Month: July 2009

Money, Money, Money

Mario over at Wax Heaven posted a link to a page over at Baseball Reference showing the top 100 career earners in MLB and the top 100 single season salaries. I’ve listed the top 20 career earners below.

   Rank     Player                Career Salary

   01       Alex Rodriguez        $198,416,252 
   02       Barry Bonds           $188,245,322 
   03       Randy Johnson         $167,550,019 
   04       Manny Ramirez         $162,258,269 
   05       Derek Jeter           $161,230,000 
   06       Gary Sheffield        $154,008,550 
   07       Greg Maddux           $153,845,000 
   08       Ken Griffey           $147,353,682 
   09       Pedro Martinez        $146,259,585 
   10       Mike Mussina          $144,533,619 
   11       Carlos Delgado        $134,299,000 
   12       Kevin Brown           $130,890,502 
   13       John Smoltz           $130,095,446 
   14       Tom Glavine           $128,639,293 
   15       Jeff Bagwell          $128,134,019 
   16       Jason Giambi          $125,058,996 
   17       Sammy Sosa            $124,068,000 
   18       Jim Thome             $123,961,667 
   19       Mike Hampton          $122,550,270 
   20       Roger Clemens         $121,001,000 

A few thoughts …

  • The three guys I named the blog after all made the top 20 list of career earners. Strangely, depite being the 7th (Maddux), 13th (Smoltz) and 14th (Glavine) all-time earners, not one of the three made the list of the 100 highest paid seasons. That just goes to show you how good they were for so long. (Not to mention, no one pays for pitching what they pay for offense which just makes good business sense, as the guy I talk about in the next bullet point proves.)
  • There are a number of names that do not belong that high on the list and I think most of us Braves fans would agree that Mike Hampton is the most undeserving of all. This is a guy who, in his career, has had one single, solitary great season (1999 with the Astros, and it was a top shelf performance) and then one single, solitary very good season (2000 with the Mets). Funny thing is, those first few years with Atlanta weren’t so bad because the majority of that money was being paid by the Rockies, with perhaps a small amount also being paid by the Marlins. (I’m far too lazy to Google that point right now.) Hampton was never great for the Braves although he was very good for stretches at a time. It actually looked like he might be coming around before he began his arm problem odyssey. I was always pulling for Hampton though because he seemed to be working hard to come back despite the contract. Still, after the Braves stuck with him all those years, he ran back to Houston as soon as the contract was up. Of course, he has wallowed in mediocrity for the Astros and we have one of the best rotations in the game so it’s not like I’m crying about it or anything. Hell, I hope he pitches well.

Smoltz Notes: Smoltz Brings the Funny

There was a short article at the Dallas Morning News website about Andruw Jones and his struggles since his three home run performance against the Angels a few weeks ago. (He’s been 2 and 29 since and his average has dropped back down to .227.)

Against Smoltz and the Red Sox the other day, Andruw went 0 for 3. After the game, he received the following text message from Smoltz:

Sorry for that lack of a fastball. I am trying to survive.

My First Pack of 2009 A&G

Thanks to a gift card, I now have a stack of packs of 2009 Allen & Ginter to open. Braves fans, eat your heart out. this was in my first pack:

Maddux Collection: Game Day July 16-19, 2009

The free game day publications given out at every Braves home game featured Greg Maddux for the recent series against the Mets. This was, of course, in celebration of the retirement of number 31.

Glavine Collection: 2009 Topps Legends of the Game

I love this series of inserts. I never get Glavine, Smoltz or Maddux inserts so this is especially awesome. Perhaps, someday, I might get a relic in a pack of one of them. (Unlikely, now that their careers are winding down of course.)

Smoltz Collection: 2009 Topps #355

I’m not a fan of posed cards, but this one is pretty good. I hate to say it, but Smoltzie looks good in a Red Sox uniform. It looks much more natural than Glavine ever did in a Mets uniform. (And much more comfortable. Am I the only one who thinks Glavine would have reached 300 18 months earlier if he had stayed a Brave?)

My Wife Loves Me

I haven’t been buying baseball cards this year because I’ve spent most of the year not working … buying new cards hasn’t been a priority. So, imagine how happy and surprised I was when my wife brought me home this …

These are both my first of the Topps cereal boxes, and my first series 2 cards of the year. Now, the great thing about being a set collector is that you want and need every card in those first packs. This is easily my favorite Topps base set since I got back into collecting in 2005 and this pack did not disappoint. The design is fun and the photography is the best I can remember in a base Topps set.

As for the inserts, they were Cy Young crazy. First, there was a Legends insert.

And, there was a Turkey Red as well. (I love this card.)

There was also a Cal Ripken insert. Nice card of a great player. Too bad I don’t really collect him.

There were also two better cards, at least when you consider the name of this blog.

The Number 31

The only thing better than the Braves game on Friday night was the Maddux ceremony that kicked things off. I’ll have more on Monday after my wife has finished processing all of the pictures she took.

I have never attended a true Braves blowout before. That was awesome.

Maddux Notes: Number Retired Today

My wife and I are about to head down to the ballpark to see Maddux get his number retired tonight. Gotta say, it has been a number of years since I’ve been this excited about going to the ballpark. I’ll have pictures up from my wife’s camera tomorrow. Meanwhile, here’s some news from around the web about old number 31:

  • Ray Giler of the NY Times tries to stir up further trouble between the Frank Wren and Tom Glavine while discussing Glavine’s absence from tonight’s ceremony. Nobody bites. (Glavine will miss the ceremony since his kid is in a baseball tournament out of state. I think he’s doing the right thing, but people are so mad at Glavine right now that they aren’t thinking straight.)
  • Mark Bradley has a poll up at the AJC website along with a short discussion about which of the Big Three was the better pitcher. It was clearly Greg Maddux. Anyone who truly knows baseball knows this of course. Still, 269 people have voted for Smoltz and 62 have voted for Glavine. (Yes, Maddux won the poll in a landslide.) After reading the comments, I’ve come to two conclusions. There are many Braves fans who don’t really know baseball very well and most Braves fans lack a proper understanding of just how great Tom Glavine was for so long. I think any objective consideration of their careers would point to a Maddux then Glavine then Smoltz list … but any chance of that is out the door at this point. People will remember the glory days the way they see fit. So be it.
  • Bill Price, a writer for the pathetic NY Daily News had the following quote about the Braves ceremony tonight, “Tonight’s Met game will start at 7:45 as the Braves are retiring Greg Maddux’s number before the game. You just wonder if Maddux will ask out of the ceremony before it’s over.” If you’re going to make a joke, at least try and be funny. (His comment on the picture of Frenchy and David Wright at the link IS funny however.