One Thing That Always Bugged Me About the Movie ‘Major League’

I spent the morning before Thanksgiving fighting with people online about my ranking of the top-20 baseball movies … just like the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock. But in so doing, I started going back over some of the movies in my head, when I revisited something that always bothered me: The implicit pity at the salary of our protagonist, Jake Taylor.

Do you remember this scene? In short, Jake crashes the fancy home of his ex-girlfriend (wife?), and her new “high-society” boyfriend and friend group. The new boyfriend attempts to belittle Jake for … being a Major League Baseball player (?) by pointing out that the Indians are in last place. In attempt to cut through the awkwardness, one of the friends says the following “I’ve heard baseball players make very good salaries these days.”

Jake responds by saying “Well, that depends on how good they are, I guess.” Naturally, the friend retorts “Well how good are you?”

And here is Jake’s reply: “I make the league minimum.”

Somehow “I make the league minimum” draws the room to a halting, awkward silence. And that always bugged me. I get that the lead up makes that sound like he’s not all that good, but he’s still a big leaguer (for a team that would ultimately make the playoffs). But more importantly, the league minimum isn’t that bad!

I looked it up!

Back in 1989, when the movie came out, the league minimum salary was $68,000. That’s well-above the median household salary for Cleveland, Ohio in 1989. But to put it in better perspective, an inflation calculator has that at $163,425 in present day dollars. That’s pretty darn good!

But we can be even more generous.

This movie came out in 1989, but let’s say it took place during the 1990 season. That year, the Major League minimum salary jumped up to $100,000, which would put his salary at $228,012.24! That’s a ton of money! On top of being literally a professional athlete. I just hate that they “feel bad” for him. Or, at least, I don’t think it makes very much sense in what is otherwise one of my favorite baseball movies of all-time.

written by

Michael Cerami began covering the Chicago Cubs for Bleacher Nation as a part-time contributor in 2015. One year later, he joined Bleacher Nation full-time, covering the Chicago Cubs and Major League Baseball. Today, Michael runs Bleacher Nation, contributing as a writer (Cubs, MLB) and an editor for all sections of the site, including the Chicago Bears, Bulls, and Blackhawks, as well as MLB, NBA, NHL, and NFL. In 2019, Michael was the co-host of NBC Sports Chicago's Cubs Post-Game Show Outside the Ivy. You can find him on Twitter/X @Michael_Cerami

more cubs news

Spring Training Miscellany: Double Debuts for Cooper and Smith, Wicks Effective, Thompson Appears, More

The Cubs dropped this one to the Padres 2-1, with Padres pitchers absolutely mowing down Cubs hitters. Jhony Brito and Matt Waldron combined for 7.1 innings of one-run ball, striking out 12(!). Jordan Wicks continued his spring of effective starts,...

Chicago Cubs Lineup: Morel at 3B, Smith and Cooper Make Their Debuts

*HOMAGE is excited to reissue the iconic CUBS STARTER SATIN JACKET in an exclusive limited edition release. A certified nineties throwback, these exclusive vintage-inspired jackets are built for the dugout, with all the classic details of the original. Get your...

Sonny Gray Leaves Spring Training Start with Hamstring Tightness

Just as we would with a Cubs player dealing with a mild hamstring issue at this point in the spring (for example, Ian Happ), I don't know that you'd yet start thinking TOO many things about an injury on the...

Shota Imanaga’s Fastball and a Geographic-Geographic Adjustment

Shota Imanaga made his U.S./Cubs/Spring Training debut this weekend, throwing 2.1 innings and 40-ish pitches as he begins to stretch out for the MLB season ahead. As we discussed, you can't take too much away from the results, but it...

Latest Top-100 Prospect List Has Six Cubs in the Top 68

One of the last-arriving (but well-contemplated) preseason top-100 prospect lists dropped this morning over at Prospects Live. https://twitter.com/ProspectsLive/status/1764658665607315751 16. Pete Crow-Armstrong, OF17. Cade Horton, RHP29. Matt Shaw, INF54. Kevin Alcántara, OF65. Michael Busch, INF68. Owen Caissie, OF The Cubs have...

Taillon to Throw, Tauchman on the Squad, Bench, Hendricks, ‘Go Cubs Go’, and Other Cubs Bullets

It feels like we're getting close to the first cuts of the spring. I would tentatively expect them to come this week. Sounds like we'll see Cody Bellinger make his spring debut on Wednesday, per Ron Coomer. Part of the...

Zack Wheeler Reportedly Signing Multiyear Extension with the Philadelphia Phillies (UPDATE)

It just didn't feel like he was going to hit the market, especially after the Phillies stepped up so aggressively to retain Aaron Nola, and now it's done: Zack Wheeler will not be a free agent after this season. Per...

