Broke Billionaires: John Middleton and Phillies exposed for Penny-Pinching on Player Housing
According to a recent report by Scott Lauber of the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Phillies are the only MLB team that failed to find permanent housing for their entire minor league system.
During the offseason, Major League Baseball directed all teams to find permanent housing for all of their players, “employees” in the minor leagues. These changes came as the result of immense pressure from advocacy groups and players who described in detail the low pay (sometimes $500/wk only during the season), and terrible living arrangements that many teams provide.
Some of the examples include professional athletes sleeping in their vehicles, living in roach-infested apartments and sleeping on air mattresses, sometimes two or three to a single room.
Did the Phillies listen to concerns of their employees and fix the problem like a world class organization?
Of course they didn’t!
The organization claims it did ‘exhaustive research’, but was unable to find housing for approximately 150 players, blaming factors such as an ‘upside down’ housing market, in which us regular folks are selfishly gobbling up all the rental apartments.
Here’s the thing. The Phillies technically aren’t breaking any league rules because they are providing lodging for their players. But now that the details of those living arrangements have been leaked, the Phillies should be ashamed and embarrassed over their penny-pinching actions.
Instead of you know, swinging your billionaire dick and buying a local apartment building, or at the very least opening up your wallet to book a long-term Air BnB, the Phillies have their players living in local hotels like high schoolers on a ski-club trip.
Ok, so many people reading this are probably thinking, ‘But Steve, that doesn’t so bad, the players are probably barely even there during the season’.
Well, just take a look at the details..
- Two players must share a standard room with two queen beds at a designated team hotel. Only the Allentown hotel has suites with a kitchenette.
- In Reading, players must check out of the hotel after a home stand, check back in upon returning from a road trip, and therefore take all their belongings with them on the road.
- Visiting spouses or significant others, children, and other guests aren’t permitted to stay overnight.
- Players may opt out of the plan and secure alternative housing, but at their own expense and only if they were drafted before 2020 and have spent at least two full seasons in the minors.
Checkout after each home stand and take all of your belongings with you?! No family members allowed?!
That’s beyond embarrassing! It’s straight up depressing that’s how little the Phillies organization values its players as human beings, who you know…may benefit from having a permanent living situation.
The Philadelphia Phillies, are majority owned by John Middleton, the Pennsylvania tobacco king whose net worth of $3.4 billion makes him the 883rd richest man in the world according to Forbes. The Phillies as a franchise are valued at over $2.3 billion.
“We found apartments, no problem,” one player said. “It’s just the fact that [the Phillies] didn’t look and didn’t try. They couldn’t open their tablet or the computer and just go to apartments.com.”
According to a report by ESPN last year, the total cost for a team to house every player in their minor league system totaled less than $1 million annually. That’s about the same amount that Zack Wheeler will make in a single start this season.
The Phillies probably clear that amount in beer sales in a single home stand. It’s also approximately the same amount that John Middleton spends on infant blood to keep himself young and vibrant.
Am I most likely to get sued for writing that? Probably, but Mr. Middleton deserves it.
What happened to crazy money? Gotta do better John!
Let’s hope the Phillies can ‘get more familiar with the corporate housing market in our affiliate cities’, or whatever the hell that means. Because today everyone is talking in the baseball world about how cheap they are.