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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

N.Y. Times: Returning Jeter’s Big Hit: No Good Deed Goes Untaxed (Perhaps)

Michael J. Graetz, a law professor at Columbia University who advised the I.R.S. on how to treat the McGwire ball, questioned whether the booty was not a gift, and therefore not taxable.

“The legal question of whether it is a gift or prize is whether the transferor is giving the property out of detached and disinterested generosity,” Professor Graetz said. “It’s hard for me, not being a Yankee fan, to think of the Yankees as being in the business of exercising generosity to others, but there’s a reasonable case to be made that these were given out of generosity.”

bobm Posted: July 12, 2011 at 03:08 AM | 309 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: business, cardinals, yankees

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   1. The importance of being Ernest Riles Posted: July 12, 2011 at 06:48 AM (#3875143)
The IRS needs an attorney to advise it on its own rules? #### me.
   2. Stormy JE Posted: July 12, 2011 at 07:45 AM (#3875145)
It won't be long before the kid wishes he had gone for the money and not looked behind door no. 2.
   3. Stormy JE Posted: July 12, 2011 at 07:52 AM (#3875146)
Stadium security guards, who had been prepared for the event, whisked Mr. Lopez and his father to the office of the team president, Randy Levine, where officials asked his intentions, according to a team spokeswoman.

This sounds a bit creepy. What if Lopez had responded, "I plan on keeping the ball?" Would he have been able to walk out of there on his two feet?
   4. adenzeno Posted: July 12, 2011 at 11:15 AM (#3875154)
Given what I have heard about the Yankee Stadium Security, no. Or at least been escorted off premises
   5. True Blue Posted: July 12, 2011 at 11:35 AM (#3875155)
So JE (Jason Epstein) and adenzeno habe crawled out of their holes to spew their venom and stupidity. How many more braindeadstatboygeeks will follow?
   6. TVerik, who wonders what the hell is "Ansky" Posted: July 12, 2011 at 11:50 AM (#3875160)
I read that in that famous talk show clip, in giving out the cars a few years ago, Oprah bankrupted about three-quarters of her audience.

Does anyone have a source on that? It could have been an urban myth.
   7. Greg Pope Posted: July 12, 2011 at 11:55 AM (#3875166)
I read that in that famous talk show clip, in giving out the cars a few years ago, Oprah bankrupted about three-quarters of her audience.

Does anyone have a source on that? It could have been an urban myth.


I don't know how accurate this is.
   8. More Dewey is Always Good Posted: July 12, 2011 at 12:02 PM (#3875169)
I read that in that famous talk show clip, in giving out the cars a few years ago, Oprah bankrupted about three-quarters of her audience.

That can't be true. There was nothing forcing them to accept the car, or to keep it and not sell it, if they couldn't pay the taxes on it.
   9. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 12, 2011 at 12:42 PM (#3875183)
This guy is an absolute moron. He lives with his parents, has big student loans, and gives Derek ($200M career earnings) Jeter a $250,000 (to quote the media) gift. What an ass.
   10. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: July 12, 2011 at 12:52 PM (#3875187)
This guy is an absolute moron. He lives with his parents, has big student loans, and gives Derek ($200M career earnings) Jeter a $250,000 (to quote the media) gift. What an ass.

The apparent moral of the story: Never let any good deed go unpunished (by the IRS) or uncondemned (by snapper). That's one hell of a wrathful God you must worship.
   11. Bob Tufts Posted: July 12, 2011 at 01:02 PM (#3875193)
Jeter just got another gift - a $500,000 All-Star bonus.

3000 hits, All-Star cash without a trip to Phoenix and a few days with Minka Kelly - it is a pretty good week!
   12. -- Posted: July 12, 2011 at 01:04 PM (#3875195)
The apparent moral of the story: Never let any good deed go unpunished (by the IRS) or uncondemned (by snapper). That's one hell of a wrathful God you must worship.


The guy's a complete sucker, entirely passive in the face of people trying to rip him off.(**) You just knew Randy ("Kingpin As$hole") Levine was involved.

There's no justification for not making the Yankees pay tax on the ball's receipt and the guy pay whatever gift taxes he owes.(***)

(**) To fend off any translation problems, read "obtain valuable property for far less than its value."

(***) From a tax perspective, and other perspectives, he'd have been better off giving it to a charity, or the entity trying to rebuild the track and fields on the land the Yankees obtained under false pretenses from the Bronx.
   13. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 12, 2011 at 01:07 PM (#3875199)
Shouldn't the real issue be the government's insatiable appetite for money, which causes it to attempt to tax anything that moves.
   14. bunyon Posted: July 12, 2011 at 01:07 PM (#3875200)
It's obviously his business and if he is such a Jeter fan I won't criticize him for giving the ball back. He can decline the tickets and then the tax tab will simply be whatever the few bats and balls are worth.

But, if it were me, I'd have sold it in his situation. In my current situation I would have kept it but loaned it to the Hall of Fame. In the event I ever needed a few grand in the future I could pull it out and sell it then. I don't see why selling it, if someone is willing to pay for it, is so wrong. The long tradition of MLB is that balls leaving the field of play belong to the person who grabs it. If MLB wanted it to belong to the player, it would be simple enough to put in action. Derek Jeter has no problem selling baseballs, jerseys, etc. for way more than they're worth so I don't see why this guy doing the same should offend anyone.
   15. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: July 12, 2011 at 01:08 PM (#3875201)
The guy's a complete sucker, entirely passive in the face of people trying to rip him off.(**) You just knew Randy ("Kingpin As$hole") Levine was involved.


