Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Beaten to the punch

One of the reasons I have been blogging less is that by the time I get home, read my daily selection of blogs for most teams in the league, most things I have wanted to say, have been said.

But some times, I want to say something so badly, I don't care that someone has beaten me to the punch...
We want to like young players, right? Sometimes they don't make it easy for us, though. Jonathan Papelbon, who seems like a pleasant enough fellow, has now joined the chorus of young players whining about being paid hundreds of thousands of dollars. I know it's unfair to expect these guys to know how lucky they are, compared to coal miners and teachers and ditch diggers and shoe cobblers. But at the very least, Papelbon and Prince Fielder and Cole Hamels might look at their peers in the other professional sports and realize just how good they've got things. They'll enjoy longer careers and will, after serving their six-year apprenticeships, enjoy almost complete freedom. Oh, and after retiring they'll never have to work another day in their lives.
The above is taken from Rob Neyer's Monday Mendozas (sadly behind the Insider curtain).

When I read Prince Fielder's quote...
"my time is going to come. It's going to come quick too"
I screamed (silently), and grumbled like the old man I am becoming, and muttered to myself that I should blog about this because it drives me crazy...

When I read Cole Hammels quote...
"It's about respect, and when people don't show that to you, you're caught off guard. I thought it was a low blow"
The low blow in question was a $500,000, 1 year deal. Again, I screamed (not so silently), and grumbled... oh ok you get the picture.

But then when the Red Sox own character closer joined the rising chorus, I could resist no longer...
“Asked what would be a fair salary for this year, Papelbon had his answer ready.

“Ryan Howard got $900,000 in his third year,” said Papelbon. “There it is. It’s staring (the Red Sox) right in the face.”
So Papelbon, now used on a restricted basis because his shoulder wasn't able to stand up to regular usage in his first full year in the majors believes that Ryan Howard's 3rd year in the majors is a comparable benchmark? Well that is something we can test...

Using the Hardball Times as my source, let's just compare the win shares...

2007 Papelbon 12
2007 Howard 26

2006 Papelbon 18
2006 Howard 31

So, Howard was renewed at $900,000 having produced 31 win shares in 2006...

So actually, I agree with our dainty dancer, renew him at the same rate as Howard - at $29,032 per win share... or an annual salary of $522,000. The good news for Papelbon is that Howard's 26 WS were rewarded in arbitration with $10,000,000 or $384,615 per WS, so that would suggest a salary of $4,615,000 in a year.

Papelbon has shown himself to be money centric from the moment he came up - and it appears a WS win has done nothing to change his outlook on life.

Now players are clearly entitled to look out for themselves - his arm could fall off and he would be in trouble... but equally he could sign a 6 year deal, and have his arm fall off... would he volunteer to repay his salary at that point?

10 threw a strike:

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