Just prior to their Winter Meetings at the opulent Bellagio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Major League Baseball general managers had been sternly warned by Commissioner Bud Selig to act accordingly given the economic downturn. (Apparently, the Yankees’ Brian Cashman didn’t relay that message back to the Steinbrenners.)
Anyway, I had already heard that young job seekers trying to catch on with an organization at the minor league job fair and trade show were having tough sledding. (As an aside, working the Winter Meeting circuit is how Cardinals senior quantitative analyst Sig Mejdal started on his path to getting hired. More details here.)
Now, a Friday New York Times article provides examples of cutbacks at the minor league level, using the Cardinals as a poster child.
“In the St. Louis Cardinals’ minor league system, many players will wear last year’s uniforms. Buddy Bates, the organization’s minor league equipment manager, said it was difficult to find items to cut on the field because the teams still needed catcher’s equipment, helmets and baseballs. But, he said, reusing uniforms was something his organization could get away with.
“We’ll just fill in the things we need,” Bates said.”
I have an idea. Maybe they can pass the unis down from level to level. Can you imagine how proud an aspiring minor leaguer would be to have the opportunity to wear an old (…or shall I say, “pre-worn”) Albert Pujols or Chris Carpenter jersey?
If so, Bates and his cohorts might have to enhance their loss avoidance procedures, though. Maybe some of those job-seekers can hire on as security guards!