Completely agree. Levine set up a plan for this possibility and it worked beautifully for him and the Yanks.
   16. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 12, 2011 at 01:11 PM (#3875204)
The apparent moral of the story: Never let any good deed go unpunished (by the IRS) or uncondemned (by snapper). That's one hell of a wrathful God you must worship.

What good deed? The guy owes a ton of money, and is living off his parents, so he decides to give a multi-millionaire a huge gift. That's not a good deed in my book.

You know what would be a good deed? Selling the ball, paying off his debts, getting an appartment, and taking his parents on a big vacation.

Or, if he's so unselfish, sell the ball, and donate the proceeds to charity.
   17. bunyon Posted: July 12, 2011 at 01:11 PM (#3875205)
Shouldn't the real issue be the government's insatiable appetite for money, which causes it to attempt to tax anything that moves.

This is what governments do. They always have and always will. It's an issue that can only be solved by limited, small, local government of a type that can't possibly last more than a few decades at a time. Those governments won't necessarily make for better living conditions than a bloated, large, hungry government but it won't be as tax crazy as other forms, either. You can only hope to escape taxes if you have a few congressmen in your pocket. A 23 year old with a huge student loan debt is basically their toy.
   18. -- Posted: July 12, 2011 at 01:12 PM (#3875206)
What good deed? The guy owes a ton of money, and is living off his parents, so he decides to give a multi-millionaire a huge gift. That's not a good deed in my book.

And, according to TFA, he's going to borrow any money he owes in tax from his parents.
   19. Joey B. is counting the days to Trea Turner Posted: July 12, 2011 at 01:15 PM (#3875208)
Jeter just got another gift - a $500,000 All-Star bonus.

I can think of a good candidate to help this guy get Mr. Grinch off his back...
   20. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 12, 2011 at 01:17 PM (#3875211)
And, according to TFA, he's going to borrow any money he owes in tax from his parents.

I'd kick his ass out of the house. Go live with your precious Jeter.
   21. -- Posted: July 12, 2011 at 01:21 PM (#3875213)
Incompetent fanboys getting ripped off by sharks.

While the chorus roots for the sharks.

Sports in America 2011.

America 2011.
   22. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: July 12, 2011 at 01:22 PM (#3875215)
While the chorus roots for the sharks.


I sure as hell ain't rooting for the sharks. I feel bad for the kid.
   23. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: July 12, 2011 at 01:23 PM (#3875216)
Look, the guy turned over the ball on the spur of the moment as a Jeter fan and as a Yankee fan. It was an act of pure spontaneity on his part, and whether or not it was financially brilliant, to call him an "ass" or a "moron" seems pretty ####### harsh, to say the least. In hindsight, he obviously should have made sure that the Yankees would cover any potential tax liabilities, but that's not something that you can reasonably expect the average fan to have thought about before entering the Stadium as one of nearly 50,000 fans, especially one whose section of the stands hadn't seen a Jeter home run land in it for several years.

But then I often forget: Not everyone is equipped with the foresight and the financial acumen of the many geniuses who patrol BTF.

Of course the real blame for Lopez's predicament lies in a set of bureaucratic rules which places a tax liability on objects before they're actually sold, which is the point at which any such liabilities should properly be incurred. And of course if the Yankees have an ounce of class in them, they'll offer to foot the bill for any potential taxes. But that's a whole separate set of questions, and shouldn't detract us from appreciating the simple decency of Christian Lopez's instincts.
   24. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 12, 2011 at 01:27 PM (#3875219)
But that's a whole separate set of questions, and shouldn't detract us from appreciating the simple decency of Christian Lopez's instincts.

You know what would be simple decency? Derek Jeter cutting a $250,000 check to this guy.

Actually, strike that. Cut the check to his parents.
   25. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: July 12, 2011 at 01:29 PM (#3875220)
And, according to TFA, he's going to borrow any money he owes in tax from his parents.


I'd kick his ass out of the house. Go live with your precious Jeter.

This from one of the more bloviating pious "Christians" in our beloved BTF community. I'd like to think that this is an attempt at self-parody, but it's hard to say after what you've said before.
   26. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: July 12, 2011 at 01:30 PM (#3875224)
But that's a whole separate set of questions, and shouldn't detract us from appreciating the simple decency of Christian Lopez's instincts.

You know what would be simple decency? Derek Jeter cutting a $250,000 check to this guy.


No argument there, but that's another separate question. But why is so much of your wrathful rhetoric directed at Lopez?
   27. TVerik, who wonders what the hell is "Ansky" Posted: July 12, 2011 at 01:30 PM (#3875225)
If the Yankees pay for the taxes, isn't that a taxable gift in itself? Unless they offer to pay the taxes on the taxes, but at some point it's a mirror image of a mirror image.
   28. -- Posted: July 12, 2011 at 01:31 PM (#3875227)
Look, the guy turned over the ball on the spur of the moment as a Jeter fan and as a Yankee fan. It was an act of pure spontaneity on his part, and whether or not it was financially brilliant, to call him an "ass" or a "moron" seems pretty ####### harsh, to say the least.

The tax issue is a sideshow. The guy's a microcosm of why the country's in the crapper, a telling example of the people who take out second mortgages for season tickets, sign up for subprime housing loans to buy bullshit they don't need, and invest in Ponzi schemes with people they don't know after a five-minute phone call.

The Yankees totally took advantage of the guy and his passivity in the face of their power, and his delusional sense of what he means to them and them to him.

