Sports Illustrated‘s annual Fortune 50 list of the 50 highest-earning American athletes list is out and Major League Baseball is heavily represented. In fact, 36% of the athletes are baseballers — some better than others (looking at you, Barry Zito). And while I’m sad to see an star like Floyd Mayweather, Jr at the top, one who eschews real glory at the highest level for a comfortable place atop boxing mediocrity, I am glad that baseball players are makin’ that pay-puh. It makes me feel less suicidal when I pay $8 for a 16 oz beer.
Here’s a quick rundown of the highest paid American baseball players and their overall ranking among American athletes in parenthesis.
1. Alex Rodriguez (6)
Too bad for the Yankees A-Rod can’t be young and steroided like the good old days. His health is just going downhill from here.
2. Derek Jeter (9)
He can do no wrong. I would pay this man a bazillion dollars a year if I could. And since Albert left me, I have no problems admitting my 17-year Jeet man-crush.
3. Joe Mauer (12)
Really? 12th highest paid American athlete overall and third highest Major Leaguer? I would feel better about this if he could hit it over the Target Field fence once in a while.
4. Vernon Wells (17)
PSSSHH!!!! I just ruined my keyboard with a mouthful of coffee.
5. C.C. Sabathia (20)
Mo’ money, mo’ foooooooooooooooooood!
6. Mark Teixeira (21)
Nothing says $23 million a year like a YEEE-HAW JAW!
7. Prince Fielder (22)
I have a feeling if I make one more Prince Fielder fat joke then I’m going to be… eaten…
8. Adrian Gonzalez (25)
He may have lost his power stroke, but with $21 million a year I’m sure he’s strokin’ plenty of power.
9. Justin Verlander (28)
A man’s man, I would prefer to see Verlander at the very top of this list, or at the very least, have the opportunity to rifle a fastball at Mayweather’s head.
10. Cliff Lee (29)
Way to go, Phillies. You’re making Clifton Phifer look bad.
11. Ryan Howard (32)
While many of my Cardinal fan brethren choose to hate on Albert, I prefer to hate on Howard, the man who made signing Albert impossible.
12. Roy Halladay (35)
Way to go, Phillies. You bring in the best pitcher in baseball to get you over the hump then s*** the bed three years in a row.
13, 14, 15. Barry Zito, Carl Crawford, Albert Pujols (Tied for 36 overall)
One of these things is not like the other…
16. Josh Beckett (44)
Is it me or has he gained like 40 pounds since he was traded to the Red Sox?
17. Jake Peavy (45)
Up until this year, I thought dude was done. Yes, the crow I’ve been eating tastes bad.
18. A.J. Burnett (49)
Huh? How did A.J. get on this list? I’d like to know the same. He should’ve signed two contracts, one for each of his personalities. At least he’s been living up to it ever since his worst day ever.
Hate me ‘cuz I didn’t make the list, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right!
Here’s an idea that will never become reality, but just for fun, let’s think about it.
Albert Pujols, while somewhat showing glimpses of his old self, is on pace to hit 15 homers and drive in 70-some RBIs — a whole lot less than the Halos thought they’d get from a a man making $24 million a year… FOR THE NEXT TEN YEARS.
And how about the $20 million a year the Red Sox are paying Carl Crawford… FOR THE NEXT SIX YEARS. Good thing Theo got out of town!
Of course, Theo already knows, you don’t have to go outside of Chicago to find a big, fat pile of head-scratching contracts. Alfonso Soriano and Carlos Zambrano (yep, sCrUBBIES are still payin’ the bulk of that awful) are the most high profile, but until this year, the Dunn, Peavy and Rios contracts made Kenny Williams one of the south side’s most hated.
If only front offices could act like the rest of the planet when it comes to doling out large sums on a contract basis, perhaps they could save themselves years of embarrassment and avoid the ear-piercing “we’re in rebuilding mode” verbiage.
The truth is, when money is on the line, pro athletes perform better. Consider the beyond stellar starts of Andre Ethier, Josh Hamilton, Mike Napoli, Kyle Lohse, Jake Peavy, Zack Greinke and many, many more. The one thing these fellas all have in common is… THEY’RE IN CONTRACT YEARS!
If your paycheck is on the line, you try harder. This is FACT. But if you have the means to fall back on (Albert, Carl, et al.) and you have no pressure to git ‘er done ‘cuz you already got BAZILLIONS in the bank, what incentive is their to be the superstar you’ve always been? I don’t care how bad@ss you are, the trend in performance speaks loudly: once a player reaches his monetary apex, he regresses.
There’s nothing wrong with paying a dude $25 million a year if he puts up $25 million a year numbers. So why not reward those who do and save money (and face) by doing it on a year-to-year basis?
In the real world, if you underperform, you’re gone. Period.
