, it would have been snuffed out as it always has been.”
“It’s probably a little idealistic to think I can prevent depression in baseball by making sure guys are eating and living well, but I certainly think it can help,” Lovegrove said, adding: “Very small changes can make a huge difference. And I think that’s largely overlooked.”
Although Lovegrove is retiring at the end of the season, he’s excited that on his way out, there will be some tangible progress made.
“There is excitement among the players that things are happening,” Lovegrove said. “I want to make sure that moving forward, we’re fostering a positive relationship between the players, the front offices and eventually the owners as well. I don’t necessarily think that it should be us versus them. I think it’s everybody versus the problems. And that’s where we’re getting.”
The Angels now have to put their money where their mouth is. Minasian has already made good first steps with the free meal and a sit-down conversation with Lovegrove and other Minor League representatives, but it won’t mean much if further progress is not made quickly.
Doing this is not only the right thing to do, but it comes with competitive advantages. An organization known for taking care of its players is always more successful than those with the opposite reputation.
Shohei Ohtani named to Time’s 100 Most Influential People List
The Angels two-way star has become an everyday conversation throughout baseball. Now, that conversation is leaving the realm of sports, as Ohtani has been named to Time’s 100 Most Influential People list.
His game-breaking performances and worldwide fanbase have made him a true superstar and icon. He is one of six athletes to be named to this year’s 100.