Sidelines: Worth your weight in gold


Are you worth your weight in gold?

Dave Martinez signed a contract earlier this week to manage the Washington Nationals for three years at the bargain price of $2.8 million. Now I normally have a pretty strong adverse reaction to calling any amount of millions “bargain,” but in the context of Major League Baseball, this time it might actually be appropriate.

Last season, three people tied for highest-paid manager in MLB: Bruce Bochy of the San Francisco Giants, Joe Maddon of the Chicago Cubs and Mike Scioscia of the Los Angeles Angels, each making $5 million last season alone.

That converts to about 268 pounds of gold, which just glancing at some photos, is probably more than those guys weigh. You know you’ve got it made when you’re making more than your own weight in gold every year.

That would be well more than their fair share though. If all the already-mined gold in the world was split up according to body weight, humanity would get slightly less than six-hundredths of a percent on the pound.

For a 200-pound person, that’s still around $2,000. I fully advocate for this course of action.

But let’s say the rest of us don’t care about gold; it’s only those miserly baseball managers who demand the stuff. There are 30 MLB teams and while contract details aren’t public, online sources estimate that the average manager makes $1.4 million a season.

That’s about 1,100 pounds of gold in salary obligations each year. If gold was to be used for nothing else and everyone contributed their gold to the effort, humanity could continue to pay baseball managers at their current salaries in gold for 11,000 years.

Of course, that assumes a lot of things will be constant that almost certainly won’t be. MLB is looking to add two new teams in the not-too-distant future.
Inflation is subject to a great deal of uncertainty, but at 3 percent per year, the salary obligations would reach $860,990,000 a year. Of course, gold prices have historically risen faster than inflation, so our supply might even last longer.

The important thing to know is how to measure your value. Know in your heart that you’re worth your weight in gold to someone out there, even though it probably isn’t your employer.