Friday, February 27, 2009

Listen to the Money Talk


Obviously the owners and management of several professional teams are not readers of TPLIYP. In one of my first posts of what has become such a prolific blog, I laid out my theory that the highest paid teams in each sport often have little success when it comes to winning a championship. Despite my hard work and diligence (Dill), teams continue to spend and spend and spend. All we need to do is heed the words of AC/DC and "listen to the money talk" to forecast trouble on the horizon for several teams.

Today, the Washington Redskins, a frequent violator of the "Highest Paid Team" Theory went out and threw a total of $154 million at TWO PLAYERS. Albert Haynesworth's 7 year/$100 million contract is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard of, and is already drawing criticism from their fans. This man, who was once suspended for stomping on another man's helmetless head, has two good seasons and gets himself $100 million. I thought the economy was struggling? Then the 'Skins come right back and give Deangelo Hall 6 years/ $54 million? These two signings will no doubt give the Redskins the highest paid NFL Franchise title in 2009, which we now know is rarely a good thing. It hasn't worked in the past for the Redskins, so why is Daniel Snyder doing it again?

The next move that caught my eye this week relates to the NHL's highest paid team, the Flyers. In order to pave way for the return of the $10 million man Danny Briere, who has been out most of the season with a groin injury, the Flyers had to waive Glen Metropolit (a dead ringer for Ben Condon) and Ossi Vaananen. These two guys might not have had the star power of Briere, but they were two of the hardest working players on the Flyers lower lines and were a symbol for how they never gave up in games. Believe me, waiving these two guys will have a ripple effect for the Flyers. Just another example of how overpaying has negative effects on the entire team.

Finally, we have the two headed monster of Manny Ramirez and Scott Boras. In an offseason where free agents are receiving 1/2 to even 1/3 of their previous contracts, Boras and Manny are refusing the EXTREMELY generous offer of 2 year/$45 million from the Dodgers. I hope whatever team Manny ends up signing with, for whatever ungodly amount of money it is, ends up in the cellar this year. Imagine if you will a player who busts his ass all spring training, thinks he has a good shot of making the big club, but then is replaced by Manny Ramirez when he signs at the last minute. Just because some prima donna wants to make $22 million a year instead of $20 million (I've always wondered why a few million matters when the number is already that high. Is there really any need for those extra 2 or 3 million? What are you going to buy that you need $23 mil instead of $20 mil.), a player who worked his ass off all Spring is sent back down to the minors.

These owners need to learn that when it comes to winning championships, successful teams are usually built from within. Look at the Phillies last year; their core of Howard, Utley, Rollins, Burrell, Hamels and Myers were all homegrown. The same can be said of the Steelers with Polamalu, Roethlisberger, Parker, Ward, Hampton and Holmes. Owners need to take a lesson from these teams and realize that when it comes to signing high priced free agents; let the buyer beware.

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