By Emily Waldon
While purists may cringe at the thought, it’s undeniable that the game of baseball has become a business.
In the 1950s, you could walk into Yankee Stadium and purchase a ticket ranging from 75 cents for bleacher seats up to $10 for box seats.
Fast forward to present day in the Bronx and you are looking at shelling out roughly $300 to sit a section or two behind home plate. As long as you see nothing wrong with auctioning off your first born child to cover the expense, we wish you well this season.
Gone are the days of 10 cent popcorn. The days of $9 beers are here to stay.
As the talent has continued to rise over the years, the demand to financially compensate for the assurance of securing big names to your roster has quickly followed. Big names equal big revenue.
In fact, 23 of the top 25 largest contracts signed in professional athletics can be attributed to Major League baseball. While I may not be an advocate for astronomical athletic contracts, the importance of building off of the weaknesses of the previous season is a factor that cannot be denied.
The Tigers have already solidified the return of two powerhouses by finalizing extensions with Justin Verlander and Miguel Cabrera. Verlander is onboard with a five-year, $180 million extension and Cabrera will be flashing that classic grin for the next eight years around Comerica with a comfortable $153 million and some change.
To put it simply, the Tigers are handing out roughly double the entire 2014 payroll of the St. Louis Cardinals.
While Verlander and Cabrera are valued contributors to the franchise, thoughts continue to follow another name that has yet to sign the long-term dotted line for Dave Dombrowski.
ince stepping off the bus from Arizona in 2010, it didn’t take long to see that Max Scherzer wasn’t going to have a problem finding his niche in the Tigers clubhouse. The seasons following his debut began to reveal the solid star power that he embodied.
Last year brought forth another facet of his talent as he became the first pitcher in the Tigers organization to win 12 straight decisions, breaking the previous record of 11-0 that had been held since 1909. The season would eventually lead to 21 victories, as well as receiving 28 of 30 first place votes to secure himself the coveted Cy Young Award.
This season is mirroring his previous award winning venture and then some. With the exception of repeating his undefeated run during last season, Max is currently boasting only one loss in seven starts and an ERA of 1.83, just over 2 points lower than this time last year.
And so, Mr. Dombrowski, I conclude my thoughts by encouraging you to support the ever improving display of the pitching staff by securing one last face to a long term investment. Max loves Detroit and the locals have proven to become quite fond of him as well.
Why break up a good thing?
Emily Waldon was raised in Howard City and currently resides in Wyoming, Mich. A lifelong sports enthusiast, she also enjoys photography, traveling and bringing a fresh outlook to the world of athletics, both collegiate and professional. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org