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Monday, January 24, 2022

Carter: Baseball Players Aren’t Paying More

As Major League Baseball enters its first labor pause in nearly 30 years, I have two pieces of advice for my fellow fans—one reassuring and one pleasurable. First, don’t worry unnecessarily; The lockdown is mainly theatre. Second, don’t fall for the rumor that those who play the most beautiful and toughest game in the world get paid more.

As for theaters: players lock down after owners declared a deadlock in negotiations over a new collective bargaining agreement. Contact with the management and the players has been largely curtailed till the lockdown ends. But the first preseason games aren’t scheduled until late February; The season that matters won’t start until the end of March.

In short, there’s plenty of time to negotiate a new deal before anything real is at stake. Both sides understand this aspect of non-crisis, which helps explain why agents and owners rush to finalize big contracts for big stars in the days before the stoppage.

Ultimately, whatever happens, it is unlikely that the players will end up on the losing end of the final agreement. In general, whether interruptions resulted from a strike by the players or a lockout by the owners, the results have been the same: in the words of economist Michael Haupert, “the players won the concessions they demanded and the owners won the reversal of the previous player.” Efforts were stopped. Profits.”

All of this brings us to the second issue: what player Will Leach recently called “an odd group of fans” who sided with baseball’s owners in the sport’s labor disputes. Leach traces this trend down to the relative visibility of the players. The owner is not out to take a third strike as he advances in the scoring position in the eighth inning.

However, I am concerned that taking the side of baseball owners in labor disputes is a symptom, not a cause; The underlying problem is that millions of fans think player salaries are too high. (Sports writers in the past have shown a similar tendency to side with management. Recent work has also suggested that negative media attention is often attracted by players who are union activists, seeking to vote in the Hall of Fame. reduce the probability. Yes, the sample size is small.)

Rejecting this sentiment nearly two decades ago, economist Alan Sanderson surprised himself with its persistence. Regarding the earnings of top rock stars or actors or novelists, he asked, why don’t we complain?

good question Just before the shutdown, pitcher Max Scherzer signed a three-year contract with the New York Mets that would pay him an average of $40 million a year—the highest annual salary in baseball history. What is picker? According to Forbes, Kylie Jenner earned around 15 times that amount in 2020. Kanye West downplayed it more than three times. For the novelists, James Patterson took in $80 million; JK Rowling earned $60 million. In all, Forbes has listed some 50 celebrities who have earned more than Scherzer who are going to earn.

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All without raising the ire of his fans.

One reason often suggested for the difference is that fans can directly see the value of a great movie or song – by enjoying it – while players are judged by wins and losses. Another thing is that even now, fans tend to consider their relationships with players more personal than with their favorite author or actor.

A more intriguing possibility stems from the nature of the contracts. As elsewhere in sports, it’s hard for employers to get the right salary. Salaries are based on estimates of future productivity, but baseball has a lot of hidden information. A 2009 study found that stars peak an average of two years later than other players; Once past their peaks, they deteriorate rapidly.

Management is fully aware of this trend, and compensates by signing stars but not other players to long-term contracts. Typically these deals are back-loaded – either explicitly, with higher pay in out years, or indirectly, through contracts that pay less to stars near their peak and decline as they decline. I pay them more.

One reason for such a structure is the understanding that a deteriorating star may remain more valuable to the team for many years than the sabermetricians call a replacement-level player. And even when that’s not true, contracts can still be a good bet, as stars usually bring value to a team beyond just results on the field. (For example, high attendance.)

Sitting in the bleachers, an angry fan may miss this nuance. In the call to talk radio, he can complain that Mighty Casey is being paid $25 million a year, even though he’s not running the house the way he used to. What this fan can’t remember is that Casey was earning back the same amount or maybe less when he was beating round-trippers at a rate that was much higher.

World Nation News Deskhttps://www.worldnationnews.com
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