In the baseball world, the $100 million contract rarely works for both sides, yet teams keep handing them out; and then they wonder why there is backlash from the fans, media and baseball-politico bloggers who think very highly of themselves.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Feel bad about slamming Peavy yet?
But this is baseball. It defies feeling. It defies logic.
The Red Sox and Phillies in last place? The Dodgers and Nats routing? Peavy in control, flashing signs of the old whip-and-kill-em arm action?
Why not? It’s only May. Anything could happen.
Maybe I was a bit harsh on Peavy. Can you blame me? As far as baseballers go, Jake is pretty annoying. And up until this season, all he had really done in a White Sox jersey is yap yap yap with a string of poor performances following those empty words.
I want my pitchers to pitch. Not yap. PITCH.
Jake is finally doing that. Maybe his detached latissimus dorsi is properly attached again. His velocity is back. He’s hitting his spots. Why should a man being paid like a superstar get extra accolades for FINALLY fulfilling his end of the bargain by pitching like a superstar? Isn’t it too late!?!?!?
For my White Sox fan brethren, I am very relieved. Yes, it is early yet, but to see Peavy, Dunn, Rios and *GULP* Gordon Beckham actually perform well makes life on the south side much easier. But again, it is May. There’s plenty of baseball left.
So I won’t douse that crow with Sriracha until I know I absolutely have to eat it.
Hate me. It’s cool. Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
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Jake Peavy sure has a loose yapper. In fact, it might be even more loose than his formerly detached latissimus dorsi, just one of the myriad things that have led to his supreme suckage in a White Sox uniform.
Sports Illustrated recently predicted the White Sox would lose 95 games in 2012. I don’t see that prediction as overly hyperbolic. The Sox were awful last year, and they haven’t done much to improve. In fact, after dealing Santos to the Blue Jays, I’d even say the 2012 team, on paper, IS WORSE than 2011’s.
Still, Peavy and his Curt Schilling-like tongue is quick to point out that such an observation is off:
“That ain’t going to happen. I can promise you that. This team has too much pride. We are going to compete. That’s all there is to it.” (link)
Whatever you say, Jake. Whatever you say.
If Peavy is correct (he’s not) and “pride” is all it takes to win ballgames, then why don’t teams just ditch everyone they have to sign 25 George Takeis and just get it over with?
Peavy is now a shell of what he once was. He doesn’t have the velocity and he doesn’t have the mental toughness to PITCH his way out of mistakes. He lets his emotions dictate performance. And he is constantly whining and bitching and talking crazy to the press.
He has done nothing in Chicago but play bad baseball and run his mouth. Sox fans can only hope he does well enough to get traded by July.
Hate me ‘cuz I compared Peavy’s mouth to Schilling’s, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Without question, the blockbuster Prince Fielder-Detroit Tigers signing shock-and-awed the baseball universe. But for those who huddle en masse around 35th and Shields, still hanging on to what little hope may have remained for the critically criticized 2012 White Sox club, such news only served as confirmation for a long, slow, painful baseball season death.
Will this Irish keening ever stop?!?! A man needs his sleep!!!
Unfortunately, with the likes of Jake Peavy ($17 million), Alex Rios ($12+ million/year through 2014) and Adam Dunn ($14+ million/year through 2014) holding the team hostage with their collective astronomically unbalanced compensation-to-performance ratios, it appears the situation in Bridgeport is only going to get worse before it gets better.
Which forces the question: what is the shelf life on a Gordon Beckham? Once the “untouchable dealbreaker” in any high profile trade, it seems like the former first round draft pick is doing his very best Brandon Wood impression. In fact, there were times last season where Beckham looked as clueless on the diamond as Rick Santorum would at a gay foam party on the beach.
Sox fans can only take so much of “I’m going to work on some things and get better” before they realize YOU’RE LYING. YOU’RE NOT VERY GOOD. STOP TALKING.
In fact, the dour mood of the White Sox organization might benefit from a colossal dose of shut-the-hell-up. People are tired of hearing Jake Peavy say… anything. People are tired of the excuses for why Gordon Beckham just isn’t that good. People are tired. Period.
Unfortunately, it looks like that “tired” is going to morph into a bonafide coma, at least through 2014.
Hate me. Go ahead. Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
But that stopped around May.
They are just an infuriating lot to watch play baseball.
“All in” my @$$.
And so in this Podcast brought to you by Lifestyles…
After a rough night of Pirate inspired debauchery, Jeff and Johanna clear the cobwebs (and police reports) to make room for special guest, Paul Lebowitz. It doesn’t take long for them to get riled up as they touch on the evil FOX chimera Joe McCarver, Clint Hurdle’s Pirates, the White Sox’s diamond impotence and much, much more!
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Recorded Saturday, July 16, 2011