The $25 Million Man

The Real Reason Baseball Players Are So Rich

There are plenty of other culprits to blame: Congress, for in effect creating deregulated cable monopolies in the 1980s (cable revenues have multiplied more than 10 times since 1980, further increasing incentive for owners to spend big in search of ratings windfalls); laws that encourage land speculation (A-Rod's payday was as much about Tom Hicks's desire to score big on his stadium-front property as it was about baseball finances); and, for that matter, the court rulings that established monopoly control over sports broadcasts (you didn't think that bit about "may not be rebroadcast without the express written consent of the commissioner" was handed down by Moses, did you?).

None of this, of course, was initiated by the players—but if owners wrote the ransom note, players have certainly shared in the boodle. So if you can't stomach a left fielder earning more than the GDP of some third-world nations, don't bother choosing sides in the squabbles about how to divide the spoils. Better to keep an eye on those who handed them the keys in the first place.

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