When the 2011 World Series champion is crowned, the winner will earn more than just some great bling. They'll get playoff checks that likely will nearly double some players salary!
I know, the playoff pool to most people is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, stuffed in a enigma. I'll try to make some common sense of the process and make you feel like an accountant next time you discuss the playoff pool with your friends.
You'll need to know: what is the playoff pool, how is it funded, how is it divided, who decides who gets what, and lastly, how much is a share?
Each playoff series has a separate pool: the Division Series, the League Championship Series, and the World Series.
The bonus pool is funded by 60 percent of the gate receipts for the first three games of the Division Series, the first four games of the League Championship Series, and the first four games of the World Series.
The pool is intentionally limited to the minimum number of games required to win the series so as to discourage any artificial extension of the series by greedy individuals, think the 1919 Chicago White Sox.
The amount of the gate is determined by stadium size, number of premium seats, luxury boxes, and whether or not the seats are sold out. As if that ever happens, right? Since most stadiums seat about the same number of fans and ticket prices are determined by MLB instead of the teams, the pool money is about the same no matter who plays.
Who gets what is determined by the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
The World Series champion earns 35 percent, the World Series loser earns 24 percent, and the four Division Series losers get three percent. And just so there's something for almost everyone, the four second-place teams that don't qualify for the playoffs get one percent.
Player shares are determined by the players themselves. At some point after the trading deadline of July 31st, the team meets to determine who will get a full share, partial share, or no share.
Typically players that have been with the team the entire year receive full shares. But it isn't unheard of, or even rare, for players that arrive just prior to the trade deadline to be voted a full share. Athletic Trainers, equipment managers and clubhouse managers usually receive a partial, or no share.
In the 2011 World Series, Arthur Rhodes is guaranteed a championship ring, and a League Championship ring, plus shares from both teams because he played for both teams during the year.
It's the seventh time in World Series history that has happened. Most recently it was Bengie Molina who played for the Rangers and Giants last season.
I know, all the numbers make it sound like the pool gets divided a million different ways. But the total value of the pool was $59 million in 2009, and the New York Yankees World Champion shares were $365,000.
No matter what happens, no one is likely to get their feelings hurt financially.