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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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   101. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 12, 2011 at 04:49 PM (#3875471)
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."

If Lopez winds up getting stuck with a tax bill for the stuff he got in return, and if the Yankees don't cover that expense, then you've got a point.

Jeter availing himself of the fruits of that wrong, is also wrong.

That's only true if the entire value you assign to the ball is monetary and not sentimental, which is a POV more familiar to beancounters than to most baseball fans. Jeter's entire life from the time was was a teenager has focused on being the shortstop for the Yankees, and that #3000 ball represents not only that particular hit, but one of the highlight days of his long and storied career. To say that it's "wrong" for him to want to have that ball can only be described as a profoundly perverse sentiment.
   102. Chicago Joe Posted: July 12, 2011 at 04:54 PM (#3875473)
That doesn't take into account taxes on that $21,428.57. That's why you need to do the infinite sum.

You don't have to do an infinite sum. The $50k is the net after taxes on the $71428.57.
   103. Swedish Chef Posted: July 12, 2011 at 04:58 PM (#3875476)
That doesn't take into account taxes on that $21,428.57. That's why you need to do the infinite sum.

Good thing it's a convergent series.
   104. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 12, 2011 at 04:59 PM (#3875478)
A Yankee legend gets his 3000th hit during one of the great days of his career. A Yankee fan hits the jackpot and catches the ball in the most unlikely place in the ballpark for a Jeter hit to land. The Yankee fan then offers the ball to Jeter and gets some goodies in return, and everyone is satisfied.

And what's the reaction we get on this great "Think Factory"?

---Jeter's committed a moral wrong

---The fan is a fool, an ass, and a moron

Little or nothing about the perversity of a tax code that would tax a ball that hasn't been sold, solely on the basis of an assumed value, or that would tax seats that also haven't been sold, solely on the basis of their face value. If there were ever a time to make a case against government overreach and faceless bureaucracies, this is it.

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, and not every cigar has to be deconstructed. 99.999% of the people who watched that home run were able to enjoy it for what it was, without such deconstruction, but I guess that's too much to expect of our thinking fan base.
   105. Joey B. Posted: July 12, 2011 at 05:01 PM (#3875479)
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."

From his account in his own words, they started off by asking him "So what do you want for the ball?", and he replied "I guess I really just want to give the ball to Mr. Jeter." They were apparently so stunned by this response that they left the room for a bit. When they came back they asked him if he wanted some jerseys and stuff, and he replied that, sure, he would love to have a few jerseys and maybe a couple of bats or something. They were apparently still so stunned by his generosity that they left the room yet again, and when they came back a second time they offered him the luxury seats for the rest of the season, including playoffs.

In other words, the Yankees did absolutely nothing wrong whatsoever. In fact, they voluntarily offered him even more than they had to to get the ball, which he was willing to give up for basically nothing. What in your mind should they have given him?
   106. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: July 12, 2011 at 05:06 PM (#3875482)
A Yankee legend gets his 3000th hit during one of the great days of his career. A Yankee fan hits the jackpot and catches the ball in the most unlikely place in the ballpark for a Jeter hit to land. The Yankee fan then offers the ball to Jeter and gets some goodies in return, and everyone is satisfied.

He didn't offer it to Jeter. Levine had him taken to his office in the middle of the game to buy it for Jeter at the lowest possible price. (**) Jeter was the likely knowing beneficiary of Levine's brokerage.

You'd rightly never accept the "everyone is satisfied" argument in other one-sided contracts -- child labor, warranty fine print, etc. You ahouldn't be so quick to accept it here. The Yankees and Jeter exploited the guy.

Nor, though it's beside the point, can I see how you don't think Jeter and the Yankees should pay income and payroll taxes on $2-$3M in income paid by the Yankees to Jeter.

(**) Again, assuming it made its way to Jeter.
   107. carpenoctem Posted: July 12, 2011 at 05:06 PM (#3875483)
You don't have to do an infinite sum. The $50k is the net after taxes on the $71428.57.


Yeah, you're right, got kinda confused there for a second. It's the same thing really, since the infinite sum would add up to 50000/(1-0.3).

Good thing it's a convergent series.


Ah, but what if your taxes are more than 100%?
   108. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: July 12, 2011 at 05:14 PM (#3875492)
And what's the reaction we get on this great "Think Factory"?

---Jeter's committed a moral wrong

---The fan is a fool, an ass, and a moron


I would argue that the comments you list above are those of a relatively low number of posters on this thread. I think SugarBear is the only one railing against the Yankees (I don't think anyone has actually criticized Jeter in this) and snapper is the only one making the latter comments.

A number of people have said they think the fan made a mistake in giving away the ball but I think the harshest terms have been from relatively few.

I can't speak for anyone else but I'm the biggest Red Sox loving/Yankee hating/Screw Jeter/Nomah's bettah fan you'll find and I took time out from attending events at the SABR convention to watch the at bat on the app on my iPhone. I was thrilled to get to see him do it and it reminded me of how I felt when my parents woke me up in 1979 to watch Yaz ground one past Randolph for his 3,000th hit. I imagine that is how the majority of us felt at that moment, genuine joy at seeing a great player do something special.
   109. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 12, 2011 at 05:15 PM (#3875493)
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.


Basically agree with Snapper: it wasn't a wise decision on the part of the guy. A pretty horrible one, in fact, given his current lot in life as compared to the guy he's gifting some $250,000 to.

At some point the fan should realize that he made the decision a 13 year old kid would, not someone who's 23. Yes, yes, he wanted to do something nice for his boyhood idol. The problem is that this is a child's view, and sports is a business.

And Jeter should have told the team: Look, when you bring him in I'd prefer if the only offer you make to him is that I'll pay him the fair market value of the ball in exchange for it.
   110. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: July 12, 2011 at 05:25 PM (#3875507)
And Jeter should have told the team: Look, when you bring him in I'd prefer if the only offer you make to him is that I'll pay him the fair market value of the ball in exchange for it.


Possibly. But there was a game going on at the time, and it's not like it was a foregone conclusion that a fan would get hit #3,000. I can see Derek going to management before the game and saying "Look, if my 3,000th hit is a home run, here's what I'd like you to do..." And Levine rolls his eyes, suppresses a snort, and says "OK, Derek, IF it's a HR, we'll do that."
   111. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: July 12, 2011 at 05:26 PM (#3875508)
At some point the fan should realize that he made the decision a 13 year old kid would, not someone who's 23. Yes, yes, he wanted to do something nice for his boyhood idol. The problem is that this is a child's view, and sports is a business.

