Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Do The "Right" Thing

Mike Vaccaro has some, um, interesting suggestions as to what the Mets should do in the wake of the injury that Francisco Rodriguez "almost certainly" sustained when he assaulted the grandfather of his children last week:
So K-Rod is kaput for now, and now the Mets must prove they have the intestinal fortitude for more. If ever there was a situation that screamed for a baseball club to do the right thing, to send an unbending message, it is now.

First, they have to fight to void that portion of the contract that will coincide with his time away from the team. That means the rest of this year, at a minimum.

And then they have to rid themselves of the headache for good. If that means exiling Rodriguez in the offseason — a move that would almost certainly entail them having to eat most of his remaining deal — that’s fine. If that means going after the balance of the contract in what would be a precedent-setting move the commissioner’s office would probably rather them not fight — even better.
Obviously, the Mets are going to do what they can to void this year's portion of the contract, because I'm pretty sure that if Aaron Boone tearing his knee apart playing basketball negates his deal with the Yankees, injuries sustained while punching someone in the face (if they can prove that) would do the trick for K-Rod.

But is Vaccarro really suggesting that the Mets should eat Rodriguez's 2011 salary of $11.5M and a buyout of $3.5M in order to "do the right thing" and "send an unbending message"? What message would that be and who would it be directed towards, exactly? That would be a pretty damn expensive statement to make. It would be way cheaper to just take out a full page ad in every newspaper in New York.

The bottom line is that, in the world of guaranteed contracts, getting "fired" doesn't really mean anything, because you still get paid, so the intended message wouldn't even be reaching the person at the center of this whole embarrassing episode: K-Rod. The deal he signed with the Mets before the 2009 season was worth $37M. Although we are desensitized to those kinds of numbers because of the megadeals that other guys sign, that is still generational wealth.

If Rodriguez never gets another dime or playing baseball after this, he is still set for life. However, even if the Mets send the sort of bullshit "message" that Vaccaro is talking about, some other team is invariably going to give him a shot because he can get Major League hitters out. That's how sports work. It's not about morality, it's about winning (and the money).

17 comments:

  1. Rodriguez is set for life? Then explain why so many ex-athletes are broke. No athlete ever made more money than Mike Tyson. Tyson is now broke, reduced to making money by making "personal appearances," as if he was a "reality TV" star (which, from what I'm hearing, he may actually become).

    Joe Louis should have been set for life, but ended up owing the taxman big time. This scared Rocky Marciano so much that he had big bags stuffed with cash stashed all over the country, so he wouldn't end up broke like his idol. (Guess he should have bought a better pilot, or a better plane.) Mickey Mantle made $100,000 a year his last few years with the Yankees, but his first post-playing business went bust fast, and he took low-paying coaching and broadcasting jobs until the memorabilia craze took off and he made more money that way than he ever did playing.

    These guys are not set for life, because money isn't foolproof. Some of them invest wisely, like real-estate and car tycoon Reggie Jackson or winemaker Tom Seaver. Many of them don't. I'll bet you that either Manny Ramirez, or Terrell Owens, or both end up wondering where it all went, and why nobody will hire them now (whenever "now" turns out to be).

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  2. Mike - The reason that so many ex-athletes (or actors, musicians, lottery winners, etc.) end up broke is because they spend money like they are going to be making millions of dollars for the rest of their lives. They were set for life, but they blew it by being financial fucking idiots.

    They way you are looking at it, there is no such thing as being set for life. There are probably people who have blown through $100M trust funds. Does that mean that having $100M doesn't make a person set for life?

    The point is that K-Rod has more than enough money to raise a family, send his kids to college, have several beautiful homes and an extremely comfortable life with millions to spare and never have to work another day as long as he lives.

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  3. Well said, Jay. It takes physical talent to warrant big money. It takes brains to manage money.

    Honestly, K-Rod is the least of the Met's problems. The dude is an ass for sure. The bigger problem lies in the fact they have a useless GM, no discernable plan for the future, and a lot of overpriced underachieving key players.

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  4. Matt's right. K-Rod is just a symptom. If you've got the flu, and you take an aspirin, your head may stop pounding, but you could still have that weird fever/chill combo and the nose & lung congestion. The Mets need a serious antibiotic to remove the omarius minayacoccus bacteria that is raging through the system.

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  5. if they are not set for life that is TOTALLY their problem!
    Good piece Jay

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  6. Rich Mahogany8/20/10, 8:32 AM

    Boone's contract included a clause that allowed the Yankees to void the deal if Boone suffered an injury while playing basketball (or possibly any other non-baseball sport). There was no question that Boone hurt himself performing exactly the kind of activity that let the Yankees drop the deal, which is why there was no real controversy when the Yankees did so.

    The issue with K-Rod is the lack of any conduct-specific out clause in his contract. Instead, the Mets are trying to fall back on the generalized "bad behavior" clause that is found in many players' contracts. No team has ever successfully invoked such a clause to convert a contract into a non-guaranteed deal. If the Mets go this route and don't settle with K-Rod before an arbitrator makes a decision, they will make history.

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  7. well just like jacko had a nanny for his monkey because he assumed he was gonna be in-demand forever. y'know super star and all that. well, guess what, he went out of style and the funds went with it.

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  8. Professor Longnose8/31/10, 11:06 AM

    Hey, what happened to this blog? Are you on vacation?

    Fack me!

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  9. what happened to the yankee starting pitchers?
    Holly Cow !!!

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  11. Please come back. We miss you.

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  12. There's a hole in my heart where this blog used to be. :(

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  13. i miss you guys

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  14. Yes, people are still coming back a month and a half later just to see if there's something new.

    Hope ya'lls are doing well.

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  15. Hey guys since you stopped this the Yankees have gone south.
    Maybe you have to come back so we can get #28...

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