EDIT: It's factually inaccurate to call it an act of pure "spontaneity." Levine had his praetorian guard snatch the guy and Levine commenced a negotiation.
   29. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: July 12, 2011 at 01:34 PM (#3875229)
I'd kick his ass out of the house. Go live with your precious Jeter.

This from one of the more bloviating pious "Christians" in our beloved BTF community. I'd like to think that this is an attempt at self-parody, but it's hard to say after what you've said before.


But don't you see this is entirely consistent? Didn't the Lord say: you shall have no other gods before me. Jeter is a false god. That's the root of Snapper's anger. It also explains why he's not a big fan of Mariano Rivera.
   30. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: July 12, 2011 at 01:37 PM (#3875232)
If the Yankees pay for the taxes, isn't that a taxable gift in itself? Unless they offer to pay the taxes on the taxes, but at some point it's a mirror image of a mirror image.


Zeno's paradox.
   31. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 12, 2011 at 01:38 PM (#3875233)
This from one of the more bloviating pious "Christians" in our beloved BTF community. I'd like to think that this is an attempt at self-parody, but it's hard to say after what you've said before.

Wait, what?

The guy has a job, yet lives rent free with his parents (he mentioned this in a TV interview I saw last night, as partial justification for giving away the ball; as in "I live rent free, why not").

He then trots out this doozy:

Mr. Lopez said if he had to pay taxes, he hoped he could borrow from his parents rather than sell his memorabilia.

He did, however, plan to give a bat and a jersey to his girlfriend, he said.


How is it un-Christian to point out that he is screwing over his parents (and his creditors) to suck-up to Derek Jeter?

He has legal and moral obligations that he could meet with that money, yet he chooses to curry favor with an athlete who wouldn't notice if he dropped dead tomorrow. This clown doesn't even want to sell his memorabilia, so he plans to leech off his parents more.

I'm sorry, there is no Christian principal that says "Thou must support leeches and suckers in the style they've become accustomed to". "If a man shall not work, neither shall he eat" rings a bell with me.

If he feels rich enough to piss away $250,000, he's rich enough to support himself, rather than expecting his parents to do so.
   32. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: July 12, 2011 at 01:40 PM (#3875234)
But don't you see this is entirely consistent? Didn't the Lord say: you shall have no other gods before me. Jeter is a false god. That's the root of Snapper's anger.


Snapper is a NT kind of guy. He has repeatedly denounced the OT. OTOH, he doesn't seem to espouse the ideals of the NT either, so I don't know what he is.
   33. Joey B. is counting the days to Trea Turner Posted: July 12, 2011 at 01:43 PM (#3875238)
By the way, his dad was with him the whole time and not once tried to talk his kid into keeping the ball. According to one of the stories I read, he asked his dad what he should do and the old man replied "You're a grown man, you can make your own decision."

I know this will probably sound nuts, but who knows, maybe his parents don't even mind the fact that he still lives with them.
   34. Famous Original Joe C Posted: July 12, 2011 at 01:45 PM (#3875240)
What an awful thread.
   35. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: July 12, 2011 at 01:46 PM (#3875241)
If the Yankees pay for the taxes, isn't that a taxable gift in itself? Unless they offer to pay the taxes on the taxes, but at some point it's a mirror image of a mirror image.


Yeah, but it's doable. I worked for a company that gave a car to an employee one year in a raffle. As part of that we also gave them the necessary money to cover the taxes and as you note, the additional money was also taxable. It was a royal pain in the ass but it is really just an exercise in 8th grade math that I hadn't used since that time.
   36. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 12, 2011 at 01:47 PM (#3875242)
Snapper is a NT kind of guy. He has repeatedly denounced the OT. OTOH, he doesn't seem to espouse the ideals of the NT either, so I don't know what he is.

When did I denounce the OT? I've just said it can't be read as history.

I'm a faithful Catholic. I pretty much follow the teachings of the Church. That's about it in a nutshell as far as religon.

If you want to know about my philosophical/theological leanings, I tend toward Thomism. My economic/political philosophy mirrors Belloc/Chesterton/Leo XIII/Rerum Novarum, and I'm a big fan of von Mises and Hayek.

Christian charity is about helping those who can't help themselves, not those that choose not to.
   37. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: July 12, 2011 at 01:50 PM (#3875245)
How is it un-Christian to point out that he is screwing over his parents (and his creditors) to suck-up to Derek Jeter?

He has legal and moral obligations that he could meet with that money, yet he chooses to curry favor with an athlete who wouldn't notice if he dropped dead tomorrow. This clown doesn't even want to sell his memorabilia, so he plans to leech off his parents more.


What's un-Christian is the amount of judgment going on in these couple of sentences;

"screwing over his parents...creditors" - There is no evidence that either of those things are happening. Is he not meeting his obligations to his creditors and as Joey points out maybe his parents like having him at home.

"leech off his parents" - Again, you make an assumption about the relationship between he and his parents.

Maybe he has a different moral code than you? Maybe in his universe Jeter, not Lopez, had the accomplishment of 3,000 hits and was entitled to the ball? I don't know that I'd do the same thing but I don't think it's unreasonable to think this way.
   38. bunyon Posted: July 12, 2011 at 01:53 PM (#3875249)
I don't get being harsh on Lopez either. He is a grown man, as his father says, and can make up his own mind. I just think he made a foolish decision for sentimental reasons that he will someday regret. Hell, most 23 year olds do this on an almost daily basis.