This.

Possibly. But there was a game going on at the time, and it's not like it was a foregone conclusion that a fan would get hit #3,000. I can see Derek going to management before the game and saying "Look, if my 3,000th hit is a home run, here's what I'd like you to do..." And Levine rolls his eyes, suppresses a snort, and says "OK, Derek, IF it's a HR, we'll do that."

There's no non-fanboy reason to believe Jeter and Levine didn't work out the lowball strategy in advance. Jeter sure as hell wasn't going to pay fair market value for the ball.
   112. AROM Posted: July 12, 2011 at 05:31 PM (#3875514)
He has no obligation, I'm talking about what would be the right thing to do.


By his parents, certainly some token of appreciation would be right. But they might enjoy sharing his 4 tickets to some pretty good Yankee seats more than some rent money from their son.

To the banks that hold his student loans, there is no moral right or wrong between paying them over 20 years or whatever the contractual obligation is, or paying them off in a lump sum.

From a purely personal finance standpoint, passing that opportunity up was not a prudent decision. Still, there's a lot I don't know here, like what kind of degree he got for that kind of student loan debt. It sounds like his family is pretty comfortable, maybe well off. If he's in the process of getting a law or a medical degree then in a few years paying that student loan debt won't be a big problem for him.
   113. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: July 12, 2011 at 05:34 PM (#3875515)
To the banks that hold his student loans, there is no moral right or wrong between paying them over 20 years or whatever the contractual obligation is, or paying them off in a lump sum.

Unless he's in default, in which case if student loans are like regular loans, his obligation is accelerated and he owes the entire balance.
   114. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 12, 2011 at 05:37 PM (#3875517)
A Yankee legend gets his 3000th hit during one of the great days of his career. A Yankee fan hits the jackpot and catches the ball in the most unlikely place in the ballpark for a Jeter hit to land. The Yankee fan then offers the ball to Jeter and gets some goodies in return, and everyone is satisfied.

He didn't offer it to Jeter.


As Joey noted, "From his account in his own words, they started off by asking him 'So what do you want for the ball?', and he replied 'I guess I really just want to give the ball to Mr. Jeter.'"

Levine had him taken to his office in the middle of the game to buy it for Jeter at the lowest possible price. (**)

That explains why they raised the offer twice after he'd accepted the first one.

Jeter was the likely knowing beneficiary of Levine's brokerage.

We can all agree on that, though given the fact that he'd hit the ball to begin with, and that it was a symbol of something he'd worked at for over 20 years, I'm not sure why that's so terrible.

You'd rightly never accept the "everyone is satisfied" argument in other one-sided contracts -- child labor, warranty fine print, etc. You ahouldn't be so quick to accept it here. The Yankees and Jeter exploited the guy.

As if this guy was a swimover without papers who'd been picking grapes in 100 degree temperatures for 8 bucks an hour. You really need to give this "exploitation" line a rest before you start channeling Zirin and call the guy a "slave."

Nor, though it's beside the point, can I see how you don't think Jeter and the Yankees should pay income and payroll taxes on $2-$3M in income paid by the Yankees to Jeter.

If I could understand the point you're trying to make here, I might respond to it.

(**) Again, assuming it made its way to Jeter.


I think it's safe to say that the Yankees will respect Jeter's wishes as to the ball's final destination.
   115. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 12, 2011 at 05:37 PM (#3875518)
There is no moral right or wrong in this situation, at least not based on the information that has been presented.


I'm fairly comfortable in saying that it would be wrong for Lopez to take the ball and use it to dash out an infant's brains.

Unless it was, like, Baby Hitler.
   116. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: July 12, 2011 at 05:38 PM (#3875519)
Basically agree with Snapper: it wasn't a wise decision on the part of the guy. A pretty horrible one, in fact, given his current lot in life as compared to the guy he's gifting some $250,000 to.
Most people don't look at a ball caught at a game as being a taxable gift, so I don't think it's fair to rip this guy for doing what he thought was the right thing to do (Jeter hit the ball, it's Jeter's 3000th hit, give the ball to Jeter).

In the future, most teams should, instead of asking what the person wants, start simply paying for landmark balls. Offer some market price for them so they can get the ball, and the person who catches it doesn't suffer any serious tax repercussions.
   117. Bad Doctor Posted: July 12, 2011 at 05:41 PM (#3875520)
I don't even know if people are still arguing the income tax issue, but it looks like nobody's posted the IRS press release from 1998 that suggests that Lopez will not be subject to income tax.

Income & Gift Taxes Apply to Catching Homerun Balls

WASHINGTON - In response to press speculation resulting from events in major league baseball, the Internal Revenue Service today provided a brief explanation of the basic income and gift tax principles that would apply to a baseball fan who catches a home run ball and immediately returns it.

In general, the fan in these circumstances would not have taxable income. This conclusion is based on an analogy to principles of tax law that apply when someone immediately declines a prize or returns unsolicited merchandise. There would likewise be no gift tax in these circumstances. The tax results may be different if the fan decided to sell the ball.

Commenting on this situation, IRS Commissioner Charles 0. Rossotti said, "Sometimes pieces of the tax code can be as hard to understand as the infield fly rule. All I know is that the fan who gives back the home run ball deserves a round of applause, not a big tax bill."
   118. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 12, 2011 at 05:42 PM (#3875521)
That explains why they raised the offer twice after he'd accepted the first one.


Hilaripus.
   119. Swedish Chef Posted: July 12, 2011 at 05:44 PM (#3875523)
There's no non-fanboy reason to believe Jeter and Levine didn't work out the lowball strategy in advance. Jeter sure as hell wasn't going to pay fair market value for the ball.

If there's one thing the Yankees do, it is flashing the cash. That the team president and Jeter should get in a huddle to strategize how to get the ball cheaply in the very unlikely event that he hits a HR sounds pretty off, that's Loria stuff.
   120. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: July 12, 2011 at 05:44 PM (#3875526)
As Joey noted, "From his account in his own words, they started off by asking him 'So what do you want for the ball?', and he replied 'I guess I really just want to give the ball to Mr. Jeter.'"

That's not the Times version, and I'll go with that. No real difference anyway; instead of giving him nothing, they gave him two or three pennies on the dollar. I hope you aren't suggesting the Yankees should be lauded for "raising their offer."

That explains why they raised the offer twice after he'd accepted the first one.

I guess you are.

