Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Sports excess during a recession

Not to say I am not a fan of the Red Sox pursuing Texeira and of the large contracts other players have been offered, but hearing the Yankees have offered a 7-year $160 million deal to CC Sabathia is just insane. Now they have a $250 million contract with A-Rod and a $160 million with CC...(and after this post was written, they signed Teixeira for a contract so unimaginably expensive I think words to describe it are more powerful than the number itself, especially during our current times of multi-billion dollar bailouts: excessive, ridiculous, exorbitant, asinine, extortionate, etc. etc....

I wonder, since we are in a recession of which has not diminished anything but in reality has actually escalated prices, what will it take for salaries to level out or come down?

What remains to be seen: If this upcoming MLB season comes with empty seats, higher food prices, and fewer and fewer attendees for even the most competitive and/or antagonistic teams, will we see calls for players to donate a portion of their salaries to keep their teams, stadiums and fans afloat in this down economy? Baseball during the Great Depression took a backseat, and that was when players made modest amounts (even less than some menial jobs), but now with sports stars earning amounts that require an exponent, I wonder what sort of concessions they will need to make.

Already we are seeing layoffs in staff for MLB and the NFL with the NBA looking into it immediately following the current season, so if staff is cut and salary caps are imposed, will some players be ousted from their jobs because of the more expensive stars who have renegotiated ridiculous contracts? Will this cause a 'tax' on these huge contracts, which are essentially the same as Wall Street bonuses, some may argue?

This is for an economics class to discuss, and I am an English teacher, but it's just some food for thought.

Did you know Alex Rodriguez earns more for one day's work (8 hours, which is usually spent doing things besides his job of playing baseball) than a family on welfare earns in three and a half months? That means in a 24 hour period, he earns as much as that family makes in 11 months and a 4 days (or about 1 year.)

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