As for living with his parents, a whole lot of good folks are doing that right now. I know a lot of grads who can't find work and have moved home. It isn't as if he's 35, refuses to work and expects mom and dad to cook and clean for him. Perhaps, someday, he will be that guy. But not today. (Anyway, I'd think this group would be more sensitive to that particular insult). EDIT: I mean to say, if you don't think society (government) at large is responsible for people down on their luck, either someone else has to help or they become beggars on the street. Thus, I think it's great when someone can't find work or is struggling that their family takes them in and helps them out. How did help from one's family become a terrible, terrible thing?

The tax thing can be solved many, many ways. For one, as I said, Lopez can decline the tickets - no tax. The Yankees could pay him an amount that brings him close to zero. Lopez could realize that his memorabilia is really just so much crap you have to move, sell it and pay it off. His folks could loan him the money. Whatever. I don't see this as a huge moral kerfluffle. I just think giving the ball away was foolish. But it wasn't my decision to make.
   39. -- Posted: July 12, 2011 at 01:54 PM (#3875251)
Maybe in his universe Jeter, not Lopez, had the accomplishment of 3,000 hits and was entitled to the ball? I don't know that I'd do the same thing but I don't think it's unreasonable to think this way.

Maybe -- although, under that very same principle, being a passive sucker qualifies as a "moral code."

He didn't volunteer to give the ball back; he was solicited to give the ball back.
   40. Famous Original Joe C Posted: July 12, 2011 at 01:54 PM (#3875253)
Maybe he has a different moral code than you?

There's only one true moral code, though.
   41. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: July 12, 2011 at 01:54 PM (#3875254)
Yeah, but it's doable. I worked for a company that gave a car to an employee one year in a raffle. As part of that we also gave them the necessary money to cover the taxes and as you note, the additional money was also taxable. It was a royal pain in the ass but it is really just an exercise in 8th grade math that I hadn't used since that time.


Yeah, simple really. Say you get a gift worth $50,000. If taxed at 25%, then the amount extra to pay taxes on the gift, and taxes on the money to pay taxes, and so on, is an infinite converging series in the mode of 1/4^n, easily solved with calculus. Or if you prefer, add up 1/4 + 1/16 + 1/64... and multiply by $50,000. Like Zeno's Paradox.
   42. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: July 12, 2011 at 01:56 PM (#3875256)
I can't believe some of you are critical of Lopez.
   43. -- Posted: July 12, 2011 at 01:56 PM (#3875257)
He's not going to owe tax. The ball's more valuable than the trinkets he got back; thus, he had a capital loss on the ball.

I love how the thread's degenerated into Christian-bashing, as if Christianity has anything to do with giving away your property to the rich and connected.
   44. TVerik, who wonders what the hell is "Ansky" Posted: July 12, 2011 at 01:57 PM (#3875259)
Is this all because the dude is named "Christian"?
   45. Lassus Posted: July 12, 2011 at 01:58 PM (#3875261)
I think the denunciation of this guy is rather over-the-top. And that's from someone who would have kept the ball no matter what Levine did or said.
   46. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: July 12, 2011 at 02:01 PM (#3875265)
I love how the thread's degenerated into Christian-bashing, as if Christianity has anything to do with giving away your property to the rich and connected.


I don't think anyone is Christian-bashing. A few of us have an issue with one person's thoughts on this subject but I don't think anyone has bashed Christianity.
   47. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: July 12, 2011 at 02:05 PM (#3875272)
I love how the thread's degenerated into Christian-bashing, as if Christianity has anything to do with giving away your property to the rich and connected.


That doesn't sound right. On Saturday the following financial transactions occurred;

Lopez received item valued at $250,000 (or whatever number)
Lopez gave away item valued at $250,000
Lopez received items valued at $20,000 (tickets, jersey, etc...)

He should owe on the tickets etc...he got in exchange for the ball. Arguably he owes money on the ball he received and presumably he did not give the ball to a non-profit that he can deduct as a chartiable gift (though the Yankees probably have such a thing set up and may have run the transaction through that entity).
   48. rr Posted: July 12, 2011 at 02:07 PM (#3875276)
A 23 year old with a huge student loan debt is basically their toy.


So's your mom.

I agree with Lassus and bunyon. I don't think people should hammer on the guy; he's a young guy, and it's his call. If he is a huge Yankee/Jeter fan doing this probably gave him non-financial rewards that will last him a long time. And who knows--maybe Jeter and/or the Yankees will pay off a chunk of his student loans or something. It would be a savvy PR gesture if so.

But if I were in this dude's situation money-wise, and assuming the Yankees/Jeter are not going to do that, I would politely explain to Mr. Levine and Mr. Jeter that I need the income for myself and my family and therefore feel it is better for me and family to sell the ball.
   49. -- Posted: July 12, 2011 at 02:09 PM (#3875278)
I think the denunciation of this guy is rather over-the-top. And that's from someone who would have kept the ball no matter what Levine did or said.

Though I think he was passive and a sucker, those weren't intended as denunciations and aren't fairly characterized as such.

My only "denunciation" of him has been for his fanboy delusions, which animated many of his actions -- delusions he shares with hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of others.

I've denounced the Yankees, who deserve it. They're ultimately the villians here.

EDIT: Where's 250K coming from? McGuire's 70th homer ball sold for $3 million.
   50. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 12, 2011 at 02:12 PM (#3875282)
What's un-Christian is the amount of judgment going on in these couple of sentences;

"screwing over his parents...creditors" - There is no evidence that either of those things are happening. Is he not meeting his obligations to his creditors and as Joey points out maybe his parents like having him at home.

