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Maximizing the Potential of Professional Sports

Alex Rodriguez is the symbol of the excess in professional sports
Alex Rodriguez is the symbol of the excess in professional sportsAssociated Press

I have been a fan of all professional sports for over 30 years and I am currently 36. I have seen contracts in pro sports go from thousands per year to multi million dollar deals. The deal that stands out for me is when Kirby Puckett, Hall of Fame outfielder for the Minnesota Twins received $3 million per year in the early 90's. That was a HUGE deal at the time. Since then Alex Rodrigues has signed two different 10 year, $250 Million + deals with 2 different MLB teams.

Professional sports has come a long way from playing for your team or country to how much can I get paid and how much can we soak advertisers for. The money is there or these athletes wouldn't make as much as they do.

In an effort to see the very best sporting performances I thought of a way to get maximum effort from players across all professional sports leagues, it goes something like this:

  • 1 year contracts for all players in all leagues
  • Incentive based contracts, players determine what they make. Incentives are built into contract for all applicable stats within that professional sport. For example, if you hit x amount of home runs in a big year you get x amount of $. If you have a down year, you receive less money, specific amounts per category would have to be negotiated by teams
  • Base salary per year. Rookies make the least, scaled up to veterans who make the most
  • Clauses in all contracts regarding base pay for injured players

Think of how this would improve professional sports. Records would break. GM"s would actually have to work at their job, and athletes would have more in common with the regular Joe. Fans would come back to certain sports. More money would be kept by the owners, lowering prices for everyday fans.

I work as a marketing guy for a community newspaper. I work on a 100% commission basis. What I put in, I get back. Why can't professional athletes at the top of their profession operate within the same framework?

When health professionals that are saving lives are making a very small fraction of what a benchwarmer in MLB makes there is a problem with how the system works.

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