Monthly Archives: November 2010

Why I love Baseball? It’s a Family Thing…..Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

From The Baseball Docent:  I love hearing why people love baseball. We all love the sport for different reasons; however, a common theme among many who love the game is that the sport some how connects them to their families in some way; usually their dad.    Here’s one of those stories:

Note:  This is a reprint from a recent post I wrote that appeared in The Baseball Docent Blog.  I wanted to share it with you today, since it’s  Thanksgiving Day, and it just seems appropriate.  GFBB
October 7, 2010.  “I think baseball’s a family thing. When I was growing up my parents were baseball fanatics and to be honest, I never understood it. Oh sure, I liked baseball when I was a kid; I collected cards, idolized Mickey Mantle… the usual stuff. Continue reading

The Business of Baseball and the World Series……How much do they make?

Baseball  Payrolls 2009 & 2010

 
  Team 2009 2010 Average
Yankees $201,449,189 $206,333,389 $8,253,336
Red Sox $121,745,999 $162,747,333 $5,611,977
Cubs $134,809,000 $146,859,000 $5,439,222
Phillies $113,004,046 $141,927,381 $5,068,835
Mets $149,373,987 $132,701,445 $5,103,902
Tigers $115,085,145 $122,864,929 $4,550,553
White Sox $96,068,500 $108,273,197 $4,164,354
Angels $113,709,000 $105,013,667 $3,621,161
Mariners $98,904,166 $98,376,667 $3,513,452
Giants $82,616,450 $97,828,833 $3,493,887
Twins $65,299,266 $97,559,167 $3,484,256
Dodgers $100,414,592 $94.945,517 $3,651,751
Cardinals $77,605,109 $93,540,753 $3,741,630
Astros $102,996,414 $92,355,500 $3,298,411
Braves $96,726,166 $84,423,667 $3,126,802
Rockies $75,201,000 $84,227,000 $2,904,379
Orioles $67,101,666 $81,612,500 $3,138,942
Brewers $80,182,502 $81,108,279 $2,796,837
Reds $73,558,500 $72,386,544 $2,784,098
Royals $70,519,333 $72,267,710 $2,491,990
Rays $63,313,034 $71,923,471 $2,663,832
Blue Jays $80,538,300 $62,689,357 $2,089,645
Nationals $60,328,000 $61,425,000 $2,047,500
Indians $81,579,166 $61,203,967 $2,110,482
Diamondbacks $73,516,666 $60,718,167 $2,335,314
Marlins $36,834,000 $55,641,500 $2,060,796
Rangers $68,178,798 $55,250,545 $1,905,191
Athletics $62,310,000 $51,654,900 $1,666,287
Padres $43,734,200 $37,799,300 $1,453,819
Pirates $48,693,000 $34,943,000 $1,294,185

Note:  You can access individual player salaries by clicking the individual’s team.

 The above figures represent salaries for the regular season.  The “Average” column indicates average individual salaries.  Once a team makes it to the post season, there’s an entirely new payout structure for the players on those rosters.  I read an interesting article the other day about what players earn for winning the World Series.  I always thought it was a set amount but instead there’s actually a players’ pool derived from 60% of the gross gate receipts from each of the first four playoff games in each division.  It’s  based on a payout schedule, distributed as follows:

  • World Series Winning Team 36%
  • World Series Losing Team 24%
  • League Championship Series Losers 12% each
  • Division Series Losers 3% each
  • Non-Wild Card Second Place Teams 1% each

Last year the Philadelphia Phillies players were each paid $351,504 for winning the World Series and the losers, the Tampa Bay Rays, each received $223,390.  (It kinda makes me wonder why the Texas Rangers were looking so sad at the end of Game 5 this year!)   Whew!  That’s a lot of “bonus” folks.   Back in 1905, the winners share of the  total pool, based on gate receipts of 91,723 in attendance, was $1,142 to the winners and $832 to the losers. 

