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Sports Then and Now



How Much Money Is Enough In Major League Baseball? 7

Posted on May 15, 2010 by Jacob Rogers

The Phillies recently signed to Ryan Howard to a five-year, $125 million contract extension.

The economy obviously isn’t bothering Major League Baseball teams like the Yankees, Red Sox, Mets, and Phillies. Everyone knows that the Yankees and Red Sox will go buy any free agent that can help their team. Some say that the Yankees and Red Sox have ‘bought’ their World Series Championships. And the Phillies have had two straight World Series appearances… So can a team ‘buy’ a championship?

The Phillies just recently gave their star first baseman a 5-year, $125 million deal. Thirty-year-old Ryan Howard has 226 HR, 657 RBI, and a batting average of .279 in his career. Howard has struck out more than 900 times in his career. He isn’t very solid defensively either, yet the Phillies still make him one of the highest paid players in baseball.

Top 5 Highest Paid Players in Baseball
5. Mark Teixeira – New York Yankees 20,625,000
4. Derek Jeter – New York Yankees 22,600,000
3. C.C. Sabathia – New York Yankees 24,285,000
2. Ryan Howard – Philadelphia Phillies 25,000,000
1. Alex Rodriguez – New York Yankees 33,000,000

So if Howard is ‘worth’ $25 mill a year, and A-Rod is ‘worth’ $33 mill a year, what does this mean for future players? Albert Pujols is arguably the best player in baseball. So how much is he going to be ‘worth’ at the end of the year? Is he ‘worth’ $40-50 million? Wow! The Padres and Pirates whole team payroll is less than $40 million a year! Read the rest of this entry →

Outrage at Olney’s Pujols/Howard Story Misguided 0

Posted on March 16, 2010 by Don Spieles

Yesterday, Buster Olney of ESPN became the story when he posted an article stating that a “sources” had informed him that there had been internal discussion within the Phillies organization about trading Ryan Howard to get Albert Pujols. Since then, lesser media outlets and the blogosphere has erupted with everything from “professional” condemnations to personal insults and attacks leveled at Olney.

So, we have journalists, both amateur and quasi-professional, accusing Olney of being unprofessional by casting insults at him?  That’s the kind of  irony that inspires Alanis Morissette songs!

The reaction over an utterly reasonable article seems to be prompted more by the fact that Olney is a nationally read writer for ESPN, the network that is the undisputed king of sports news.  The story, in and of itself, lends nothing incredible and is, in fact, much more professional than many of the rebuttals.

St. Louis Cardinals Albert Pujols breaks record

While evidently not likely, a trade of Pujols for Howard is not without it's logic, regardless of which side of the table one looks from.

Some points to be clear on:

  • Olney did not say there was discussion between the Cardinals and Phillies.

“It’s not fully clear whether the Phillies actually have approached the Cardinals with the idea”

  • Olney immediately contacted Ruben Amaro, Jr., the Phillies GM and included his denial in the article.

“Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro flatly denied that the internal discussions have taken place. “Lies,” he said. “That’s a lie. I don’t know who you’re talking to, but that’s a lie.”" Read the rest of this entry →

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  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Bill Freehan: Michigan Man
      May 12, 2018 | 6:21 pm

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was an 11-time American League All-Star at one of the most demanding positions in baseball, yet outside of Detroit his exploits have been largely forgotten.

      For more than a decade, Bill Freehan was the rock behind home plate for the Detroit Tigers. In addition to earning All-Star honors 10 straight years and 11 times overall, Freehan was a five-time Gold Glove winner and in 1968 finished second in the American League in the MVP voting.

      A true “Michigan Man”, Freehan played his entire sports career representing teams from Michigan.

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