I'm generally not a basher of athletes and how much they make, as I realize it's all about them free markets. (Do I sound like Adam Smith?) Every once in awhile, though, there is a story, which makes me feel a bit differently. Take for example the latest incident with Dwight Gooden and him fleeing police. The thing I couldn't get past was that the car Gooden was driving was a 2004 BMW. With all the drug and alcohol problems Gooden has had, the idea that he still has enough Benjamins to motor around in a high-end vehicle is a bit depressing to me. I love those Behind the Music stories where an athlete or musician falls hard from their perch, as it feeds the jealous side of my brain. If I were the head of Gooden's legal defense I would blame the MLB pension for the incident, noting that "without the generous MLB pension, Mr. Gooden would have been driving a Ford Fiesta, which would have left him unable to outrun even a moped."
More evidence on how great your life is if you're a Major League pitcher are the following real estate listings for a couple of hurlers. Featured in the July 1 issue of The Week magazine, these listings just cement the notion that the best guarantee for a professional career in baseball is to be a left-hander who can consistently throw strikes.
Situated on 77 acres of picturesque Indiana countryside (in Mishawaka, IN), with a gated entrance and a half-mile paved drive, this luxurious home was built in 1902 and is now owned by Seattle Mariners pitcher Jaime Moyer. Amenities include five bedrooms, four full baths, four fireplaces, and a sauna. Also on the grounds are a baseball field, black-bottom swimming pool, hot tub, fish pond, lofted barn, and horse stalls. The home is located two hours from Chicago and 15 minutes from Notre Dame. List price: $2.75 million.
Hampton Estate is set on 30 acres close to downtown Denver (Evergreen, CO), and is owned by Atlanta Braves pitcher Mike Hampton. The elaborate main residence includes a master suite with private deck, three additional bedroom suites with private baths, five fireplaces, a gourmet kitchen, loft library, four-car heated garage, and landscaped garden with 40-foot waterfall. The house is currently on auction and has most recent been listed at $4.95 million.
A great story I would like to read would be on how much the average athlete loses when he sells his designer MTV crib, filled with all of its custom bling bling. My guess is that Hampton might make some money on his casa, as it's built in an area that has a lot of high-end buyers. On the other hand, Moyer spending nearly 3 million dollars on a house in Mishawaka, Indiana is muy, moooooeeee loco. Unless Charlie Weis is still looking for a new pad or Moyer's father-in-law, Digger Phelps is making more money at ESPN than I think he is, I just don't see who is going to be able to afford a 2.75 mansion in St. Joseph County. I'm guessing Jaime Moyer thought if he built a baseball field in the middle of his pasture, they (future homebuyers) would come. Crafty on the mound, daffy off it, seems to be the story. Of course, I'd like to have his "problems" and I know Dwight Gooden would trade places with Moyer in a New York Mets' minute.