Major League Baseball (MLB) on Tuesday announced a $1 million fund to support Grapefruit (Florida) and Cactus (Arizona) League workers who have been affected by canceled Spring Training games due to the lockout of MLB players imposed by MLB owners. This initial fund, which will be administered by Clubs to individuals based on financial need, will be available to all part-time and seasonal workers, including (but not limited to) concessionaires, grounds crew, security, clubhouse and general ballpark and game operators.
“We figured since we’re the ones who are keeping these people from doing their jobs, the absolute minimum, very least we can do for them is donate an amount of money that sounds like a lot because it ends in ‘illion’,” said MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred. “And so that’s what we’re doing.”
“Also, the players did it first, so we kind of don’t have a choice unless we take the risk of our fans thinking we’re all just a bunch of greedy peckerheads,” he added.
Between the two funds, experts estimate that each of the eligible employees at the 30 spring training parks in Florida and Arizona could receive as much as $50. This does not take into account the volunteers who work to raise money for civic and non-profit organizations like high school band boosters, youth sports leagues and pet rescues among others.
“Yeah, sorry. Those folks are on their own. There’s nothing that can be done to address that unfortunate situation,” said Manfred. However, earlier today MLB players announced a plan to contribute $500,000 to those organizations in an effort to address that unfortunate situation.
“God damn it,” said Manfred.
“Well, still. People need to realize what a huge gesture this is on the part of the 32 billionaires who own MLB franchises,” he added. “I wanted to get them all together to do a ‘We Are The World’ style video but nobody was willing to reschedule their tee times.”