Thursday, November 20, 2014

No One is Worth That

I am sure that sometime or another in the past 11+ years of these pilgrim wanderings I have said this before, but I don't feel like looking for it. So I have said it again in reaction to the Florida Marlins signing a contract with Giancarlo Stanton for 13 years and $325 million. That's a piddlin' $25 million per year.

I love baseball! I like a number of sports, but baseball is just below being a Packer fan (i.e.- not quite up to the status of a religion!) But no one, absolutely no one is worth $25 million per year to play any sport. Like with news, we have developed a 24/7/365 sports mindset. These baseball stars are the front men, the visible entities for an industry that is worth trillions of dollars. To the owner, a superstar is worth $25 million per year for the possibilities, the investment in fan loyalty, the possible return on investment.

What I find most intriguing about this story, though, is not the rant-worthiness of the salary, it's that this contract is from a team which had a complete team salary of only $46 million last year. This one salary jump is more than half of the total salary from this year. It makes me wonder what happened that the owner decided to open the checkbook and give away the farm. Somewhere there's a bottom line number that is way too enchanting too the owner.

I am not good at boycotting things I like, so I have not boycotted either baseball or football in their craziness over salaries. I go to the Twins games and was angry when they almost downsized the league by dropping them a number of years go. That makes me part of the problem, I know. If all of us who find the situation ludicrous did actually boycott, something might happen, though I am doubtful because we are the "masses" who are being entertained by these millionaires making billionaires out of the owners while we pay our shrinking dollars for over-priced hot dogs, beers, or sodas.

As long as we (me, too!) want to be entertained by sports, this won't change.But it is, perhaps, a sign of something less than healthy in our human psyche.

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