Skip to content

MLB to vote to eliminate the pension plan which covers non-uniformed personnel

Mar 19, 2013, 2:00 PM EDT

MLB Commissioner Bud Selig speaks during a news conference in New York Reuters

Bud Selig, currently trying to crack down on the few hundred thousand paid out here and there to poor kids from the Dominican Republic, is now apparently trying to eliminate the pension plan which covers non-uniformed personnel such as trainers, administrative staff and other front office employees. Adam Rubin of ESPN New York reports:

Major League Baseball owners, despite boasting $8 billion in annual revenue and climbing, are moving toward eliminating the pension plans of all personnel not wearing big league uniforms, sources told ESPNNewYork.com … 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.

There was an effort to do this last year but Jerry Reinsdorf — who has long treated his employees well — talked his fellow owners out of it. Now, Rubin reports, a majority of owners supports abolishing the pension plan.  Contributions to pension plans of those already vested in the system would be protected but there would be no future contributions made by teams and new employees would get bupkis.

Major League Baseball is swimming in money. The people who choose to work in front offices often do so at great financial sacrifice in order to be involved in a business they love. To eliminate pension plans like this is shameful. Shameful and greedy. And Major League Baseball ought to be ashamed of itself if it carries out this plan.

  1. The Common Man - Mar 19, 2013 at 2:04 PM

    It should, but it won’t. Shame left the building a long time ago. Come back, Shame! Come back!

    • hep3 - Mar 19, 2013 at 2:20 PM

      Just remember:

      The “C” in Major League Baseball is for Compassion.

    • paperlions - Mar 19, 2013 at 2:39 PM

      Shame is dead, he was already dead when his horse walked off. He’s not coming back.

      • Chris K - Mar 20, 2013 at 2:18 AM

        I tried so hard to come up with a “soda pop” joke but failed :(

  2. schlemealsschlimazel - Mar 19, 2013 at 2:05 PM

    Bud is also championing the elimination of company cars, travel expense reimbursement, and the long standing MLB policy of not being able to kick employees’ pets in the balls.

  3. schlom - Mar 19, 2013 at 2:06 PM

    Can someone explain to me exactly why this is disgraceful? The article says that less than 3% of private sector employees have a defined benefits pension plan so why do MLB employees need something that over 97% of workers don’t have? And isn’t this just basic economics? The supply of workers greatly outweighs the demand so why should this business pay more for the workers than the market price?

    • zzalapski - Mar 19, 2013 at 2:10 PM

      The right to do something doesn’t necessarily mean doing it is right.

      • schlom - Mar 19, 2013 at 2:17 PM

        What differentiates working in MLB from 97% of private sector jobs? Or is impossible to save money for retirement (like the rest of Americans) while working for a MLB team?

      • shaggylocks - Mar 19, 2013 at 2:24 PM

        So, because you say it’s impossible for most Americans to save for retirement, that therefore makes it okay for the MLB, which previously offered pensions, to make it impossible for its employees as well? That’s seriously your reasoning? Are you, like independently wealthy? Do you plan to die young or something?

      • Dberg - Mar 19, 2013 at 2:55 PM

        “What differentiates working in MLB from 97% of private sector job?”

        MLB banked $8 billion dollars last year, that’s what. The league and the owners are making money hand-over-fist, yet they’re trying to squeeze a few extra dollars out of folks who probably don’t make very much to begin with. They have a bank vault the size of Scrooge McDuck’s, yet they’re acting like Ebenezer Scrooge.

      • kopy - Mar 19, 2013 at 3:41 PM

        If MLB makes it impossible for employees to save for retirement, then no one will work for them. MLB will counter this by offering more money or benefits.

        Equilibrium and labor economics, ya’ll. The people who would really suffer are those who are so entrenched working for MLB it would be hard to find a job in a new industry.

      • kopy - Mar 19, 2013 at 3:43 PM

        I do think MLB is making a bad move here, but most folks could probably find higher-paying jobs if they wanted to.

      • snowbirdgothic - Mar 19, 2013 at 4:57 PM

        I love the idiot logic of “most people don’t get it, so why should they?”
        How about “It’s something more people should have but are getting screwed out of.” Or “It’s a contractually negotiated benefit that these people agreed to in exchange for lower salaries, not an entitlement, so shutting it down is actually taking their money.” Or perhaps “I know nothing about how pensions actually work, and perhaps I should learn a bit before spouting off about them.”

