The New York Mets have renovated their spring training clubhouse and decided to prohibit minor leaguers from using it.
The New York Mets are showing off their renovated clubhouse at their Clover Park spring training facility in Port St. Lucie, but it’s not open to minor leaguers. The team spent $57 million on renovations to the clubhouse, which will only be used by big-league players during spring training.
According to Anthony DiComo of MLB.com, the Mets will not allow minor leaguers to use the clubhouse after spring training concludes because they want them to be reminded of the ultimate goal they are working to achieve.
The most striking part of the Mets' $57 million spring training renovation may be the home clubhouse. The Mets are only using it for Spring Training, not for the St. Lucie regular season, to give minor leaguers a reminder of the status they're working to earn. pic.twitter.com/k1b3vTTkj3
— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) February 10, 2020
This announcement has drawn a great deal of backlash, primarily because minor-league ballplayers already have it rough. Of all professional sports, baseball’s season is by far the longest.
To make matters worse, some minor leaguers’ wages hover around the poverty line and they have to endure tough conditions such as going on road trips that last hours in order to play games. The least organizations can do is allow them to enjoy some nice, new clubhouses. The fact that some major league players are getting signed to contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars does not help.
The revelation of this news comes at a time of controversy regarding the minor leagues: MLB recently announced plans to contract 42, or about one-fourth, of minor league teams. This has drawn severe criticism from many, including government officials such as congressmen.
The clubhouse will be used for the entirety of spring training, meaning until the end of March. Then, until spring training 2021, it will only be used by MLB players who are on rehab assignments.
It is very plausible that the Mets get enough backlash to make them change their policy and allow minor leaguers to utilize the clubhouse. But, until then, this is strictly a privilege for spring training.