There has been quite a stir in the Bronx over the recent news that Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig was paid $14.5 million last year.
“He got it all from us,” my friend Javier shrugs. “Revenue sharing and luxury tax; it’s all bad for the Bronx. He’s just one more rich guy stealing from poor people.”
Javier turns his pockets inside-out.
“See? Bud’s got it all.”
The Commissioner is supposed to look out for the best interests of baseball. Selig has always looked out for the best interests of the bottom-line.
That’s why owners love him: Mets Chairman Fred Wilpon recently called him, “…the greatest commissioner of all time.” And the media fawns over him: Sports Weekly assembled a “panel of nine experts” that voted Selig the most influential person in baseball in a story titled: Optimism, hope nourish commissioner’s labor of love.
The first player on that list was Barry Bonds at number 15 and Derek Jeter was the only other in the top 25. Selig has certainly succeeded in concentrating the money and power at the very top of Major League Baseball’s monopoly.
He’s done plenty to hold down players’ salaries while inflating his own. There are 10 current New York Yankees whose combined salaries are less than Selig’s. That list includes one of the greatest pitchers ever: Mariano Rivera, last year’s American League Cy Young Award runner-up: Chien-Ming Wang, along with Robinson Cano, Melky Cabrera, Sean Henn, Scott Proctor, Miguel Cairo, Wil Nieves, Darrell Rasner and Brian Bruney.
After hearing of Selig’s fat paycheck the consensus in the Bronx is that: Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Mike Mussina, Andy Pettitte, Hideki Matsui, Johnny Damon, Jorge Posada, Bobby Abreu, Doug Mientkiewicz, Josh Phelps, Kei Igawa, Mike Myers, Luis Vizcaino, Kyle Farnsworth, Jason Giambi and even Carl Pavano are woefully underpaid.
And Yankee fans are criminally overtaxed.