The Art Of Incentivizing & Stepping Out Of The Cone Of Silence

now, I’m sure all know of the deal that officially put Old Reliable
back on the Yanks for another year two days ago. What many don’t know
is that my heart did a back flip when I heard about it… and then
turned sideways, confused puppy style, when I saw the initial worth of
the deal at $5.5 million. My mind tends to skip through important
details when I read things so I completely thought Andy was insane
until I noticed that the deal was actually riddled with incentives that
could push its worth to more than double that figure… which was when
it all made sense. Here’s the breakdown according to Rotoworld:

addition to the  $5.5 million, he makes $500,000 each for 150, 160 and
170 innings pitched and $750,000 each for 180, 190, 200 and 210
innings. He also gets $100,000 for 120 days on the active 25-man
roster, $200,000 for 130 days, $250,000 each for 140 and 150 days, and
$400,000 each for 160, 170 and 180 days. Had he had a similar contract
in his previous years with the Yankees, Pettitte would have earned the
full $12 million in 2007 and $11.25 million last season.

you take that into account, it doesn’t seem too shabby right? However,
here’s what I find a little shady. I give you the definition of


something that incites or tends to incite to action or greater effort, as a reward for increased productivity.

Two things I don’t like about that semi-sentence right there and the use of this word when it comes to baseball:

1. “greater effort
– This type of deal was the same reason Joe Torre walked from the
organization and got as far away as he could, a.k.a. the other side of
the country, and it was because of the insulting insinuation that he
actually needed more motivation. Despite whatever can be said about the
Yankees and their fans, there’s no arguing that the Yanks play to win every year. If anyone needs incentives to do that then they shouldn’t wear navy pinstripes.

2. “reward for increased productivity”
– The fact that baseball players get paid more money in just one year
these days than many will see in their lifetime is insulting enough,
but giving players cash rewards for doing their job, a.k.a. what they’re supposed to do, has to be a slap in the face to every lower to middle class American out there.

To summarize: This deal is that cookie the kids were dangling in front of that giant ant in Honey I Shrunk The Kids.

honey i shrunk the kids ant.jpg

with all that said, though I’m opposed to tagging the contracts as “deals
with incentives” I actually think the set up is not a bad idea when it
comes to player contracts, not so much when it comes to managers
though, as they aren’t always fully responsible what the team does.
These type of deals protect the organizations from dishing out a
fortune to guys that wind up barely producing and/or sitting on their
*** for an entire season because they get hit with an injury [i.e. Carl
Pavano] and also protects the fans from hating them [i.e. me].

In conclusion, to the world of baseball: There’s no crying incentives in baseball.

These deals, in the future, should be regarded as “You Get Paid For Being Pretty What You Do” deals.

Oh, and glad to have you back Andy 🙂

other news, it was revealed that former Yankee manager, Joe Torre, has
decided to do what more baseball managers and players should do these
days… and that is: step out of the cone of silence and give us
something to talk about.

cone of silence.jpg

the few big deals that have emerged this off-season there has been
little news or controversy to have useless conversations over… which is plain
old boring, but it seems Joe T. has ratified that and spilled the beans
on the many ways the Yanks are a combination of the mafia and high
school girls in his new book.

I believe the two things that came out of the recently publicized excerpts from his book were:

1. A-Rod is a attention seeker / prima donna [hehe, Madonna, lol].

2. Cashman is backstabber.

What’s perhaps the funniest part though is the fact that people have acted like this was some big secret. Don’t act like you didn’t already know this:

Fact: A-Rod craves attention.

Fact: He’s still the greatest player in the game of baseball.

Even his biggest haters can’t deny that.

As for Cashman… yeah, he’s a backstabber. He has to be. He’s a friggin GM.

If he, or the Steinbrenners, weren’t, do you think the Yankees would be the Yankees right now?

think the whole controversy part wasn’t actually what was said, but the
fact that Joe Torre was the one who said it. Joe Torre, despite the
lack of success in the final years of his Yankee managerial career,
gave a lot to the team and fans, and was well known to be a “father
figure” in the clubhouse, so it may have come off as a surprise… but
I say, so what.

Enjoy the drama. [Future sign off? What you think?]