We can all agree on that, though given the fact that he'd hit the ball to begin with, and that it was a symbol of something he'd worked at for over 20 years, I'm not sure why that's so terrible.

Because that's not the way the economy works. The "value" of something isn't the labor someone puts into it (and Jeter didn't put any labor into the ball, anyway), other than under theoretical Marxism. He didn't own the symbol of his work, until it was pilfered for him.

As if this guy was a swimover without papers who'd been picking grapes in 100 degree temperatures for 8 bucks an hour. You really need to give this "exploitation" line a rest before you start channeling Zirin and call the guy a "slave."

They didn't steal his labor, I'll grant you that. They did, however, effectively steal his money.
   121. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 12, 2011 at 05:45 PM (#3875527)
Here's a suggestion for all you guys who know what's best for poor moronic Lopez: Get into the sports fan's agent business, and become yet another symbol of the overcommodification of everything.

But seriously, life is sometimes bliss, and sometimes it's a bitch, but does it always have to be a ####### Leland's auction? Does every ####### piece of memorabilia have a moral obligation to go to the highest bidder? Is there a single part of sports that you'll willing to let escape the relentless realm of numbers and money?
   122. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: July 12, 2011 at 05:46 PM (#3875528)
This is one of the most depressing threads I've seen in some time. The capitalist mentality has overtaken our society to the extent that we not only lambaste somebody as an idiot for not behaving like Homo economicus, we take the next step further to saying he's a horrible person for depriving his family of money by failing to negotiate properly and giving up the one opportunity he'll ever have to engage in high-stakes brinksmanship.

Edit: This guy may in fact be an idiot.
   123. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 12, 2011 at 05:48 PM (#3875531)
We can all agree on that, though given the fact that he'd hit the ball to begin with, and that it was a symbol of something he'd worked at for over 20 years, I'm not sure why that's so terrible


The honorable thing for Jeter to do right now is to pay the guy $250,000 less the value of the tickets the Yankees gave him.
   124. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: July 12, 2011 at 05:50 PM (#3875532)
But seriously, life is sometimes bliss, and sometimes it's a #####, but does it always have to be a ####### Leland's auction? Does every ####### piece of memorabilia have a moral obligation to go to the highest bidder? Is there a single part of sports that you'll willing to let escape the relentless realm of numbers and money?

I'm with you on this general sentiment. You've got it assbackwards in this particular instance, though. The Yankees don't get to whore everything out, down to the dingleberries on Horace Clarke's tighty whities and then get a $2-3 million ball for nothing and escape criticism.
   125. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 12, 2011 at 05:53 PM (#3875533)
This is one of the most depressing threads I've seen in some time. The capitalist mentality has overtaken our society to the extent that we not only lambaste somebody as an idiot for not behaving like Homo economicus, we take the next step further to saying he's a horrible person for depriving his family of money by failing to negotiate properly and giving up the one opportunity he'll ever have to engage in high-stakes brinksmanship.


He made a dumb decision and one that completely ignored the needs of himself and his family in favor of a millionaire athlete and billionaire sports franchise. It would have been little burden on Jeter or the Yankees to fairly compensate him for the ball if they wanted it as badly as they appeared to. And if they didn't, he could have auctioned it.
   126. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: July 12, 2011 at 05:53 PM (#3875535)
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.


Well, if that guy dropped dead in front of Jetes, Jetes would notice. That guys is *big.* You'd have to step around him or something.

Student loans are one of the few debts that will follow your children after you die.
   127. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 12, 2011 at 05:54 PM (#3875536)
As Joey noted, "From his account in his own words, they started off by asking him 'So what do you want for the ball?', and he replied 'I guess I really just want to give the ball to Mr. Jeter.'"

That's not the Times version, and I'll go with that. No real difference anyway; instead of giving him nothing, they gave him two or three pennies on the dollar. I hope you aren't suggesting the Yankees should be lauded for "raising their offer."

That explains why they raised the offer twice after he'd accepted the first one.

I guess you are.


As I've said twice before, the Yankees should certainly cover any future tax liabilities that would prevent Lopez from enjoying the full use of what he got in exchange for the ball. I hope I don't have to repeat this a fourth time.

We can all agree on that, though given the fact that he'd hit the ball to begin with, and that it was a symbol of something he'd worked at for over 20 years, I'm not sure why that's so terrible.

Because that's not the way the economy works. The "value" of something isn't the labor someone puts into it (and Jeter didn't put any labor into the ball, anyway), other than under Marxism. He didn't own the symbol of his work, until it was pilfered for him.


I'll leave you to your deconstructed and decontextualized Marxism, or Friedmanism, or whatever God you're meaning to evoke by this rhetorical diarrhea.

As if this guy was a swimover without papers who'd been picking grapes in 100 degree temperatures for 8 bucks an hour. You really need to give this "exploitation" line a rest before you start channeling Zirin and call the guy a "slave."

They didn't steal his labor, I'll grant you that. They did, however, effectively steal his money.


So become his lawyer and sue the Yankees for a contingency fee. Or become an agent for the next Lopez who comes along. Your moral possibilities are without limit.
   128. Tim McCarver's Orange Marmalade Posted: July 12, 2011 at 05:54 PM (#3875537)
"Little or nothing about the perversity of a tax code that would tax a ball that hasn't been sold..."

Well yeah, the whole idea of anybody being taxed in this situation is an abomination. The whole gift tax is hideous, and the less said about the estate tax (the reason the gift tax is supposed to exist), the better. The Yankees and Lopez are being attacked for their generosity. The whole thing is a farce.

"Now my advice for those who die, (taxman)
Declare the pennies on your eyes. (taxman)
'Cause I’m the taxman,
Yeah, I’m the taxman.

And you're working for no one but me..."
   129. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: July 12, 2011 at 05:58 PM (#3875540)
As I've said twice before, the Yankees should certainly cover any future tax liabilities that would prevent Lopez from enjoying the full use of what he got in exchange for the ball. I hope I don't have to repeat this a fourth time.

Andy, the tax issue is irrelevant, even though it was the topic of TFA.(**) The Yankees and Jeter -- likely in tandem -- didn't give the guy anything close to fair market value for the ball. That's the issue. Nor did Jeter "earn" the ball through his labor, anymore than the guy who builds the Ferrari has first claim on it vis-a-vis the rich guy who bought it. (***) That's ridiculous, notwithstanding your tu quoque efforts.

(**) And TFA has the guy's direct quotes and -- in his own words -- his first statement to Levine's parry wasn't the laughable "I just want to give the ball to Mr. Jeter." Far from it.

