Tampa Bay Rays: Blake Snell spoiled millionaire or just misunderstood?

Blake Snell of the Tampa Bay Rays (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
Blake Snell of the Tampa Bay Rays (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /

Tampa Bay Rays star pitcher Blake Snell recently made national headlines with his comments regarding a revenue split. We take a look at why some fans are not receiving the message well.

The Tampa Bay Rays were receiving national attention for the recent words of their former Cy Young Award winner, left-handed pitcher Blake Snell.

Snell recently took to his Twitch account in the wake of the owners-approved proposal to play a 2020 MLB season. The big red flag in the plan was the proposed revenue split, effectively paying the players less money than their contract grants them per game.

In essence, players due to make around $7 million per year (like Snell) would be paid $3.5 million for a half a season of games.

The owners were proposing that since there will be little to no attendance, the players should agree to a revenue split to offset the loss of gate revenues.

Blake Snell is known for utilizing his Twitch account to live-stream himself playing video games. He was live-streaming when the Rays traded Tommy Pham for Xavier Edwards and Hunter Renfroe this past offseason, to which he immediately reacted by referring to Edwards as a “slapdick prospect.”

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Tampa Bay Rays Blake Snell: What did he say?

This time, Snell came off to some as a spoiled millionaire who plays baseball for a living. Some said his comments were completely tone-deaf to what the rest of the country was going through.

A popular quote from his Twitch commentary was,

"“I’m not playing unless I get mine.”"

Another quote that rubbed people the wrong way was

"“So, imagine how much I’m actually making to play, you know what I’m saying? I ain’t making s–t.”"

Some Tampa Bay Rays fans are unhappy about Blake Snell’s comments

The response is understandable.

“What?! I can’t believe that millionaire baseball player thinks it’s not worth it to play baseball for millions of dollars this year when the rest of us are barely making ends meet!”

One reader of the Palm Beach Post wrote in:

"Does he not get it? People are dying of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, and he’s worried about getting his full pay.I didn’t think people like him still existed. There is no excuse for his attitude."

Tampa Bay Rays – Translating Blake Snell

Snell has a unique personality. While some of those lines can come off as insensitive or whiny, they aren’t being used in the complete context of his statements.

The reader is correct in pointing out that Blake Snell is worried about his pay amidst a pandemic in which people are dying. That’s exactly Snell’s point. The headlines and the method he chose to deliver his statement may not have been the most smooth approach, but here’s some more context to the headlines you may have read.

Snell went on to say,

"“The risk is way the hell higher and the amount of money I’m making is way lower, why would I think about doing that?”"

Exactly. He’s agreeing with you. Yes, he’s complaining about his pay while there’s a pandemic. He’s complaining that the owners want to put the players at risk to play the games and pay them roughly a third of their annual salaries.

He’s acknowledging the risk and the dangers, the same ones fans are pointing out in response to his comments. The problem is that fans are focusing on the comments regarding money and not the message as a whole.

“I’m not playing unless I get mine” is not a statement to the fans, it’s a statement to the owners.

"“I love baseball to death, it’s just not worth it.”"

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When he says it’s not worth it, he’s talking about the risk. He’s talking about the danger involved. The money part may be tough for us normal folk to relate to, but that’s a statement to the owners. It’s not a statement to the fans who pay their hard-earned money to see him pitch.