unfair payrolls in baseball

3 04 2007

I’ve heard people gripe that professional athletes are paid too much, and while there’s a case for that, the money has to go somewhere, and it’s better for it to go to the players who are working hard than the owners who sit in an office.  (Besides, the owners are making plenty; I know of one who draws $20 million per year from his team, yet says his team doesn’t have enough money to compete.)

I want to focus this column on the disparity between teams.  There is revenue sharing, which helps, but it’s still not even close to being fair.  At least 7 teams have payrolls over $100 million, led by the Yankees at $195 million (which is far ahead of everyone else).  The lowest payroll is $24 million by Tampa Bay.  To illustrate how that hinders Tampa Bay, consider that the Yankees are paying Alex Rodriguez $27.7 million this year (although some is paid by the Rangers), Jason Giambi $23.4 million, Derek Jeter $21.6 million, and Andy Pettitte $16 million.  When one player is making more than all the players on another team, how can that team compete?  And, ironically enough, that team is in the same division with the Yankees.  So there’s very little chance of them winning the division.

Does the disparity make it more interesting?  In some ways, yes, because the teams with less money are forced to be more resourceful and to focus on what’s important rather than just picking the big-name players.  And some teams with lower payrolls are able to compete on a regular basis.  So it’s not all about the money.  But it really stinks when management has built a great team and then good players have to be let go or traded because of limited payroll (like has happened with the Atlanta Braves the past few years).

I still enjoy watching baseball, because I enjoy the sport of it and the strategy.  I just wish there didn’t have to be all these issues on the side…

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2 responses

3 04 2007
Ronald Huereca

Beppo,

I don’t follow sports as much as I used to (especially baseball), but I do see a problem when a coach is blaming funding on not being able to find talent. That is like a CEO of a fortune 500 company complaining about the company not performing well when the CEO is making several million dollars a year.

There must have been a time when sports wasn’t about the heart. What if blogging became like sports and people just did it for the large paycheck rather than for the heart of it?

4 04 2007
Beppo

Unfortunately, professional sports is a business. I know it has to be that way, to pay for the stadiums and all the expenses, but the problem is that many owners treat it as a public business — “We must make even more money this year!” At least we are able to play sports at a local level which isn’t tainted by finances. It’s great to play a pick-up game of basketball or baseball or tennis with friends. (Football counts too, although it’s not as much fun for me; I’m just not a big fan.)

I’ve heard there are bloggers who get paid for writing, but I’m nowhere near that category. I think it’s the honesty and independence that makes blogs so popular. I can read someone’s opinion and know they weren’t paid a bribe by a large corporation or special interest group. I suspect much of what is said on TV and in newspapers is biased because of other people and groups. With a blog, there is no editor who is cutting out pieces of your article that might be too controversial or doesn’t represent the group’s views well enough. No one tells me what I should or shouldn’t write about.

To answer your question, if people were writing blogs just for the paycheck, it would be like newspapers and magazines are now — a few people would love their writing and produce quality articles, but some writing would be forced and uninspired because of deadlines and editorial requirements.

Another thing I like about blogs is that there are no deadlines. If I’m too busy to write one day, I just don’t write. Or if I don’t think of anything worthwhile to say, I take a day off. If I were required to write something about a topic that I wasn’t very interested in, that would be like doing homework for school. And I’m glad to be through with that! 🙂

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