Monday, December 19, 2005

Money money money money money

Note: The above title should be sung, but not with the tune that begins The Apprentice. Please only sing it to the tune of Ted DiBiase's entrance music. Any fond memories of Virgil are optional.

Jarrod Washburn signs with the Mariners, 4 years at a reported $38 million. You know, these numbers just become monopoly money, but have you ever actually thought about it? A first year lawyer makes $125,000. I'm excited about that, I think that's going to be a lot of money. And it's not bad. I'm very happy to have a chance to earn that. Now let's say somebody from the firm comes to me one day and says, "Eric, we're giving you two paychecks this week." I'd be thrilled. And then if they added, "Oh, and by two, we mean SEVENTY," then I'd be Jarrod Washburn. Or Kris Benson, or Matt Morris, or Eric Milton, or any other ok but not particularly accomplished pitcher in his early 30s. $8 million a year with several months of vacation, that isn't a bad job at all.

From another perspective, remember that the major league minimum is roughly $300,000. That is the figure to which either the youngest or the worst player in baseball is entitled. (Oooh, for a future post, please submit your suggestions for the worst player in baseball. I often go with Travis Lee, anybody with me?) Now, $8 mil is about 25 times more than that, and it's being given to players who I think are far from 25 times better than the worst player. 25 times better is a lot. I would say a guy like Johan Santana is only ten times better. Who would be 25 times better? Well, perhaps if you had Superman, but made him invulnerable to Kryptonite, gave him Babe Ruth's greatness at two positions, and granted him Bob Uecker's humor and acting ability (for a post-baseball announcing and movie career - "juuuuust a bit outside"), then that sounds about 25 times better than the worst. I don't think Jarrod Washburn is quite there yet, but he's being paid that way.

It's kind of like if this scenario were to unfold in the future: "Well Eric, you've been here at the firm for a few years now. You have by no means been the worst, don't worry about that. But I think we all know that you aren't exactly one of our superstars, if you know what I mean. Sure, you haven't really been a liability, and I guess on some days you've been a help. I did hear that you wrote some memo for a partner last year that supposedly wasn't half bad. But in general, you aren't really turning heads, and there were all the times we felt that a paralegal could have done your job just as well. But, I guess you're ok, I mean, we can use you as our third guy on most projects I suppose. And you do know how to use the photocopier. Anyway, you're due to make $150,000 this year, but I guess by virtue of the fact that you are by no means the worst lawyer we've ever seen, how does $4 million sound?"

This isn't an indictment of the Mariners really. Obviously things are what they are. Just something to think about. As a baseball move, it's ok for the M's I suppose. As we know, Washburn had an impressive 3.20 ERA in 2005. He's also 5-4, 3.53 ERA in 11 career starts at Safeco Field. I checked on that myself before I realized that the Mariners put it in the press release. (This is because I am an idiot.) He doesn't strike out a lot of guys, which makes me nervous. There's also the fact that he allowed more hits than innings pitched each of the last two years, and his pretty lousy ERAs in 2003 and 2004. He's certainly a useful starter, but I think the Mariners are nuts if they're going to rely on him to be front end. Contrary to reports out of Seattle, Felix Hernandez probably isn't actually God, which means you can't assume a 19 year old pitcher is going to have a flawless transition to stardom. (And anytime a player is compared to Dwight Gooden, I get a little easy about what the future holds.) Jamie Moyer is bound to die at some point. Piniero, Meche, and Franklin had ERAs in the 5s, and I feel like only Piniero has real bona fide promise to be an impact pitcher. There are rumors that they might send Jeremy Reed to the Red Sox for Clement or Arroyo, which would help, I suppose, if Clement can return to the form he showed before going to Boston. We'll see what develops.

In other news, Steve Karsay and Danny Graves signed minor league contracts with the Indians today. I was challenged to write an entire blog about them. I'll decline. Have you seen Danny Graves pitch recently? There's nothing funny about that.


Blogger Avo said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12:28 AM  
Blogger Avo said...

To analogize...
This summer you will make approximately $20,000. I will likely make approximately $1 (give or take $1.) Now I am willing to concede that you are a better lawyer than me right now. I'd even be willing to admit that you are verrrrrrrrrry better. But 20,000 times better? I think not. Where's the justice there?

12:29 AM  
Blogger If I Ran The World said...

very better?

5:32 PM  
Anonymous Jesse said...

Abraham Nunez. I dont give a crap what he did for the Cardinals this season. Having seen him on the Pirates for all those years, I cant believe that he actually has a job in the major leagues.

7:51 PM  
Blogger Adam said...

You have three people other than myself reading this blog? And posting comments?

I still say Todd Zeile was the worst player for several years before people began to realize that being able to put a semi-coherent cliché-packed sentence together does not make you a good baseball player.

And can you PLEASE get rid of the damn word verification? It's so annoying! half the time I can't even tell what the letters are, I have to try three times before I get it right.

8:12 PM  

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