(***) Anyone with any savvy would have said precisely that to Levine had he said such a thing.
   130. SoSH U at work Posted: July 12, 2011 at 05:58 PM (#3875541)
I wouldn't go as far as some in the thread, but if a fan asked me what he should do with a valuable ball, I would certainly advise him to sell it to the highest bidder (or at least, at near market-price to the hitter). I think it's silly to be sitting in an overpriced seat in an overpriced stadium watching extraordinarily well-compensated individuals, all of whom will defend any and all decisions with "it's a business," and think there's anything honorable about giving your rightfully obtained property away for a pittance.
   131. Kirby Kyle Posted: July 12, 2011 at 06:00 PM (#3875544)
If I were a famous guy like Derek Jeter, I'd be overly impressed by my own power to create wealth. If hit #3000 were a single to right, the ball would be just a ball, flipped straight into the Yankee dugout. By hitting an improbable homer, Jeter turned the ball into a winning lottery ticket. I, as Jeter, would have said to the fan, "Way to go. Let me sign that ball for you, and let's pose for a picture. Now cash that thing in for whatever you can get. Promise that the winning bidder can also pose for a picture with me--that should double your money. And be sure to name your first son after me."

Make me famous like Derek Jeter, and I will make such things happen. You'll all be rich, and all your kids will be named Kirby.
   132. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 12, 2011 at 06:02 PM (#3875546)
This is one of the most depressing threads I've seen in some time. The capitalist mentality has overtaken our society to the extent that we not only lambaste somebody as an idiot for not behaving like Homo economicus, we take the next step further to saying he's a horrible person for depriving his family of money by failing to negotiate properly and giving up the one opportunity he'll ever have to engage in high-stakes brinksmanship.

Unions get smashed, and tens of million of workers work at sub-living wages. Sometimes these same people are out of work for years, and the reaction from the characters who are railing against Jeter is: Them's the breaks, don't raise my taxes, and show me your papers.

A fan comes to the ballpark on a sported ticket, and leaves with a nice stash of booty and an experience he'll keep with him for a lifetime, and the reaction from these same bozos is: He's a fool, and the Yankees are evil.

Only on BTF, the home of the most selective libertarianism that the world has ever seen. Pardon me if I laugh.
   133. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: July 12, 2011 at 06:07 PM (#3875552)
Unions get smashed, and tens of million of workers work at sub-living wages.

That's because corporations like the Yankees are well-practiced at exploiting people like Lopez.
   134. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 12, 2011 at 06:10 PM (#3875557)
For the reasons stated in #117, I don't think Lopez will end up paying any taxes. The IRS indicates there is no tax generated by mere receipt of the ball, and Lopez didn't sell it back to the Yankees or even barter it. He gave it back, and the Yankees, out of the generosity of their hearts (and an eye toward their public image) gave him some souvenirs & tickets (maybe $70-75K value). That happens all the time on a somewhat reduced scale without any tax liability, so it shouldn't be that hard to find a good tax lawyer who could benefit from a little publicity to make the case. If the case went to trial, the Yanks would look good and get even more free publicity, while the IRS would look bad and probably have a bunch of publicity seeking Congress critters on their back.

I suspect the IRS will pass on this.
   135. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 12, 2011 at 06:12 PM (#3875558)
As I've said twice before, the Yankees should certainly cover any future tax liabilities that would prevent Lopez from enjoying the full use of what he got in exchange for the ball. I hope I don't have to repeat this a fourth time.

Andy, the tax issue is irrelevant, even though it was the topic of TFA.


It certainly won't be irrelevant if the IRS comes knocking at Lopez's door.

The Yankees and Jeter -- likely in tandem -- didn't give the guy anything close to fair market value for the ball. That's the issue.

A point that would be relevant were either of them going to sell the ball.

Nor did Jeter "earn" the ball through his labor, anymore than the guy who builds the Ferrari has first claim on it vis-a-vis the rich guy who bought it. (***) That's ridiculous, notwithstanding your tu quoque efforts.

Yeah, that's a perfect comparison, as if players don't routinely get presented with milestone baseballs. In this case, if Lopez had decided to auction the ball, there would have been absolutely nothing wrong with that, but it seems here like you're trying to limit his decision to the one you'd like, in his own "best interest" or something like that. Talk about nannyism.
   136. depletion Posted: July 12, 2011 at 06:16 PM (#3875566)
But seriously, life is sometimes bliss, and sometimes it's a #####, but does it always have to be a ####### Leland's auction? Does every ####### piece of memorabilia have a moral obligation to go to the highest bidder? Is there a single part of sports that you'll willing to let escape the relentless realm of numbers and money?

Huzzah! Huzzah!

a $2-3 million ball

Where'd you get that number from?
In 2006, a San Francisco man named Andrew Morbitzer, who recovered Barry Bonds’s record-breaking 715th home run ball, sold the ball on eBay for $220,100. The ball Mark McGwire hit for his record-breaking 70th home run in 1998 sold for around $3 million.

I'd say the trend is downward.

Jeter is more popular than Bonds, but 3,000 hits is much more common than 715 home runs. Say the ball is worth $150,000. He got merchandise worth 50 to 80K. Kind of a rip-off, but not nearly the horror its being made out to be.
   137. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 12, 2011 at 06:16 PM (#3875568)
Unions get smashed, and tens of million of workers work at sub-living wages.

That's because corporations like the Yankees are well-practiced at exploiting people like Lopez.


Yes, it's "corporations like the Yankees" who are exploiting all those minimum and sub-minimum wage workers. Got it. Hello, Steinbrenner and goodbye, Big Agriculture. Wake me up the next time any of you speak out in favor of laws that protect the right of unions to organize without corporate harassment.
   138. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 12, 2011 at 06:16 PM (#3875569)
Unions get smashed, and tens of million of workers work at sub-living wages. Sometimes these same people are out of work for years, and the reaction from the characters who are railing against Jeter is: Them's the breaks, don't raise my taxes, and show me your papers.


The Yankees exploited this guy. I don't shed any tears for him, because he made his own decision, and they didn't do anything illegal. But they took advantage of him.
   139. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 12, 2011 at 06:19 PM (#3875570)
Yes, it's "corporations like the Yankees" who are exploiting all those minimum and sub-minimum wage workers. Got it. Hello, Steinbrenner and goodbye, Big Agriculture. Wake me up the next time any of you speak out in favor of laws that protect the right of unions to organize without corporate harassment.


