Comments on: POLL: George Steinbrenner and the Hall of Fame This and that about baseball stats. Tue, 16 Jul 2013 17:01:55 +0000 hourly 1 By: JeffW Sun, 18 Jul 2010 17:20:19 +0000 Andy,

Don't you think that the peak trajectory might stay a little higher, since there is now so much attention paid to conditioning (in-season, as well as year-round), and healtier choices?

By: Matt Young Sun, 18 Jul 2010 13:30:07 +0000 I think announcers can clearly go into the Hall, but I'm not sure that a stadium announcer would. Perhaps. He'd be an easier vote for than Steinbrenner.

By: Matt Young Sun, 18 Jul 2010 13:28:56 +0000 I must say it's not that simple. Yes, fans will pay more, and it's also their fault, but salary escalation has also been the cause to a degree for the higher ticket prices. These are not mutually exclusive. It also depends on what team we're talking about to a degree.

By: Johnny Twisto Sun, 18 Jul 2010 02:11:40 +0000 The Rangers are not paying anymore. Once Rodriguez opted out and then signed a new contract (after 2007?), the Rangers were off the hook.

I sincerely doubt anyone with the Yankees held a gun to Tom Hicks's head (though I never trust that Randy Levine....). "Unfair"? If the Rangers feel like shattering contract records, and then three years later decide they have to be rid of it so badly they are willing to pay more than a third of the remaining contract for him to play somewhere else, we're supposed to feel sorry for them? The guys writing the checks are the ones asking for fiscal discipline. It's hilarious.

And not to start that argument all over again, but A-Rod's contract has nothing to do with the price of bleacher seats. The willingness of fans to pay for bleacher seats affects the price of bleacher seats. If no one will pay $50, they won't cost $50.

By: Andy Sat, 17 Jul 2010 20:34:19 +0000 Peak years are historically 27-29 although steroids et al messed with that to a certain degree. I suspect the peak age will be below 30 going forward.

By: JeffW Sat, 17 Jul 2010 20:26:48 +0000 Johnny Twisto,

"Kinda makes $16M for A-Rod's 2007 MVP look like a bargain."

A bargain for the Yankees, perhaps. How much are the Rangers still paying (you implied that they are still paying part of the contract)? It's not too much of a bargain for them.

And how unfair is it, that the richest team in all of baseball can still get the Rangers to pay for part of that contract?

By: JeffW Sat, 17 Jul 2010 20:23:04 +0000 Johnny Twisto,

I've assumed from what I've read over the years that a player's potential peak years are the 28-32 range, then they begin to taper off (at various paces).

Scott Boras is likely as much to blame as Hicks in all this. True, it's Boras' job to get his players as much money as possible. But would he have actually held A-Rod out, if the Rangers had not made that offer?

It was a perfect storm, in terms of A-Rod's meteoric climb, combined with his free agency. How much is too much, though?

What's right and fair? Is it as much as only the richest can/are willing to pay? Or something that we can all live comfortably with?

Whether or not more owners than those who came forward can afford it is irrelavent. Why can't we have a little fiscal discipline? Unrestrained spending is why we are in this mess, to begin with, and why so many people are so opposed to the positive spin on Steinbrenner's legacy.

I don't want to wind up paying $50 for bleacher seats some day, just so the salary escalation can continue.

By: Johnny Twisto Sat, 17 Jul 2010 20:11:52 +0000 Incidentally, amid all the shock and consternation over A-Rod's big contract in 2001, I actually thought it could turn out to be a good thing for salary control, in a way. Over the previous decade-plus, guys kept signing bigger contracts, setting new records for highest average salary -- Puckett, Mattingly, Sandberg, Belle, etc. And almost all these guys would not perform as well after signing the big deal. So when the next big name would be eligible for free agency, he could easily point at Player X and say "Well look, he's only batting .250 and making $5M a year. I bat .320, I should get more than him." And so a new Biggest Contract Ever would be signed. But no one had ever reached free agency with A-Rod's combination of youth and talent. It was very unlikely that in two, three, four years he would decline. He would probably still arguably be the best player around, so no future players would be able to point at him and say "A-Rod's making $25M and only batting .250. I bat .320, so I should get $30M." And indeed his contract has served as a sort of unofficial cap on any one player's earnings. Except for his own new contract, which will be far more difficult for him to live up to...

By: Johnny Twisto Sat, 17 Jul 2010 20:03:42 +0000 As for the poor choices made in giving big long-term deals to free agents past their prime, look at the performances of the highest paid player in the NL over several recent seasons:

2001: K. Brown, 15.7M -- 116 IP (albeit very good ones)
2002: K. Brown, 15.7M -- 64 IP
2003: M. Vaughn, 17.2M -- 27 games
2005: B. Bonds, 22.0M -- 14 games
2006: J. Bagwell, 19.3M -- Did not play

Kinda makes $16M for A-Rod's 2007 MVP look like a bargain.

By: Johnny Twisto Sat, 17 Jul 2010 19:55:12 +0000 Giving the blockbuster deals when players are 29-30 is why so many blockbuster deals end up looking terrible. Most players, even the great ones, are declining from age 29 to 35 or whatever. A-Rod reaching free agency at 24 was the perfect storm. He was already the best player in the game, except maybe for Bonds, and he was quite likely to maintain his performance -- and possibly even improve -- over the next several years. He didn't have anything to prove.

If Hicks couldn't afford the contract, then he's an idiot for offering it. A-Rod shouldn't be blamed for that. And as I said, the Rangers spent more on the REST of their roster than the rest of the division spent on their entire teams. So one cannot argue A-Rod's contract prevented the Rangers from winning. They were spending plenty of money on the rest of the team. A-Rod also can't be blamed if that money is not being spent intelligently. He lived up to his contract.

As for only the Yankees being able to afford A-Rod, they were only paying him $16M/year after the trade. The Rangers were still paying the rest. Any team that claims they couldn't afford to pay a player of his caliber $16M is simply lying, par for the course for Selig and his minions.