There is nothing wrong with Shohei Ohtani's salary deferment

There is nothing wrong with Shohei Ohtani's salary deferment

The numbers finally came in on Shohei Ohtani’s deal with the Dodgers and the Dodgers finally announced it themselves, and it’s a bit of a doozy. Ohtani will be deferring $68 million of his $70 million annual salary until the 10 years after his 10-year deal. The $2 million salary is fine for him given the bonanza he takes in through his endorsements and sponsorships, which is all fair enough. The deferment means that, for the Dodgers and Ohtani, his luxury tax number is below $50 million, which will aid their pursuit of putting a better team around him than they currently have. And remember, the team around him they currently have, at least most of it, won 100 games last season.

Naturally, this kind of creative accounting and payment schedule has some fans leaving yellow puddles where they’re standing. What is conveniently forgotten is that any club could have chosen to do this, they all have the ability and don’t let them tell you differently. The Dodgers were the only ones to step up and one of the few who could honestly tell Ohtani that they’ll keep trying to win and mean it. Can the Blue Jays, given the contract status of Bo Bichette and Vladdy Jr.? The Cubs have already jettisoned one World Series winning core for the savings. The Angels, well, Ohtani already knows the head-in-anus outfit that is.

If fans, and especially players, think this is dumb and a bad look, they’re free to bargain for a change to the system in three years when the CBA runs out and the owners come screaming, first at each other and then at the union, about closing this loophole and any others that make them look bad when their comrades actually spend money. While the owners are clearly the biggest villain in the pursuit of sullying baseball, the players’ union happily rolling over to have their bellies tickled by the owners’ tentacles is on the list of culprits as well.

When the baying dies down, though, most will come to realize that it’s still baseball and MLB’s teams, media and fans haven’t come to redefine what success really is. The Dodgers have put together perhaps the best decade stretch in the history of the game. Is that the first thing you hear when they’re discussed? Or is it their one-half World Series and collection of playoff losses? Perhaps one day that perception will shift to the sterner test that is the 162 games, but we’re a long way from that.

There isn’t an amount of money that can guarantee October. The Dodgers can roll out Betts, Ohtani and Freeman at the top of the lineup, but they can go cold for three games just as easily in the fall as they can in July. They can stack up whatever pitching lineup they’d like and all it takes is one off-day, and one best day on the other side, and then a series is basically a balls-up. Did anyone see Brandon Pfaadt coming?

This is how MLB wants it, with most of the owners snickering at the Dodgers or Mets payroll knowing that the 87-win team they deigned to pay for has basically the same odds of winning three of five games should the need arise. Fans still have a large opportunity to laugh at the Dodgers come Halloween and claim, in the end, they were more successful than L.A. Their division rival Padres and Diamondbacks already get to do so from the past two years, if they so choose, even though the Dodgers have utterly clubbed them in the regular season.

The system isn’t broken. It’s working exactly as they want it.

From Cutlets to Bagadoughnuts?

Defining how one seizes the moment is probably a personal choice:

One only gets their client’s first Monday Night start once, I suppose, with all the camera time that accompanies it. Though choosing the look of “Side character from Bronx Tale who gets blown up when their own molotov cocktail gets thrown back in their car” is certainly a wildcard.

Normally, the whole DeVito thing – living down the street, still living at home, the name, the family – would be ultra annoying. But the fact that DeVito kneecapped the Packers on national TV, with his father assuredly turning around regularly to any Packers fan within earshot and screaming, “Ey! Did ya park yer cow in Lot E?! Oh! Vince Lombardi can blow me ya gavon BABABOOEY!” and grabbing himself is an utter delight. It can be annoying next week.

No, dad, that’s how they treat all their old friends . . .

The Maple Leafs strategy of scheduling their regular Dads Trip for when the team was visiting New York makes sense on the surface. After all, there’s a lot of side quests to be done in The Naked City. However, a little under the surface, someone might have pointed out to a traveling secretary, or the like, that it would also mean that John Tavares’s dad would have to sit in the skybox and listen to Islanders fans “welcome” Tavares back to the Island. That’s thousands of DeVito family members sharing their feelings loudly about the man’s son right in front of him.

Guess he got the last laugh though, or at least it was all worth it:

Also, Papa Tavares does not look like a man a stranger tries. Perhaps the planners of this trip thought he could handle just about anything.

Follow Sam on Twitter @Felsgate and on Bluesky

Original source here

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About the Author

Anthony Barnett
Anthony is the author of the Science & Technology section of ANH.