325 Million Examples Of Crazy

Last week, the richest contract ever in professional sports history was announced, as the Miami Marlins inked a 13-year extension with Giancarlo Stanton for a total of $325 million dollars.

That’s an average of $25 million per year for the next 13 years.

I personally think the contract is crazy.

I Admit, Stanton Is Awesome

Don’t get me wrong.  Stanton is an awesome player.  I’m qualified to say this as he was a member of my fantasy baseball team for just about all his entire professional career, helping me to some good finishes before (like his Miami ‘real’ team) my team fell on some hard times.  As I’m back on the upswing, I traded him when I got an offer I couldn’t refuse.

Long story short, the guy is awesome, when he’s healthy.  He’s had some health concerns having been injured quite a few times at various points, but none of the injuries he’s had has been anything that’s considered a risk to his career, meaning there’s not been a blown out knee that will slow him down or something like that.  His injuries, most recently getting hit in the face with a 90+ MPH fastball, are all ones that are considered fully recoverable with no risk of recurrence since having had it the first time.

All he does is hit and hit well.  He’s hit some monster balls in his career, and when he’s healthy, a home run is a possibility at just about every at-bat.  Now that the steroid era is (supposedly) over, there just aren’t many ‘pure’ hitters in the game, but Stanton is one.

But It’s A Deal Bad For Both Sides

However, as much as I love Stanton, the deal stinks for both sides.  You might think that based on the fact that I feel Stanton is awesome, this is contradictory, but here’s why it’s not.

  • The Miami Marlins franchise is a joke – They’ve won the World Series a couple of times in their history, only to go and blow the team up afterward.  They have not been relevant in some time.
  • Stanton deserves better fans – I hate to rip on a fan base but the basic fact remains that Miami probably has no business hosting a major league team, as fans just don’t show up.  Stanton deserves to be in a place where he can be cherished, in a place where true baseball fans will cherish him.  I’m sure there are some diehards in Miami, but they’re few and far between.
  • Stanton deserves better teammates – The Miami franchise is notorious for having low payrolls and shipping players out of town as soon as they start getting expensive, which is usually when they start playing well.  The rosters, more often than not, feature a bunch of young guys that have potential (a la Stanton a few years ago) or veterans in their last gasp trying to hang on for that extra year or two.  While there are a couple of really good players on the Miami roster other than Stanton, the fact is that the roster typically doesn’t have enough to be competitive.  A special player like Stanton deserves the opportunity to win.
  • Not only is the franchise itself a joke, the owner is awful – Jeff Loria is the Marlins owner and he’s widely disliked by players, fellow owners, fans, and well, pretty much anybody associated with baseball.  He got Miami to provide funding for a new stadium, which he insisted on having a strange design, with the promise that he’d spend money to put a competitive team on the field.  He went out and did that, and then after half a season, traded everybody away, returning once again to having a low payroll with low talent.  He’s meddled in the business of people that he’s hired, such as overriding his general manager on trades and even on making lineup changes, much to the chagrin of the manager.
  • The contract length is absurd – So many things change over the course of thirteen years that someone is going to get burned if it makes it through to the end of the contract term. If he gets injured often, that’s going to be big money for a player that doesn’t contribute. If he gets frustrated and doesn’t want to be there, you could have a decade long contract in front that suddenly nobody has any interest in.  Heck, based on the way salaries have continued to skyrocket, what if $25 million per year is deemed ‘underpriced’ after a few seasons?  Personally, I can’t imagine committing to any job for 13 years, even if they did offer to pay that good.
  • No athlete is worth that kind of money – To take it the opposite way from my last point, I just don’t see any way where a single person playing a sport is worth nearly one-third of a billion dollars.  That’s crazy to me.  I enjoy sports and professional leagues as much as anybody, but the amount of money that they get paid nowadays is mind boggling, and this just shows that it’s not slowing anytime soon.
  • The number of seasons – OK, for those who are superstitious, doesn’t it seem ominous that it’s a 13 year deal?!?

Readers, what do you think of this deal?  Are there any Marlins fans or baseball fans in general that can argue that this is a good deal for those involved?  I get that the market dictates these types of things, but sometimes the market does go crazy, no?


