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 Post subject: Salaries
PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 7:22 am 
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Man has baseball gone a little nuts? Zack Duke a very likeable young man isbecoming wealthy this year.

According to PG his salary has gone from $400,000 last year to $2.2 million this season. To earn this increase he posted terrible numbers. He went 5-14 with an ERA of 4.82 and really had no idea where his ball was going much of the time.

Yea I know about arbitration, but think about the money for being very average at best.

I'm glad to see the three young position players get some longer term deals with some real money, but the Duke thing kinda blows. What is your impression of his deal?

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 Post subject: Re: Salaries
PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 8:08 am 
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Substitute2 wrote:
Man has baseball gone a little nuts? Zack Duke a very likeable young man isbecoming wealthy this year.

According to PG his salary has gone from $400,000 last year to $2.2 million this season. To earn this increase he posted terrible numbers. He went 5-14 with an ERA of 4.82 and really had no idea where his ball was going much of the time.

Yea I know about arbitration, but think about the money for being very average at best.

I'm glad to see the three young position players get some longer term deals with some real money, but the Duke thing kinda blows. What is your impression of his deal?


Within 5 years there won't be 1 player in the major leagues making less than 1 million a year


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 Post subject: Re: Salaries
PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 10:13 am 
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There is a faction that whines about Nutting not paying for players... so why are 4 of our core guys locked up with quality deals?

Ohhh, I forgot, it wasn't Dunn for 4 years and 45 Million. This same faction really takes a disliking to Nutting, blaming him for all of the Pirate woes when in reality Nutting really only took over active interest in the team in 2007.

Quote:
From the Pirates official site(Article about McClatchy selling his shares)
The six-person board will now sit at five with the departure of McClatchy, who had stepped down as the Pirates' CEO and managing general partner after the 2007 season. McClatchy was also the team's controlling owner, a tenure which began in 1996, until giving those reins to current owner Bob Nutting at the beginning of 2007.


Oh and don't give me that BS that Nutting had a say in all the dealings. Nutting was selling newspapers ok, that is why McClatchy was the controlling owner. Basically whatever McClatchy and David Littlefield thought was best for the team, Nutting would probably have to agree since he wasn't concerned about the day-to-day.

Nutting from the beginning of 2007 evaluted the entire organization and found many faults, to which he made many changes(including dismissing DL) and upgrades. He hired FC and NH who have developed a plan for this club and are sticking to it. Something that neither Bonifay or Littlefield can say for their own tenures. Pirate fans continue to lash out at Pirates ownership and management for what they perceive as an unwillingness to compete. Unfortunately these fans are incorrectly matching a high salary budget with winning, in some cases it is successful, but in many cases it is detrimental. In our case, it would be unproductive, wasting money that could have better impact in scouting and developmental aspects of the organization, on a player that may gain us at most 10 wins. Fans have to step back and look at this objectively, asking yourself a question. Is it more important to end the 17 year losing streak or more important to build a quality team that competes year in and year out? There are those that would consider us that have bought into the plan, enablers or dogmatic, but in reality, we see the hope and promise from all of the changes throughout the organization. Hope is what drives every fan, every year. What's the saying that Cubs fans made famous? "There is always next year." Without hope, your not a fan, your just a cynic. Speaking of the Cubs, I believe they suffer a worse streak than the Pirates 17 year losing streak. They haven't won a series in over 100 years. Haven't even been to one since what? 1945?

Hey look, I don't care if you hate Nutting, FC, or NH, you have to admit that the Pirates are on the right track toward building a strong foundation of talent. Fans will endure hardships when there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Thats what made it so difficult for us during the DL era, there was a new plan from season to season, none of which he actually stuck to nor worked. FC and NH have a sound plan and don't care one bit whether or not we like it, that is what is impressive to me. Operating an organization based upon public scrutiny is disasterous.

And finally, Nutting stated that when the time was right, and when we had built ourselves a core group that was successful, he would open the pocketbook on high priced talent to fill the gaps. We aren't there yet, and frankly, Pirate fans shouldn't judge him until we get to that point. It is completely unfair. And the notion that fans are upset about not getting a guy like Dunn is just lunacy, our goal is to win a championship, not 82 games so we can end our 17 year losing streak. Dunn is the kind of guy we could use down the road, when we have that core established. He is the added piece that gets us over the top, not the piece that helps build the championship team.