"leech off his parents" - Again, you make an assumption about the relationship between he and his parents.

Maybe he has a different moral code than you? Maybe in his universe Jeter, not Lopez, had the accomplishment of 3,000 hits and was entitled to the ball? I don't know that I'd do the same thing but I don't think it's unreasonable to think this way.


Again, judging people's actions is not un-Christian. It's actually required. Christianity does not go in for "different moral codes". Relativism is right-out.

I'm not judging him as a bad or sinful person. I'm saying he's made some terrible decisions that reveal bad judgement or a warped sense of priorities.

How would you all react if it was a guy with a wife and kids whose house was being foreclosed on who gave the ball away? Just b/c his financial debts are to his parents, and to student loan creditors doesn't make them immaterial.
   51. bunyon Posted: July 12, 2011 at 02:13 PM (#3875283)
A 23 year old with a huge student loan debt is basically their toy.



So's your mom.


You have no idea.
   52. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 12, 2011 at 02:16 PM (#3875286)
As for living with his parents, a whole lot of good folks are doing that right now. I know a lot of grads who can't find work and have moved home. It isn't as if he's 35, refuses to work and expects mom and dad to cook and clean for him. Perhaps, someday, he will be that guy. But not today. (Anyway, I'd think this group would be more sensitive to that particular insult). EDIT: I mean to say, if you don't think society (government) at large is responsible for people down on their luck, either someone else has to help or they become beggars on the street. Thus, I think it's great when someone can't find work or is struggling that their family takes them in and helps them out. How did help from one's family become a terrible, terrible thing?

It's a wonderful thing, I fully endorse families helping out those who need help.

What's terrible is that, when this guy had a chance to no longer need that support, and to actually pay back some of the aid his parents have given him he pissed it away on a fanboy crush.
   53. Famous Original Joe C Posted: July 12, 2011 at 02:17 PM (#3875287)
How would you all react if it was a guy with a wife and kids whose house was being foreclosed on who gave the ball away?

Differently than this, because that is a different set of circumstances.
   54. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: July 12, 2011 at 02:18 PM (#3875289)
Again, judging people's actions is not un-Christian. It's actually required. Christianity does not do in for "different moral codes". Relativism is right-out.

I'm not judging him as a bad or sinful person. I'm saying he's made some terrible decisions that reveal bad judgement or a warped sense of priorities.


So I guess that in Snapper's Theological Thesaurus, the non-judgmental synonyms for "bad judgment" are "moron" and "ass". This is good information.
   55. Swedish Chef Posted: July 12, 2011 at 02:19 PM (#3875290)
Again, judging people's actions is not un-Christian. It's actually required.

I assume you always volunteer to throw the first stone.
   56. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 12, 2011 at 02:19 PM (#3875292)
So I guess that in Snapper's Theological Thesaurus, the non-judgmental synonyms for "bad judgment" are "moron" and "ass". This is good information.

I'll admit those words are too harsh. This really pisses me off though.
   57. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 12, 2011 at 02:21 PM (#3875295)
I assume you always volunteer to throw the first stone.

I'm the first to admit I've done many wrong things in my life. And I still do them sometimes, thought I try to avoid it. I'll never complain if soemone calls me out on a sinful action.

Again, calling out an action as wrong is not casting the proverbial stone. There's a clear difference between condemning the action, and condemning the person.
   58. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: July 12, 2011 at 02:22 PM (#3875296)
When did I denounce the OT? I've just said it can't be read as history.


So you do support capital punishment for wearing clothing made of 2 different fabrics.
   59. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: July 12, 2011 at 02:25 PM (#3875298)
How would you all react if it was a guy with a wife and kids whose house was being foreclosed on who gave the ball away? Just b/c his financial debts are to his parents, and to student loan creditors doesn't make them immaterial.


Completely different situation. This guy (near as I can tell) is living up to his obligations. The guy being foreclosed on is in a completely different place financially where he and those he supports are in real danger of losing what they have and failing to live up to their financial obligations.

Christianity does not go in for "different moral codes". Relativism is right-out.


Other than your own opinion why is returning something that someone else has earned more or less valuable than a big bag of money? I've read my bible and I'm pretty sure nowhere in there does it say "thou shalt sell thy baseball to the highest bidder." You're making the assumption that Jeter's right to the ball is less than Lopez' right to the money. Frankly, I agree with that, but to turn it into some moral certainty is just wrong.

Each of us has been given free will. I believe God has given us not just the right but the obligation to make value judgments on a day to day basis in our lives. There is no moral certainty here.
   60. Famous Original Joe C Posted: July 12, 2011 at 02:25 PM (#3875300)
There's a clear difference between condemning the action, and condemning the person.

Granting that obviously we see the world in very different ways, I guess what I don't get is that you were immediately willing to pass judgment on this guy's actions based on a blurb in the NY Times. You don't know what his situation really is, or what his parents really think, or any of that, but you (and others) are still ready to pass judgment on his actions at the drop of a hat.

Edit: I think Jose makes a good point in [59] as well, coming at it from another angle.
   61. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: July 12, 2011 at 02:26 PM (#3875303)
Though I think he was passive and a sucker, those weren't intended as denunciations and aren't fairly characterized as such.

EDIT: Where's 250K coming from? McGuire's 70th homer ball sold for $3 million.


Personally I would consider "sucker" to be an insult.

The $250K was me just throwing a number down for example purposes. No basis in anything with that number.
   62. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 12, 2011 at 02:27 PM (#3875304)
You're a dick, snapper.