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Domestic Violence, Spanking, And Oh Yeah, The NFL

For years, the NFL has done nothing but grow, in terms of audience, revenue, popularity, cultural placement.  The Super Bowl is annually the most watched event of the year.  Even the off-season has become wildly popular, with free agency and the draft getting more coverage and attention than the regular season of some other sports.  It was a ride straight up and up.

I always wondered when the ride would end, and with all of the press coverage centered around domestic violence, you have to wonder if this is the thing that will finally bring some stop to the rocket ship rise of  the NFL.

It All Started With Ray Rice

The stories emerged during the off-season of Ray Rice being involved with a domestic violence charge against his then fiance.  I tend to tune out a lot of the off-season stuff with the exception of that surrounding my hometown Lions, so while I was aware of it, I didn’t know the details.  That is, until the day a couple of weeks ago when the video was released.

I was listening to the radio on the way home from the gym when I’d first heard about it.  I work out early in the morning, and the video had just been released hours ago, so recently that other networks were not yet showing it, but just talking about it.

When it finally hit the main airwaves, all heck broke loose.  Anybody (like me) who hadn’t been made aware of the specific details were soon enlightened, and boy was it ugly. Rice flat out knocked out his fiance.

The video unleashed an instant firestorm.  The NFL and the Ravens were chastised for the previously announced two game suspension.  They tried to correct this.  The team released him, and the NFL reversed course by suspending him indefinitely.  Both came under fire for not having saw the video when TMZ was able to get it.

It turned into one big mess

And Then It Got Worse

Ray Rice, as it turns out, was not the only player involved in a domestic violence issue.  His just got the most attention.  Soon after his firestorm hit, attention turned to other cases that had not gotten as much attention, but were now.  Greg Hardy of the Carolina Panthers admitted to an altercation and was going through the legal system, but was still playing.

Until the team decided to change that.

Then, other players involved in cases suddenly started getting attention.  Soon, it became apparent that the Ray Rice incident was not just one isolated event.

And Then It Got Worse Than That

During the whole thing, the Ravens had a Thursday night game.  Thursday night games are broadcast on CBS, and they had an intro featuring a song by Jay-Z and Riahnna.  The same Riahanna that is one of the most popular people on the planet, but who was also the victim of domestic violence a few years ago.  CBS decided to pull her song for the week that the Ravens played.  When Riahanna heard that they were going to resume using it the following week, she went on Twitter and told them in no uncertain terms that this was not acceptable.  CBS wisely decided to stop their plans on using her song.

So at this point, you’ve got suspended athletes, accusations of, at worst, cover-ups, at the least, incompetence, plus you’ve now angered one of the most popular people on the planet.  It couldn’t get any worse right?

Wrong.  It Continues To Get Worse

To top it all off, Adrian Peterson, widely considered one of the best players in the entire NFL, is arrested and charged with child abuse for whipping his 4 year old son with a tree branch.

It breaks my heart to even write that sentence.  Look, everything else that’s happened is bad, but as bad as it is, you didn’t have children involved.  Old AP decided to change that.

What sick monster thinks that it’s OK to hit a 4 year old child with a tree branch in the name of discipline?

Nobody in their right mind, right?


Insert Reggie Bush

I’m a Lions fan so I’ve been thrilled that they have Reggie Bush, but that all changed when he came out and actually defended Peterson.  (What the h-e-double hockey sticks is it with running backs being at the center of all this, anyways?)

In fact, he took it further.  He said that he has a 1 year old….THAT HE DISCIPLINES.

Disciplining a one year old?  What is he even talking about?  A one year old understands very little about the world.  They don’t understand right from wrong.  They are just learning the world and their place in it.

Yet, this tool is going out there and disciplining a one year old child?  A one year old that has no idea about anything other than what the few people he or she trusts can show them.  Those people, including her father, should be showing them love.  And trust.  And strength.

Not discipline.

I will still root for the Lions but I will not cheer this fool.

