This time of year sucks. Football is over, baseball hasn’t started, the NBA is at the midseason point and March Madness has yet to begin (sigh). That said, I naturally find my thoughts turning to the upcoming baseball season this time of year, and I came across one hell of stat.
Albert Pujols was in the process of negotiating a contract extension with the St. Louis Cardinals, a process which has come to a halt until the end of the season when he’ll either resign with the Cardinals or become a free agent. The Cardinals supposedly offered him a deal that would make him between the 6th and 10th highest paid player in baseball — not to shabby, but not a deal worthy of the best player in the game. So think for a minute — what if these superstar athletes were paid based on their actual on-field performance, a la a waiter or a salesperson?
Since the 2001 season, A-Rod has earned $594k per home run, and $204k per RBI. Albert Pujols has earned $237k per home run and $79k per RBI.
Absolute craziness, and further evidence that athletes are overpaid (especially A-Rod). Think about it. You stroll up to the plate with a runner on third, maybe half hungover, and slap a single up the middle. Cha-chingggggg — $204k in the bank. My god.
One final note while I’m ranting on the baseball front. I’d like to send a shout out to a former Yankee (yes, you heard me correctly). Hideki Matsui. This guy delivered the Yankees their last World Series title on a silver platter, never once complained about his role, and had countless other big-game hits for the Yankees. Yet he gets little or no credit — you never heard any buzz about Matsui in New York. Sure, he’s foreign, older, quiet, reserved, and generally not tabloid material. But if someone like Nick Swisher ever contributed half as much to the Yankees as Matsui did, he’d have the entire city of New York eating out of his palm. You know I’m right. Just sayin’.
When’s the first pitch?