MLB Revamps Proposal Of Pay, Duties For MiLB Clubhouse Managers

In a recent health and wellness proposal to Minor League Baseball teams, Major League Baseball proposed a massive restructuring of how MiLB’s clubhouse managers were paid and their responsibilities.

As Baseball America reported at the time, such changes would have modified how the clubhouse managers were paid. And they would have also required home clubhouse managers to travel with the team on the road, upending their schedules while also putting the jobs of visiting clubhouse managers at risk.

There were aspects of the proposed changes that were met with near universal acclaim. Players and clubbies would both potentially benefit from a system where clubhouse dues are abolished. For players, it means they’ll be able to keep more of their paychecks. For the clubbies, it eliminates the tricky balancing game they had to try to satisfy a wide array of opinions on food (funded from the dues).

But at the time, multiple clubhouse managers reached out to Baseball America to say that the proposed changes would likely force some of them to quit. For some, it would have likely led to the elimination of their jobs. And for others, it opened the question of whether it was possible to keep doing a job that could require 28-29 days of work per month.

“It’s 100% not sustainable. I was young and extremely energetic but would be pulling at least 100-110 hour weeks during homestands,” a former clubbie said. “I always thought I wanted to travel with the team because of how big of a baseball guy I was, but after those first couple of weeks, the team going on the road was the best thing to possibly happen. In the bigs you have the head clubhouse guy travel, but the visiting clubbies and team chef is taking care of 95% of the responsibilities. In the minors, it’s all hands on deck and I think you’d see people burn out a lot faster than normal. You have some guys that have been doing this 20-plus years and don’t have the energy or stamina to keep up with these changes. There would definitely be a shakeup.”

In its latest proposal, Major League Baseball has completely revamped what it is requiring for clubhouse managers.

Instead of asking home clubhouse managers (known throughout baseball as “clubbies”) to travel with teams, MLB’s new requirements spell out that MiLB teams employ home and visiting clubbies to ensure that all the requirements of the clubhouse (cleaning the clubhouse, cleaning and polishing cleats, washing uniforms, stocking toiletries and running errands) are covered.

MLB teams will now be responsible for reimbursing MiLB clubs for $280 per game at Triple-A, $227.50 per game at Double-A and $210 per game at Class A levels. That reimbursement is intended to cover the costs previously funded by players and staff clubhouse dues for both home and visiting clubbies. 

Clubhouse dues will be banned in 2021 and beyond under this proposal, although clubbies may still receive tips from players and staff “for exceptional performance or fulfillment of specific requests beyond the employee’s normal scope of responsibility.”

If an MLB team decides to employ the home clubhouse manager directly, that MLB team will be responsible for reimbursing the MiLB team $70 per day at Triple-A, $56.88 at Double-A and $52.50 at Class A. That reimbursement will be allocated to the visiting clubhouse staff.

There is also a cost-of-living adjustment formula that will begin in 2022 to ensure the amount paid keeps up with inflation.

Players and staff will no longer be responsible for funding a portion of the salaries of clubbies. Also, MLB teams will be responsible for providing all meals for players, coaches and other staff while they are at the ballpark. In the past, clubbies were expected to provide food out of the clubhouse dues.

The new system also ensures that there are both home and visiting clubhouse managers instead of requiring all home clubbies to travel with the team.

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