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 Post subject: Re: Salaries
PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 10:41 am 
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Substitute2 wrote:
To earn this increase he posted terrible numbers. He went 5-14 with an ERA of 4.82 and really had no idea where his ball was going much of the time.



Sub....I'll have to disagree here. an ERA of 4.82 is far from terrible, and in fact is actually a very good ERA in the #5 spot of the rotation (I had calculated the average ERA of #5 starters from 2007 last year for an argument here, but it was a lot of work and I am not doing it again...but if I recall it was approaching 6). Certainly not an ace, but $2.2 mil is not "ace salary" either. Also, I guess its about time we trod out the "wins and losses are not a good indicator of a pitcher's ability" argument again...

I would argue that he was vastly underpaid at 400k for those numbers he put up last year. Lord knows there are starters out there with much worse numbers making much MUCH more. Duke is probably pretty close to being appropriately priced. That's just what $2.2 mil gets you these days.


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 Post subject: Re: Salaries
PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 11:40 am 
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Don't want to speak for Sub here, but I think this is a perfect indication of how out of control the system(contracts) is now. Not just Duke, but in general.

You can roll out whatever stats you guys want. We all know that it is pretty accurate to state that Duke was terrible in a third of his starts last year. And yes, I know that so are most #5 starters in the league. Which is why I think the point is that maybe not Duke himself, but ALL the guys like him are getting paid way to much.

BBF, I get your point that in the current system his pay is normal. But God, where else can you be below average(well below in some cases) and earn 2.2 million dollars and get that kind of pay increase?

I would love to see how these guys would have dealt with the old, old, old days when most guys were on one year deals and got paid the next year based on the previous year...


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 Post subject: Re: Salaries
PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 11:53 am 
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PirateParrot wrote:

BBF, I get your point that in the current system his pay is normal. But God, where else can you be below average(well below in some cases) and earn 2.2 million dollars and get that kind of pay increase?



Don't get me wrong...I recognize the fact that this is way out of line with the economic standards of the rest of the country (world...universe...). I'm certainly not trying to excuse that.

I guess my point is that baseball is a huge money-making machine, and I'd rather see the money go to paying the guys who actually play than to lining the owner's pockets. It's not as if players would accept a pay cut and owners would subsequently then slash ticket prices and the costs of replica jerseys and other souveniers, offer free parking and discounted concessions, etc. The money to pay Duke (and every other player) is coming from the obscene profits that the owners and industry is enjoying. So in the grand scheme of the financial landscape of baseball, I don't feel as if the players (collectively) are getting any more than their fair share of the pie. Obviously there are individual players who could easily be argued are overpaid, and others who are undoubtedly underpaid. Duke, based on the "going rate", is probably appropriately paid.


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 Post subject: Re: Salaries
PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 11:57 am 
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It's always been this way. Players like Pujols and Santana deserve the money they get because they are good and put butts in the seats. The problems is the mediocre players who might have a good season and then get guaranteed money and then suck. Guaranteed contracts have always been the problem. The arbitration eligible players are just following the trend of the money given out to these mediocre players. The teams have continued to pay these guys and the system encourages it. The system sucks.

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 Post subject: Re: Salaries
PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 12:01 pm 
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bucco boy wrote:
It's always been this way. Players like Pujols and Santana deserve the money they get because they are good and put butts in the seats. The problems is the mediocre players who might have a good season and then get guaranteed money and then suck. Guaranteed contracts have always been the problem. The arbitration eligible players are just following the trend of the money given out to these mediocre players. The teams have continued to pay these guys and the system encourages it. The system sucks.


Fantastic point, bb. I imagine many people would be less concerned about Duke making $2.2 mil, or any other player for that matter, if it was feasible to essentially "fire" that player when they don't perform up to the value of the contract. It works in other sporting leagues, does it not? Good luck running that by the players union, though.


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 Post subject: Re: Salaries
PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 12:02 pm 
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Substitute2 wrote:
According to PG his salary has gone from $400,000 last year to $2.2 million this season. To earn this increase he posted terrible numbers. He went 5-14 with an ERA of 4.82 and really had no idea where his ball was going much of the time.



He knew where the ball was going...in play

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I say keep the $50 and ban him anyway...

