Today I heard something I could not believe. I thought my hearing was going. I thought maybe I had gone crazy. You can’t smell carbon monoxide right? Maybe it was taking over my mind. This could no be true.
For the 2013 season, the New York Mets will be playing outfielder Bobby Bonilla $1.2 million. As far as a baseball salary goes, this is pretty modest. The problem is that Bonilla has not played since 2001. Even worse, Bonilla has not played for the Mets since 1999. That was half my lifetime ago. Perhaps the Mets thought Y2K was more than a crazy theory and they would not have to agree to pay Bonilla what they said they would.
The story goes that when Bonilla came back to the Mets in 1999 he often complained to manager Bobby Valentine about playing time. Arguments with the manager, fights with the media, and reportedly getting caught playing cards with Rickey Henderson during the 11th inning of a 1999 playoff game, the Mets had enough of Bonilla’s shenanigans. In order to give Bonilla his release and sign another player (baseball is so money-complicated), they conjured up a plan where Bonilla’s salary would be deferred for a decade.
Starting in 2011, Bobby Bonilla has received a check for $1.19 million from the Mets. All they originally had to pay him was $5.9 million, but because of interest and the fact it’s a rough economy, the Mets will by the end of this have paid Bonilla a total close to $30 million. These payments will continue for 25 years, ending in 2035 when Bonilla is 72.
In addition to the money from the Mets, the Baltimore Orioles are paying him $500,000 a year after they had a similar buyout plan. These payments end in 2015. At least he is working for the Orioles as a special assistant where he makes $200,000 a year. When I was younger I wanted to be a baseball player because I loved the game. The idea of getting to play a game for a living and get paid to do it seemed too perfect. Now at 25 I want to be a baseball player because it means I will have enough money where I don’t have to worry about running the air conditioner too much in the summer. Those bills can really add up.
Only six players on the Mets roster in 2013 will be making more than Bonilla. This also does not include Jason Bay who still receives compensation from them. Bay currently plays for the Seattle Mariners and may not even make the opening day roster.
Everyone is always looking for what the best job in the world is. I have finally found the answer. The best job is being Bobby Bonilla.
Yesterday former Major League catcher Gus Triandos passed away. He was never a household name, but will forever live on in the minds of The Wire fans.
Yesterday while listening to Sports Radio WIP based out of Philadelphia which I do way more than anyone probably should, a conversation came up between the hosts on my favorite show.
Host Anthony Gargano was complaining to fellow host Glen Macnow about baseball’s opening day and how it means nothing these days. Opening day is Sunday night, Easter Sunday for some reason, and it is a game between the Texas Rangers and the Houston Astros. The Rangers will be pretty good this season once again, but the Astros will have an epic season as far as terrible play is concerned. All sports fans whether you follow baseball or competitive eating is more your thing, can agree this is not a match-up that gets anyone interested.
Anthony and Glen came to the conclusion this was the choice because they are in-state rivals. Up until this season it would have been interleague play, but the Astros are now in the AL West which has causes a lot of pandemonium as far as opponent match-ups is concerned. Every night there will be interleague play this season since both leagues have 15 teams. That means on opening day an AL team will play an NL team and on the final day of the season this will happen again. All throughout the season there will be match-ups that don’t get anyone excited.
I knew this would always happen. When I was younger I envisioned it. In my school planner rather than writing down my homework I would write down fake baseball schedules with interleague games all-throughout. Maybe finally it’s paying off.
Anthony threw out a few other possibilities of opening day match-ups. He didn’t go with the one I thought was perfect, the Baltimore Orioles at the Washington Nationals. Here are a few reasons why:
1) It introduces interleague play from the start
2) It will be taking place in the nation’s capital which means Obama can show up and there might actually be some more hype to it
3) Both teams last year surprised everyone by making the playoffs for the first time in over 10 years (the Nationals technically never making it unless you consider them the Montreal Expos franchise which I do)
Glen Macnow has always been kind enough to respond to me on Twitter whenever I have sent him my garbage opinions. I sent him my thoughts on this in less than 140 characters and he loved it! Then I sat by the computer for an hour hoping he would bring it up on the radio. He never did, but I have photographic evidence anyway. Him mentioning it through spoken word would have lasted only in a blip of time. This lasts forever. It made my day to have one of my favorite radio hosts not only pay attention to what I was saying, but to acknowledge it was a great idea.
Glen Macnow, thank you for entertaining me and other sports fans with your wit, humor, and knowledge of all sports not called soccer. You will probably never read this because I am too chicken to send it to you. It’s probably better that way. Howard Eskin would cry if he knew how much people like you more than they like him.