“When we played,  World Series checks meant something.  Now all they do is screw up your taxes.”  Don Drysdale, 1978 .

Granted, that was back in 1978 when the tax rate structure was 70%.  Now it’s only 35% but still……35% of  $351,504 is still over $123,000, and that’s a lot of taxes for anyone!   But, I know, it’s still kinda hard to feel sorry for them. 

NY Yankees 2009 World Series Ring

Everyone on both teams in the World Series also gets a World Series ring valued somewhere around $40,000, and in addition to all the above, the MVP (Edgar Renteria this year) gets a car and a trip to Walt Disney World, again, all subject to income taxes,  I’m sure.

Here’s a few interesting tidbits from one of my favorite sources,  Baseball Almanac ~

  • Through the 2009 Fall Classic, there have been 105 World Series Classics, with 612 Series games played in front of 27,407,011 fans.
  • During the World War II years, players in the World Series received a percentage of their shares in War Bonds.
  • The Wildcard Team doesn’t receive a share unless they move up to the next playoff round.

It’s not supposed to be about the money.   They’re supposed to be playing for love of the game, but how can the money not be a huge factor?   Of course it is.   We learned that back in 1994-1995 when the Players went out on a strike that literally shut down half the baseball season that year and we ended up with no World Series.  Of course, the reason we were told was not about the money, but about playing conditions, contract clauses, etc.   But, rest assured, it was about the money.  Players now have managers to look out for their best interests, and who can blame them?    We all grew up really fast in the 90′s and baseball has never really been quite the same.   I mean, who’s to say it won’t happen again?    Well, all I can say is I’m already going into withdrawals with no baseball games to watch…..December, January, February, March and then like magic, it’s April!  And we get to start all over again!   And we’ll keep paying those high ticket prices to the games that continue to fund these high priced baseball players and the teams with those enormous payrolls.   Well, what can I say?  This is baseball, America’s favorite pasttime, and it’s here to stay folks.  Thank you God!

Veterans in the Baseball Hall of Fame …..God Bless America!

I’m currently on vacation in Central America but didn’t want to pass up an opportunity to salute our Veterans, and especially those Veterans who were named to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.   We know that freedom isn’t free and we’re privileged to honor all Veterans everywhere, on this your special day!Baseball Hall of Fame Veterans

Listed below in alphabetical order by conflict are members / inductees (including non-players) of the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown who are officially classified as Veterans – each having served in the United States Armed Services during wartime.

 

  “But the mainstay of the big leagues was the reservoir of 4-Fs – males of draft age who had been rejected on physical grounds by the Armed Forces. Not since harem attendants had gone out of style were men’s physical deficiencies so highly prized. Ulcers, hearing defects, and torn cartilages were coveted by team owners.” – Frank Graham, Jr. in Farewell to Heroes (1981)

 

