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Baseball salaries are way out of kilter

Commentary

May 12, 2013
By John Brennan (sports@altoonamirror.com) , The Altoona Mirror

I have recently started to pay more and more attention to the contracts superstar Major League Baseball players get.

After Felix Hernandez of the Seattle Mariners, (seven years, $175 million) just received the newest outrageous baseball contract, I decided to do some research.

In the four major sports in the United States (NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL), baseball players get paid the most. In fact, 16 of the top 20 highest contracts in sports are major league baseball players.

Don't get me wrong: I know these guys are talented and bring the owners big money, but where does it end? In 10 years will guys be signing billion-dollar contracts? Will they get stadiums named after them simply for signing contracts?

The highest contract in the history of sports belongs to Alex Rodriguez. His 10-year, $275 million contract runs through the 2017 season. In other words, he'll earn about $27.5 million a season from the New York Yankees. He'll make about $175,000 for stepping on to the field for a single game. That's way more than most Americans make in a year.

Yes, he is one of the best baseball players of our time, but no man who plays sports should get paid this kind of money. He still has five years left on his contract and over $100 million, and he may never wear a Yankees uniform again because of injuries and steroid allegations.

But he's still going to receive all that money.

With the revenue the owners are making and the TV deals teams get, I know the players feel they should get a pay increase, and I agree with them to an extent.

The players are the reason that fans come to the games, and the reason people watch at home.

Yes, the schedule is tough, and the season is extremely long, but there should be a clause in contracts that say if you're underperforming or injury-prone, you should be able to cut the player or force them to renegotiate.

The NFL is the only sport where a team can cut ties with a player at any point, and it is off the hook for a bad signing.

Of the four major sports, baseball players are in the worst physical shape.

Even though hitting a baseball is probably one of the toughest things to do in all of sports, some players are not in great shape. Just look at Prince Fielder, for example. The man weighs over 300 pounds, and he is the fifth-highest paid player in sports right now.

With all that being said, contracts still keep getting higher and higher which kind of makes you take a step back, and think to yourself how much money these sports are bringing in.

John Brennan is a student at Penn State Altoona.

 
 

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