MLB commissioner Rob Manfred before game one of the 2021 World Series

While Major League Baseball players typically enjoy comfortable salaries, but the same cannot be said of the players in Minor League Baseball.

According to a report from a nonprofit organization called More Than Baseball, most minor league players make less than $10,000 a year and as little as $4,800 thanks to wages that are significantly less than the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. Players in the minor leagues deal with poor living conditions and poor-quality food and are usually forced to work second jobs just to afford basic living expenses.

As a result, players report feeling unsatisfied with workplace conditions and pay, with 72 percent of respondents in a three-year survey of over 800 minor leaguers saying their needs were not met by current wages while 83 percent of players said increased salary was the change they’d most like to see in minor league baseball.

That’s what makes MLB commissioner Rob Manfred‘s recent comments so shocking. In a press conference ahead of Tuesday night’s MLB All-Star game, Manfred was completely dismissive of the current wage issues in Minor League Baseball, according to Evan Drellich.

“I kind of reject the premise of the question, that minor league players are not paid a living wage,” Manfred said.

Harry Marino, director of Advocates for Minor Leaguers, called Manfred’s comments “callous and false.”

“Most Minor League baseball players work second jobs because their annual salaries are insufficient to make ends meet,” Marino said in a statement. “The commissioner makes an annual average salary of $17.5 million. His suggestion that Minor League pay is acceptable is both callous and false.”

Naturally, Manfred’s comments caused quite a stir in the baseball world.

After years of fighting to suppress minor league wages, the MLB did raise the minimum salaries of minor leaguers for the 2021 season, but it’s clear there is still a long way to go.

[Evan Drillech]