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The next time you complain about player salaries . . .

Oct 5, 2010, 12:33 PM EDT

 . . . think about this.  The CEO of Liberty Media, the company that owns the Atlanta Braves — Gregory Maffei — was paid $87.5 million last year.  The entire Braves payroll was $84.4 million.

Yes, I realize that there’s more going on with a big company like Liberty Media than just the Braves, and no, I don’t expect a company to take unnecessary losses on one of its operating divisions. I’m happy for Mr. Maffei for all of his great fortune.

That said, the notion that player salaries are nuts or that free agency or Scott Boras are ruining the financial structure of baseball is kind of silly and we should all just cut it out, OK? Developments that favor the players financially may technically mean that the rich are getting richer, but that’s only at the expense of the even richer still.

(Thanks to reader Stephen Rose for the heads up)

  1. Mr. Heyward - Oct 5, 2010 at 12:42 PM

    He should consider taking a 10th of that salary and buying an outfielder. OUTRAGE! meh.

  2. birdmancometh - Oct 5, 2010 at 1:03 PM

    Could be worse, you could be a Padres fan. Hey, at least they are trying to combat rising player salaries and Scott Boras!

  3. birdmancometh - Oct 5, 2010 at 1:05 PM

    I’m sorry, i’ll stop crying now.

  4. Utley's hair - Oct 5, 2010 at 1:13 PM

    You earned the right to cry. Not exactly a 2007 Mets collapse, but close.

  5. geoknows - Oct 5, 2010 at 1:45 PM

    Whenever someone complains about player salaries, or refuses to have anything to do with baseball because of it, I ask them if they watch movies or listen to music – things most people do. Then I suggest they need to start boycotting the entertainment industry as well, because if they that disturbed about ballplayer salaries, they need gain an understanding of exactly how much money the top entertainers make. The dollars are so obscene that it makes baseball’s salaries look paltry in comparison.

  6. Professor Longnose - Oct 5, 2010 at 2:03 PM

    The one justifies the other? How about a country that lets anyone make a million dollars a year while someone else starves ought to think about the reasons we have societies in the first place.

  7. BleedGreen - Oct 5, 2010 at 2:20 PM

    How much did Liberty Media make last year under his guidance? How much did the Atlanta Braves make last year with the salaries? I’m guessing you can take the highest paid player on the Braves out and it doesn’t make much difference in overall revenues. If you take the CEO out, you stand a much higher chance of losing revenues.

  8. birdmancometh - Oct 5, 2010 at 3:00 PM

    Ah, a corporate man. Sports is probably the wrong horse to hitch that wagon to. I would argue that bad teams often make MUCH less than good teams (this clearly is directly related to the best players). I actually agree with your point that CEO’s are more than the money grabbing a-holes they are being portrayed to be, but baseball is a bad example to line up next to. IMO.

  9. Tony A - Oct 5, 2010 at 4:42 PM

    My guess is, if you “took out” the CEO of Liberty Media, and DID NOT replace him, they’d make about the same revenues and profit would go up by maybe $80 mil or so…

  10. avg joe - Oct 5, 2010 at 4:47 PM

    Sports aside, not enough people understand the huge gap between the rich (top 10%) and the ultra-rich (top 1%).
    A billionaire is like a thousand millionaires.

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