Just for the record, I hate when people write “Dear ________ (i.e. “Homework”), Please stop being so hard! Love, _______” on Facebook. So stop doing that. My version on this blog is awesome and clever, okay? Stop laughing!
Dear Major League Baseball,
First of all, thanks for all the great times. The home runs, the no-hitters, the magical moments, the near-misses, the joy and the agony, the PED’s and — wait. Okay, that’s enough dilly-dallying. I’ve sugar-coated this enough: I’m pissed.
It crosses my mind every so often. Usually when Joe Schmo So-and-So and his .225 average signs a six-year contract for $90 million that ends up equating to about $225,000 per hit each season. I accept it as fact and move on. Then Frank Tank Wanky Wank and his 1.35 WHIP signs for four years and $48 million, roughly $1 million per win each season.
And worst of all, players who actually deserve big money at the given market value, sign contracts worth between $200 million and $250 million dollars. For playing a sport. A child’s game, played by men.
Don’t get me wrong. I love you. I love baseball. Always have, always will. And I’d give at least half a nut to be playing in your league, making that kind of money for a daily routine of catch, batting practice and bullpen sessions.
Oh, did I mention I’m a Dodgers fan? I worship the team that spends hundreds of millions of dollars on free agents and negotiating rights and probably unnecessarily fast cars.
That team, and this sport is my passion. I realize this is “how it is.” And I definitely realize that I shouldn’t complain, since my team is riding that gravy train to being the best team in baseball on paper. But after the hypothetical confetti settles on a hypothetical World Series title, I’m going to get pissed again.
I apologize for the bluntness (no I don’t), but why are grown men with nary a financial management skill being handed game checks worth six figures for swinging a piece of wood at a ball of laced hide?
Professional athletes don’t have it as easy as I’m making it out to be, so I digress. It’s a tough job. And they deserve to be well-compensated for doing that job, especially when the ridiculous income would go straight to the slick-haired, three-piece-suited, likely dirty executives that run the league and the media otherwise.
But even a phenom like Mike Trout – and this isn’t a reach, since the market trends up every single year and he’s already the best player in the game at age 21 – is going to be in line for a contract worth over $300 million when he hits free agency.
Do you realize how much money that is? I’ve never had
$300,000,000 $3,000,000 $30,000 $3,000 at any given time in my 24 years on this planet.
I get it. I understand the system. I really do. But what in the world does Albert Pujols do with his $27.5 million per year? Make a side cash salad with his dinners? What does Barry Zito do with his nearly $2 million per win? Buy every fedora and scarf in the Northern California region (that explains why I can’t find any good ones…)?
There are people all over the world starving for 1/100,000,000th of that total in a lifetime, let alone in one calendar year. Most third-world countries would beg for school supplies, shoes, and fresh water for their children.
And even in America, thousands upon thousands of hard-working people work two jobs just to afford rent on a crappy apartment in a shitty neighborhood. If they want to watch Mike Trout play baseball, they better find a hotel lobby with the game on.
I don’t mean to get all sappy and dramatic on you, but I’m just making a point. Here it is, in all its glory:
Yeah, yeah. It would be tough to sell the players on such a thing. The logistics would be hell. But any player who says, “I deserve $_______ million!” is only justified in saying so because there isn’t a cap. They see mediocre players getting gigantic bonuses, and expect to exceed that. They are right. But you are wrong.
Fix it. Now. Please. Even this die-hard Dodgers fan wants there to be a limit to how much his team can spend.
Here is my proposition: Contract length cap – 7 years. Contract amount cap – $12 million per year/$84 million in a contract. You don’t have to do away with contract options, bonuses and incentives, as long as they don’t exceed a total of $100 million and/or 10 years.
Stop crying, Richie Rich executive guy. You’ll still get a hefty paycheck yourself. You can allocate the leftover funds to making the stadiums nicer, safer and more fan-friendly. You can set up more promotions for your adoring fan bases. Allocate more money to minor league players, as a reward for making it that far. Maybe even donate to charities! Set up developmental leagues in inner cities and foreign countries. Spread the gospel that is the greatest sport in the world.
I’m sure the Albert Pujols and Mike Trouts of this world will survive without a fourteenth guest bedroom in their Malibu mansions.
Baseball Conossieur/Broke-Ass Blogger