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The Astros beat Wandy Rodriguez in arbitration

Feb 18, 2010, 10:47 AM EDT

Alyson Footer tweets that the Astros have won the Wandy Rodriguez arbitration. Rodriguez will earn $5 million in 2010. He had asked for $7 million. He made $2.6 million last year.

No one but the participants knows for sure what went down in that hearing room, but I’m rather surprised that Rodriguez lost.  Sure, people with a management bent will say things like “Hey, Rodriguez still wins! His salary doubled!” To them I’d simply ask what Rodriguez and his 14-12 record, 3.02 ERA and 193 strikeouts might be worth on the open market right now.  Multiples of $5 million, that I can assure you.

Then again, I suppose that’s really a beef with the arbitration system itself as opposed to a beef with this particular outcome.

CORRECTION: Footer actually works for the Astros now as their Senior
Director of New Media. I think I knew that, but it slipped my mind. Sorry Alyson, and sorry to
Brian McTaggart, who is the Astros beat guy.

  1. Lionheart! - Feb 18, 2010 at 10:59 AM

    ” Sure, people with a management bent will say things like “Hey, Rodriguez still wins! His salary doubled!” ”
    Yeah, and jerkoffs like me and you who only make a 5 figure income annually. *Sighs* Athletes are not worth 7 figures.

  2. Craig Calcaterra - Feb 18, 2010 at 11:01 AM

    Based on the revenues that teams, the media and MLB make based on players’ labor, yes in-damn-deed they are worth seven figures. If your pro-rata labor gave your employer as much money as any given ballplayer’s does for theirs, you can bet your ass you’d make seven figures.

  3. BC - Feb 18, 2010 at 11:02 AM

    Ben Sheets gets $10mil, Randy Wolf gets $9mil and this guy only gets $5mil? I don’t get it.

  4. Charles Gates - Feb 18, 2010 at 11:09 AM

    Athletes are not worth 7 figures.
    Why not?

  5. (Not That) Tom - Feb 18, 2010 at 11:10 AM

    Actually, given the amount of revenue the average MLB team generates, you could easily argue that athletes are worth seven figures.

  6. Lionheart! - Feb 18, 2010 at 11:13 AM

    Come on, I didn’t mean to start a whole revolt here. It’s just that they’re athletes for christ sakes, they play games, for 7 figures plus. Meaningless games. Meanwhile, you’ve got people with jobs critical to daily life like your police and fire department, nurses, educators, who do not make that type of salary but mattter a hell of a lot more to the world. Seriously, they play baseball. And sure we love baseball. But come on…7 figures to a sport? Buh-buh-buh-bullllllllllllllllllllllllshitttttttttttttttttttt.

  7. Jamie - Feb 18, 2010 at 11:24 AM

    If you do a job only ~150 other people on the planet are capable of doing (like “major league starting pitcher”), you should complain about your salary.

  8. David C. - Feb 18, 2010 at 11:29 AM

    Craig, FYI, Footer actually works for the Astros now as their Senior Director of New Media. Brian McTaggart is the new beat writer for MLB.com.

  9. Lionheart! - Feb 18, 2010 at 11:34 AM

    *Sighs* whatever, looks like I’m not gonna win this one. It doesn’t pay to be different around here, I’m sorry I expressed my opinions! I don’t kiss the ballplayer’s asses as lovingly as everyone else. Can’t be helped I guess. I guess since my job (college student worker) can be accomplished by anyone on the planet, I’ll just keep my comments to myself and embrace my 8 dollars an hour. But sure, 5 million for Wandy Rodriguez?
    Outrage!!!!!

  10. Jeff J. Snider - Feb 18, 2010 at 11:41 AM

    I would guess that it might have possibly come up that Wandy Rodriguez used to be a really bad pitcher, and that one really good season and one decent season aren’t proof that he is actually worth a ton of money.

  11. Charles Gates - Feb 18, 2010 at 11:44 AM

    I guess since my job (college student worker) can be accomplished by anyone on the planet
    It amazes me how you can both grasp and completely ignore the concept of supply and demand in a single sentence.

  12. BC - Feb 18, 2010 at 11:49 AM

    I’m at least 1/100th as good as A-Rod. I’d gladly take $250k a year.

  13. Rob - Feb 18, 2010 at 12:11 PM

    I think Lionheart! is being misunderstood in this discussion. While all the other comment in the discussion are applying economics to the situation, I think Lionheart! is applying social values. So while ball players are worth 7 figures in the ecomonic perspective, they are not worth that from the added value to society perspective. Where people like teachers, doctors, and that type are far more valuable to society.
    It’s just a pity that economics is really the only thing that matters. I think that’s what Lionheart! is trying to express. I think.