      • jm91rs - Mar 19, 2013 at 10:17 PM

        You think Scrooge mcduck was giving mrs Beasley a pension plan? Get real

    • shaggylocks - Mar 19, 2013 at 2:21 PM

      You know what worked great according to the laws of supply and demand? Child labor, dangerous working conditions, 12+ hour shifts, paltry wages. There were always people willing to take those jobs, so why should any business be forced to do anything different? Everyone else was doing it.

      • schlom - Mar 19, 2013 at 2:24 PM

        Not getting a defined benefit pension is equal to child labor, dangerous working conditions, and paltry wages? I had no idea it was so bad.

      • shaggylocks - Mar 19, 2013 at 2:44 PM

        No, but because I’m feeling generous I’ll patiently explain my analogy for you.

        Using “supply and demand” as the basis for your argument isn’t going to cut it. Just because supply outweighs demand is no reason to make things harder for your employees. With a few notable exceptions that prove the rule, employers have always tried to give their workers as little as possible and get as much as possible out of them. They chip away at their workers’ gains, like pensions, overtime pay, benefits, job security, all while claiming the “free market” necessitated the cuts, often while raking in huge profits.

        The eight-hour workday was supposed to be the death-knell for industry. So was the weekend. So was the minimum wage. Now the CEO of Papa John’s is clutching his pearls over Obamacare and the executives that ran Hostess into the ground loudly blamed the workers they were screwing over for their own bad corporate management. It’s like the captains of industry are a bunch of Cassandras, if Cassandra was always wrong about everything. It’s in your boss’s best interest to screw you over, and the bosses have gotten very good at getting the folks they’re screwing to agree.

        But hey, let’s just say it’s reasonable for an absurdly profitable business like the MLB to screw with their employee’s retirement, because, uh, supply and demand or something.

      • paperlions - Mar 19, 2013 at 2:45 PM

        Well, scholm, enjoy working until the day you die then….hope you hold up physically/mentally, because that mentality is the one that leads to no one being paid a living wage or having any benefits whatsoever.

        Apparently, the rich people are running out of things to take from the people that are creating their wealth.

    • cur68 - Mar 19, 2013 at 2:21 PM

      “Everyone does it, so its ok” is not an explanation. Looking after employees with healthcare and pension plans is an investment in society at large and not just a given company. I know “Social Responsibility” is some sort of code word for “liberal” or “Commie” but, fuck it, so what? Happy, healthy retired people with pensions go to ballgames and promote the club, free of charge I might add, and provide less of a drain on society than those who are working till they drop dead or require welfare when they can no longer work.

      Lets not even get into the spectre of a better than 8 billion dollar company trying to screw over a few hundred hard working people. Total dick move.

      • jarathen - Mar 19, 2013 at 3:12 PM

        I will never understand how so many companies/organizations don’t see the benefit of taking care of their own. The owners need to remind that it takes regular folks with money and free time to keep the sport going, and people without those two things can’t support them.

    • voteforno6 - Mar 19, 2013 at 2:23 PM

      Most workers that receive retirement benefits from their companies do so in the form of 401(k)s. Unfortunately, the 401(k) experiment has proven to be a failure for its beneficiaries. However, they cost a lot less to employers, which is why they are favored.

    • bdy602 - Mar 19, 2013 at 2:50 PM

      It’s disgraceful because civilized people take care of their aged. 97% of workers without a pension is also disgraceful. 25+% of our elderly below the poverty line (a line that hasn’t been adjusted for increasing health care costs since 1965) – yes, disgraceful. That we swear by an “economics” where public good magically emerges from a gaggle of sociopathic “rational actors” like yourself trying to buy low and sell high (read – screw somebody, anybody) – equally disgraceful. Shame on you.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Mar 19, 2013 at 3:46 PM

        97% of workers without a pension is also disgraceful

        This isn’t what they mean by the way. The easiest way to look at a defined benefit plan is that for every year you work you get X% of your salary, hence year’s worked defines your benefit. It’s extremely costly because the employer needs to keep enough in reserves to make payments.

