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What's Not in My Wallet? | News, Sports, Jobs – Jamestown Post Journal

by Arifa Rana

Apr 17, 2022
Well, the battle between Greedy 1 and Greedy 2, seems to be settled, at least for the next five years, as the Lockout is over and Baseball Season began full bore this week. Because my tickets were already paid for, if mid-lockout I asked for my money back, they’d only give me credit, not cash back in my pocket, so I’ll be going to Cleveland a number of times this spring, summer, and fall, to watch the game I love so much. (For only a short time, I hope, I’ll be going begrudgingly and frustratedly.)
Throughout the lockout, I heard many times from both teams, Greed and Avarice, that this fight was a fight for the players, or teams (whichever side you listened to), for the future of the game, and for the fans. They didn’t say, though, when I, as a fan, can expect my share of the billions of dollars that both sides will make as a result of the delay to the season.
As I ponder the fact that my tickets were just recently posted in my account, and I had to exchange many weekday games for weekend games, as I have to due to financial feasibility (Sally’s work schedule, hotels, etc.), and I was rushed to do my exchange and get hotel reservations, but never received a penny off my costs, for the inconvenience caused by the lockout, that was done partly for the fans. All that’s left is deciding if it’ll be cheaper to fly than drive to Cleveland, due to raising gas prices and the number of trips we’ll be taking this year.
I use the word raising, instead of rising, as is the more correct word to use, because one of the sticking points causing the delay of baseball season was the raises in starting salary for rookies in Major League Baseball. Comparing MLB and the real world, using my own career as a teacher, I put my numbers next to MLB’s to make a point.
Starting salary when I began my fulltime teaching career in ’77 was $8,900, 46% of the starting MLB salary of $19,000 that year. The starting salary under this new MLB agreement will be $700,000, and in the fifth year of the agreement it will jump to $780,000, so should teachers be making $322,000 (46% of $700,00) this year and pro-rate that for 2027? Under the previous agreement, pre-lockout starting MLB salary was $550,500, so their increase this year amounts to approximately a 26.4% increase in salary. By the end of the five years, that number will be near a 41.8% increase from the 2021 salary agreement. I can remember once, maybe twice receiving a percentage increase of more than three percent.
Now, some say teachers shouldn’t be compensated for a full year because teachers don’t work a full year. A school year is only 185 days. Most MLB players play 162 games, and another 20 in spring training totaling 182 games. Being some players are involved in playoffs, I’ll add another 21 days (not counting playoff off days between games) totaling just over 200 days, making an MLB player and a teacher comparable in how many days people say they work in a year. [Point of contention though, Teachers work way beyond 185 days, when you add in Conference Days, Workshop Days, In-Service Days, days setting up their rooms, daily work stations, experiments stations, planning lessons, gathering materials, correcting papers, posting grades, after school extra help sessions, etc. (Sorry, never like reading, hearing, or acknowledging people who say teachers have the easiest job in the world.)]
Regarding salaries, I’ve always tried keeping up with our city’s salary negotiations, when they come up. Any percentage increase there, that I can remember has never exceeded five percent, and I’m hard pressed to remember many, if any, even reached five percent. We’re talking about city workers, including those working in utilities (water, power, sewer), sanitation, parks maintenance and beautification, tree maintenance (planting, removing, trimming, etc.), snow removal, and public safety (police and fire departments). You’d think some of those workers should be receiving a little higher percentage in salary raises than what some athletes make at their “jobs.”
So, am I a hypocrite complaining about salaries of athletes, but still attending games? I don’t feel I am. I’m a sports fan. It’s no secret baseball’s my favorite sport. I love the competition, fandom, the history of sports, statistics, records, the personal stories that come from the game. I love the memorabilia, in museums, and what I’ve collected myself. (Not a fan of Manfred Mann’s attempt to destroy the game, though.)
I’m not a fan of winter anymore. I don’t like snow, cold, and I can’t wait until it ends each year. When winter ends, baseball begins, so after overly long periods of Cabin Fever yearly, and especially after two years of pandemic blues, I need to watch baseball. Baseball’s a lifeline for me. I can’t, though, for the life of me, understand where Teams Avarice and Greed had me in mind. Nothing’s been added to my wallet, and both “teams” will cost me more in the long run.
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