My Words and Thoughts

These guys are grown men.  They’re in a violent sport.  They are stronger than most.  Their job is to intimidate, to push past others, to knock down when necessary.

But they need to leave that on the field.

These guys have no business taking that with them.  The second that game clock stops, so too should their propensity to muscle their way through by any means necessary.

Until that happens, the NFL will suffer.  The image will suffer.

I don’t think that the NFL will start sliding anytime soon. They will still be popular.  People will still watch. Sponsors will still pay obsence amounts to advertise during their games.  Sunday will still be football day.

But, the endless climb up the mountain?  I think that’s on hold for awhile.  And here’s the thing.  The fans want the NFL to do something.  But what can the NFL do?  It’s up to the players to take ownership of their actions.  It’s up to the players to be good men, and to not take up hands against their wives, fiances, girlfriends, and (I shouldn’t have to say this) their children.

The NFL can’t teach these guys to act like honorable men.  And, what’s worse is that right now the honorable men (and there are many out there) are getting outshadowed.  Let’s remember, for all the idiots like Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson, Greg Hardy, and Reggie Bush, there are multiple players out there who treat the people in their lives with respect and who don’t feel the need to use their hands as ‘discipline’.

Maybe we can take the time to re-think who we root for.  That we look at who we deem a hero.  Or a role model.  Or someone whose poster we hang on our kids wall.

In the NFL, and in all sports, the men and women who play the game matter.  Maybe this will make us more aware of who we are rooting for.  We can’t just root for the players.  We have to root for the men and women that the players are.  We can’t support players who lead their team to victory but then drag their fiance unconscious out of an elevator.

Rooting for players is fine.  It’s always happened and it will continue to happen.  But, let’s not root for the animals.  Let’s root for the players that leave it on the field, that use the gift of their athletic ability to make the support exciting, but then use the grace that we are given as human beings to make positive choices once they leave their sport.  It all counts.  It all goes together.   We can’t unravel it.

Let’s stop pretending that we can.  Let’s start rooting for the best men and women to play the sports we love.  Let’s teach our kids that the best players to play the game may not automatically deserve our adoration, and explain why.  Use the current examples as teaching moments, and eventually, maybe we’ll teach our children, and maybe even the players who deserves to be rooted for.

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This Big Winner Sees Beyond The Jackpot

I was reading through some Yahoo headlines, when one in the sports section caught my eye, basically talking about how a poker player who won a $15 million jackpot had the opposite reaction that pretty much anybody would expect.

Most people, upon knowing that they are $15 million richer, would celebrate, yell, jump up and down, thank God, hug their family, or any number of things.

Daniel Coleman, the 23 year old winner of the ‘Big One For One Drop’ tournament, didn’t even crack a smile.

In fact, he almost looked sad and upset once he won.

The Big Picture

Most winners of a $15 million jackpot would stop and start right there.  They just won $15 million dollars, end of story, right?

Not Daniel Coleman.

As it turns out, his thoughts on the winning was not the money that went into his pocket, but beyond that.

His thoughts also included the people who didn’t win.  The people who lost money along the way to get there.

Not everybody in poker wins.  In fact, most people probably lose.  People lose money.  People lose their families, their homes, their jobs.  Many people chase the dream of winning the big jackpot, and sacrifice everything to get there, only to end up with nothing.

Daniel Coleman saw that.  He knew that, although he was the big winner, there were many others that weren’t.  Hundreds.  Thousands.  Nobody was covering them or putting a microphone in their face.  Nobody cared about the expression on their faces or what they were going to do with the money that they had (or no longer had).

That bothered him.  He couldn’t knowingly celebrate the fact that he was the lucky one knowing that there were so many others out there who weren’t as lucky, or lucky at all.

Seriously, what person who has ever received $15 million dollars has ever had that as their first emotion?

Now his point wasn’t that poker should halt.  He didn’t say that jackpots should cease to exist.  Heck, he’s not giving his back.  I think he just recognizes that in order for one person to get there, there’s a toll, a cost, and probably a pretty big one, that nobody really thinks about.  He recognized that and his conscious would not let him just put that aside so that he could celebrate.

