New York Yankees and MLB: The Player, the Profit and the Proletarian

Todd WashburnContributor IDecember 10, 2010

"I'm in the money, I'm in the money!"
"I'm in the money, I'm in the money!"

In the midst of the economic recession, I sit behind a computer screen and listen to radio broadcasts following the recent developments in the offseason of Major League Baseball and its winter meetings. 

Owners, players, managers and agents are all making trips.

iPhones are ringing off the hook and email inboxes are flooded with new messages. 

For the free agents of the sport, this is a lucrative time; for the owners, a painful time. 

When each player negotiates a contract, there is a specific market value based on their performance, position and where they stand relative to comparable players.  Once some of those names start negotiating contracts, agents start the ridiculous hype. 

I am sorry folks, not to be a Matt Holiday honk here, but Jayson Werth is not better than Matt Holiday in any respect. 

Scott Boras does enough to inflate our on-the-field heroes, we don't need another one. 

The agent in question knows exactly who I speak of. 

Now being a blue-collar guy myself, I view the current economic model we have in this country as volatile.  Men and women all across the United States with degrees are struggling to make ends meet, find jobs and put food on the table.  Yet they still find a way to maintain their patronage of these businesses. 

Because that is what sports franchises are: businesses. 

What really angers me, and fellow proletarians, is when guys like Derek Jeter come on national television and voice their displeasure over a multi-million dollar contract with his team, the New York Yankees.

"To hear the organization telling me to go shopping and I just told you I wasn't going to, oh yeah, if I'm going to be honest with you, I was angry about it," Jeter said. 

Now Derek, I understand your frustrations.  Times are hard around the country, and the last thing working people want to hear is how angry you are over getting paid incredible amounts of money to play a game, regardless of how valuable you think you are. 

I'm not trying to take quotes out of context to back my argument without recognizing what he wanted to say. 

I understand his situation, and he seems like a nice guy and just wanted this done behind closed doors. 

The point is, Derek Jeter is a multi-millionaire.  It is with strong conviction that I believe no athlete should have room to complain when they don't have to worry about where the next meal comes from. 

All I am asking is for these guys take a step back and look around at how the world is revolving in reality. 

These professional athletes hold out, shop and complain about how many more millions they can get out of an ownership group or team. 

Anything from $126 million, up to almost $200 million contracts are being handed out. 

They should be ashamed of themselves. 

Agents should be ashamed of themselves. 

Trading loyalty for money, forgetting it's the fans who put this money in their pockets (Yeah, you LeBron). 

I am in favor of a MLB salary cap, and I want to know when is the money going to stop flowing? 

What if these people were barely paid six figures? 

I am willing to bet there would be a lot more doctors, lawyers and burger flippers.