Why, unions are pure as the driven snow!
   140. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: July 12, 2011 at 06:19 PM (#3875571)
It certainly won't be irrelevant if the IRS comes knocking at Lopez's door.

Yet another reason the Yankees/Jeter should have given him fair market value in cash rather than the overvalued trinkets they gave him.

A point that would be relevant were either of them going to sell the ball.

Huh? If I only want to hang the Van Gogh on my wall rather than sell it, I should pay less than market?

Yeah, that's a perfect comparison, as if players don't routinely get presented with milestone baseballs.

Enzo Hernandez's 250th hit is a perfect comp for Derek Jeter's 3,000th?
   141. Joey B. Posted: July 12, 2011 at 06:19 PM (#3875572)
Well yeah, the whole idea of anybody being taxed in this situation is an abomination. The whole gift tax is hideous, and the less said about the estate tax (the reason the gift tax is supposed to exist), the better. The Yankees and Lopez are being attacked for their generosity. The whole thing is a farce.

I concur with this statement and the sentiment behind it 100%. Hopefully, the Grinches will back off this kid, and if they don't, I hope it gets resolved somehow in a way that doesn't end up costing him a ton of money. Leave it to our government to ruin such a great story.
   142. Lowry Seasoning Salt Posted: July 12, 2011 at 06:33 PM (#3875584)
At some point the fan should realize that he made the decision a 13 year old kid would, not someone who's 23. Yes, yes, he wanted to do something nice for his boyhood idol. The problem is that this is a child's view, and sports is a business.

I'm much older than Mr. Lopez, I'm not a Yankees fan, and I don't idolize Jeter. Yet, before we knew what Mr. Lopez chose to do with the ball, I basically said I would do the exact same thing as Mr. Lopez chose to do (though, in truth, had Randy Levine asked me what I wanted, my response would have been, "Nothing. Take it."). And based on the sanctimoniousness prevalent in this thread, I am even more certain my approach would have been the correct one for me.
   143. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 12, 2011 at 06:33 PM (#3875586)
The Yankees exploited this guy. I don't shed any tears for him, because he made his own decision, and they didn't do anything illegal. But they took advantage of him.

Ladies and gentlemen, an historic first (and probably last): A complaint by Ray about a corporation's taking advantage of an individual.

-------------------------------

Huh? If I only want to hang the Van Gogh on my wall rather than sell it, I should pay less than market?

If someone gives you the Van Gogh, then the answer is---yes. At some point---perhaps not in your world---we have to stop trying to monetize every ####### transaction. It's like "What's the matter with Kansas?" has been replaced with "What's the matter with Lopez?" Why, this poor moron doesn't know what's good for him---but we'll be glad to tell him!
   144. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: July 12, 2011 at 06:35 PM (#3875590)
Jeter is more popular than Bonds, but 3,000 hits is much more common than 715 home runs.

And 3,000th hits that go out of the stadium and into private possession are exceedingly rare.

Say the ball is worth $150,000. He got merchandise worth 50 to 80K. Kind of a rip-off, but not nearly the horror its being made out to be.


As long as we're pulling things out of our asses, why don't we just say the ball is worth less than the Yankees paid him.
   145. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 12, 2011 at 06:35 PM (#3875591)
Lopez is happy with his decision. His family is happy with his decision. His girlfriend seems to be happy, too, and he's received a ton of favorable publicity that could be of considerable value in the years ahead, as well as some great tickets & souvenirs. The over-the-top criticism here seems unwarranted.
   146. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 12, 2011 at 06:38 PM (#3875593)
I'm much older than Mr. Lopez, I'm not a Yankees fan, and I don't idolize Jeter. Yet, before we knew what Mr. Lopez chose to do with the ball, I basically said I would do the exact same thing as Mr. Lopez chose to do (though, in truth, had Randy Levine asked me what I wanted, my response would have been, "Nothing. Take it."). And based on the sanctimoniousness prevalent in this thread, I am even more certain my approach would have been the correct one for me.

Personally I would have gladly settled for a few autographed balls, ten seasons' worth of front row bleacher tickets** (most of which I probably would have given away, and none of which I would have sold), and an agreement to cover any possible tax liabilities. That would have gotten me a nice lifelong memory and at least a few good BTF lectures about how moronic I was, and I would have lived happily ever after.

**postseasons included
   147. SoSH U at work Posted: July 12, 2011 at 06:43 PM (#3875604)
though, in truth, had Randy Levine asked me what I wanted, my response would have been, "Nothing. Take it."


I believe if Randy Levine asks you anything, the only appropriate response is "Go #### Yourself," and head the other way as quickly as possible. This has nothing to do with Jeter or souvenir baseballs or anything else. It's just common sense.
   148. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: July 12, 2011 at 06:44 PM (#3875606)
At some point---perhaps not in your world---we have to stop trying to monetize every ####### transaction.

The Yankees monetized the transaction. The Yankees hauled the guy in to buy his ball from him.

Personally I would have gladly settled for a few autographed balls, ten seasons' worth of front row bleacher tickets** (most of which I probably would have given away, and none of which I would have sold),

All of which the guy could have bought on ebay, with plenty of money left over. And all of which he could have bought, with plenty of money left over, if the Yankees/Jeter had given him fair market value for his ball.
   149. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: July 12, 2011 at 06:51 PM (#3875615)
I'd like to think I would have burned the damned thing.
   150. base ball chick Posted: July 12, 2011 at 06:52 PM (#3875616)
wonder what would have happened to the guy if he'd refused to leave his seat

interesting that Saint Jeter is getting no poopoo about costing this guy literally thousands of $$$ he don't got to GIVE a ball away. and yeah, jeter should have offered fair market value
   151. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 12, 2011 at 06:55 PM (#3875624)
and yeah, jeter should have offered fair market value

As so many other players have done?
   152. depletion Posted: July 12, 2011 at 06:58 PM (#3875627)
As long as we're pulling things out of our

I pulled my numbers from the Times article, except for the value of the Jeter ball. You keep writing about the "fair market value of the ball". So what is the value of the Jeter ball? Why is it worth more than Barry 715? You really think it's 2-3 million? We have a good idea of the value of merchandise Lopez received.
   153. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: July 12, 2011 at 07:05 PM (#3875640)
So what is the value of the Jeter ball?

We'll never know, since Levine and Jeter shook the guy down rather than pay him what it was worth.

We have a good idea of the value of merchandise Lopez received.


