Nonprofit calls on Orioles to support Baysox players with housing costs

A nonprofit for minor league baseball players has called for Baltimore Orioles team officials to offer more support for the Bowie Baysox.

In a series of tweets on Tuesday, Advocates for Minor Leaguers said they were told multiple players on the Bowie Baysox were considering sleeping in their cars after the club stopped paying for housing and offered hotels for 80% of the players’ home game paychecks.

At his regular press conference, Baltimore Orioles executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias called the claims hearsay, adding he was not aware of any players planning to sleep in their cars until those tweets surfaced.

“Our players did know, and continue to know, that we’re available to them should they have any type of hardships arise,” Elias told reporters. “It does happen time to time and we handle them quietly from time to time, and we’re here as a resource for them. We’re here to help them.”

Elias said COVID-19 affected the team’s accommodation options. Some players typically rely on host families, while others stay in hotels with roommates to mitigate the costs. Two Baysox players stay in RVs, Elias said.

Hours after that first thread was tweeted out, Advocates for Minor Leaguers tweeted that team officials informed the players they would now be able to obtain hotel rooms for roughly 40% of their home game paychecks.

Elias also told reporters that team management would continue to listen and talk to the players, to “make sure they have what they need.”

“We’re continuing to fine-tune the way that the industry invests in player development,” Elias said.

Advocates for Minor Leaguers is still calling for team officials to provide players with adequate food and shelter.

A fundraiser has been started to help pay for players’ hotel costs.

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