Tuesday, February 20, 2007

"How Times Change" Dept.

From a MLB.com profile of Hall of Fame nominee Buzzie Bavasi, on his pre-free agency dealings:

But those different times placed the hammer in management's hands, and Bavasi wielded his wisely -- and wittily, often. Such as when Maury Wills tried to negotiate a little icing atop the $80,000 contract he was offered following his 104-steal 1962 season.

"Maury asked if there was any way he could get $5,000 more, and suggested if he made the All-Star team, I would give him a $5,000 bonus," Bavasi recalled. "I thought about it for a second and said, 'That's a good idea, Maury. But if you don't make the All-Star team, I'll take $5,000 back.' Maury signed for $80,000."

Consequently, Bavasi naturally has been aghast at the shift in the game's finances. When Alex Rodriguez signed his landmark contract in 2000, Bavasi scoffed, "The guy makes $25 million a year and he gets another $100,000 for making the All Star team? If I was paying a guy $25 million a year, he sure as hell better make the All-Star team."