 
Hall Of Fame Veterans Members Who Served in the U.S. Armed Forces
Name [Link to Stats] Branch of the Service
The Civil War
Morgan Bulkeley United States Army
World War I
Grover Alexander (bio) United States Army
Happy Chandler United States Army
Oscar Charleston United States Army
Ty Cobb United States Army
Eddie Collins United States Marines
Jocko Conlan United States Navy
Red Faber United States Navy
Warren Giles United States Army
Burleigh Grimes United States Navy
Harry Heilmann United States Navy
Waite Hoyt United States Army
George Kelly United States Army
Larry MacPhail United States Army
Rabbit Maranville United States Navy
Rube Marquard United States Navy
Christy Mathewson United States Army
Herb Pennock United States Navy
Sam Rice United States Army
Branch Rickey United States Army
Eppa Rixey United States Army
Bullet Rogan United States Army
Joe Sewell United States Army
George Sisler United States Army
Tris Speaker United States Navy
Casey Stengel United States Navy
World War II
Luke Appling (bio) United States Army
Al Barlick United States Coast Guard
Yogi Berra United States Navy
Nestor Chylak United States Army
Mickey Cochrane United States Navy
Leon Day United States Army
Bill Dickey United States Navy
Joe DiMaggio United States Army
Larry Doby United States Navy
Bobby Doerr United States Army
Bob Feller United States Navy
Charlie Gehringer United States Navy
Hank Greenberg United States Army
Billy Herman United States Navy
Monte Irvin United States Army
Ralph Kiner United States Navy
Bob Lemon United States Navy
Ted Lyons United States Marines
Larry MacPhail United States Army
Lee MacPhail United States Navy
Johnny Mize United States Navy
Stan Musial United States Navy
Pee Wee Reese United States Navy
Phil Rizzuto United States Navy
Robin Roberts United States Army
Jackie Robinson United States Army
Red Ruffing United States Army
Red Schoendienst United States Army
Enos Slaughter United States Army
Duke Snider United States Navy
Warren Spahn United States Army
Bill Veeck United States Marines
Ted Williams United States Marines
Early Wynn United States Army
Korean War
Ernie Banks United States Army
Whitey Ford United States Army
Eddie Mathews United States Navy
Willie Mays United States Army
Ted Williams United States Marines
Name [Link to Stats] Branch of the Service

 

SF GIANTS! 2010 WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONS! YEE HAW!

THE SF GIANTS ARE FOR REAL ……. THE TORTURE’S OVER!

SF Giants 2010 World Series Champions!

I had to play this great song one more time!  It’s much more appropriate to hear it as the World Series Champions!   The SF Giants won the 2010 World Series in 5 games, in grand fashion tonight,  beating the Texas Rangers 3-1, behind the outstanding pitching of  Tim Lincecum .   Here’s some possible headlines I considered:

  • Thank you Giants
  • Thanks for the ride!
  • Believe!
  • Torture to Rapture!
  • Diamonds in the Rough!
  • Beginning of a Dynasty?
  • Say Hey!
  • I left my heart in San Francisco!
  • The Texas who?
  • The eyes of  Texas are upon us!
  • Oh it’s good to be back home again!

Six months ago I booked a 2 week vacation that begins tomorrow!  Can you believe this?  I mean who in their right mind would have thought the Giants could possibly be playing in the World Series in November?   I’ve been on pins and needles all week thinking the Series would go to 7 games, putting it into Wednesday and Thursday of this week, at which time I’d be on the road and in the air enroute to Panama!  But the Giants had other plans, (to accommodate me I’m sure), and decided to call an end to this ordeal in Arlington, TX, and come home tomorrow as World Series Champions!   The only problem is that the parade is going to be Wednesday 11AM in San Francisco, for those of you who’ll be lucky enough to attend.  Unfortunately I won’t be one of them.    So hats off to the SF Giants who’ve played their hearts out all season, and have been rewarded mightily with the Championship Trophy!   The details of this final game are outlined in related articles below so I won’t get into the nitty gritty but I do want to mention that Edgar Renteria who was mentioned in an earlier blog, and is considering retiring after this season, (say it isn’t so Edgar!) was named MVP of the Series. 

A note to the Giants:  Whew what a ride and I enjoyed every minute of it.  But would you mind next year  maybe averaging more than 3 runs per game?  I’m getting too old for this stuff! :)

 

Mad Bum & Posey……New Kids on the Block Game 4.

DISCLAIMER:  Today’s blog is absolutely 100% pro- Giants so I want you non-Giants fans to know it’s nothing personal, just something  I have to do!   Things’ll get back to normal soon…..

I wish I’d written this song.  I’m so emotional this morning I probably shouldn’t even be blogging, but couldn’t help myself.  Here are some interesting facts related to last night’s SF Giants 4-0 Win over the Texas Rangers.

