Spring Training is finally in full swing, but most people are still debating the ARod and Steroid situation which I have been completely sick of for over a year now. If there is something to debate here, or at least a big issue that should be brought to everyone’s attention it would be this: Why is it that some players feel a sense of entitlement to earn a certain amount of money? Why is it that contracts no longer seem binding and that players still get away with seemingly not playing hard yet still earn the financial commitments outlined in those contracts?
The best illustration as of late would be the difference between Dodgers OF Manny Ramirez and Giants P Tim Lincecum.
First lets take a quick look at Manny’s situation. Most recently he has rejected an offer that would pay him $25 million next year with an option for $20 million the following year. Manny may be technically one of the greatest hitters of all time, but he is also one of the biggest wastes of potential. If you look at his numbers you may think that sounds crazy, but there were a lot of years where it seemed as though he really wasn’t trying that hard. The Sox claim he gave up on the team, and quite frankly maybe he did. I think that Manny would be better off playing DH for the Yankees and just sit on a monster contract than trying to play in the NL. Ramirez is still looking for a contract that is 25 and 25 with no deferred money. They will probably give in, but should they?
Tim Lincecum on the other hand won the National League Cy Young in 08’ in just his second year and is the polar opposite of Ramirez. In 08’ Luncecum posted an 18-5 (2nd NL) record with 2.62 ERA (3rd MLB, 2nd NL), 265 SO, 1.17 WHIP.
In 2007 Sabathia won the AL Cy Young giving him a 250k bonus and increasing his salary from 9 mil to 11 in 2008. In the NL Peavy received a 100k bonus and his salary increased from 3 to 11 million a year. Not too shabby right?
Well it was just announced that the Reigning NL Cy Young winner just signed a 1 year deal with the Giants for a mere $650,000. Granted it is reported that he will be eligible for salary arbitration after this upcoming season, but regardless there is a big difference in the respect given. In 2007 Lincecum earned $405,000 making his total salary increase about the same as CC’s bonus.
Who on the Giants staff is bringing in a bigger paycheck? Randy Johnson at $15 million (up from $9 million in 07’) who posted a pretty unimpressive 11-10 record with 3.91 ERA, and 173 SO.
Or How about Barry Zito who is raking in 14.5 million (up from $10 million in 07’) for his 10-17 performance with an ERA over 5 and only 120 SO.
Maybe the Giants learned something from Zito’s situation, and maybe not since they took another step back by signing Johnson. Oh and as a final side note: Lincecum didn’t receive a bonus for taking home the hardware, but CC pocketed $75,000 for placing FIFTH.