Friday, December 19, 2008

It's Always About The Money

So Mats Sundin, after doing some head fakes in NY, decided to take the money and go to Vancouver. Surprise. We were led to believe that the overall lure of the big city and his pals Naslund and Lundqvist would lead to his signing with the Rangers at a reduced rate. The only guy I can think of who signed at a reduced rate lately was Brendan Shanahan. He is still available, go sign him. We could use his on ice leadership and one-timer. But Sundin wanted no reduced rate, he wanted the big bucks. So what's the surprise.

Remember Sean Avery? He was one of my favorites. The spine of the Rangers. I think we still need that toughness but he left too over a small matter, like $500 k/year. Remember how he loved NY? How he loved playing in the Garden? How the fans turned him on? How he was making an impression in the fashion industry? How the chicks were all wild for him, or vice versa? Whether it was The Stealth GM or him, $500k was too much to give up for all those beautiful sentimental things that put money in your pocket. So he left for the money.

Remember Mark Messier? The Messiah. He took us to the promised land. The hallowed Stanley Cup. He was The Ranger. He loved NY. He loved the faithful. Money was not an object, he said. Then him, his Dad, Smith and Checketts got into a spat over a million a year. Checketts wanted to know how long must he pay big bucks to Messier for one Cup. Considering Checketts paid big bucks to Patrick Ewing for a long, long time and he never won anything, you'd think he could shell out that extra million to the Messiah. So Messier left for an extra mil/year to Vancouver for three years of anonymity and failure. So the return to NY and the tears and the people he always loved, for the money.

Of course, other sports have their mercenaries. How about the great A-Rod, often described as the greatest baseball player ever manufactured. Maybe in the Dominican Republic. Remember how he always loved the Yankees and NY was the place he wanted to finish his career. That statement must be in the playbook for athletes. He came for $20 mil/year to NY to get all that love and the fans found out he was an underachiever with a .200 batting average with men in scoring position. So he opted out of his contract to test free agency and when he couldn't find any suckers, he decided he loved the Yankees again and the jerks gave him $27 mil/year and bonuses rated on individual performances, not team performance. Ah, but he loves NY. We all would if we can find sugar daddies who give out money like leaflets.

Finally the sainted Andy Pettitt. Who more reflects being a Yankee than Andy? He wears his heart on his sleeve for NY, and his money in his wallet. He will pitch for no one but the Yankees anymore. At least for $16 mil/year he will. However they want to reduce the number to $10/mil a year so now he is testing the market place. He loves the Yankees, the fans, NY but he loves the green stuff more.

So forget all this nonsense about love of city, love of fans, and money is not the key issue. Money is "The Issue." It's all about the big bucks. The players want to grab their fair share of the money that the greedy owners extort from us hard working fans for an inferior product. The next time they raise a banner at the Garden it should have a huge dollar sign on it.

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  • jb said...

    I was trying to think of athletes who took the so called "hometown discount" or a relatively reduced salary to sign with their current team and I can't say anyone jumped off the page or out of my brain.

    I had to hunt to find a couple that might qualify:

    Jose Reyes Signing (2006) - Perhaps due more to his circumstances.

    Before the 2006 season, pitcher Bronson Arroyo signed a three year $11.2 million contract with the Red Sox. Arroyo said the deal was a "hometown discount" and agreed to the terms against the advice of his agent. Arroyo was later traded during spring training of the 2006 season for Cincinnati Reds outfielder Wily Mo Peña.

    Take that hometown discount.

    What NHL player(s) have given the hometown discount. It's like looking for a Rangers PP goal.

  • Anonymous said...

    Well said! Even the players that say they want to play for the Rangers get overpaid. there is no such thing as a New York discount

  • mike said...

    anonymous-The other thing is that I don't believe a big signed overpaid free agent ever gets to sit, no matter how bad he plays. He is like a tenured teacher.