Essay, Research Paper: Baseball Salaries

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When people think of high salaries they turn to the world of professional
sports, because that is where athletes are paid outrageous amounts to do the
things they love. Although some would argue that the athletes deserve these
wages, I fell that not all professional sports are paid adequately. For an
example of this statement take into consideration the time and effort that most
pro athletes spend at perfecting there acquired talent. They are fine tuned
instruments, who work hard to do their jobs on the field, on the court, or on
the course. They do this because they love the game. Golfers don’t get paid as
much as other Pro-sports, but do their job just as well. Athletes are paid way
to much, but golfers are not. Now take into consideration how much professional
baseball players make a season. “The average earned income in major league
baseball is over $800,000 a season”(Fizel, 83), and some of these players just
ride the pine all year. How is it fair that a man that can hit a ball four
hundred feet to send a baseball out of the park make $30 million a season. Barry
Bonds is truly a great athlete, but to be paid that much he should be able to
hit home runs with his eyes closed. I know that these baseball stars bring in a
lot of very good paying customers, and they like to watch the games. Then
though, I could eat for a week on what they are charging to get into Wrigley
Field with good seats for one game. If you will step back with me in time for a
moment you will understand why I am so concerned about this issue about over
paid athletes. In the forties each player was paid fairly but not extravagantly.
“When I joined the Cardinals ball club in 1943 we were paid fifteen dollars
for each game”.(Harig) Back then the players had other jobs to help them make
ends meat. They just played the game on the side and on the weekends for extra
cash. Other sports have the same problems, take professional basketball. Michael
Jordan is the greatest man to ever walk across the hard wood floors of
professional basketball, but to be paid $63 million in one season is almost
sickening. Jordan has so much power when it comes to the NBA, that he is able to
drop out of the National Basketball League and start playing baseball. Then when
he was tired of baseball, the Bulls begged and pleaded for him to come back to
their team. That just doesn’t seem right and fair to me, especially to other
players in the NBA. He may be the greatest basketball player ever, but in my
books he doesn’t have a lot of character and integrity. “Jordan made sixty
three million last year and the closest man to him was Patrick Ewig; who made
twenty million,”(Partinie) which is a little better character wise. It is true
that these men bring on big crowds and lots of money to the owners, just like
baseball players, but again have to much control. They probably aren’t paid
near as much as the owners could afford to either, the owner can go home with a
fat pocket too. Pro’s are just taking advantage of there talent, at least in
some cases. God gave them their talent and some of them are being very greedy
and not using it for what it was meant to be used for; the pure love of the
game. Football players aren’t any better but are a little different when it
comes to why they are paid so much. They have a lot more at steak when they go
out on to the field to crunch heads. They have to consider the possibility of
getting injured. They are paid to be big, mean, fast, and ruthless out on the
grass against men just as big and ruthless as themselves. Football players are
rewarded money if their talent is exceptional, for touchdowns, yardage, sacks,
stops, interceptions, and many more. If they don’t perform they don’t get as
much cash. If they do live up to what they are expected to, they get over loaded
with money. Emmit Smith, and other runningbacks are paid more than any lineman,
because they are the ones that put on the show, and are what the spectators came
to the game to watch. They also make all the points and make all the good plays
that keep viewers interested. Now I do know that the linemen are a huge part of
how a good half-back performs, with blocks and stuff, but when there is raw
talent in a man you notice it like in Emmit or Barry Sanders. It is also true
for the quarterbacks; they are paid more because they are the conductors out on
the field. They conduct the orchestra out on the field. John Elway is a great
example. He has the strongest, fastest, and most accurate arm in pro-football,
which he has proven. That is the main reason he is one the highest paid
professional football players in the NFL. Some athletes out on the football
field are more aware to the situation of the high prices they are paid. Kevin
Green, a defensive linebacker said “ It is true that we are getting paid
outrageous amount for what we do out on the turf, but we are the most likely to
get hurt in all professional sports. We want to make sure we get what we need
before we get out of the league.”(O’Hara, 12) Kevin Green gives a lot of his
money to charitable events and is a very honorable player also, he is not just
out there for the money. Now then amongst the most popular television events
there is a sport that is respected and loved by millions, but being the men they
are, tour golfers aren’t paid extreme amounts. Golf is a gentlemen’s game
