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The weirdest contract clauses this winter

Jan 18, 2011, 2:30 PM EST

Wonka contract

Jayson Stark has created a minor empire focusing on the small stuff. I don’t mean that negatively. His general reporting is fine work, but his signature is picking out the weird and obscure stats and other assorted baseball minutiae. Sometimes his trivia leads us astray — we really don’t need to know who the six players are who have had led the league in HBP, EQA and ingrown hairs since the color line was broken in order to understand what’s going on in baseball — but it’s  almost always a fun ride anyway.

Take today’s column: the Most Creative Contract Clauses of the Offseason.  The weirdest of them all is that Chien-Ming Wang gets a bonus for winning a Silver Slugger Award. This being the same guy who had his career derailed after a mishap running the bases. I’m guessing there is some confront-your-nemesis mojo working there, though, so we’ll give it a pass.

Other fun contract clauses belong to Jayson Werth, Derek Jeter and about a half a dozen guys on the Pirates who have the contract clauses that are most likely to never be exercised. You gotta click through and read the column for the details.

If  I were a ballplayer I don’t think I’d insist on weird contract clauses per se.  I think I’d focus on riders. You know, the deals in which musicians insist on specific colors of furniture in dressing rooms they’ll use for an hour and the specific brand of bottled water they’ll have waiting for them when they come off stage? Yeah, I’d total have one of those.

My rider would probably be simple — local beer at every ballpark except St. Louis, nice cold cuts and a bowl of M&Ms with all the brown ones removed — but I would insist on it being fulfilled with all legal options available at my disposal.

  1. BC - Jan 18, 2011 at 2:37 PM

    Nice job on the photo. For what it’s worth, the actress that played Veruca Salt in the original Willy Wonka is not a bad looking woman at all. 10 years older than me, and has aged much better.
    Just wanted to pass it along to readers.

  2. Old Gator - Jan 18, 2011 at 2:45 PM

    I’d take that at my age.

    Hell, I’d take Lassie at my age – even one of the stuffed ones. At least they don’t suddenly deflate on you.

    • BC - Jan 18, 2011 at 2:51 PM

      Hey, she ain’t bad for 53. Gotta give her that. Not in the Michelle Pfeiffer / Renee Russo 50-something category, but not bad at all.
      (I will omit the obligatory Drew Barrymore comment usually made in these situations)

  3. dodger88 - Jan 18, 2011 at 2:52 PM

    Actually the first thought I had when looking at the picture was your daughter giving you hell over something like her nickname “Mookie”.

  4. Reflex - Jan 18, 2011 at 2:52 PM

    I read an interesting article about the famous M&M requirement(I think it was Van Halen that had that one). The point in including it was to determine if the venue staff had actually read through the contract and met all the requirements. If the M&M’s weren’t right, they were virtually guaranteed that many other things were missed and as a result knew to go over everything before the show started. The interview I read he went on about how it saved them from a stage that had been built under spec for the load they would be putting on it and how it would have collapsed during the show if they’d not double checked everything…

    • BC - Jan 18, 2011 at 2:58 PM

      Yeah, Van Halen had no brown M&M’s backstage, had to be removed. Written into the contract.

  5. ramsbladdercup - Jan 18, 2011 at 3:34 PM

    Look, who’s in here? No one.
    And this one has a little guy in it. It’s a complete catastrophe..
    No, no it won’t affect my performance

  6. indyralph - Jan 18, 2011 at 4:56 PM

    There’s plenty of good local beer in St. Louis – you just need your rider to be a bit more specific. Same for Milwaukee and Denver.

    • sabosgoggles - Jan 18, 2011 at 7:34 PM

      Yeah, I’m in St. Louis pretty often and people don’t really drink Badweiser. It’s mostly Schlafley, which is a great beer.

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