  1. Texas is the first team since the 1966 Dodgers to be shut out twice in the same World Series.
  2. Bumgarner is the youngest (21) rookie to make a scoreless start of six innings or more in World Series history.
  3. Texas is the first team since the 1966 Dodgers to be shut out twice in the same World Series :))
  4. Bumgarner is just the second lefty ever to strike out Vlad Guerrero three times in a game, joining Al Leiter in 1998.

Madison Bumgarner

Whew, quite an order filled by Madison Bumgarner, this 21 year old rookie pitcher from Hickory, North Carolina, and his sidekick catcher,  another rookie, Buster Posey, age 23,  from  Leesburg, Georgia.   I mean, where do they get these guys?  I read an article this morning about last night’s DH, Aubrey Huff, you know, the rally thong guy?   Aubrey grew up  with his widowed mom, in a trailer park in Ft Worth, Texas.   Few have done as much with their lives with such humble beginnings as Aubrey has.  He relayed this story that says it all.  ”  I told my mom one day I wanted to be a professional baseball player.  I was probably 8 or 9 years old.  She bought me a batting cage on a Winn-Dixie salary.  I wouldn’t be here now if it wasn’t for her making that decision.”   I can envision this young kid setting that big batting cage up out in the drive-way in that

Huff & Bumgarner

mobile home park having the time of  his life hitting those balls day after day and happy as a clam doing it. Who

Buster Posey

knows where he’d be now if he didn’t have a mom who cared enough to want to make his dreams come true?   Being a mom who’s raised three really great boys who didn’t  always have the easiest of times growing up, this story is really emotional for me.   I’m sure every one of these Giants has a story to tell and I’d love to hear them all!   And the same goes for each of the Texas Rangers.  You’ve probably already heard the really inspiring  story about Josh Hamilton, who crawled back from the depths of drug addiction to become one of  the best baseball players in the country and has written a book about his life.   You’re probably wondering what all of this has to do with last night’s game.   I love baseball and to me most lessons in life can easily be applied to baseball.   I think last night’s game exemplifies the best in baseball, not because the Giants won, but because they won with the youngsters in the spotlight, the kids who are setting examples for the other kids.  Where do they get these guys?   They’re right in front of us, in our own homes and in our hometowns.  Usually it’s just a lot of hard work, and sometimes it’s just pure luck, but more often than not,  the kids just need a break .   The following poem was reprinted from The Baseball Almanac and says it quite simply and much better than I can:

The Reason for Rainbows
A Song to Baseballby J. Patrick Lewis
Published: Baseball Almanac
There was an Old Man of Late Summer
Met a Winter Boy out of the blue,
And he whisked him away
From the city one day
Just to show him what country boys do.
He taught him three whys of a rooster,
And he showed him two hows of a hen.
Then he’d try to bewitch him
With curveballs he’d pitch him
Again and again and again.
He taught him the reason for rainbows,
And he showed him why lightning was king,
Then he fingered the last ball—
A wicked hop fastball—
He threw to the plate on a string.
Oh, the Old Summer Man and the Young Winter Lad
Spent the light of each day—every moment they had—
In the wind and the rain, or the late summer sun,
Where he taught him to pitch and he taught him to run
In the wind and rain and the late summer sun.
But when that Old Man of Late Summer
Met the Winter Boy out of the blue,
He said to him, “Son,
You can pitch, you can run,
But to hit here is what you must do:
Just pretend that the stick on your shoulder
Is as wide as a bald eagle’s wing.
You’re a bird on a wire
And your hands are on fire—
But you’re never too eager to swing.
Stand as still as a rabbit in danger,
Watch the pitch with the eyes of a cat.
What will fly past the mound—
Unforgettable sound—
Is the ball as it cracks off the bat.”
Oh, the Old Summer Man and the Young Winter Lad
Spent the light of each day—every moment they had—
In the wind and the rain, or the late summer sun,
Where he taught him to pitch and he taught him to run
In the wind and rain and the late summer sun.
The Reason for Rainbows by J. Patrick Lewis