Friday, April 04, 2008

Getting Paid Not To Work

It's not uncommon in the corporate world to have high level managers and executives to get fired / down sized and still walk away with tons of cash. Sometimes they are even lucky enough to get hired by a new company for millions more while collecting their severance.

In sports, how does it work when professional athletes are no longer working due to injuries? I am ignorant about how players get paid. It's probably different for each sport due to the different players' unions. I don't think a player should just be cut without pay if they are injured during practice or playing, but how long are you required to pay a player before they are considered to be unable to return to duty? I know if something happened to me and I could no longer work, I would have to rely on the long term disability that I pay for. I realize this isn't totally the same, because just because you can't play sports professionally anymore, that doesn't mean your permanently disabled.

I bring this up because, including this year's salary, the Atlanta Braves have paid Mike Hampton $65.5 million since the start of the 2005 season. He made 12 starts that year until he had to have surgury and has missed every game up until yesterday. With his first start in over 2 years, he immediately injured himself and is back on the DL for 14 days. I would think that teams would have insurance or something that pays the player's salary for them in these cases and then they can use the freed up millions to aquire a "working" player.

I know this post seems more like a bitch session than a question, but I don't know how to write this any better. This may be a better discussion at a ball game or around a poker table some time in the future.


At 10:02 AM, Blogger SirFWALGMan said...

Baseball is guaranteed contracts. You get hurt you get paid. Period.

Football is unguarenteed so if you break a leg they can cut you and not have to pay any more.. I think there are some owner contributions to medical care for players or something but it is very cut throat.

Not sure about Basketball or Hockey although I think Basketball is guaranteed.

At 12:38 PM, Blogger Shamburglar said...

I believe the Braves had some sort of insurance against an injury that covered part of that contract the past couple years. It's still all bullshit though.

At 3:53 PM, Blogger 23skidoo said...

Sham is right, players are insured for at least a portion of their salaries since the contracts are guaranteed.


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