        97% of the private sector got rid of these plans years ago because of the cost to run them, and now uses a defined contribution plan a la the 401K. These are far cheaper, and most likely what MLB would offer. It also puts all the risk into the employee to set aside money compared to the company with the defined benefit plan.

      • snowbirdgothic - Mar 19, 2013 at 5:05 PM

        401(k) plans are largely a boondoggle designed to A)put money into the hands of fund managers and B)reduce employer responsibilities to their employees.

    • indaburg - Mar 19, 2013 at 2:52 PM

      It’s basic capitalism, yes. But unbridled capitalism seems to bring out the worst in people.

      These people depend on the pensions because saving for retirement while supporting a family on less than 40k a year is next to impossible.

    • xsturmin8 - Mar 19, 2013 at 3:00 PM

      It’s disgraceful because it’s essentially equivalent to a paycut. People seem to think that pensions are free money given to you after you retire (this is especially repeated in regards to teacher pensions paid out by the state), in reality most pensions are money held in trust and often removed from paychecks to be paid out later. When the front office folks were given job offers, team contributions to a pension were no doubt part of their job offer. Imagine if MLB offered them all 40K a year, then suddenly said “Just kidding, we meant 35″. It’s the same thing, just doled out at the end of your employment instead of throughout.

      By taking away their contributions to the pensions, the teams are enacting across the board pay-cuts at a time when they are recording massive profits. It’s not the lack of a pension that’s a problem ,it’s taking them away without a commensurate increase in pay.

      Now if they increase salaries to make up for not contributing to pensions, then it’s not so much of an issue. But the fact is, that taking away pensions is exactly the same as a paycut, with more politlcally correct language.

      • shaggylocks - Mar 19, 2013 at 4:45 PM

        Perhaps not “politically correct” language, but “politically advantageous” language.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Mar 19, 2013 at 3:15 PM

      schlom, you are on the wrong board trying to use common sense when it comes to running a business. On the one hand, Craig will write a story saying “Baseball is a business” when it is about a player fighting to make every penny he can make. But when the owners try to increase profits…well, they are the scum of the earth stealing from the poor, poor baseball executives who make hundreds of thousands of dollars themselves.

      And to the people whining about how $40,000 isn’t enough to earn a living and retire on…well that’s just ridiculous. The poverty threshold today is $23,000 for a family of four, so that’s almost double that amount. And McDonald’s made billions last year, but nobody is bitching that the guy making my fries isn’t getting a fully funded pension LOL.

    • stlouis1baseball - Mar 19, 2013 at 5:16 PM

      Careful Schlom. You should know something…
      At HBT…business is bad. Business owners are bad. Wealthy business owners are twice as bad.
      They are simply greedy…money loving…no heart having old white men.
      The fact that they sign the checks and assume all the associated risks that come with that means nothing.
      OCCUPY CLUBHOUSES!
      OCCUPY SUITES!
      OCCUPY OFFICES!
      OCCUPY PENTHOUSES!
      OCCUPY…..SOMETHING!

      • jm91rs - Mar 19, 2013 at 10:23 PM

        I don’t always agree with your posts, but I liked this one. It reminds me it’s not worth telling people here that its ok to be rich and most of these guys busted their a$ses to get there.

      • stex52 - Mar 19, 2013 at 10:37 PM

        ……..and it’s okay when you get there to really stick it to the loyal people who work for you.

  4. dodger88 - Mar 19, 2013 at 2:06 PM

    While they get virtually no attention, I like to think there is a great deal of behind the scenes talent and a move such as this will lead to some people taking their talent elsewhere. Shortsighted move.

    • zzalapski - Mar 19, 2013 at 2:18 PM

      If this goes through, this doesn’t mean teams can’t offer pension plans on their own, right? Think about how much wider the competitive gulf will get teams smart enough to pay top dollar to the top auxiliary personnel and cheapass teams who don’t.

      • zzalapski - Mar 19, 2013 at 2:19 PM

        *between teams

        Edit function!

      • chadwalters425 - Mar 19, 2013 at 2:27 PM

        Teams can…but will they? MLB is so shortsighted and archaic with their business thinking and their lack of employee compassion…

      • zzalapski - Mar 19, 2013 at 2:34 PM

        The Rays definitely will. So will the A’s, if Beane has a larger stake in the next ownership group. The Yankees probably will.

