January 17, 2009

Hamels inks deal with Phillies, but I have a problem

I like Cole Hamels. I'm actually a HUGE Cole Hamels fan ... at least as much as one can be as a Yankees fan. If he was on the Yankees, my Hamels collection would end rivaling my Derek Jeter collection.

But since his pinstripes are red, well, then he just goes into the binder and I don't actively look for his cards.

I'm happy for Hamels. However, here's my problem:

The new deal will pay the Phillies' World Series hero $4.35 million this coming season, then $6.65 million in 2010 and $9.5 million in 2011.

Hamels' base salary also will increase by $500,000 in any season after he wins a Cy Young Award and by $250,000 if he finishes second or third in Cy Young balloting.

See that part about where he finishes in the Cy Young voting. Now, as a reporter I would like to think people are more ethical, but what's to stop Hamels or any other players from bribing reporters who make next to nothing to vote for him in the Cy Young.

This was a big problem too when Curt Schilling signed a contract and he had an incentive that included getting just one vote for Cy Young. He didn't even need to place or show. He just needed a vote.

Something needs to be done for all these types of clauses in contracts because all it takes is one controversy to make the voting even more flawed than it is now. (Any time humans are involved, there are always going to be mistakes such as Rickey Henderson not getting 100 percent of the vote for the Hall of Game).

Maybe I'm alone in this thinking, but you have reporters who don't know if they are going to have a job tomorrow, have to take mandatory unpaid days off and aren't getting raises. A couple of grand could go a long way for those people and that's just pocket money for ball players.


  1. I totally agree -- who's to say that these players won't pay off a sportswriter to give them a vote? I sure would take the money and vote for Hamels -- it's not like it would be difficult to defend my position if he has a year similar to the one he had last season.

  2. Good point, but it's a better point with Schilling's clause than with Hamels. It would take a hell of a lot of bribing to get enough votes to win or finish second or third in the Cy Young voting.