Texas Rangers Call Up Minor League Coach with Parkinsons So He Can Have Health Insurance

A heartwarming story. But why don't minor league coaches have insurance?

A heartwarming story from the Dallas Morning News:

If there is a sliver of good news to emanate from the sudden and mysterious resignation of Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington, it concerns minor league roving hitting instructor Brian Dayett.

The Rangers on Tuesday added Dayett, 57, to their major league staff for the remaining two weeks of the season to satisfy a MLB directive to have a minimum of five coaches on the Major League Baseball pension and insurance plan.

It means a lot to Dayett, who has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease.

It will allow Dayett to increase his major league pension and to improve his insurance coverage at least through March, 2015. Dayett already had parts of five major league seasons in service while playing for the New York Yankees and Chicago Cubs.

“We looked at our staff to see whose life could be most impacted,” general manager Jon Daniels said. “It’s just a small gesture. But Brian has worked with a lot of our young hitters and he’s beloved by the minor league hitters.”

It’s a nice gesture.

On the other hand, it strikes me as odd that coaches in the minor league systems of Major League Baseball teams don’t qualify for pensions, much less health insurance.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    It’s all about profit James, one does not make money by giving it away.

  2. al-Ameda says:

    I’m pleased to hear of this, however this is yet another in a long line of examples that show us why a Single Payer system is where we should be going.

  3. humanoid.panda says:

    On the other hand, it strikes me as odd that coaches in the minor league systems of Major League Baseball teams don’t qualify for pensions, much less health insurance.

    No price is to expensive, no burden is too heavy for freedom (as long as someone else is carrying/paying it)!

  4. beth says:

    After the last week or two of crappy sports stories, it’s nice to read this.

  5. Peter says:

    While serving as mayor of New York City in the late 1990’s, Rudolph Giuliani appointed former mayor John Lindsay to a ceremonial position with the city government so he could qualify for health insurance under the city’s plan. Lindsay was in failing health and experiencing financial troubles, and had no health coverage other than Medicare.

  6. Tony W says:

    Civilized countries don’t require this sort of gratuitous act. Basic health care is a civil right nearly everywhere where the country’s wealth allows it. One day America might get there – but I’m not holding my breath that we’re good enough for that.

  7. BIll says:

    In 1983, the Chicago White Sox added Loren Babe to their coaching staff. A long-time minor league manager with just a little playing and coaching experience at the major league level. Babe’s addition was so he could get eligible for a MLB pension. Babe was fighting cancer and would die of it in 1984.

    At the same time, the White Sox had another coach Charlie Lau who was fighting cancer. Like Babe, Lau would die in 1984.

  8. Just 'nutha' ig'rant cracker says:

    I don’t find Minor League personnel not having those benefits surprising at all. On the other hand, I spent many years teaching as an adjunct instructor. Adjunct instruction is not considered a “real job” in the academic community; I would assume Minor League coaching has a similar status in baseball–just like assistant coaching in college football often does. There are a lot of things in the US that might not be economically viable if they needed to carry the weight of their full market value. CEO can only be paid incomes that are orders of magnitude larger than average through the sacrifices of others.

    But those others are only parasites anyway, so it’s ok.

  9. Just 'nutha' ig'rant cracker says:

    @Just ‘nutha’ ig’rant cracker: So that no one will come to the conclusion that I am a complete ignorant cracker, I would like to note that I am glad for Bryan Dayett and wish him well. I only wish that he hadn’t needed to win the terminal disease lottery to get the recognition and benefit.

  10. Togo says:

    @Tony W: Mr. Dayett’s position is not a gratuitous act. Since he played 5 years in the Majors and 4 years in Japan plus coaching in the minors for 17 years he had a pension and insurance he EARNED. He has two sons who are reading all these hurtful comments and heart wrenching articles written by people who have an agenda and many know nothing of the situation. He is not a poster child for pensions, pity or patronage. After 45 years of working, ten of which have been with the Rangers, they owe it to him because he earned it.
    He’s a decent, hard working human being who the players adore. Have some respect people.

  11. Tony W says:

    @Togo: I have no doubt that he’s an amazing man and completely worthy of the praise and honor he has earned through his hard work and devotion to the team.

    Millions of Americans work their butts off their entire lives only to be thrown to the wolves when they become too expensive for their employers and insurance companies. This guy caught a break and landed an exception from the rule, in no small part because he’s well respected by a bunch of wealthy and influential people. Good for him, but don’t fool yourself into thinking that this is indicative of anything going on in the real world.

    We like to pretend that life is fair and working hard in your prime years will assure you are taken care of when you get older. For most of America this is not the case. That’s a decision we have made as a society by supporting politicians who are bought and paid for by our corporate overlords.