Thursday, March 12, 2009

Manny Ramirez and the Recession

Manny Ramirez is a great hitter. And I mean it GREAT his numbers are stellar. Just check out his career totals: 507 doubles, 527 homeruns, a .314 career avg. and a .411 career on base percentage. These are not only hall of fame numbers but SUPER hall of fame numbers!

It's no surprise then that the Dodgers are paying Ramirez 45 million over the next two seasons.

The problem here is not simply that Ramirez knew he could get that much and demanded it. Just look at his numbers as a Dodger last year, we all knew he'd get that much.

The problem is how much we pay Baseball players. In short the problem is us, and not Ramirez.

We are fine with paying Manny Ramirez 22.5 million a year (in fairness, lunatic radio personality Rush Limbaugh makes even more than that at 38 million a year) but our unemployment rate is soaring. Not only that, but look at the Salary of an average teacher!

Don't get me wrong, I love Baseball. It is for me "the game of games." But something has gone terribly wrong when we value entertainment to the point that Manny Ramirez can make 22.5 million a year.

We are faced now with the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, perhaps it is high time we as society rethought our priorities.

Note: By the way, The Netherlands beat the Dominican Republic twice this last week in the World Baseball Classic! Now that's an underdog! Go Holland!


  1. Good Lord! Rush makes that much money? For ranting and raving? If that's all it took, you yourself should be a billionare by now!

    Yes, we pay our baseball players too much. It has become less a game and more of a business - the ball clubs are corporations working in tendem with their host cities trying to generate revenue and profit.

    And we wonder why they use steroids? It's easy to blame, but if you pay someone that kind of money, and tell them it'll go away if they don't produce ... what do you think they'll do?

    22.5 million to play a game Little Leaguers play out of love!

  2. Sports figures get paid that much because the demand is high and supply is extremely low. They deserve to get paid a lot.

  3. Baseball players can make that amount of money because the owners have allowed it to happen. Not only that, they can afford it too. The Yankees have never had a qualm about how much they shell out to their players, whether they perform up to their standards or not. I agree with you that there needs to be a re-thinking of what our priorities are. It would be nice if baseball players realized how much money they are really making and set up aside funds to help out the economy as well. Say Manny, won't you bail me out?? I'm sure Manny knows a thing or two about that since he bailed out on the Red Sox last year. =)
    But in all honesty, for those people who want a salary cap in baseball, I like the way the system is set up now. The problem lies with greedy individuals (i.e sport agents) who are incapable, or so it seems, to put their best interests forward. Here is a comment that someone posted on my blog about this:

    "I hate the way these agents do business. The whole reason behind their negotiations is to line their pockets. If i were a player I would have different priorities. Market value is one thing, but the money that some of these players demand is outragious. Were I a marquis player I would want to win, whether that means going to a good team and taking less, or taking less so that a team could put players around me. (Of course there is always the Yankees where both is possible). I'm not saying you shouldn't get paid, but there are more important things than money to these players I should think, but that is not the case for their agents. All they care about is their percentage, even if that leaves these Franchises, their teammates, their fans, and ultimately the players, in the lurk."

    Great blog Matt.

  4. Thanks for the comments guys. All very thoughtful. It's an interesting topic for debate.


Comments from many different points of view are welcome. But I will not publish any comments that are hateful, insulting, or filled with profanity. I welcome and encourage dialogue and disagreement but will not publish any hate speech.