Cardinals Players Most Giving

The players' pool of money for the playoffs has been announced. We look at where it comes from and where it is going. The Cardinals have been especially generous this season.

141 Cardinals employees are going to have a very Happy Thanksgiving this year, as the players' financial spoils from the playoffs have been announced.

 

The Cardinals players met in late September to decide which players and support personnel would receive full or partial portions of the 2005 World Series, League Championship Series and Division Series Players' Pool.

 

Now, the details are in. The Redbirds were the most generous of all playoff teams, issuing awards to 141 different people in the organization. The awards break out as follows: 48 full shares of $84.946.92, 76 partial shares and 17 cash awards. 

 

At the other end of the spectrum are the World Champion Chicago White Sox. Despite the fact they ended up with the most money to divvy up, $14.7 million, they previously voted the fewest people a share of the money, 70. You'd think they've never been there before or something…

 

This pool is created based on a negotiated percentage of the aggregated gate revenues from the playoffs. Specifically, it is sourced from 60% of the ticket money from the first three games of each division series, the first four games of each league championship series and the first four games of the World Series.

 

The teams are distributed shares of the pool based upon the following formula:

 

World Series winner

36%

World Series loser

24%

League Championship Series losers (two)

24%

Division Series losers (four)

12%

Non-Wild Card Second Place Teams (four)

4%

 

Note that even the second place teams that don't make the playoffs each receive 4%, which ended up being about $8-9K per share. So, at least these teams have something to play for, albeit small in comparison to their regular salaries or the winners' takes.

 

One might argue that a struggling, second-place team like the Arizona Diamondbacks, who came in eight games under .500, doesn't really deserve even a whiff of playoff revenues. But, this is the system to which players and management agreed via the collective bargaining agreement.

 

The CBA that has been in place since 2003 will be renegotiated soon, as the current one expires after the 2006 season. However, it is not known whether the players' pool will be a point of contention between players and management.

 

Here is how the almost $41 million in pool moneys were distributed this year. (Totals rounded)

 

2005

Team

Team total

Full share amount

#

Full Shares

# Partial Shares

#

Cash awards

WS winner

White Sox

$14.7M

$325K

42

6

22

WS loser

Houston

$9.9M

$192K

39

28

8

ALCS loser

Angels

$4.9M

$95K

46

17

8

NLCS loser

St. Louis

$4.9M

$85K

48

76

17

ALDS loser

Boston

$1.2M

$17K

57

43

10

ALDS loser

Yankees

$1.2M

$22K

47

34

0

NLDS loser

Atlanta

$1.2M

$23K

46

19

29

NLDS loser

San Diego

$1.2M

$21K

47

28

18

2nd place AL

Cleveland

$408K

$8K

41

37

0

2nd place AL

Oakland

$408K

$9K

38

22

14

2nd place NL

Arizona

$408K

$10K

32

21

0

2nd place NL

Philadelphia

$408K

$8K

41

36

3

 

Many are surprised when they see the number of shares voted upon per team, thinking only of the 25-man roster. However, any player who appeared in uniform and even those who spent the entire season on the disabled list, such as Mike Lincoln, for example, typically receive a cut.

 

For example, the 2004 Red Sox had 50 different players appear in uniform during the season who received money. This year, the Cardinals saw 20 different pitchers take the field, as well as an equal number of position players, or 40 in total.

 

Those 40 Cardinals include those who have departed, such as outfielder Roger Cedeno, as well as those who made cameo appearances, such as Jim Journell and Bill Pulsipher. It would not be surprising to learn that each of the 40 was voted something by the players who remain.

 

In addition to all the players who passed through the clubhouse doors, there are many who support each team - training staff, strength and conditioning folks, equipment managers, clubhouse attendants, traveling secretaries, video coordinators, bat boys, not to mention coaches and advance scouts, probably even media relations - all of whom make a fraction of what most of the players do. The fact that the players want to share their take with those who make up their support structure is admirable and understandable.

 

The meeting itself is led by each team's Player Representative, who for the Cardinals has been pitcher Ray King. The meeting was players-only, although the rules state that the manager can address the team if he chooses and participate in the discussion if the players allow him to remain.

 

Brian Walton can be reached via email at brwalton@earthlink.net.

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