Only if you value the tickets at face, which is absurd. They're so costly because everybody wants them, yet they're always 50%+ empty, and Levine can just reach in the desk drawer and pull out four for the rest of the season.(**)

(**) And unless the guy's got all 39 games in hand, which I doubt, he'd have been well-served to have gotten something in writing.
   154. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: July 12, 2011 at 07:09 PM (#3875646)
I believe if Randy Levine asks you anything, the only appropriate response is "Go #### Yourself," and head the other way as quickly as possible. This has nothing to do with Jeter or souvenir baseballs or anything else. It's just common sense.

It's not "common sense", internet tough guy. It would be a very confrontational thing to do and would come naturally to barely anyone.
   155. Lowry Seasoning Salt Posted: July 12, 2011 at 07:13 PM (#3875651)
Mike Hogan, then 32, caught Wade Boggs's 3,000th hit when it reached the stands. He responded pretty much the same as Christian Lopez did, but the Devil Rays were more generous than the Yankees because they didn't do anything to enhance Mr. Hogan's tax burden:

The ball was caught in the stands by Mike Hogan, 32, of Tampa, who planned to give it back to Boggs. Fans were presented with a commemorative postcard when the game resumed after a four-minute delay.

“Right when it left the bat, I said: "Oh, my God. That's a home run and I'm never getting that ball back,” Boggs said.

But retrieving the souvenir was no problem. He exchanged a bat and jersey for the ball, and flipped it to his dad.

Said, Mr. Hogan, ""People will say I'm crazy, but he's had a Hall of Fame career and it's his baseball."

And from the looks of things, the rest of Mr. Hogan's life has largely gone okay.
   156. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: July 12, 2011 at 07:15 PM (#3875653)
(**) And unless the guy's got all 39 games in hand, which I doubt, he'd have been well-served to have gotten something in writing.


Yeah, because the money the Yankees would save by stiffing him (which, in your previous sentence you seem to think is close to zero), is worth much more than the bad pub they would receive.
   157. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: July 12, 2011 at 07:19 PM (#3875657)
Yeah, because the money the Yankees would save by stiffing him (which, in your previous sentence you seem to think is close to zero), is worth much more than the bad pub they would receive.

Are the Yankees making the guy do something affirmative to get his seats for each of the 39 games? Or does he have 4 tickets for 39 games in his possession?
   158. depletion Posted: July 12, 2011 at 07:22 PM (#3875658)
So what is the value of the Jeter ball?

We'll never know, since Levine and Jeter shook the guy down rather than pay him what it was worth.

But this statement implies you know the lower bound on the value of the ball. Every post you've made here implies that you know the lower bound of the value of the ball.

We have a good idea of the value of merchandise Lopez received.


Only if you value the tickets at face, which is absurd.

I got my numbers from the NYT article. Where did you get your numbers from?
   159. SoSH U at work Posted: July 12, 2011 at 07:23 PM (#3875659)
It's not "common sense", internet tough guy. It would be a very confrontational thing to do and would come naturally to barely anyone.


Are you not familiar with Randy Levine's body of work? He's like Yankee Redneck, though not nearly as charming.
   160. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: July 12, 2011 at 07:28 PM (#3875665)
But this statement implies you know the lower bound on the value of the ball. Every post you've made here implies that you know the lower bound of the value of the ball.

Bonds isn't a comp. 715 wasn't even a record, and 756 got wrapped up in the Ecko sideshow and everyone knew Ecko wanted the ball.

McGwire's $3 million ball wasn't a record either -- his 62 ball was -- and home run balls in private possession are less rare than 3,000 hit balls in private possession, of which it's possible there are precisely zero.

The rich have gotten richer and even more flighty since '98. Three million doesn't seem remotely outrageous for the ball representing the 3,000th hit of teh Jetes, the only Yankee to ever get 3,000 hits.

One-fifty is beyond ridiculous, if not batshit insane.
   161. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: July 12, 2011 at 07:38 PM (#3875674)
It's not "common sense", internet tough guy. It would be a very confrontational thing to do and would come naturally to barely anyone.

Are you not familiar with Randy Levine's body of work? He's like Yankee Redneck, though not nearly as charming.
Is this another example of how easy it is now to dislike Red Sox Nation?
   162. bads85 Posted: July 12, 2011 at 07:39 PM (#3875677)
You know what he should have done with the ball? Put a big ol' asterisk on it and sent it to Cooperstown to promote conversation for future generations.
   163. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 12, 2011 at 07:46 PM (#3875679)
You know what he should have done with the ball? Put a big ol' asterisk on it and sent it to Cooperstown to promote conversation for future generations.

Well, for that you'd have to include a video of bobm explaining why his advanced fielding metrics would have demoted the Jeter ball to the HoVG.
   164. SoSH U at work Posted: July 12, 2011 at 07:51 PM (#3875682)
Is this another example of how easy it is now to dislike Red Sox Nation?


This would be a reason for you and Crispix to dislike me, but I hope you wouldn't allow my crimes against humanity to put a black mark on Red Sox fans everywhere.

Never realized folks around here were so sensitive about jokes about icky Yankee mouthpiece Randy Levine. Learn something new, I guess.
   165. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: July 12, 2011 at 07:53 PM (#3875683)
He made a dumb decision and one that completely ignored the needs of himself and his family in favor of a millionaire athlete and billionaire sports franchise.

We could also use the alternative economic mechanism of "revealed preference" to determine that because of his revealed preference for tickets and gewgaws instead of money, he's not in as desperate a financial situation as you think he is. Surely, even if he's not the personality type to say "Screw you, Jeter, I'm going to hire an publicist and auction this off", he could have told the people in this Yankee Stadium back room that he was awfully grateful to be offered these wonderful memorabilia, but would much rather have the cash equivalent.
   166. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: July 12, 2011 at 07:53 PM (#3875684)
Never realized folks around here were so sensitive about jokes about icky Yankee mouthpiece Randy Levine. Learn something new, I guess.

If Randy Levine isn't in a class by himself as an #######, it sure doesn't take long to call the roll.
   167. depletion Posted: July 12, 2011 at 07:57 PM (#3875685)
Three million doesn't seem remotely outrageous for the ball representing the 3,000th hit of teh Jetes,

Bonds 756 got $752,467 at auction. Somehow 4 times that figure seems a trifle high.

Of Jeter’s 2,997 hits, less than 10 percent have ended up in the stands, making such an errand unlikely. But Brandon Steiner, founder of sports memorabilia company Steiner Sports, estimates the value of the baseball used for the 3,000th hit would be around $100,000.

