Listening

Warm Up

Helpful Words and Phrases

Listen and repeat.

  1. a free agent
    • ex. Mike played for the Red Shoes for seven years until he became a free agent.
  2. negotiations
    • ex. Negotiations between the two companies aren’t going well.
  3. drastically
    • ex. The temperature drastically increased from 10 degrees to 25 degrees in one day.
  4. desperate
    • ex. After two weeks of no sweets, Annie was desperate for some chocolate.
  5. unfair
    • ex. That’s unfair: Kazu ate six pieces of pizza and only gave me two!

Article

Read the article below and answer your tutor's questions.

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MLB players are angry and are ready to start fighting for better pay. They’re talking about possibly striking. If they strike, it will be the first MLB strike since 1994. No current players have ever gone on strike.

Before, new MLB players had little power. Team owners paid them close to the minimum salary until they became free agents, when contract negotiations drastically increased their pay. Many in the baseball world felt that younger players were underpaid, while older players were overpaid.

Recently, however, many teams don’t want to pay free agents as much as they used to. Contract negotiations take a really long time, and some talented free agents are forced to wait more than six months for a contract offer. They become desperate and accept lower pay to be able to play.

Many players feel this is unfair. Underpaid new players used to look forward to their future free agent paychecks, but now, their future pay is uncertain. Players say that they don’t want to strike, but it’s an option if the situation doesn’t change.

Discussion

Choose a topic and discuss the questions with your tutor.

Athletes and Money

  • Should professional athletes get paid a lot of money? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Should university athletes get paid? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Should Olympic athletes get paid? Why or why not? Discuss.

Unfair Situations

  • Should fans do something to support athletes in unfair situations? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Do you think strikes are sometimes necessary in unfair situations? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Should employees always complain when they’re in an unfair situation? Why or why not? Discuss.