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When you get a $100 million contract "the first year is the most difficult"

Jul 16, 2010, 12:18 PM EDT

That quote comes from Vernon Wells. And yeah, I’m sure it’s an absolute drag.

OK, that’s a bit of a cheap shot, inasmuch as Wells was likely asked specifically about the pressure ballplayers face after getting huge deals, not the difficulty of life at large, but it is the kind of quote that turns your head a bit.

It comes in what is actually a pretty interesting article about guys in the $100 million club, most specifically Matt Holliday, who is adjusting to what must me a strange new world this year.  The best part: Scott Boras likes to have a “talk” with his big money guys after their first season as $100 million men is underway:

Boras called it the
“post-contract conversation” and he described how it’s impossible
to have it before a season starts or even in the opening weeks. It
takes a player experiencing the new reality of a big contract for
him to understand how to react.
“I usually let them get four weeks, five weeks into the season
and then we have the conversation,” Boras said. “There is no way to
prepare an athlete for this because so few athletes ever get there.

I don’t have pity for the $100 million men, but anyone who is thrust into a new world like that has to lose their gravity for a while, and losing one’s gravity isn’t pleasant, even if it is in comfortable circumstances.

Still, I would love to be a fly on the wall for that conversation.  I imagine
it would be much like listening to Chinese or Klingon or something it’s
so far from our normal frame of reference.

  1. APBA Guy - Jul 16, 2010 at 1:34 PM

    Out here in Silicon Valley the term is “escape velocity”: the amount of money you need to escape from the realm of ordinary folks. The accepted wisdom is a net of $ 50M, which very few have seen in the last few years. However, ballplayers making $ 100M + over the life of a contract can net that if they’re careful, especially if they don’t live in a pricey place like NorCal. But as we’ve seen from some cases, you do have to be careful. $ 100M is a lot of money. But it can also disappear in a hurry. Boras’ conversation with players in the $ 100M club is undoubtedly of great value, if they listen, which they presumably do, otherwise they’d be clients of another agent.

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