        The Twins and Marlins definitely won’t.

      • paperlions - Mar 19, 2013 at 2:49 PM

        The Yankees will? They cut office employee benefits to save a couple hundred grand a few years ago. I realize that was George’s doing, but there isn’t any evidence that attitudes toward what they regard as “their money” has changes (see stupidity involving StubHub).

        The Rays? The team that chose to trade for a rapist? Not sure at this point that I’d invest in their moral standards.

      • zzalapski - Mar 19, 2013 at 2:54 PM

        For the teams, it’s not so much about the morality as it would be about improving the on-field product. Better scouts lead to better prospects, better minor league staff lead to more players ready for the majors, better trainers lead to less days lost to the DL, and so on.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Mar 19, 2013 at 3:47 PM

        They cut office employee benefits to save a couple hundred grand a few years ago. I realize that was George’s doing

        Almost positive he didn’t, but he definitely threatened too. The man was a bit of a nut in that regards.

  5. echech88 - Mar 19, 2013 at 2:08 PM

    Great. Can’t wait to have a bunch of bitter stadium workers no longer feeling any incentive to provide a quality experience because they love their employer and job.

    Kudos MLB. This juxtaposed with the Dodgers’ TV deal really looks awesome.

  6. pittman25 - Mar 19, 2013 at 2:12 PM

    As usual, the MLB, its obscenely rich owners, and its inept commissioner are doing their best to embarrass the sport. I’m sure Bud will make sure some steroid story leaks out in the next day or two to cover up this sham so that everyone can focus all of their anger on a cheating player instead of the money-grubbing, cancer-on-society owners.

  7. townballblog - Mar 19, 2013 at 2:13 PM

    Classless!!!!!

    > >

  8. coryeuc - Mar 19, 2013 at 2:16 PM

    Seems sensible. Private sector DB plans are a relic. We haven’t seen the ins and outs of MLB financials and how much these pension costs are rising. Depending on their funding models, though, the possibility exists that an explosion is on the horizon. Closing the system doesn’t mean nobody gets what they’ve been promised (by paying into the system). Offering a competitive defined contribution style system as an alternative would satisfy employees’ retirement needs and keep costs stable.

    • schlom - Mar 19, 2013 at 2:21 PM

      Keep your logic out of this. All you need to know is that Bud Selig and the owners are evil.

    • js20011041 - Mar 19, 2013 at 2:23 PM

      How is it sensible? I can understand some mom and pop business deciding that it can’t afford to provide a pension for it’s employees. But MLB is one of the largest and most profitable businesses in the country. MLB has never been more profitable than it is right now. Profits are trending upward, not downward. It clearly can afford to pay these employees a reasonable retirement, but like every other move we’re seeing pushed for by the owners, this is about being cheap and petty. What a bunch of souless scumbags.

      • coryeuc - Mar 19, 2013 at 2:29 PM

        It isn’t about being the size of the business or its profits. GM had tremendous profits at one point, but still managed to build a $134 billion pension obligation. The problem is the model of a defined benefit system. Again, pensions earned cannot just be “taken away.” IF MLB and teams want to maintain competitive benefits (hint: they probably do) , they’ll simply switch to offering a defined contribution system and begin to pay off current pension debt.

      • DD23 - Mar 19, 2013 at 3:04 PM

        Agreed coryeuc. Defined-benefit plans, in general, are a thing of the past. Just because a company is both profitable and has historically offer one doesn’t mean it makes good business sense to keep it. And they are certainly under no obligation to keep it going. A defined contribution plan (401k) will serve just fine.

      • buggieowens - Mar 19, 2013 at 3:09 PM

        A question for Cory (sorry I could not post directly under your comment). I am not an economist but when you state “pensions earned cannot just be ‘taken away,'” it reminds me of Enron. Didn’t the Enron employees have both their traditional and 401K pensions essentially taken away (well, through corruption)? Just curious…

        http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/money/energy/2002-02-06-enron-pensions.htm

      • coryeuc - Mar 19, 2013 at 3:36 PM

        For buggie: Enron employee pensions weren’t just taken away. It is an issue with how Enron ran and funded the program, choosing to promise pension payments on the value of company stock that eventually crashed. Sadly, Enron employees got caught up in this and it seems many decided to invest their own retirement funds in company stock. It was unique, and yes, corrupt. My point was that pension payments are largely protected contractually. If MLB votes to close its DB pension fund, the money paid into it and the money it has promised to pay out do not disappear. These are legally protected and even in the case of bankruptcy, pensioners would have standing as creditors. Employee and employer contributions are no longer made, and the fund is managed by professional pension managers until all benefits owed are paid out.