“The Yankees seem committed to giving (Jeter) the ball,” Steiner said. “But if a fan could get it, then it’ll have some pretty good value. It will be in demand.”


from NJ article
   168. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: July 12, 2011 at 07:58 PM (#3875686)
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.


If he's a huge fan of the team, how is that delusional? There are lots of things more important than money. Part of being a fan is being attached to your team.

At some point the fan should realize that he made the decision a 13 year old kid would, not someone who's 23. Yes, yes, he wanted to do something nice for his boyhood idol. The problem is that this is a child's view, and sports is a business.


Mark 10:15 "Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein."

I think it's silly to be sitting in an overpriced seat in an overpriced stadium watching extraordinarily well-compensated individuals, all of whom will defend any and all decisions with "it's a business," and think there's anything honorable about giving your rightfully obtained property away for a pittance.


If you don't think money is particularly important, it makes all the sense in the world.
   169. depletion Posted: July 12, 2011 at 07:59 PM (#3875687)
Doug Allen, president of Chicago-based Legendary Auctions, said last month that the ball may be worth as much as $250,000. Since Jeter went 5 for 5 on the day and it was a home run, it might have even brought more.

“He left money on the table,” Allen said in a telephone interview today. “But at the end of the day he’s probably happy with what he got, and what a cool thing for a Yankee fan to be able to say that he caught that ball.”


from Bloomberg. Still sticking to $3,000,000?
   170. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 12, 2011 at 07:59 PM (#3875688)
Three million doesn't seem remotely outrageous for the ball representing the 3,000th hit of teh Jetes

This is just trolling. It's common knowledge that the McGwire ball was a drastic overpay. Nothing has come close, and you aren't getting that type of money for any ball today.
   171. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: July 12, 2011 at 08:00 PM (#3875689)
Never realized folks around here were so sensitive about jokes about icky Yankee mouthpiece Randy Levine. Learn something new, I guess.

I couldn't even tell you who Randy Levine was until today, and probably neither could Christian Lopez until he had caught the ball and was brought into an audience with him. My point was that it's not a natural act to respond to The President Of The Yankees welcoming you into his office and asking "What do you want?" by refusing to negotiate and walking out.
   172. SoSH U at work Posted: July 12, 2011 at 08:03 PM (#3875691)
“But at the end of the day he’s probably happy with what he got, and what a cool thing for a Yankee fan to be able to say that he caught that ball.”


He still would have been able to say that even if he'd extracted maximum value out of the old horsehide.

I couldn't even tell you who Randy Levine was until today, and probably neither could Christian Lopez until he had caught the ball and was brought into an audience with him. My point was that it's not a natural act to respond to The President Of The Yankees welcoming you into his office and asking "What do you want?" by refusing to negotiate and walking out.


And I really don't advocate telling Randy Levine, or anyone else for that matter, to go #### themselves. It was just a comment on how loathsome I find Mr. Levine.
   173. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: July 12, 2011 at 08:08 PM (#3875693)
Bonds 756 got $752,467 at auction.

An auction everyone knew one guy was going to win.

McGwire 70, not a record, got $3 million.

There has been one Yankee to get 3,000 hits and this was the ball he did it with. There are next to no, likely no, 3,000 hit balls in private circulation. The one Yankee to get 3,000 hits is one of the most popular and well-known athletes ever. The game in which he got his 3,000th hit will be handed down as legend.

I'm uninterested in speculation by non-bidders who, from all indication, don't know #### from shinola.

Both 100 and 250 are ridiculous and barely worthy of discussion.
   174. Famous Original Joe C Posted: July 12, 2011 at 08:09 PM (#3875695)
My point was that it's not a natural act to respond to The President Of The Yankees welcoming you into his office and asking "What do you want?" by refusing to negotiate and walking out.

It was a joke, I don't think he was the least bit serious.
   175. Famous Original Joe C Posted: July 12, 2011 at 08:11 PM (#3875698)
An auction everyone knew one guy was going to win.

McGwire 70, not a record, got $3 million.

There has been one Yankee to get 3,000 hits and this was the ball he did it with. There are next to no, likely no, 3,000 hit balls in private circulation. The one Yankee to get 3,000 hits is one of the most popular and well-known athletes ever. The game in which he got his 3,000th hit will be handed down as legend.

I'm uninterested in speculation by non-bidders.

Both 100 and 250 are ridiculous and barely worthy of discussion.


In a long and storied career of saying stupid, ridiculous, and occasionally mean-spirited #### on this website, this ranks right up there. Or you're joking, and I take that back.
   176. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: July 12, 2011 at 08:13 PM (#3875699)
I'm uninterested in speculation by non-bidders.

So, there are zero potential data points to factor into any computation of the "fair" "market" "value", since there aren't any bidders. Other than what we know it was actually exchanged for.

And I really don't advocate telling Randy Levine, or anyone else for that matter, to go #### themselves. It was just a comment on how loathsome I find Mr. Levine.

OK, I'm sorry. I interpreted it as one of those posts saying "Here's what I would do, if this happened to me, I wouldn't put up with any crap like this loser did."
   177. depletion Posted: July 12, 2011 at 08:18 PM (#3875701)
The bullet passed harmlessly through his brain.
   178. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 12, 2011 at 08:19 PM (#3875702)
OK, I'm sorry. I interpreted it as one of those posts saying "Here's what I would do, if this happened to me, I wouldn't put up with any crap like this loser did."


Here's what I would do, if this happened to me: I wouldn't put up with any crap like this loser did.
   179. SoSH U at work Posted: July 12, 2011 at 08:21 PM (#3875704)
OK, I'm sorry. I interpreted it as one of those posts saying "Here's what I would do, if this happened to me, I wouldn't put up with any crap like this loser did."


No problem. And FTR, though you don't remember the name, here is a comment you made in reference to Randy Levine: Post 8. I typed Randy Levine into the search bar, and it just came back with a series of threads like that one.
   180. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: July 12, 2011 at 08:23 PM (#3875705)
So, there are zero potential data points to factor into any computation of the "fair" "market" "value", since there aren't any bidders. Other than what we know it was actually exchanged for.

There's no way the ball would go for $250 or less, thus the two quoted people who said 100 and 250 -- the "nonbidders" -- have no clue.

Other than that, I'm not sure what you mean by no potential data points. Bonds 756 went for around 750K in a sideshow auction. McGuire 70 went for $3 million. Even Bonds 715 went for more than 250 and that's barely a comp.

I'd say 750 would be the floor and I've explained why. If my life depended on over/under at a million, I'd pick over.