Sorry, but it had to be said.
   63. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: July 12, 2011 at 02:27 PM (#3875305)
Completely different situation. This guy (near as I can tell) is living up to his obligations. The guy being foreclosed on is in a completely different place financially where he and those he supports are in real danger of losing what they have and failing to live up to their financial obligations.


But then there would be those denouncing the foreclosure guy for wasting money he didn't have on Yankee tix in the first place.
   64. -- Posted: July 12, 2011 at 02:30 PM (#3875307)
Other than your own opinion why is returning something that someone else has earned more or less valuable than a big bag of money? I've read my bible and I'm pretty sure nowhere in there does it say "thou shalt sell thy baseball to the highest bidder." You're making the assumption that Jeter's right to the ball is less than Lopez' right to the money. Frankly, I agree with that, but to turn it into some moral certainty is just wrong.

Jeter has no right to any ball he hits into the stands, and didn't "earn" it by hitting it.(**) Millions of balls have been hit into the stands in the history of major league baseball and no one has ever suggested that they are the property, or were otherwise "earned" by the player who hit them. If there had been a custom of such a thing, you might have a point, but that obviously isn't the case.

Completely different situation. This guy (near as I can tell) is living up to his obligations. The guy being foreclosed on is in a completely different place financially where he and those he supports are in real danger of losing what they have and failing to live up to their financial obligations.

It's likely that his parents are fronting or comping him rent to help him pay student loans, and that's their business, and entirely their call. Their son's still with them and, as far as we know they like that arrangement and understandably so. That said, it is a matter of at least some public import that people are acculturated to have at least a modicum of street smarts and financial savvy by the time they become adults. While his fanboyish reaction would be understandable if he were 15, he's 23.

(**) He certainly has the right to enter the bidding to try to obtain the ball fairly and legally.
   65. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 12, 2011 at 02:32 PM (#3875309)
You're a dick, snapper.

Sorry, but it had to be said.


Because I think this guy's a fool? I can live with that.
   66. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: July 12, 2011 at 02:32 PM (#3875310)
EDIT: Where's 250K coming from? McGuire's 70th homer ball sold for $3 million.

I'd bet that if all three were placed on the open market today, the Jeter ball would go for more than either McGwire's 62nd or his 70th. Those last two would be the inflated equivalent of penny stocks, bought purely on the speculation that the market had bottomed out.
   67. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: July 12, 2011 at 02:33 PM (#3875313)
SugarBear - My argument is with snapper's moral certainty. My point isn't that Jeter had a legal right to the ball, but that you can make a case that the moral thing to do was give the ball to him. From a legal perspective, I agree with virtually everything you've said up to now.
   68. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 12, 2011 at 02:34 PM (#3875317)
Granting that obviously we see the world in very different ways, I guess what I don't get is that you were immediately willing to pass judgment on this guy's actions based on a blurb in the NY Times. You don't know what his situation really is, or what his parents really think, or any of that, but you (and others) are still ready to pass judgment on his actions at the drop of a hat.

I also saw him interviewed last night, which is what really pissed me off. It was his (paraphrasing) "I live rent free anyway" remark that really pissed me off.

Other than your own opinion why is returning something that someone else has earned more or less valuable than a big bag of money? I've read my bible and I'm pretty sure nowhere in there does it say "thou shalt sell thy baseball to the highest bidder." You're making the assumption that Jeter's right to the ball is less than Lopez' right to the money. Frankly, I agree with that, but to turn it into some moral certainty is just wrong.

No, actually MLB rules say that ball belongs to the fan. The ball was Lopez's property, which he chose to make a gift of to Jeter.

We're not arguing property or moral rights, we're arguing the decision to make the gift.
   69. Chicago Joe Posted: July 12, 2011 at 02:35 PM (#3875318)
He's not going to owe tax. The ball's more valuable than the trinkets he got back; thus, he had a capital loss on the ball.

Interesting to see if it works out that way. You could make that argument, I would think.
Shouldn't the real issue be the government's insatiable appetite for money, which causes it to attempt to tax anything that moves.

Or income, even.
   70. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: July 12, 2011 at 02:35 PM (#3875319)
Jeter has no right to any ball he hits into the stands, and didn't "earn" it by hitting it.(**) Millions of balls have been hit into the stands in the history of major league baseball and no one has ever suggested that they are the property, or were otherwise "earned" by the player who hit them. If there had been a custom of such a thing, you might have a point, but that obviously isn't the case.


One could argue, and I certainly would, that the reason that ball has more than a nominal value, is that Jeter earned the previous 2,999 hits that ball represents. Jeter, in essence, put all the equity into the ball. True, he has no legal right to it, but let's not pretend he has nothing to do with it.
   71. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 12, 2011 at 02:37 PM (#3875320)
Each of us has been given free will. I believe God has given us not just the right but the obligation to make value judgments on a day to day basis in our lives. There is no moral certainty here.

Sure, what I was arguing is the "alternative moral code" idea. Christianity categorically rejects that idea.

Of course we all have to make specific judgements to conform to that code.
   72. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: July 12, 2011 at 02:39 PM (#3875326)
He's not going to owe tax. The ball's more valuable than the trinkets he got back; thus, he had a capital loss on the ball.


Interesting to see if it works out that way. You could make that argument, I would think.


You can't take a loss on something that you paid no taxes on in the first place. In order for him to do what you suggest, he first has to declare the value, pay taxes on it, then take the loss on the difference between the value of the ball and the value of the tix. But that only gets us to where we are now anyway. Assuming you can even take a write off on a bad trade.
   73. depletion Posted: July 12, 2011 at 02:40 PM (#3875327)
The guy has a job, yet lives rent free with his parents (he mentioned this in a TV interview I saw last night, as partial justification for giving away the ball; as in "I live rent free, why not").


