Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The rich get richer ... or at least more Japanese

Ben Godar

Just when you start to think that revenue sharing might be moving The Game toward financial equity, something like this happens: the Red Sox pay $51 million just for the right to negotiate with one player.

For that sum, the BoSox will try to negotiate a deal with Japanese pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka through America’s Sweetheart, Scott Boras. If no deal is reached, hell will freeze over and the Sox get their millions back. Otherwise, the cash goes to Matsuzaka’s Japanese team, the Seibu Lions.

It was disgusting to see several Yankee players with a higher annual salary than the entire Marlins team. But the Red Sox bid just for negotiations tops the total salary of five MLB teams. It is more than half the salary of the World Champ Cardinals.

But wait, it gets worse.

Published reports estimate it will cost Boston around $40 million more to sign Matsuzaka. That means Boston is likely to spend $91 million to sign one player. Only nine teams had a payroll of higher than $91 million last season.

And enough of this business of the Red Sox as the lovable underdogs, or the anti-Yankees. The Red Sox play Yankee ball, they’re just not as good at it. And when I say “not as good,” what I mean is “they don’t have as much money.” That’s what it comes down to, and that’s the problem with this whole damn system.

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