New York Yankees: Money and talent

As of Tuesday, March 25, the New York Yankees no longer hold the title of having the highest payroll in the MLB. Who would have thought the Los Angeles Dodgers would bump them off their high horse with a payroll for $235 million for 2014.

Forbes has still named the Yankees the most valuable team, for the 17th straight year, at a net worth of $2.5 billion… and that’s up 9% from 2013. But the Dodgers are coming up strong, determined to be recognized, with a $2 billion net worth after their not so little spending spree.

“Money doesn’t mean you win. Money means you have a chance to get the best players,” said the Dodgers’ general manager in an interview with the Associate Press.

But is the money buying the talent or the namesake of the player? I always like to see if the net worth of a player matches his talent as an athlete. Most of the time it correlates well and I appreciate the ability of the athlete to live up to expectations while being a good role model.

With that being said, Alex Rodriguez, the highest paid player in the MLB, has been suspended for the 2014 season due to drug violations within the MLB. This is the longest suspension given to a baseball player because of use of performance enhancing drugs.

ARod is also currently dealing with a flux of legal charges estimating $4 million. On top of trying to overturn this year- long suspension, he is also facing a lawsuit against an orthopedic surgeon for medical malpractice. Good thing he is still getting paid for being a benchwarmer this season. He will receive pay for 21 of the 183-day season, equaling $2,868,852 of his $25 million salary.

The judge in ARod’s case made a statement that the deposition on the lawsuit against the doctor should not be released. Apparently ARod’s attorney said it would bring “undo embarrassment” to the third baseman.

With all of ARod’s appearances in the news, he is highlighted as somewhat of a celebrity. Do these issues overshadow his talents as a player? I think so. Being known as more of a celebrity, rather than a player takes away the attention toward the sport. His name alone boosts the revenue of the Yankees team, so of course they want him and want to keep him… but I think that’s sad though, taking the focus away from the game and more on the individual players and their activities that gain attention outside of the baseball field. But that’s part of baseball I guess; money and talent go hand-in-hand.