Rooney: Major League Pay Day

<B>Andy Rooney</B> Reviews Salaries Of Baseball's Top Players

The following is a weekly 60 Minutes commentary by CBS News Correspondent Andy Rooney.

Baseball fans love statistics, and I was reading the salaries of 831 Major League players that was printed for fans.

The New York Yankees are paying one player, Alex Rodriguez, $26 million. Twenty-six million dollars is almost as much as The Tampa Bay Devil Rays are paying their whole team: $29 million.

The Yankees are paying pitcher Randy Johnson $16 million. Last year, Johnson threw 3,632 pitches for Arizona. If he does the same this year, the Yankees will be paying him $4,405 every times he throws the baseball.

The Yankees payroll is $208 million, so they have the best players, but they don't have the best team. Their owner, George Steinbrenner, is plenty mad about that. If they don't win the World Series, George may take all his marbles and go home.

The Yankees are actually good for baseball though, because if you're a fan, it's fun to hate another team -- and the Yankees are everyone's favorite team to hate.

St. Louis won the most games last year, but they paid their players less than half of what the Yankees paid theirs.

The Minnesota Twins were near the bottom of the spending list, at $56 million, but they were one of the Top 10 teams. They won 92 games.

The New York Mets were one of the nine worst teams last year, even though they had the fourth highest payroll. They lost 91 games. The Tampa Bay Devil Rays also lost 91, but Tampa Bay paid players the least. They also have the worst nickname.

Maybe baseball teams shouldn't decide how much to pay a player until the season is over. Pay would be based on performance. A team would announce how much it was going to spend on total salaries, but it wouldn't divide up the money until it saw how each player did during the season.

And, by the way, if you go to see a baseball game, they won't let you bring anything to eat into the stadium, but sneak a sandwich in with you. They've raised the price of a beer and a hot dog at the concession stands so the players are the only ones who can afford to eat there.
Written By Andy Rooney