After making a questionable call, the Washington Nationals brass rectifies their mistake.
Should we have been surprised when the Lerner Family announced they were going to be cutting the stipend for minor league players from $400 to $300? The Washington Nationals wealthy owners try to defer money in all the big contracts they offer to free agents, so why not try to save a few bucks on the front end too?
A few bucks are all they would have been saving as well, so was it worth the public relations nightmare of announcing to the world you are cheapskates? Maybe they thought Nationals fans would still be basking in the afterglow of the World Series title and wouldn’t notice.
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I’m not sure what looks worse. First, the announcement of the team cutting a meager stipend by 25% to an even more paltry $300. Second, the fact Washington Nationals players on the major league roster said they would cover the $100 for each of the minor leaguers. Or third, the way it was stated by Grant Paulsen and other reporters after the owners reversed their original decision:
I’m told by an MLB source that the Lerners have decided that the Nationals will indeed pay minor leaguers the full $400 weekly stipend they were getting before June.
The Lerners have decided? Surely they had plenty of time to think over this decision well before announcing the cuts. To recant less than a day after the initial announcement, after tremendous backlash, shows an overall lack of compassion and foresight.
Would they have come to this decision had the major leaguers on their own team not willingly gone to bat for the minor league players? Of course not. Had they known the public outcry would have been so vocal and the internal rallying been so immediate, they would never have sliced $100 a week off the pay.
This is completely a bad look for an organization that has been on cloud nine since last October. The Washington Nationals will now have to defend their actions along with defending their World Series title.