  14. Rob - Feb 18, 2010 at 12:11 PM

    I think Lionheart! is being misunderstood in this discussion. While all the other comment in the discussion are applying economics to the situation, I think Lionheart! is applying social values. So while ball players are worth 7 figures in the ecomonic perspective, they are not worth that from the added value to society perspective. Where people like teachers, doctors, and that type are far more valuable to society.
    It’s just a pity that economics is really the only thing that matters. I think that’s what Lionheart! is trying to express. I think.

  15. Charles Gates - Feb 18, 2010 at 12:20 PM

    Why is it wrong to apply economics to a situation when we’re talking about the value of something? What that something is worth? Then again, I can’t really imagine a situation where economic reasoning is invalid.

  16. jwb - Feb 18, 2010 at 12:51 PM

    This is a short-term win for the Astros. They’ll just have to outbid other teams by many millions to retain him when he gets to free agency.

  17. Cueious George - Feb 18, 2010 at 1:31 PM

    “I guess since my job (college student worker) can be accomplished by anyone on the planet.
    .
    Maybe an audit of some econ 101 lectures would be worth your while. Or is the inability to grasp simple economic principles something you enjoy wearing as a badge of honour?

  18. Curious George - Feb 18, 2010 at 1:33 PM

    “Ben Sheets gets $10mil, Randy Wolf gets $9mil and this guy only gets $5mil? I don’t get it.”
    .
    Here’s some help. Two of the three were free agents. One was not.

  19. Lionheart! - Feb 18, 2010 at 2:51 PM

    Whatever. If there was only one person in the entire universe that could draw a perfect circle, would he be worth billions of dollars? Cause though we all love baseball and sports, face it. Athletes and people who can draw perfect circles are in the same group of people that don’t really have important enough jobs in the United States worthy of being paid millions upon millions of dollars. I know you love baseball, I do too. But come on, I make a fucking point here.

  20. Craig Calcaterra - Feb 18, 2010 at 2:55 PM

    Your point only makes sense if drawing a perfect circle was worth over $6 billion a year in revenue. Because that’s what MLB realizes on the backs of the ballplayers.

  21. Charles Gates - Feb 18, 2010 at 3:00 PM

    This is an honest question Lionheart!: Who decides who is worthy, and how do they do it?

  22. Curious George - Feb 18, 2010 at 4:19 PM

    Lionheart, I believe you are simply being obstinate at this point. If the industry of circle drawing generated billions of dollars because so many people wanted to see it done and were willing to pay to do so, then the very best circle drawers would surely deserve millions of dollars.
    .
    Baseball generates billions of dollars. Should the owners get to keep all that money? Should not, oh, I, don’t know, those that actually work at generating that revenue deserve their share of the pie, even if the size of that share is personally offensive to you?
    .
    If you are offended that baseball players earn so much then you can steps to address that. Don’t participate in any activity that adds to their pool of revenue. Don’t attend any live games. Don’t watch games on television or listen to any games on the radio (to hurt their ratings, and thus their ad revenue). Don’t buy any of the merchandise.

  23. Charles Gates - Feb 18, 2010 at 4:56 PM

    And, the point assumes that there isn’t a substitute good/service that can adequately replace a perfect circle drawing human, like, I don’t know, a kid with a pencil and a coffee can.
    Unless the point is to watch someone draw an unassisted perfect circle. Which, I guess, hypothetically, is about as arbitrary as watching someone throw a piece of cow hide covered yarn and cork through an imaginary box called a strike zone while someone else tries to hit it with a carved tree branch.
    Come to think of it, unassisted circle drawing, in this light, is just as legitimate as a lot of the Olympic events. We could totally start a professional league, grow it to the point where we amass $10B/year (inflation adjusted) in revenue and then gripe about the bloggers who rip our exploited artists for making more than ‘normal, societially beneficial’ workers.

  24. jwb - Feb 18, 2010 at 5:54 PM

    “Come to think of it, unassisted circle drawing, in this light, is just as legitimate as a lot of the Olympic events.”
    It actually was a large part of scoring in an Olympic event before 1990.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compulsory_figures

  25. Charles Gates - Feb 18, 2010 at 6:45 PM

    You, my friend, are awesome.
    From the above link: Today, compulsory figures are no longer a major competitive event and few competitive skaters have the interest to learn how to do them.
    Ok, so this proves the demand isn’t there for unassisted circle drawers, making Lionheart!’s point rather dull.

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