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 Post subject: Re: Salaries
PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 12:06 pm 
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BBF wrote:
bucco boy wrote:
It's always been this way. Players like Pujols and Santana deserve the money they get because they are good and put butts in the seats. The problems is the mediocre players who might have a good season and then get guaranteed money and then suck. Guaranteed contracts have always been the problem. The arbitration eligible players are just following the trend of the money given out to these mediocre players. The teams have continued to pay these guys and the system encourages it. The system sucks.


Fantastic point, bb. I imagine many people would be less concerned about Duke making $2.2 mil, or any other player for that matter, if it was feasible to essentially "fire" that player when they don't perform up to the value of the contract. It works in other sporting leagues, does it not? Good luck running that by the players union, though.


Maybe they'd concede on guaranteed contracts if MLB gives them back their Steroids

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I say keep the $50 and ban him anyway...

For those jumping ship, we'll keep the bandwagon warm for you...


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 Post subject: Re: Salaries
PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 12:10 pm 
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nad69dan wrote:
Substitute2 wrote:
According to PG his salary has gone from $400,000 last year to $2.2 million this season. To earn this increase he posted terrible numbers. He went 5-14 with an ERA of 4.82 and really had no idea where his ball was going much of the time.



He knew where the ball was going...in play


I thought the same thing...his problem wasn't that he had no idea where his ball was going. The problem was that the hitter knew where the ball was going far too often.


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 Post subject: Re: Salaries
PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 12:30 pm 
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BBF wrote:
nad69dan wrote:
Substitute2 wrote:
According to PG his salary has gone from $400,000 last year to $2.2 million this season. To earn this increase he posted terrible numbers. He went 5-14 with an ERA of 4.82 and really had no idea where his ball was going much of the time.



He knew where the ball was going...in play


I thought the same thing...his problem wasn't that he had no idea where his ball was going. The problem was that the hitter knew where the ball was going far too often.


I know you guys are being funny, but in all seriousness, Duke is the type of pitcher who is supposed to put the ball in play, only for outs. His batting average of balls in play has been above average, 40 points higher than Maholm's 289 in 2008 for example. I'd also go one step further ands say the reason for this is his inability to keep the ball on the ground. He needs to be more Maholm like in GB/FB. Maholm is 2:1, Duke is only 1.5/1.

Keep the ball down Zach.


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 Post subject: Re: Salaries
PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 12:34 pm 
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Argentum wrote:
I know you guys are being funny, but in all seriousness, Duke is the type of pitcher who is supposed to put the ball in play, only for outs. His batting average of balls in play has been above average, 40 points higher than Maholm's 289 in 2008 for example. I'd also go one step further ands say the reason for this is his inability to keep the ball on the ground. He needs to be more Maholm like in GB/FB. Maholm is 2:1, Duke is only 1.5/1.

Keep the ball down Zach.


I was being funny about Zach, but I was serious about the Guaranteed Contract for Steroids trade...

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I say keep the $50 and ban him anyway...

For those jumping ship, we'll keep the bandwagon warm for you...


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 Post subject: Re: Salaries
PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 12:42 pm 
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Argentum wrote:

I know you guys are being funny, but in all seriousness, Duke is the type of pitcher who is supposed to put the ball in play, only for outs. His batting average of balls in play has been above average, 40 points higher than Maholm's 289 in 2008 for example. I'd also go one step further ands say the reason for this is his inability to keep the ball on the ground. He needs to be more Maholm like in GB/FB. Maholm is 2:1, Duke is only 1.5/1.

Keep the ball down Zach.


Well said. In fact, I made a similar point before about his babip. I think he was also hurt by the Pirates defense to some extent, especially the outfield defense. An ERA of 4.50 is probably within his reach, which is damn good for a guy who pitches to contact.


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 Post subject: Re: Salaries
PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 1:00 pm 
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bucco boy wrote:
Guaranteed contracts have always been the problem. The arbitration eligible players are just following the trend of the money given out to these mediocre players. The teams have continued to pay these guys and the system encourages it. The system sucks.


Exactly. It really does drag the game down in my opinion.