      • coryeuc - Mar 19, 2013 at 3:39 PM

        And to clarity my point based on one made elsewhere in the thread, employer contributions WILL have to resume if certain funding thresholds are not met during the course of closing out the fund.

      • buggieowens - Mar 19, 2013 at 3:53 PM

        Thanks Cory…regardless if I agree with you on the morality of the pension change, you do sound like someone who understands the pension system.

      • JB (the original) - Mar 19, 2013 at 5:34 PM

        I guess if not Enron, then what about Unisys? Essentially they got a bunch of people to take early retirement, with the “in writing” fact that these retirees would receive lifetime free healthcare as part of their retirement package. Well guess what, a few years down the road when it became apparent that health care costs were skyrocketing, Unysis went to the courts and begged out of the agreement, saying that ‘if they were forced to continue making good on their promise it could possibly ruin the company’. The courts agreed and let them off the hook, and the retirees, well, they took it in the shorts.

    • kmarx - Mar 19, 2013 at 3:28 PM

      MLB 2006 tax return. file from guidestar.org. (MLB is tax-exempt under IRC 501(c)(6), just like your local chanber of commerce and any professional football league). Compare Bud Selig’s alary to the pension costs. The 2004 return is at guidestar.org or here.

  9. brewcrewfan54 - Mar 19, 2013 at 2:19 PM

    Guys that are already rich as hell just want to be a little richer. I used to defend Selig for some of his actions but I wont do it anymore. The guy is a huge scumbag.

  10. dexterismyhero - Mar 19, 2013 at 2:24 PM

    Is that Bud’s “Margaret Thatcher” look in that pic?

  11. chadwalters425 - Mar 19, 2013 at 2:25 PM

    In Lean parlance, we have a term called “respect for people” where an employer and constituent are in partnership to take care of one another. For the employee this means respect for ideas and improvements, optimized working conditions, and minimized stressors. For the employer this means loyalty, happy employees producing more, and motivation to do more, better.

    I quoted Craig in this article I posted about MLB’s plan to eliminate the pensions:

    http://leanblitz.net/2013/03/will-mlb-show-little-respect-for-people-by-eliminating-non-uniformed-personnel-pension-plans/

  12. sabatimus - Mar 19, 2013 at 2:33 PM

    Don’t blame MLB: they’re just trying to ape the federal government’s business model.

  13. katra2logic - Mar 19, 2013 at 2:39 PM

    Greed may be the worst malaise we suffer in America as it rears its ugly head once again…

  14. hk62 - Mar 19, 2013 at 2:40 PM

    Name an industry – where there aren’t 25 employees making an average of over $3 million in annual salary as PART of the total payroll – that still has pensions? Those that are vested will be protected – have to be its the law. And the idea that no more contributions will be made is false – there are rules that dictate payments if the plan is not funded to the necessary levels (I am not an accountant!). Why is this shameful? You might disagree with the idea, but the swimming in money line doesn’t really matter unless you are taking the same anti senior leadership approach with the oil companies and the auto industry (now swimming in profits again). I don’t like that its going to happen to those employeed by the MLB teams or the league any more than you do – just like I didn’t like it when it happened to me and I am fully vested in mine, just can’t make it get any larger. This is 2013 reality.
    One thing it does mean is that annual salaries for those lower paying – where people take a lower salary for their love of the game and desire to be part of it – will increase, not immediately, market forces and all – but they will increase, but to a point where the total cost of compensation is not above the previous salary + benefits + pension.

