On Thursday night, after being released by the New York Mets along with many other minor leaguers, pitcher Andrew Church took to social media, ripping the team for treatment he described as “toxic” and hurling shots over the team’s handling of Tim Tebow.
“(The Mets) made a mockery of our team by putting a celebrity on it to sell more tickets,” Church wrote. “I saw players lose their jobs because of it. We weren’t playing to win, we were playing to make everyone else money. Not the players. We never saw a cut. Well, allegedly that one player did. I think people are starting to understand that more now but they didn’t in 2018 when it was happening again. I was fed up.”
The Mets signed Tebow, a former Heisman Trophy winner, in 2016. Church was his teammate in 2017 at Single-A Port St. Lucie, where Tebow hit .231.
Church, a second-round pick of the Mets in 2013, writes that the team would “fly me around to fill in for anyone who got injured.
“I realized this wasn’t in my best interest when my delayed flight landed in the third inning, and I was on the mound in an AAA baseball game for the first time without any warm up throws. My UCL originally tore that night.”
Church retired, but asked to be reinstated in 2019. He says “I honestly think they are making strides to be a better organization, but the culture that has been built for decades in that organization is toxic. Filled with snakes and bottom feeders trying to elevate their professional careers at the expense of players, with no remorse.”
In April, MLB said it would work on “an industry-wide plan for minor league player compensation from April 9 through the beginning of the coming season.” But it appears that baseball won’t keep its word, just as it is looking to get the MLBPA to take further pay cuts after agreeing to pay them a prorated part of their salary in March.
Jeff Passan of ESPN reports that more than 1,000 players could lose their jobs. Unlike major leaguers, minor league players are paid very little, with most getting a minimum of $400 per week. Double-A players get paid a stipend of $600, and Triple-A players $700.
On Twitter, Passan cited some exceptions, as he says the Minnesota Twins, Kansas City Royals, Cincinnati Reds, and Houston Astros will continue paying their minor leaguers.