My friend Tommy suggested that I write about the Juan Soto contract situation in baseball.
Soto is a 23-year-old player who is already one of the best players in baseball. He was offered a 15-year, 440 million dollar contract. Huge! A must-take. Well, he didn’t take it. And so ensues the disgruntled star dance that happens in all sports. It’s boring frankly… he’ll go somewhere, a team will give up too much/too little and pay him too much/too little and we’ll go on with our lives.
That is the sports narrative. It’s what we do. However! Tom brought up the players’ salary and how can he give that up when players’ salaries are so high and how do we get behind the players making so much money… I’d play for free etc.
We’ve been fed that by the owners since the sport began. You can read articles about players getting paid too much from 10 years ago, 20 years ago, 50 years ago or 100 years ago… There is one constant… players are paid too much…
How come we never talk about the owners earning too much? How come we never talk about the owners getting subsidized land to build stadiums? Or publicly financed stadiums for their teams to play? Or that they don’t have to give the players any money when they sell their team for 20x the value they paid for it?
In short; we’ve given the owners a free ride. When in doubt… always root for the players in negotiations. Always root for players in contract disputes. Always root for the players when they are striking. Always, always, always…
It’s their skill we want to see. It’s their skill that is available to them for a limited time. And they who become our legends… no one gives a shit about an owner. So fuck them.