But we'll never know, since the ball was expropriated for far, far less than its market value.
   181. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 12, 2011 at 08:24 PM (#3875706)
If he's a huge fan of the team, how is that delusional? There are lots of things more important than money. Part of being a fan is being attached to your team.

If he doesn't need the money, sell it to Jeter for market value and give the proceeds to charity.

I'm a huge Yankee fan, and don't particularly need the money, but if I caught it you can be damned sure I could find someone who needs the money more than Derek Jeter.
   182. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 12, 2011 at 08:37 PM (#3875717)
There's no way the ball would go for $250 or less, thus the two quoted people who said 100 and 250 -- the "nonbidders" -- have no clue.


The only possible way for you to know this is if you personally have both the inclination to pay more than that for it and the means to do so.
   183. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: July 12, 2011 at 08:40 PM (#3875722)
The only possible way for you to know this is if you personally have both the inclination to pay more than that for it and the means to do so.

Oh, I see what you did there. Reasoning based on precedent isn't the same as "knowing" something.

Crafty.
   184. Famous Original Joe C Posted: July 12, 2011 at 08:41 PM (#3875724)
Here's what I would do, if this happened to me: I wouldn't put up with any crap like this loser did.

Well, in fairness, Ray, you wouldn't be able to help it; that's the way they programmed you in the lab.
   185. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: July 12, 2011 at 08:44 PM (#3875727)

If he doesn't need the money, sell it to Jeter for market value and give the proceeds to charity.


Why? How is that better?
   186. Swedish Chef Posted: July 12, 2011 at 08:44 PM (#3875730)
Bonds 756 got $752,467 at auction.

An auction everyone knew one guy was going to win.


So a committed bidder keeps prices down? That's quite heterodox economics.
   187. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 12, 2011 at 08:50 PM (#3875734)
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.


If he's a huge fan of the team, how is that delusional? There are lots of things more important than money.

Tell that to this pathetic collection of grubby little beancounters, whose idea of fandom extends all the way to their rotisserie league rosters. They can talk about a "willing buyer and a willing seller" situation in a Guatemalan sweatshop, but they can't imagine that this concept would ever apply in the case of a fan who doesn't want to cash in his good fortune for the full auction value. I'm only half surprised they haven't suggested instigating a lawsuit against him on behalf of his parents and the student loan company.
   188. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: July 12, 2011 at 08:53 PM (#3875736)
So a committed bidder keeps prices down? That's quite heterodox economics.

Knowing you aren't going to win keeps bidders away. That's mainstream economics.
   189. Swedish Chef Posted: July 12, 2011 at 08:53 PM (#3875737)
I'ts probably for the best that the haters in this thread never have heard of Grigori Perelman.
   190. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 12, 2011 at 08:58 PM (#3875741)
Why? How is that better?

Because someone who needs the money a lot more than Derek Jeter gets the benefit of his largesse.

A ppor man giving a huge gift to a very, very rich man is rather obscene.
   191. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 12, 2011 at 09:00 PM (#3875742)
I'ts probably for the best that the haters in this thread never have heard of Grigori Perelman.

Why, did they give the prize he turned down to some really rich guy instead?
   192. depletion Posted: July 12, 2011 at 09:02 PM (#3875744)
Why, did they give the prize he turned down to some really rich guy instead?

Essentially, yes. $4,000,000, I believe.

edit: About $1,015,000, actually.
   193. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: July 12, 2011 at 09:03 PM (#3875745)
They can talk about a "willing buyer and a willing seller" situation in a Guatemalan sweatshop, but they can't imagine that this concept would ever apply in the case of a fan who doesn't want to cash in his good fortune for the full auction value.

The Yankees had no right to the difference between the value of the ball and what the guy was willing to accept. Nor did Jeter. The fact that they expropriated it is, as Snapper noted, obscene.

Tell that to this pathetic collection of grubby little beancounters

Right concept, wrong parties. The Yankees are the grubby little beancounters. Jeter might be as well, depending on his role in the plot and his motivation.
   194. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: July 12, 2011 at 09:22 PM (#3875751)
Grigori Perelman is a genius who voluntarily abjured a prize he won in a contest of talent. His story has no relevance to the Yankee/Lopez saga.

It might be tangentially analogous if Lopez had voluntarily given the ball back, but that plainly wasn't the case. He was affirmatively solicited to sell it for a price. The Perelman analogy to Lopez/Yankees would be someone prevailing on him to sell his right to the million for $10,000.
   195. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 12, 2011 at 09:38 PM (#3875761)
Tell that to this pathetic collection of grubby little beancounters,


The idiot paid $250,000 to have his picture taken with Derek Jeter, Andy. Get a grip.
   196. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 12, 2011 at 09:58 PM (#3875771)
And I will further drive the point home:

The idiot with the net worth of -$100,000 was coaxed by the entity with the net worth of $1.2 billion to pay $250,000 to have his picture taken with the athlete with the net worth of $200 million.

He's in debt $100,000 and he paid $250,000 to do a favor for a multi-millionaire. He's a fool, and one day he'll realize it if he hasn't already.

Life's lessons come hard.
   197. Lassus Posted: July 12, 2011 at 10:04 PM (#3875776)
Basically agree with snapper... (who called him a moron)

...like this loser...

The idiot...


Ray, perhaps you could take your own advice about the grip, there.
   198. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: July 12, 2011 at 10:06 PM (#3875780)
The honorable thing for Jeter to do right now is to pay the guy $250,000 less the value of the tickets the Yankees gave him.

It's not Jeter's obligation. It's David Price's. He's the one who threw a hittable pitch. Or maybe the scout who signed Price.

...and he's received a ton of favorable publicity that could be of considerable value in the years ahead

I'll never forget Sal Durante's legendary Hollywood career.

In any event, kudos to the Yankees for giving up four impossibly high-demand, sold-out Legends season ticke... oh.
   199. Forsch 10 From Navarone (Dayn) Posted: July 12, 2011 at 10:09 PM (#3875783)
He's in debt $100,000 and he paid $250,000 to do a favor for a multi-millionaire. He's a fool, and one day he'll realize it if he hasn't already.

Life's lessons come hard.




And yet this guy, years later, seems just fine with having made a very similar decision.
   200. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 12, 2011 at 10:09 PM (#3875784)
Ray, perhaps you could take your own advice about the grip, there.


Well, what do you call someone who's in debt $100,000 paying $250,000 to a millionaire?

It's not like he's Mark Ecko.
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