and is respected by all. You don’t see any of the professional players
complaining about their pay, because in the golf world you have to earn your
salary. Players aren’t paid a salary like most sports, they have to win a
tournament to earn it. From tournament to tournament they are struggling to make
a living by doing what they love. The truth is that there is not a whole lot of
money to be won on tour either. For an example Greg Norman is the top money
winner of all time. Greg has raked in $11,936,443 in his entire career
(Howard,12). Compare that to any other sport and you will see that the average
baseball and basketball players make that within two or three years. Golfers are
also working all year-round. They don’t get to practice during the off-season,
because there isn’t one for them. Golfers work very hard in a very competitive
sport. Other sports are competitive, but not in the same way that golf is. Golf
is an individual sport, so they don’t work with others. They don’t have
anyone to fall back on if they need it, it is all up to them. Other thing that
makes golf so different than other sports is that it doesn’t require that you
are either huge, muscular, fast, or tall. Golf comes down to whether or not you
can hit a little golf ball down a narrow fairway, onto a tightly guarded green,
then to try and put that little ball into a four inch diameter hole. Golfers
aren’t treated the same way that other athletes are. Jack Nickalas, a well
know golfer with out sanding talent, explained “Professional golfers are
respected for their talents, character, corizma, and integrity.”(McCormick,32)
I myself don’t think that they are paid accordingly, at least not compared to
other sports. I’m not saying that they should pay professional golfers more,
or that they shouldn’t pay other athletes as much as they do(even though what
they make is unbelievable). Now with what pro-golfers are paid they can still
make a decent living, this is because they make plenty of money from
endorsements. From golf balls and gloves, to hats and clubs, members of the PGA
don’t have a hard time with making money on the side. To me it just seems that
the salaries that are made by most professional athletes is outrageous, but then
when you take a look at the money that is made on the PGA tour, you don’t see
outrageousness, just simplicity. Now then for a man to make over a million
dollars on tour he has to win at least four big tournaments. This is also a
contributing factor in how much a man makes on tour; which tournaments he is
invited to. Only the big tournaments pay off big cash, but in order to get to
the big tournaments you have to make a name for yourself in the littler
tournaments. Craig Stadler said that when he started the tour in the eighties,
he was shocked at the difference in the level of play and that “Getting on
tour is hard enough, but then you have to try to get invited to the big stuff,
that is what really take talent.”(Simpson) Scott Hoch is referring to the
Masters, the US Open, the British Open, and other majors that not everyone is
invited to. Depending on how you have done that year and how you have placed in
all the tournaments that you play in is the deciding factor on whether or not
you can go play in the big dog events. The truth is that golfers don’t have it
rough, but that they have different. Again, they don’t have to be tough,
strong, or large, just competitive and hard working. They don’t have to train
the same way; with weights and running; but have to train and work at their game
on the practice tee or putting green to make it perfect. John Cook has said in
an interview with Sports Illustrated “We don’t get paid as much as other
sports, and don’t get as much publicity, but God, I would rather be doing
anything else on this beautiful planet.” (Jefferies,65) It is not right how
they don’t make as much but it is just how society has set it up. Professional
golfers still make a good living but their salaries aren’t outrageous like
other sports. They make enough to get them by, and a little extra to help them
live stylish. All in all professional athletes are paid way too much, but they
keep us entertained and give us role models. Golfers aren’t as bad when it
comes to salaries as the others but they deserve what they are paid. I guess if
you want to keep a game respectable you have to keep the salaries respectable
also.

BibliographyFizel, John. Baseball Economics. Westport, London: Prager Pub., 1996. Harig,
Bob.“Highest Baseball Salaries.” Assosiated Press 1997: Online. Internet. 30
Sept. 1997. Available: Http://wedge.nado.net/newsroom/ap/bbo/1995/mlb/feat/archive/09309
7/mlb202277.html Howard, Sam. “Tee time: In the Light of other Astronomical
Sports Salaries, are Larger tournament Purses to much to Ask For?” The
Financial Post 5 Sept. 1997: sec. 3, sports. Jefferies, Parker. "Come Back
City." Sports Illustrated. August 1997: 65. McCormick, Mark. The World of
Professional Golf. Doubleday & Company. New York: 1978. O’Hara, Mike.
“Football: Cap and Salaries Will Rise With New T.V. Deals.” The Detroit News
(1998): Online. Internet. 15 Jan. 1998. Available: Http://www.detnews.com/1998/sports/9801/15/01150085.html
Partinie, Alex. “ Salary Cap for 97-98 Season.” Dallas Morning News 2 Nov
1997. C3. Simpson, Scott. “All-time PGA Tour Money Leaders.” Money List
(1998): Online. nternet. 23 March 1998. Available: www.golf.com/moneylist/all-time.
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