Tuesday, January 20, 2009

NIck Markakis: Millionaire!

I don't want to repeat myself. I have, more than once, used this bully pulpit (which really isn't that bully....nor is it a pulpit, either...forget that last noun phrase)...this forum (yeah, that's more like it) to rail at the financial injustices of the sports world. I especially like to point out the absurdity of Alex "Heart of a Poet" Rodriguez's $250 million (plus) contract with the dreaded Bronx Bombers. However, word comes from the sports world that hits a little closer to home, as I read this morning in the local that Nick Markakis, a promising young outfielder, has accepted an offer from the Orioles for $66 million over six years! That's $11 million a year (somebody check my math).

Now, ARod's $25 mill per is ridiculous, but, he is one of the best offensive players of his generation (except in the playoffs, but anyway...). NMark earned his millions by hitting last season for an above-average batting average (.306), some power (20 home runs), and some production (87 RBI). He is also a better than average fielder, but, is he worth $11 million?

My first reaction is no, but, let's look at those numbers. That, of course, is one of the inherent beauties of the game of baseball: the dance of statistics, the symphony of numbers, the nearly infinite number of ways that performance can be divided, extrapolated, compared. Oh, here, in the realm of the baseball statistic is where I think I come the closest to a spiritual experience. Why else would I still love a game that is so disgusting on an economic level?

Anyway, Rodriguez has averaged, over the span of a fifteen year career, a batting average of .306, 44 HRs, and 127 RBI. Using those numbers, one might deduce that Markakis is ARod's equal in hitting for average, slightly less than half as good at hitting for power, and above the median in driving in runs. So, relative to $25 million, which Markakis is most definitely better than half as good as, he's actually being underpaid! At $30,000. + per day. That, ladies and gentlemen is how f'ed up the economics of baseball are.

That is all I got.

1 comment:

La Fashionista said...

Why's a brotha gots to try to bully me over the head with some kind of statistics spirituality? And through the seemingly unthreatening (boring?) means of baseball? Then economics (capitalism) is thrown in as the devil on the other shoulder. Look Reda, I see through your scheme. Sister ain't gonna letchoo bully me around no more.

However, if you somehow figure out a way to apply all this to, say, mac and cheese and shoes, you may have a convert. That's right: somethin' something' statistics applied to shoes, somethin' something statistics and mac and cheese. Or some other food/fashion/aesthetic delivery mechanism.

On another note, it is absolutely wonderful to wake up this morning to a new president and first family.