Perhaps you caught the recent interview in which Yankees first basemen Mark Teixeira essentially admitted that he was overpaid.
In the interview Teix said (among other things):
I have no problem with anybody in New York, any fan, saying you’re overpaid. Because I am,” Teixeira said. “We all are.”
“Agents are probably going to hate me for saying it,” he continued. “You’re not very valuable when you’re making $20 million. When you’re Mike Trout, making the minimum, you are crazy valuable. My first six years, before I was a free agent, I was very valuable. But there’s nothing you can do that can justify a $20 million contract.
To me it was much ado about nothing, but of course in New York it only takes a frog farting to start up some kind of big Whoop-de-doo.
To me the most interesting part of his interview wasn’t the admission of being overpaid, but rather just how firm a grasp of baseball economics he has.
For the life of me I do NOT understand why people try to view what they make in the context of what your average person makes.
This is a multi-billion dollar industry and the players are the driving force behind that kind of economic firepower.
If anyone thinks for one minute that if they suddenly declared that they would play for minimum wage and ticket prices would suddenly plummet then they are delusional.
The only difference between now and the “golden years” is that the revenue is split more equitably.
Furthermore, because of the way the system is set up the first six years a player is in the league (3 initial years at set salary then three arbitration years) your typical player, let alone an All-Star like Mike Trout is grossly underpaid (in the context of baseball).
Once a player hits free agency everyone on Earth knows they are going to be overpaid, but this does little more than offset how the team got over by paying bottom dollar for top shelf services the first half of someone’s career.
Teix’s statements show he is well aware of that fact.
Elsewhere in the interview he went on to say:
This is my 11th year. I’m not going to play 10 more years. I want 5 or 6 good ones. So that would say I’m on the backside of my career. And instead of trying to do things differently on the backside of my career, why not focus on the things I do well, and try to be very good at that? . . . I need to concentrate on what I do well. And what I do well is hitting home runs, driving in a lot of runs and playing great defense.
Declining average aside, that kind of insight and self-awareness is what makes me glad that we have him manning first-base, as opposed to other high priced, over-valued guys like Fielder, Howard or Adrian Gonzalez.