When you write about the minor leagues in baseball, you can expect a lot of stat talk, potential call ups, and the occasional Cinderella story taking the league by storm. Very rarely can we talk about a victory off the field for not just one minor league player but the entire crop of them league-wide. On October 17th MLB announced that all teams are required to provide housing for their minor league players.
“We’ve been asking for a lot of help for our situation as we try and improve ourselves to try and crack the majors. This shows us all that MLB is listening which is more than a lot of us ever thought,” said Brad Case, who is currently with the Pittsburgh Pirates’ Double-A club. It’s situations like this that make people realize not all baseball players are riding around in a Corvette and live in mansions.
For someone with a family and possibly a brand new child, this new housing plan can be a monumental blessing, which current Pirate High-A prospect Aaron Shackelford told Pittsburgh Baseball Now. “Last season put a lot of pressure on my wife and I because we needed our place with the addition of our new baby.”
Players need to feel secure and safe in their situation, and by getting rid of rent worries, players can start to relax and decompress from a hard-fought game. “I think baseball can benefit from this; by giving players a home base, they can start to set down roots and feel at home and relax, which is so crucial during a long season,” said John O’Reilly, a Pirate’s Triple-A relief pitcher.
These player reactions are just a few of many players who encompass a feeling of relief and gratefulness. There have been stories of prospects (especially international prospects) who are left with only a few dollars in their pocket after sending most of their checks back home.
There is so much fear put from players of having a bad game or week because if you slip up, you could be sent home and have nothing, so by having a worry like housing taken care of may just allow these payers to breathe a little easier.