Sure, Bud Selig and Major League Baseball may be the plucky underdogs when the league gets into a scheduling dispute with the all-mighty NFL, but that doesn't mean the MLB isn't also a vampiric organization with its own free-market-or-bust tendencies. Case in point: MLB owners are expected to vote in favor of abolishing pension plans for all non-uniform league employees.
This information comes from ESPN New York's Adam Rubin:
A majority of owners now favor the abolition of the pension plan, a source said.
The impact would affect much of the Major League Baseball family: front-office executives, trainers, minor league staff and scouts. Some of those personnel, particularly on the minor league level and in amateur scouting, make less than $40,000 a year and rely on pensions in retirement.
Here we have MLB following in the NFL's footsteps, which sacrificed three weeks of games on an altar of bullshit ideological purity simply because it didn't want to pay referee pensions anymore.
MLB executive vice president Rob Manfred talked to Rubin, and tried to disguise the league's intentions with some slick double-speak:
"No one is suggesting that pension plans are going to be eliminated," he said. "What the conversation has been about is allowing individual clubs more flexibility as to what exactly their pension plan is going to look like. Nobody is suggesting there is going to be no plan ... for anybody. The issue is in the current arrangement we essentially mandate a particular type of defined benefit pension plan. The question is whether the individual team should have more flexibility to design a program that is effective to them."
When Manfred talks about "flexibility," he's talking about giving teams the ability to provide their non-uniform employees with a piece-of-shit pension plan (or no plan at all) in place of the very good plan that every team is currently required to provide to its employees. As things stand now, 26 teams participate in the Non-Uniformed Personnel Pension Plan, while the four that opted out are required to provide a plan of equal or greater benefit.
If the NUPPP is eliminated and nothing is installed in its place, then teams will be free to stick their non-uniform employees with whatever kind of plan they deem fair. The employees potentially affected by such a move can guess how that might turn out: they've been around professional sports teams long enough to know they're not the most generous entities on earth.