Spring Training Miscellany: Cleveland Blew a 3-1 Lead, Hendricks a Little Wild, Bullpen Perfect, Alcántara, Mastrobuoni, More

Technically Cleveland blew a 3-0 lead that became a 3-1 lead, but the 3-1 joke is always better. A trio of homers did in the Guardians, and the Cubs won 5-3. This was the comeback blow, from annual spring MVP...

Cubs vs Guardians: Lineups, Pitching Matchup, Broadcast Info, Game Thread

*HOMAGE is excited to reissue the iconic CUBS STARTER SATIN JACKET in an exclusive limited edition release. A certified nineties throwback, these exclusive vintage-inspired jackets are built for the dugout, with all the classic details of the original. Get your...

Postseason Odds, Phillies and Snell, Cooper, Happ, Acuña, and Other Cubs Bullets

If you think about it, all I'm asking is for the Cubs to win a little more than half their games this year, and then win more than half of the games they play in October. That is a very...

Latest News

TRADE! Bears Acquire Ryan Bates in Deal With Bills

I wasn't expecting a Chicago Bears trade on the first Monday of March, but here we are with the team announcing they've cut a deal with the Buffalo Bills with offensive lineman Ryan Bates. Here's the news straight from the...

Magic vs. Hornets Prediction: Expert Picks, Odds, Stats and Best Bets – Tuesday, March 5, 2024

The Orlando Magic (35-26) are favored (-8.5) to extend a three-game winning streak when they visit the Charlotte Hornets (15-46) at 7:00 PM ET on Tuesday, March 5, 2024 at Spectrum Center. The game airs on BSSE. The over/under is...

Pelicans vs. Raptors Prediction: Expert Picks, Odds, Stats and Best Bets – Tuesday, March 5, 2024

The Toronto Raptors (23-38) are 7.5-point underdogs against the New Orleans Pelicans (36-25) at Scotiabank Arena on Tuesday, March 5, 2024. The game tips at 7:30 PM ET on SN. The matchup's over/under is set at 229.Pelicans vs. Raptors OddsPelicans...

Heat vs. Pistons Prediction: Expert Picks, Odds, Stats and Best Bets – Tuesday, March 5, 2024

The Miami Heat (34-26) take the court against the Detroit Pistons (9-51) as heavy, 10.5-point favorites on Tuesday, March 5, 2024 at 7:30 PM ET on BSSU. The point total is 221.5 in the matchup.Heat vs. Pistons OddsHeat odds to...

Nuggets vs. Suns Prediction: Expert Picks, Odds, Stats and Best Bets – Tuesday, March 5, 2024

The Denver Nuggets (42-19) are favored (by 8.5 points) to extend a three-game home win streak when they host the Phoenix Suns (35-26) on Tuesday, March 5, 2024 at 10:00 PM ET. The point total is set at 223.5 for...

Rockets vs. Spurs Prediction: Expert Picks, Odds, Stats and Best Bets – Tuesday, March 5, 2024

The San Antonio Spurs (13-48) visit the Houston Rockets (26-34) after losing five straight road games. The Rockets are favored by 6 points in the matchup, which begins at 8:00 PM ET on Tuesday, March 5, 2024. The matchup has...

Pre-Gamin’: Chicago Bulls at Sacramento Kings (9:00 CT), Projected Lineups, How to Watch, More

Let's try to not spot them a 30-point lead this time around. https://twitter.com/chicagobulls/status/1764675060382437572?s=20 Game Info Chicago Bulls (28-32) at Sacramento Kings (34-25) – 9:00 p.m. CT on NBC Sports Chicago (TV) and 670 The Score (Radio) Projected Starters Chicago Bulls Coby White...

CUSA Basketball Predictions, Computer Picks and Best Bets | March 5

CUSA squads are on Tuesday's college basketball schedule in three games, including the Liberty Flames playing the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders, and here are some best bets for you to make.How to Bet on CUSA Games[lasso ref="draftkings-promo-1" id="299003" link_id="1463592"]Best CUSA...

Ivy League Basketball Predictions, Computer Picks and Best Bets | March 5

There is one game featuring an Ivy League teams on the Tuesday college basketball schedule, the Harvard Crimson versus the Dartmouth Big Green. Make sure you check out below for today's best bets!How to Bet on Ivy League Games[lasso ref="draftkings-promo-1"...

ACC Basketball Predictions, Computer Picks and Best Bets | March 5

The Tuesday college basketball slate includes five games featuring an ACC team in action. Among those contests is the Virginia Tech Hokies taking on the Louisville Cardinals. Here are our recomendations for the best bets on action throughout the conference.How...

more cubs news