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Monday, August 13, 2012

Passion, not cash drove Andre Dawson to Hall of Fame

As middleman turned conmansultant, Denis Musgraves Waitley, once said…“Chase your passion, not your MLB pension.”

From Dawson’s viewpoint, the game’s somewhat different today. Money has skewed the structure of baseball — from the minors on up.

“With so much money being tossed around, with players able to make so much earlier (in their career), that seems to be their main motivation,” Dawson said. “You rarely see, ‘for the love of the game;’ players going out, wanting to be loyal; wanting to spend a lot of extra time making sure they belong (in the Major Leagues).

“I see a lot of players who really aren’t seasoned; who don’t know the basics and fundamentals. More so, than in the past, money is driving the game. It’s still played the same, but a lot more players play the game for the money itself.”

Dawson finds this new state of the game hard to fathom.

His dream couldn’t be bought.

Repoz Posted: August 13, 2012 at 06:06 AM | 18 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: business, history

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   1. Best Regards, President of Comfort Posted: August 13, 2012 at 07:11 AM (#4207069)
Eleven years into his Major League career with the Montreal Expos, Dawson’s aching knees begged for a break. He had to get off Olympic Stadium’s hard artificial turf.

Before the 1987 season, his agent handed Cubs GM Dallas Green a signed blank contract. Green scribbled in $500,000. The deal was done.

Dawson responded to win the National League MVP award that year.

What player, or agent, in his right mind would do that today?


I'm really not sure what to say here. I think this thread should just be "Famous Events in History, as described by Al Lesar", with important facts omitted.
   2. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: August 13, 2012 at 07:38 AM (#4207077)
...and get off my turf lawn!
   3. JJ1986 Posted: August 13, 2012 at 09:05 AM (#4207104)
Before the 1987 season, his agent handed Cubs GM Dallas Green a signed blank contract. Green scribbled in $500,000. The deal was done.


I thought this was a collusion thing.
   4. Best Regards, President of Comfort Posted: August 13, 2012 at 09:14 AM (#4207108)
I thought this was a collusion thing.
It was, but it's so easy to spin it into a "Andre Dawson didn't care about money!" story, that writers have been doing that. You saw several articles like that during his HOF push.
   5. Bob Tufts Posted: August 13, 2012 at 09:35 AM (#4207112)
He cared so little about money that he changed agents during his from Nick Buoniconti to Dick Moss and Steve Fehr, two MLBPA insiders.

Article from the Montreal Gazette 1/23/1985 where Dawson is supposedly interested in renegotiating his contract.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1946&dat=19850123&id=IUolAAAAIBAJ&sjid=qqUFAAAAIBAJ&pg=1601,600030

I no longer fear Andre Dawson and will gladly tell him to get off the HOF's lawn!
   6. bobm Posted: August 13, 2012 at 09:40 AM (#4207114)
Get out of my ivy!
   7. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 13, 2012 at 09:51 AM (#4207121)
Yea, because $500,000 was pretty much minimum wage for the average American in 1987.
   8. AROM Posted: August 13, 2012 at 10:00 AM (#4207128)
More money than I'll ever have, but for Dawson it represented about a 50% paycut. That's pretty rare for a star player at age 32, who was pretty good the year before (OPS+ 123). Collusion is the big story, but Andre's desire to be in Wrigley field was genuine. And as Kerry Wood recently discovered, he still resides in the Ivy. Among HOFer's that has to be a one-up on Roberto Alomar, who lived in the Skydome hotel during his Blue Jay years.
   9. AROM Posted: August 13, 2012 at 10:03 AM (#4207129)
Now that I think of it he's nowhere near the same level of paycut that another gold glove, power hitting CF whose name starts with "Andr" took at age 32. Andruw Jones went from 18 million or something around there to 500,000. Difference is he earned that pay cut with his play (or lack thereof).
   10. Charles S. will not yield to this monkey court Posted: August 13, 2012 at 10:14 AM (#4207138)
It's sad to see Dawson fall into the "Back in my day" trap that so many ex-players succumb to. Dawson was always a quiet guy during his playing days. Perhaps he should have stayed that way.
   11. Bob Tufts Posted: August 13, 2012 at 10:22 AM (#4207141)
Collusion is the big story, but Andre's desire to be in Wrigley Field was genuine.


In other words, money was the most important factor, and getting out of Motnreal and avoiding injury to lengthen his baseball career and make more money was the second factor.

"It's not about the money" and "I'd rather spend more time with my family" are the two biggest lies by athletes. Athletes use money as much as statistics to measure themselves against their peers.
   12. Guapo Posted: August 13, 2012 at 10:31 AM (#4207156)
Andre Dawson was preparing to shoot for a record arbitration salary today... Dawson will ask the arbitrator, Stephen Goldberg, to award him a $2 million salary.

The Chicago Cubs would prefer paying their star $1.85 million. The highest salary gained in arbitration is $1,975,000, won by Don Mattingly a year ago.
-

"Dawson Shoots for Arbitration Record," Murray Chass, New York Times, February 12, 1988
   13. AROM Posted: August 13, 2012 at 10:35 AM (#4207159)
“I see a lot of players who really aren’t seasoned; who don’t know the basics and fundamentals. More so, than in the past, money is driving the game. It’s still played the same, but a lot more players play the game for the money itself.”

When I see quotes like this it reminds me of something Bill James did, pulling together a series of quotes from baseball history. I'm he had one from 1885 or something that matches this almost word for word.

   14. Bob Tufts Posted: August 13, 2012 at 10:51 AM (#4207174)
It appears that the difficult negotiations with Montreal and collusion caused Andre Dawson to experience something akin to Stockholm syndrome.
   15. Dan Szymborski Posted: August 13, 2012 at 11:28 AM (#4207201)
When I see quotes like this it reminds me of something Bill James did, pulling together a series of quotes from baseball history. I'm he had one from 1885 or something that matches this almost word for word.

And even James isn't immune to this! I remember James declaring after 1991 (I think it was the 1992 Baseball Book, the one where James proposed new Bermanisms Scott "Would Your Sister Come and" Leius and Jose "Jack" Offerman) that the economics of the game doomed Cleveland and Houston from any relevance at any point in the near-future. Cleveland, of course, was relevant just 2 years later and was one of the best teams of the decade and Houston didn't have a losing season after James's words until 2000.
   16. AROM Posted: August 13, 2012 at 01:34 PM (#4207290)
Speaking of Bermanisms, I was watching a AA game in Reading, must have been somewhere between 1998-2003, when this player stepped to the plate. I just turned to my brotther and said "I can't wait till Chris Berman gets a hold of that one."
   17. Gonfalon B. Posted: August 13, 2012 at 04:04 PM (#4207417)
The trick to that player is illegally slipping her one of this player.
   18. TDF, situational idiot Posted: August 13, 2012 at 05:42 PM (#4207514)
a lot more players play the game for the money itself
So, would Andre have played the game for free?
Dawson will ask the arbitrator, Stephen Goldberg, to award him a $2 million salary.
I guess not.

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