Even as Major League Baseball teams run flush with cash, the living and working conditions of players at the Minor League level has been a major point of contention within the baseball industry. The latest example of what minor-leaguers are subject to as they pursue professional baseball careers revolves around something that recently happened in the A’s system.
On Tuesday, Advocates for Minor Leaguers exposed paltry post-game meals being served to players in the Oakland Athletics minor league system, showing photos of food that could hardly be called appetizing or adequate. One photo showed a sandwich with little more than a slice of cheese mixed with lettuce and tomato, while another showed what looked like a taco with only two pieces of chicken and a few scraps of vegetables.
“No employer would serve these meals to employees they care about,” the Advocates for Minor Leaguers Twitter account wrote. “Why are the A’s serving them to their future Major Leaguers?”
After the tweet began to go viral, Oakland A’s president Dave Kaval called the food “totally unacceptable.” He added that the organization had recently severed the agreement it had with a third-party vendor that served the players those meals. Kaval’s sentiments, and explanation of the situation, were echoed in an official statement by the team.
“Several weeks ago, we were made aware of the postgame meals being served to players in our Minor League system. Those options were completely unacceptable and by no means meet our quality standards,” read the A’s statement, via Alden Gonzalez of ESPN. “We immediately ended our relationship with that third party vendor.”
According to ESPN, the first photo shared dates back to May 18, when the Double-A affiliate of the Athletics was on the road playing a game in Amarillo, Texas. The other is allegedly more recent and comes from a different team in the A’s minor-league system, which includes teams such as the Las Vegas Aviators, Midland RockHounds, Lansing Lugnuts, Stockton Ports, AZL Athletics and DSL Athletics.
While Advocates for Minor Leaguers used the photos to call attention to the working conditions of minor league players, the Internet reaction to the meals drew comparisons to the infamous Frye Festival, a notorious scam and failed music festival that served attendees cold cheese sandwiches among other transgressions.