P.S. Completely forgot to mention what Joe Torre said about A-Rod’s obsession with Derek Jeter… you can’t say that one isn’t true either. I mean, who isn’t obsessed with him?



  1. juliasrants

    I agree – incentive contracts are good for players/bad for managers. And I applaud you for taking the “high road” on Torre’s book. It is better to withhold final judgment until after the book is read! And you are right – A-Rod does love attention. And people need to remember that Torre didn’t write the book and many of the quotes in the book are not his!


  2. levelboss

    i was shocked when i heard about all the negative stuff from Torre.. i know stuff like this happens (especially with the Yankees), but i didn’t figure it to come from Torre

    “Enjoy the drama.”
    hmm, not cool enough or unique enough (like Brit’s “Final Whisper” from her blog,

    i personally like just “V” or “V.” – that’s both cool and unique

  3. Jane Heller

    Like you, I’m glad to have Andy back – incentives and all, V. I’m sure he watched all the money going to CC and AJ and said, “What about me?” So I’m glad Cashman figured out a way to make it a win-win for everybody.

  4. flairforthedramatic

    Julia – Thx, I do try. 🙂 And ahh, yes, it was indeed cowritten by Tom Verducci so Torre should not be to blame for everything in the book. However, would it not be great if someone seriously spilled all the beans on what really goes down behind the scenes? I know it’s not all “respectful” as they make it seem.
    Level – I admit, I was shocked at first, but then I thought about and realized it’s all Los Angeles’s fault. Look at what L.A. does to people, lol jk.. But seriously, though it’s true, didn’t think he’d be the one to openly say it.
    And, I actually like the “Final Whisper” thing.. I do have to come up with a better sign off though. I don’t think V. cuts it.
    Jane – I’m suuuuuper glad to have him back. Destiny told me he had to be back another year and I’m glad destiny kept its word this time.. and yes, Cash is a smart man.
    – V [F4Td]

  5. flairforthedramatic

    She, unlike Torre, is still keeping her mouth shut.. but I’m sure I can dupe her into speaking up and telling me about what ’09 has in store for us. I reallllly hope its a Yankee parade. 🙂
    – V [F4Td]

  6. redstatebluestate

    Definitely dig the sign-off… and trust me, I’m always right. You know this. And I’d comment on Torre but I’m just mesmerized that you made a “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids” reference. That was a fan favorite when I was but a wee boy… tHaNKs fOr bRInGinG iT BaCk, v.

  7. flairforthedramatic

    Jane – I will try. I have no doubts she’ll spill the beans for me. I’m an awesome persuader.
    Jeff – I never doubt your accuracy so I’m going to go with your approval on this one.. and yes, Honey I Shrunk The Kids was a throwback.. YoUr VeRy WeLcOmE [p.s. you so didn’t do the caps thing riight. there’s a certain art to it.. no capitalizing the “i”‘s ever! lol]
    – V [F4Td]

  8. kmcleod

    I’ve alway thought incentive base contracts were a great idea for pitchers, but I don’t understand why they get 5.5 million and
    then a ton of incentives.

    It makes sense for the Yankees though! If a serious injury occurs they can find a pitcher though trade and put the extra 5 million at him.

  9. flairforthedramatic

    kmcleod – I would agree, but if you think about it, setting the base salary lower would save them a lot more money if the player were injured, than if they set it higher and gave less incentives. I would love to see the incentives thing start to be used with all player contracts, but I might be pushing the envelope with that hope.
    Mark – Much thanks 🙂
    – V [F4Td]

  10. Elizabeth D

    I don’t like incentive contracts for managers either. I can definitely see how it’s insulting for Torre and honestly, if the incentive is to get to the WS, then that’s almost impossible. I know he managed for the Yankees, but like you said, he can’t control things that happen during the season. People get injured, A-Rod freezes in the clutch, things just go wrong. Managers are already motivated, there doesn’t need to be anything else in the contract.
    As for players though, I agree with you because I think incentive laden contracts are good. You said you were shocked when you thought Andy would only be recieving $5.5 million, but if he does what he’s supposed to do… he’ll get what he’s really worth. I thought the Yankees should’ve done that with AJ, with his habit for injuries and all, it is a risky (but probably beneficial) investment.

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