To Major League Baseball's arbitration process. Pirates right-handed pitcher Ross Ohlendorf was paid $439,000 last year. He was plagued by injuries and posted a record of 1-11. Even with that, the Bucs offered him $1.4 million for this season. Mr. Ohlendorf took the matter to arbitration. On Tuesday, arbiters awarded Ohlendorf $2.025 million. Good work if you can get it, we suppose, but it shows what's wrong with baseball economics.And then there's this from Tony Norman's column today:
I'm not a baseball fan, but I am an American. This alone gives me some insight into what it means to fail and to be rewarded for it.When Tony and Scaife's braintrust find common ground on something (ANYTHING), something is very very wrong in the universe.
This week, arbitrators in Major League Baseball ruled that the annual salary of Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Ross Ohlendorf deserved a bump from $439,000.
Despite one win and 11 losses in 2010, not to mention two stints on the disabled list during what turned out to be yet another miserable Pirates season, Mr. Ohlendorf just knew he was entitled to a large salary hike.
Mr. Ohlendorf, a Princeton University grad who majored in something called Operations Research and Financial Engineering, knows that there is an inverse relationship between reward and failure in this country.
The Pirates made a more-than-generous offer to him of $1.4 million. After researching the salaries of MLB starting pitchers he considered "comparable," Mr. Ohlendorf argued that $1.4 million didn't account for his true value to the Pirates.
After pressing on with the kind of dogged determination the Pirates would love to see on the field for once, Mr. Ohlendorf was awarded a substantial raise to $2,025,000 by the arbitration panel. The panel obviously felt Mr. Ohlendorf's pain and gave him financial parity with his rivals, regardless of whether it represented a fair value to the team.
"I looked at the marketplace the past two years, but more specifically last year, and felt that was a fair number," Mr. Ohlendorf said afterward.
I didn't see PG sportswriter Colin Dunlap's reaction after getting that quote, but knowing him, I'm sure his face registered something akin to bemused resignation.