Thursday, May 21, 2015
I’m quite sure that if I suddenly obtained one million dollars, I’d find some constructive use for it. Ditto the 2nd million, 3rd, 4th, and maybe even the fifth. But each successive million provides less marginal utility. Eventually, unless your goal is to own a small 3rd world country, the largest ranch in Texas, or a stable of Republican politicians, the meaning of that next million is close to zero.
Where is that point? It will vary from person to person, but, realistically, could it be more than a dozen or two? Can having $50 million really make one happier, more secure, or able to eat in better restaurants than having $30 million?
Which brings me to Mike Babcock, and belatedly to Max Scherzer. Each of them went out in search of greener [a word I use advisedly] pastures. Selling one’s services to the highest bidder is free enterprise in action, I guess. Clearly, for each of them it was about the money.
Which takes me back to my primary question - how much is enough? is any amount satisfactory? Can these gentlemen provide sufficient value for the money they are receiving?
In Max’s case, one can construe a non-monetary rationale. The Nats have a lot of potential to get him a world series ring. But, at 24-17, they currently have the same record as the Tigers. Well, you takes yer money and you takes yer chances.
For Babcock, though, it’s nothing but the money. He’s leaving a highly successful, possibly even over-achieving, organization to join the Maple Leafs - what local Detroit sports writer Pat Caputo calls “a dysfunctional organization with a psychotic fan base.”
I don’t harbor a great deal of animosity toward either of them. Some, though - just not a lot. I wish for Max a level of modest success that makes the high premium paid for him look like a massively foolish misallocation of resources. For Babcock - I wish him several years of frustration and disappointment, and ultimately a great deal of longing and regret.
Because, isn’t that the end game when money is the only thing you care about?