1) Some people like to live with their parents, and some parents like to have the children around. This is particularly true in cultures other than suburban America. NY isn't exactly cheap for a 23 year old.

2) All baseball related purchases are wasteful in some sense. $100 for a ticket? That could have been given to charity. Hours wasted on BTF?
   74. Lassus Posted: July 12, 2011 at 02:40 PM (#3875330)
I also saw him interviewed last night, which is what really pissed me off. It was his (paraphrasing) "I live rent free anyway" remark that really pissed me off.

Some parents actually like their kids, and you have no idea what sort of things he does for them or any of their relationship. This is a whole lot of speculation from you based on nothing.

I've never lived with my parents, nor have they offered. But if I was having hard times and needed to live with my mom, she would consider it an absolute insult, and a show of disrespect of her love for me if I attempted to pay rent to her. (Well, maybe not in that language, but she'd be incredibly sad and kind of pissed if I tried.)

Not everyone lives by your rules, snapper.
   75. -- Posted: July 12, 2011 at 02:42 PM (#3875335)
The ball was Lopez's property, which he chose to make a gift of to Jeter.

Is the ball actually in Jeter's possession, to remain indefinitely? (I ask because I didn't see it in TFA.)

If so, Jeter got a gift of (probably) $1M plus, and he should owe tax on that gift.
   76. The Good Face Posted: July 12, 2011 at 02:44 PM (#3875339)
I've never lived with my parents, nor have they offered.


I'm now imagining an infant Lassus being raised by friendly squirrels in Central Park.
   77. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 12, 2011 at 02:46 PM (#3875342)
Some parents actually like their kids, and you have no idea what sort of things he does for them or any of their relationship. This is a whole lot of speculation from you based on nothing.

I've never lived with my parents, nor have they offered. But if I was having hard times and needed to live with my mom, she would consider it an absolute insult, and a show of disrespect of her love for me if I attempted to pay rent to her. (Well, maybe not in that language, but she'd be incredibly sad and kind of pissed if I tried.)

Not everyone lives by your rules, snapper.


So he could take them to Hawaii or Europe, or buy them a car.

I am making assumptions, but hell, that's mostly what we do here.
   78. bunyon Posted: July 12, 2011 at 02:47 PM (#3875346)
If so, Jeter got a gift of (probably) $1M plus, and he should owe tax on that gift.

Now, this is a line of thinking I can get behind.
   79. Lassus Posted: July 12, 2011 at 02:50 PM (#3875349)
I'm now imagining an infant Lassus being raised by friendly squirrels in Central Park.

More like raccoons in the Mohawk Valley.
   80. Baldrick Posted: July 12, 2011 at 02:54 PM (#3875356)
The guy can decide to do whatever he wants. However, I think it's totally fair to say that *I* in such a circumstance would never do what he did. And if I had a friend who did this I would yell at them for being so stupid.

But even further, it's also totally fair to be critical of the coverage of this story, as if he were some kind of moral paragon. That's not really where this thread ended up going, but I think it's the real issue here.
   81. Spahn Insane Posted: July 12, 2011 at 02:56 PM (#3875359)
Incompetent fanboys getting ripped off by sharks.

While the chorus roots for the sharks.

Sports in America 2011.

America 2011.


This fan was just giving back what he's already wrongfully stolen from Jeter and other wealthy taxpayers, in the form of his subsidized student loans and whatnot. Karmic justice, really....damn welfare leaches.
   82. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 12, 2011 at 03:03 PM (#3875370)
Because I think this guy's a fool?


No. Because you're poking your nose into something that's really none of your business, i.e. the relationship between this guy and his parents, and making moral judgments about them without having the knowledge and context necessary to do so.
   83. Rally Posted: July 12, 2011 at 03:08 PM (#3875375)
How is it un-Christian to point out that he is screwing over his parents (and his creditors) to suck-up to Derek Jeter?

He has legal and moral obligations that he could meet with that money, yet he chooses to curry favor with an athlete who wouldn't notice if he dropped dead tomorrow. This clown doesn't even want to sell his memorabilia, so he plans to leech off his parents more.


I'm not going to question whether it is un-Christian, but I do question the accuracy of your criticism. I didn't see anything in that article about him being in default on the student loans. He has no obligation to repay all his student loans at once just because he comes into a situation that could potentially earn him a lot of money. His contractual obligation is to make monthly payments for a long period of time and I see no indication that he is not meeting that. As for screwing over his parents, that is not obvious either. Their living arrangement is not really any of our business. But if the parents are OK with offering him free room into his 20's, he's not doing any harm to them by accepting it.
   84. ...and Toronto selects: Troy Tulowitzki Posted: July 12, 2011 at 03:09 PM (#3875376)
"What an awful thread."

Hahaha.
   85. Tim McCarver's Orange Marmalade Posted: July 12, 2011 at 03:09 PM (#3875377)
"If so, Jeter got a gift of (probably) $1M plus, and he should owe tax on that gift."

