Today's featured comment comes from somebody who goes by a single letter -- "B" -- but is not so economical with his words. He's on a rant about my entry explaining how player agents are already planning to steer around the Barrack Obama's proposed tax increase on wealthy wage-earners, but his post eventually evolves into an interesting analysis of late-career hitters:
B's take: So instead of paying $3.4 million in taxes, these guys are going to pay $3.95 million in taxes. Instead of making $6.6 million PER YEAR they're going to make $6.05 million PER YEAR. How are they going to cope?
And by the way, that last little fraction in the $6.05 million figure is about what the average American HOUSEHOLD makes in a year.
This is the one thing that kills me about baseball players. You have guys who are already set for life talking about how they need these six, eight and ten year contracts so they have "security". I really would love to know what these $10 million plus per year guys do with their money that makes them so insecure about their future.
This brings me to the most recent owner/player match made in Hell: Scott Boras and Manny Ramirez. I don't know how Manny become so greedy and manipulative, but it that fact that his new personality came about when he signed on with Boras is no surprise. The only thing that would make me feel good about the Boras/Manny story is if Manny was unable to sign a contract this offseason because Boras's demands are so outrageous. Sure, Manny's an all-time great. One of the best, if not THE best, right handed power hitters in the history of the game. But if anyone honestly believes that he's going to hold up for six more seasons (he'll be 37 in May) certainly isn't the sharpest knife in the drawer. That said, I'm sure that Boras honestly believes that Manny will continue to perform into his early forties. But that's because Boras's brain is actually made up of tightly wrapped wads of hundred dollar bills.
Just for for, here's some history on 40+ year old right handed power hitters (based on the top 20 players on the all-time home run list):
-Hank Aaron: After his 40th birthday, Hammerin' Hank never hit more than 20 home runs or batted over .268 in a season. His batting averaged in his last two seasons were .234 and .229, respectively. He played in 137 games in 1974, but only 112 in '74 and just 85 in '76.
-Willie Mays: Turned 40 in 1971, hit .271 with 18 homers and 61 rbi in 136 games. '72? 88 games, .250 average, 8 homers, 22 rbi. '73? 66 games, .211 average, 6 homers, 25 rbi.
-Frank Robinson: Turned 40 in August of 1975. 1976 stats: .224, 3 homers, 10 rbi in 36 games.
-Frank Thomas: Turned 40 last May. Hit .240 with 8 homers, 30 rbi and a torn quadriceps in 2008.
-Ernie Banks: Turned 40 in January of 1971. Hit .193 with 3 homers and 6 rbi in 39 games that season.
Jimmie Foxx, Harmon Killebrew, Mike Schmidt, Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire didn't play into their 40's.
Of the lefties on the list, only Ted Williams, Reggie Jackson and Barry Bonds played well into their forties. While Williams and Jackson were still productive, they were shells of their former selves. And even a roided up Bonds never hit over .276, and didn't eclipse 28 homers or 77 rbi in his last two full seasons after five consecutive seasons of 40+ homers and 90+ rbi. And we're currently witnessing the massive decline of Ken Griffey Jr. And he's only 38.
Wow. That was long. And pretty off topic. Either way, I wish owners and GMs would read this instead of listening to Boras's garbage about how Manny should get a Bonds/A-Rod contract despite the fact that Bonds declined when he hit 40 and A-Rod's only 32.
My take: I'm on vacation and I just missed my tee time reading this.