Monday, September 30, 2013

Yankees May Have to Say No to Cano

Rumors have been circulating about Robinson Cano and the new contract he may be seeking. The almost 31 year old Cano is a free agent and is reportedly seeking a contact of ten years and roughly $300 million. Although Cano denies these rumors, his representation of CAA and Jay-Z have reason to push the Yankees for the monster deal.

Robinson Cano has had a very productive career. He has a career batting average of .309 and has averaged 107 RBIs in the past four seasons. Although impressive statistics, alone they would not warrant a $300 million contract. The current state of the Yankees gives Robinson Cano the best chance of getting a mega deal. The Yankees are saying goodbye to legend Mariano Rivera and long time Yankee Andy Pettitte this season. The Yankees are also dealing with the Alex Rodriguez situation which currently is in arbitration.

All these factors make for a Yankee organization that is desperate to keep the brand of high profile players that they have become known for. The problem for the Yankees is they have had to learn a difficult lesson about long term big money contracts. Before the 2008 season, the Yankees made Alex Rodriguez the richest player in the history of the league by giving him a ten year contract worth $275 million. With Rodriguez's current on field production (or lack there of) and his off the field issues it is likely that the Yankees are regretting the enormous contract they gave him.

Final Thought
It has been rumored that the Yankees have offered Cano an eight year contract worth $138 million and a six year contract worth $144 million. Either of these contracts would make Cano the highest paid second baseman in baseball. I think the contacts offered by the Yankees are risky considering the age of Cano. Hal Steinbrenner has said that he wants the Yankee payroll to be $189 million or less for the 2014 season. Good luck. It will be interesting to see what the Yankees do. If they give in to Cano's request they may be making a long term mistake (again).


Monday, September 23, 2013

Henrik Stenson Wins FedExCup

I wrote earlier this month about the money behind the FedExCup. Now we know who won the big money that the FedExCup can offer, Henrik Stenson. Stenson became to first European player to win the Tour Championship and the ultimate goal of the FedExCup.

Winning the Tour Championship by Coca-Cola won Stenson $1.44 million. This added to his season earnings giving him $6,388,230 made in 2013. Stenson's first place finish in the final tour event also gave him the the FedExCup title. The big bonus for winning the FedExCup is $10 million. Stenson's total 2013 season earnings are $16,388,230.

The FedExCup winnings drop dramatically after the first place prize. The second place winner receives $3 million and third place winner takes home $2 million. What makes this drop off more dramatic is the fact that the difference between millions of dollars can come down to a simple shot. One stroke. The entire PGA season is played and a player can lose a million dollars by making a par instead of a birdie on one hole. This was exemplified Sunday with Steve Stricker.

Stricker knew his position in the Tour Championship and he realized that for him to win the tournament, he would need to make birdies on holes 17 and 18 and hope for a bogey from Stenson. Stenson did not make a bogey. Stricker had birdie opportunities on both 17 and 18 but failed to make the putt on either hole. The result was Stricker winning third place in the FedExCup that was worth $2 million. What he may not have known at the time was if he was able to convert on either birdie putt, he would have finished in second place in the FedExCup and won an additional $1 million. Tiger ended up in the second place position.

Final Thought
I think the PGA did a excellent job setting up the FedExCup. The dramatic prize value differences makes each shot really worth something. Stricker knows this all too well. Stricker had a million dollar putt on the 18th hole.


Thursday, September 19, 2013

Dollars & Sense - Federal Court Says No to Sports Betting in New Jersey

Is there really anything in America as hypocritical as sports betting?

"Well, you can do it in Nevada, Delaware, Oregon, and Montana, but everywhere, yea, sorry about that," they say.

New Jersey is the latest state to feel the hypocritical wrath of America's stance on sports betting.  On Tuesday, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals voted 2-1 against legalized sports betting in the state. Governor Chris Christie has made the legalization of sports betting in the state a priority, citing increased revenue.

According to an article on, casinos in the state of New Jersey brought in $1.77 billion. In 2008, the effective New Jersey casino tax rate was 9.5-percent, thus giving the state a large chunk of change when it comes to taxes.

After losing the judgement, New Jersey can appeal further to either a different U.S. Court of Appeals circuit or to the U.S. Supreme Court. New Jersey is trying to amend the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act that bans sports betting in all but four states.

Opponents to legalized sports betting often cite famous examples of game/match fixing and point shaving scandals as a reason to keep the practice illegal.  Perhaps the most famous example of fixing is the 1919 Black Sox Scandal where eight members of the Chicago White Sox purposely threw games so that the Cincinnati Reds would win the MLB World Series and the gamblers would cash in on big bets.  Pete Rose has been famously banned from the MLB and the Hall of Fame for their roles in gambling with the game of baseball.

Match fixing has been a prominent topic in tennis, recently. Star players like Nikolay Davydenko have been caught up in major betting scandals.  According to a recent ESPN Outside the Lines report, Bobby Riggs allegedly threw the "Battle of the Sexes" in 1973 against Billie Jean King.

Those in favor of legalized sports betting often cite the increased economic benefit to the increasingly cash-strapped state governments and that legalizing the action will allow the states to benefit from the illegal black market that exists.  Job creation can also be cited, though on a lower level relative to other gambling outlets like, say, casinos.

Delaware legalized sports betting in 2009 to the heavy opposition of the four major sports leagues and the NCAA. Since then, though, it does not seem that the sports world nor the state of Delaware has been torn apart by any scandals relating to the legalization.  The simple fact is, what can be done in any newly legalized state can already be done in any previously legalized state.  Perhaps the most logical opponent to that fact would be that the sports books can be more easily monitored and policed if they are kept in only select few states.

Either way, no matter which side of the sports betting argument you are on, the hypocritical law continues on. No worries, though, did you see the MGM Mirage has the San Francisco 49ers favored by 10 over the Indianapolis Colts this week?  The Colts just got Trent Richardson from the Browns!  I'll see you in Las Vegas.

Follow Kevin Rossi on Twitter @kevin_rossi.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Money Mayweather Cashes In On Saturday Night

Floyd Mayweather Jr. is not shy when it comes to his money. He does have plenty of money to flaunt. Mayweather added to his bank account on Saturday night after his fight with Canelo Alvarez. Mayweather earned a record for guaranteed money and likely a record for total money earned in a fight.

The terms of the fight guaranteed Mayweather $41.5 million. Although Mayweather set a record for guaranteed money, this is only part of what he will make for his fight on Saturday. The big money for Mayweather will come from his cut of the pay per view money. In addition the live gate receipts for the fight will be around $20 million.

In total it is projected that Floyd Mayweather Jr. can earn up to $100 million for fighting Canelo Alvarez. After factoring this fight into Mayweather's career earnings, he is likely to surpass $350 million.

If the ridiculous earnings were not enough to make Mayweather happy, he was also able to beat Canelo to retain his undefeated career record.

Final Thought
The popularity of boxing around the country is not as high as it once was. Even with that fact working against the sport, player earnings are still incredibly high. Many casual boxing fans are willing to spend the $60 or $70 to purchase a fight of high magnitude. The smaller fights with less known boxers, are the fights that tend to receive low television ratings. Personally I really enjoy watching the sport of boxing. I am one who is willing to pay to watch the larger fights, but many are not willing to do so. If boxing found a way to allow big fights to be seen on cable, it could mean a dramatic rise in popularity of the sport. It is highly unlikely however that boxing would be willing to give up the big dollars on pay per view.