- an organism that lives in or on another organism (its host) and benefits by deriving nutrients at the host’s expense.
2) a person who habitually exploits others and gives nothing in return.
You have to be a special kind of parasite not to want to help the widow of a deceased Major League Baseball (MLB) retiree who suffered from dementia, who served his country and who wasn’t receiving a MLB pension.
But since both MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred and Tony Clark, the executive director of the union representing today’s players, the Major League Baseball Players’ Association (MLBPA) don’t want to extend spousal benefits to the widows of non-vested players, if the shoe fits…..
Carol Ann Osteen lost her husband, former Cincinnati Reds hurler Darrell Osteen, who pitched for the club during parts of the 1965, 1966 and 1967 seasons, last October. Osteen appeared in 29 games, all but one of them in relief. He recorded one win and three saves in 38 career innings.
Osteen didn’t receive a pension because of a rules change that happened during the 1980 Memorial Day Weekend. At the time, a player needed four years of service credit to be eligible to buy into the league’s health coverage plan and to receive a monthly benefit. But a strike was averted after the league and MLBPA agreed that, moving forward, all a player would need to qualify for health insurance was one game day of service on an active MLB roster, and 43 game days of service on an active roster for a pension.
By the way, that’s 43 game days on the bench. Reds pitcher Homer Bailey might make eight starts in 43 game days. But he gets 43 game days of service credit, not eight.
The problem was, the union didn’t request that this change be made retroactive for the men like Osteen, who had more than 43 game days of service but less than four years.
Retirees like Osteen were instead thrown a bone in April 2011. For every 43 game days they were on an active MLB roster, each man received a payment of $625 for his service, up to $10,000. And that’s before taxes are taken out.
It’s curious why neither Manfred nor Clark want to do more for these men. Especially since the national pastime is so well-off. The league recently announced that its revenue was up 325 percent from 1992, and that it has made $500 million since 2015. What’s more, the average value of each of the 30 clubs is up 19 percent from 2016, to $1.54 billion.
Furthermore, even though Forbes recently reported that the current players’ pension and welfare fund is valued at $2.7 billion, Clark has never commented about these non-vested retirees, many of whom are filing for bankruptcy at advanced ages, having banks foreclose on their homes and are so sickly and poor that they cannot afford adequate health care coverage.
Osteen, who would have likely added to his career service credit if not for having spent two years in the military, in 1968 and 1969, famously went missing three years ago before police discovered him driving his car in Rancho Cucamonga, California.
In my opinion, Osteen, who resided in Palm Desert, was being shortchanged by a sport that can certainly afford to do more for its non-vested retirees.
Osteen received a whopping $2,500 every year. And that’s before taxes were taken out. Meanwhile, do you know how much vested retirees receive? Between $34,000 and $220,000 per year.
But here’s the kicker — the payment Osteen received can’t be passed on to a loved one.
So Carole Ann now gets squat.
I don’t wish either Manfred or Clark any ill will, but I want them to ponder this question: when it’s time for you to retire, do you want to be treated respectfully and honorably, or do you want to be treated the way you’re treating Carol Ann Osteen?