The recipient of a gift does not have to pay any taxes; only the giver, and only if the amount given is in excess of a $1 million (lifetime). In 2011, that number is supposed to be $5 million, so I can't see how Jeter could owe anything. And really, the value that the Yankees gave to Lopez in free seats and such should be considered a gift, since he didn't win a prize of any kind. The team didn't have to give him anything - he had already given up the ball. It was an act of generosity. That's the way things should turn out; how it actually will wind up is a different story.
   86. ...and Toronto selects: Troy Tulowitzki Posted: July 12, 2011 at 03:09 PM (#3875378)
   87. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: July 12, 2011 at 03:15 PM (#3875384)
He has legal and moral obligations that he could meet with that money, yet he chooses to curry favor with an athlete who wouldn't notice if he dropped dead tomorrow.

What makes you think the guy is failing to meet his financial obligations?
   88. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: July 12, 2011 at 03:30 PM (#3875402)
What makes you think the guy is failing to meet his financial obligations?

Well, what makes you think that God doesn't tweet?
   89. -- Posted: July 12, 2011 at 03:49 PM (#3875417)
Well, what makes you think that God doesn't tweet?

What if he isn't, though? Would your position be any different if he was in default on his student loans?
   90. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 12, 2011 at 03:54 PM (#3875427)
He has no obligation to repay all his student loans at once just because he comes into a situation that could potentially earn him a lot of money. His contractual obligation is to make monthly payments for a long period of time and I see no indication that he is not meeting that. As for screwing over his parents, that is not obvious either. Their living arrangement is not really any of our business. But if the parents are OK with offering him free room into his 20's, he's not doing any harm to them by accepting it.

He has no obligation, I'm talking about what would be the right thing to do.
   91. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: July 12, 2011 at 03:59 PM (#3875434)
I don't know why anyone's surprised by Snapper's stance. He understands that money is the real God.
   92. Lassus Posted: July 12, 2011 at 04:03 PM (#3875439)
He has no obligation, I'm talking about what would be the right thing to do.

If his parents love him and he loves his parents, what exactly is wrong about the current setup?

Aren't you constantly carping on the weakening of the American family? Now we come across a strong one and you don't like that either?

I agree that keeping the ball is a far better decision, but when you get into some kind of moral judgment of what occurred and the kid himself, I think you stop making sense.
   93. -- Posted: July 12, 2011 at 04:06 PM (#3875444)
The recipient of a gift does not have to pay any taxes; only the giver, and only if the amount given is in excess of a $1 million (lifetime). In 2011, that number is supposed to be $5 million, so I can't see how Jeter could owe anything. And really, the value that the Yankees gave to Lopez in free seats and such should be considered a gift, since he didn't win a prize of any kind. The team didn't have to give him anything - he had already given up the ball. It was an act of generosity. That's the way things should turn out; how it actually will wind up is a different story.


That isn't the fact pattern anyway, since the Yankees were involved and paid for the ball. If the Yankees gave him the ball -- still an "if" until I see/hear confirmation that they did -- it's income to Jeter from his employer, and Jeter owes income taxes and the Yankees owe payroll taxes. The Yankees should also owe MLB luxury tax.
   94. Greg Pope Posted: July 12, 2011 at 04:17 PM (#3875454)
Yeah, simple really. Say you get a gift worth $50,000. If taxed at 25%, then the amount extra to pay taxes on the gift, and taxes on the money to pay taxes, and so on, is an infinite converging series in the mode of 1/4^n, easily solved with calculus. Or if you prefer, add up 1/4 + 1/16 + 1/64... and multiply by $50,000. Like Zeno's Paradox.

It's not even really this complicated. You get a gift worth $50,000. Company gives you enough money so that after taxes, your net is $50,000. So if your taxes are 30%, you just need to get enough money so that your total gross compensation minus 30% is $50,000. So 50,000 / .7 = 71428.57. So they write a check for $21,428.57 and you're covered. No?
   95. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: July 12, 2011 at 04:18 PM (#3875455)
He has no obligation, I'm talking about what would be the right thing to do.

There is no moral right or wrong in this situation, at least not based on the information that has been presented.
   96. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: July 12, 2011 at 04:20 PM (#3875456)
Aren't you constantly carping on the weakening of the American family? Now we come across a strong one and you don't like that either?

Well, with a name like Lopez, how do you know his family isn't an den of illegal immigrants who deserve to be deported for stealing jobs from real Americans?
   97. -- Posted: July 12, 2011 at 04:30 PM (#3875462)
There is no moral right or wrong in this situation, at least not based on the information that has been presented.

The Yankees dragging him into their offices and lowballing him to get the ball is a wrong, likely rising to the level of "moral wrong." Jeter availing himself of the fruits of that wrong, is also wrong.
   98. Tuque Posted: July 12, 2011 at 04:35 PM (#3875465)
57. snapper
[...]calling out an action as wrong is not casting the proverbial stone. There's a clear difference between condemning the action, and condemning the person.

65. snapper
[...]I think this guy's a fool
   99. carpenoctem Posted: July 12, 2011 at 04:43 PM (#3875467)
It's not even really this complicated. You get a gift worth $50,000. Company gives you enough money so that after taxes, your net is $50,000. So if your taxes are 30%, you just need to get enough money so that your total gross compensation minus 30% is $50,000. So 50,000 / .7 = 71428.57. So they write a check for $21,428.57 and you're covered. No?


That doesn't take into account taxes on that $21,428.57. That's why you need to do the infinite sum.
   100. Lassus Posted: July 12, 2011 at 04:46 PM (#3875470)
The Yankees dragging him into their offices and lowballing him to get the ball is a wrong, likely rising to the level of "moral wrong." Jeter availing himself of the fruits of that wrong, is also wrong.

Inge was responding to the moral right and wrong of Lopez as presented by snapper; you're looking to have a different conversation, one that wasn't occurring in that exchange.
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