    If he were taking away benefits from employees that have them (and I know that a pension is part of a benefit package) – that would be a different thing (does TOR pay medical and dental benefits to their non-uniformed personnel? I wonder) but the reality is that in today’s climate, a company (owner) does not have to offer a pension program as part of their benefits package to get the best employee candidates. Since that expense is not manditory for optimal employee procurement, they can eliminate it for new employees – and divert that expense money to larger budgets in other areas or increased operating profits.

    We may not like it – but it is reality and the MLB is a business. Shame isn’t part of the equation in my book. (FYI – movie makers and tv stations haven’t provided pensions to non-union, non-on air talent for a very long time – and those folks are not exactly broke either).

    • Chris Fiorentino - Mar 19, 2013 at 3:17 PM

      Amen. Too bad this wasn’t the first comment.

  15. Dberg - Mar 19, 2013 at 2:47 PM

    As a Tigers fan, I am contractually obligated to hate the White Sox with every fiber of my being. Unfortunately, this story makes it hard for me to hate Jerry Reinsdorf.

    Damn you and your common decency, Reinsdorf!

  16. randygnyc - Mar 19, 2013 at 2:54 PM

    The same level of talent will still be interested in working in baseball. The most talented will negotiate higher salaries.

    Cute how Cur tried to obfuscate the facts by slipping in the buzz words “health care” into the discussion. Unctuous at best.

    Another poster said employees no longer will have incentives to work hard. That’s exactly what is wrong with society. If an employee who has never received certain benefits, is offered a job and salary, accepts the job, well he had better be satisfied. If you don’t like it, don’t agree to it.

    These pensions are unsustainable. Private pensions are available in less than 10% for private companies. Workers are not entitled to it.

  17. johnstjc - Mar 19, 2013 at 3:02 PM

    i tried explaining to my dad that pensions will not exist at all in 5 years and he didn’t understand as a long time teamster’s union member…this doesn’t surprise me and is the way of the business world now a days…i feel bad for myself and everyone who will be growing old on only a reduced social security check and whatever 401 k savings we can keep without the market blowing up…was a really bad decision when people gave up their pensions for “their own choices” in the 80s with 401 ks…the working man was duped

  18. scoutsaysweitersisabust - Mar 19, 2013 at 3:16 PM

    As I see if, if this would go through employees will have three options. Negotiate higher salaries (Best for the Employees), Quit and take their talent elsewhere (Best for the Employer), or Unionize and strike (Worst for everyone involved). Many executives make enough base salary that this move wouldn’t hurt them too badly, but there are a lot of little guys, who are all too often under-paid to begin with, rely on pensions to support their retirement. In the end, I have to wonder if this move won’t end up hurting the owners a lot more than the small amount of cash it will save them.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Mar 19, 2013 at 3:19 PM

      Do you rail against McDonald’s? They don’t give their employees pensions(shit, they barely pay their employees more than minimum wage) and they make billions as well. Where’s the outrage against them?

      ** crickets **

      • johnstjc - Mar 19, 2013 at 3:27 PM

        mcdonald’s is losing 3 lawsuits right now for how they treat their workers…i’m not blaming mlb or mcdonald’s…just saying this is the new world we live in and people need to adjust

      • scoutsaysweitersisabust - Mar 19, 2013 at 4:11 PM

        I wasn’t railing against MLB either. Just simply stating that I see three likely outcomes to MLB making this movie, and I believe it’s a bad move for them, both publicly and financially.

        I also think there is a difference between taking a job with certain expectations and having them taken away from you out of greed, and taking a job knowing going into it you aren’t getting a pension. Most people who do have pensions factor that into their decision to take a job that typically pays less than other employment opportunities.

        I also think it’s pretty ridiculous to compare the guy who makes fries for a living to the guy with medical training who spends his life helping minor league players rehab from injury.

      • snowbirdgothic - Mar 19, 2013 at 5:10 PM

        Chris, I advise you to wander over to a produce stand one day. In one container, you might see apples. In another, you might see oranges. At that point, you will most likely come to the conclusion that they are different fruit, and should not be compared.

  19. DD23 - Mar 19, 2013 at 3:26 PM

    Craig, I must say I’m pretty disappointed with your stance on this. This is not “shameful and greedy.” It’s a business decision. And as you like to point out so frequently, baseball is a business. The pensions people have accrued will still be there, and from here on out teams will have the option of having a 401(k) -type plan as opposed to a pension. So what? That’s what the great majority of working Americans have. I don’t see the problem.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Mar 19, 2013 at 3:53 PM

      I don’t see the problem.