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 Post subject: Re: Salaries
PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 1:50 pm 
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BBF wrote:
bucco boy wrote:
It's always been this way. Players like Pujols and Santana deserve the money they get because they are good and put butts in the seats. The problems is the mediocre players who might have a good season and then get guaranteed money and then suck. Guaranteed contracts have always been the problem. The arbitration eligible players are just following the trend of the money given out to these mediocre players. The teams have continued to pay these guys and the system encourages it. The system sucks.


Fantastic point, bb. I imagine many people would be less concerned about Duke making $2.2 mil, or any other player for that matter, if it was feasible to essentially "fire" that player when they don't perform up to the value of the contract. It works in other sporting leagues, does it not? Good luck running that by the players union, though.


The owners have always been at fault. They could break the players and their union...but every time they have had a chance to do so, the owners have caved in.

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 Post subject: Re: Salaries
PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 5:32 pm 
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There certainly is much validity in the statements today. I just want to clear up this Duke being over-paid issue. I like him and understand that is the going rate for someone like him. I have a problem agreeing that it is what it should be.

Whatever the reason, arbitration, guaranteed contracts, a formula for No. 5 values it is wrong to pay these amounts. Sure owners are to blame but the system has put reasonable owners in a bad spot. to compete he must pay the inordinate salaries to journymen ball players.

I really hope he can return to his break out year performances and be paid even more but for being more valuable.

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2011 Will Be Our Year -- well make that 2012 (just saying) So it looks like 2013 now - how long must this go on!
THIS IS IT-- NO MORE STREAK!!! *** Finally*** Time to win it in 2014


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 Post subject: Re: Salaries
PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 6:32 pm 
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Substitute2 wrote:
There certainly is much validity in the statements today. I just want to clear up this Duke being over-paid issue. I like him and understand that is the going rate for someone like him. I have a problem agreeing that it is what it should be.

Whatever the reason, arbitration, guaranteed contracts, a formula for No. 5 values it is wrong to pay these amounts. Sure owners are to blame but the system has put reasonable owners in a bad spot. to compete he must pay the inordinate salaries to journymen ball players.

Why is that bad? If $2.2M is the going rate for Duke's services, in that $2.2M is the value that Duke provides a team, why is it wrong to pay him that? Why is it wrong to play players the going rate for a player's performance, especially after the team had total control over how much a player is to be paid during his first three years in the league? Why is it wrong for a player to receive fair market value for his performance?

I find the concept that teams should not have to compete for the services of players to be absolute nonsense. We would not even think of such an idea in any other labor market, so I don't see why it makes sense in sports. A player should be paid based on how valuable he is, and that is best determined through a competitive market. I don't see any other viable alternative for determining how much certain players should be paid compared to others.

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 Post subject: Re: Salaries
PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 6:51 pm 
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Willton wrote:
Why is that bad? If $2.2M is the going rate for Duke's services, in that $2.2M is the value that Duke provides a team, why is it wrong to pay him that?

I think Sub's point is that even though the going rate is $2.2 million, Duke does not provide that value in return for the salary.

It is akin to housing prices between 2000 and 2005. Those prices increased ridiculously, so that the "market value" for a 2-bedroom, 2-bath was $500,000. Okay ... that was the price, but the actual value was waaaaay below that. Once the market corrected, a lot of property owners were stuck with a $450,000 mortgage on a property worth $300,000.

The same is true with Duke, if he continues to go 5-14 with an ERA above 4.75. He may have a "market value" of $2.2 million, due to arbitration and the salaries paid to better pitchers, but that type of performance can be replaced by a guy picked up off the scrap heap for the minimum.

P.S. I think Duke can be a good number 5 starter. If he can avoid walks, and induce ground balls, he will go 6 innings on average and keep the Pirates in the game. He looked really good on occasion last year, with decent velocity and a good curve, but he tended to have a 25-pitch inning, marked by control problems and a lot of 3-2 counts, that just killed him.


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 Post subject: Re: Salaries
PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 6:59 pm 
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Is it wrong to believe that some young athletes simply need proper instruction or supervision? Heres a kid who has been, IMO, victimized by one pitching coach's tinkering and another's ineffectiveness.

Ive always read how 2 weeks with Harry Walker turned Matty Alou from a journeyman to a batting champion. The talent was there, it just needed adjustment. Sure, there are limitations to what even a great coach can do. But Ill be particularly interested in watching Kerrigan's impact on Duke this year.


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