We love to celebrate the winners, but who in the world thinks about the losers when a $15 million jackpot is being won?

Daniel Coleman, that’s who.

In my book, that makes him a pretty big winner.

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Money Can’t Take Away Ignorance

The NBA has been pretty much the top story in the news over the last few days, but unfortunately it is not because of the current playoffs.

It’s because of Donald Sterling, owner of the Los Angeles clippers, who over the weekend had audio released where he asked his girlfriend not to bring black people to Clippers games, and asked her why she would even want to be associated with black people.

It just goes to show that as rich as one can be (he’s reportedly worth $2 billion), your money can’t make you any less ignorant.  I mean, here’s a guy that, if reports are to be believed, has half of his net worth invested in a professional basketball team where a majority of the players that he employs…are black.  Where a big chunk of the fan base that pays money to buy tickets to see his team play, are black.  Where people that buy the jerseys of his teams players…are black.


Thank goodness the NBA came down yesterday and put the hammer down.  He’s been fined a few million dollars and is essentially banned for life.  This means that while he can still own the team (for now), he can’t participate in any day to day activities.  He can’t show up at the games.  He can essentially have nothing to do with the team that he owns.

That’s good, but it’s not good enough.

I would not be surprised if the punishments handed down yesterday were just the first step toward eventually trying to remove him of ownership altogether.  It’s my belief that yesterday’s punishments were simply so that the Clippers players would agree to play the mb-2014-04hoopgame scheduled last night.  It was their first home playoff game since the scandal erupted.  They played a game over the weekend, but it was an away game.  I just couldn’t see a situation where the players on that team would want to go to their home court and play a playoff basketball game with no punishment having come to Sterling.

I believe that the players would have boycotted the game had the punishments not come down.  There’s no way that the NBA would have allowed that.  They had to do something.

But, again, I think that’s the first step.

In my mind, and I’m sure it’s in the minds of others, is that Donald Sterling cannot remain owner of the team. Period.  Even if he’s banned from having anything to do with it, the fact that his name would remain next to the owner title would drive way everyone and everyone.  Consider:

  • Fans – I know many current fans are torn.  They want to support the players but can’t figure out how to cheer for the players while not supporting the organization. Eventually, I think fans would simply leave.
  • Players – What player is ever going to want to play for this organization, knowing that the man that signs your paycheck in some fashion has no problem going on record as being a racist?
  • Sponsors – Over a dozen sponsors of the team have already pulled out, and you’d better believe those that haven’t are probably just waiting for the phone lines to clear before doing so.

In other words, if Donald Sterling remained as owner, everybody would suffer.  Let’s not forget that the NBA is a business, and the idea of losing an entire fan base, millions in sponsorships, and guaranteeing a mediocre product (a concept with which the Clippers were very familiar with anyways for over two decades), it’s all bad for business.  And, I can’t see the NBA allowing it.

I have heard some backlash to the fines, stating that while Sterling’s comments may have been offensive and inappropriate, he was still protected by the First Amendment.  That’s true in that they can’t send him to jail, but when it comes to the business of the NBA, the First Amendment doesn’t cover that.  The NBA is not going to let one of their thirty teams whither up and die, and the current punishments, and what I expect to be the eventual removal of him as an owner, are justifiable from a business perspective.

I have grown up in a world where the Clippers have been nothing but an embarrassment, and that starts and stops with Donald Sterling.  For years, he let the organization mire in mediocrity, making one awful move after another to keep them at or near the bottom of the standings for just about every year.  At some point, he either got smart or lucky enough to actually have a contending team, but as soon as that happens, he’s now gone and managed to screw that up in about as putrid of fashion imaginable.

It has to end. The sooner the better.

I embrace the idea of an NBA where Donald Sterling is no longer part.  The players, the employees, the coaches, the fans, and everybody else involved deserves better than him.  And, it goes to show that having money doesn’t make you any more smart, any more tolerant, any more of a role model.  It doesn’t make you any better of a boss, nor does money make you any less of a terrible person if you already are one.

Copyright 2017 Original content authorized only to appear on Money Beagle. Please subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or receive e-mail updates. Thank you for reading.