      With the caveat that we’ll never see MLB’s reserves to know how much they are holding to fund the program, there’s a huge difference in a most companies swapping to a defined contribution plan vs a defined benefit plan. The latter is far more difficult to fund due to the sheer volume of cash you have to keep in reserves.

      MLB is swimming in cash. Unless MLB got aboard the Wilpon train and invested with Madoff, they should not be having issues funding their pension program. So the reason to swap isn’t a necessity to continue business, it’s a way to reduce costs to the owners or put more money in their pockets.

      • DD23 - Mar 19, 2013 at 4:38 PM

        The MLB is swimming in cash now, for sure, so that’s a valid point. However I think it’s short-sighted to take the current financial climate, extrapolate it out for the next 30 years, and assume that things are going to be the same or better. You have to make these type of decisions with a long-term focus. Defined-benefit plans run a much greater risk of doing significant long-term financial harm to a business than defined contribution plans do. That’s the point I’m trying to make. There’s a reason most companies and governments are moving away from them.

      • jm91rs - Mar 19, 2013 at 5:04 PM

        While I see the huge TV contracts changing the game a bit, I think if I owned a team I’d be concerned when the stadium I’m in starts crumbling. The public funding option has proven to be a disaster over and over again. I think the climate is changing here and it’s going to be up to MLB or the individual owners to fund most of these stadiums in the future. I see a need to increase cash flow and build reserves for awhile to prepare for that change. We’re talking hundreds of millions per team that would have to be available. Putting money in their pockets might be smart for awhile.

  20. jerpicc - Mar 19, 2013 at 3:54 PM

    i’d recommend informing yourself on DB and DC plans before taking a stance on either side of the topic:

    http://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/ssb/v69n3/v69n3p1.html

  21. gogigantos - Mar 19, 2013 at 4:33 PM

    So, another giant corporation is screwing the workers out of a few bucks.
    Can any of you all who hate unions so so so much tell me what exactly they have done to ruin the world?
    One step closer to hating the game I love.
    It is like loving a country and its people while hating its government for being so so so piss poor.

    10 year anniversary of the invasion of Iraq,,, and a world of people closer to slavery then freedom the world over.

    flame away

  22. gogigantos - Mar 19, 2013 at 4:43 PM

    My love/hate relationship with America drove me away.
    Can any of you all union hating mofos tell me how a union ever hurt workers, or business that was well run?
    Another example of a money, giant money, making business squeezes and screws the worker generating profit all for a few more bucks on the bottom line to be shared among a handful of cats way too fat to know how to spend it all.
    Seriously, somehow this is a good business move. What would Aynn Rand have to say about screwing your workers this way?
    Seriously, I am curious how she, or anyone, can defend this as good business.
    Much less, how is this at all American?
    Fuck all you all thinking this is at all cool.

    flame away turds

    • jm91rs - Mar 19, 2013 at 4:59 PM

      Ha. I hope you feel better after posting that.

      Are you saying you left America because people don’t like Unions here anymore?

    • jlovenotjlo - Mar 19, 2013 at 6:56 PM

      Ayn Rand died in 1982 and won’t be defending any business moves anytime soon.

  23. delusionalcardsfan - Mar 19, 2013 at 4:50 PM

    Bunch of a$$holes.

  24. jm91rs - Mar 19, 2013 at 4:57 PM

    If you sacrifice income to work in a game you love, good for you but you better not be crying when the income gets cut a little. If it’s about the money, get another job, if it’s about love of the game, don’t complain. There’s an awful lot of Americans out there without Pensions.

    Millionaires have the right to cut costs and get richer. If the best people in the business seek employment elsewhere, then maybe they’ll have to change compensation to get some of them back.

    My question though is this: Say you work for the Reds in the clubhouse. Does your check come from the Reds or MLB? If it’s the Reds, can’t they chose whether or not to continue your pension? An owner that offers pension would have an attractive offer over others. A guy like Reinsdorf could get some talented hardworking guys from other teams if he offered better compensation. That’s the American way.

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Featured video

Red Sox shopping Lester and Lackey
Top 10 MLB Player Searches