So let’s say you are a server in a 5-star restaurant, and you go above and beyond every expectation that your guests have. In fact, they tell you that you gave them the best dining experience they had ever had, and one by one, they shake your hand. Then when you look down at the credit card receipt, you see a $35 tip left on a $200 dinner bill.
That’s right, just over the 15% standard tip that even the most annoying waiter at your local Applebee’s would get.
That has to be a little of what Mike Trout and his agent, Craig Landis, are feeling right now after the Los Angeles Angels renewed the reigning AL Rookie of the Year’s contract for $510,000–just over the standard league minimum.
Ok, so the collective bargaining agreement is what it is, and the players and owners alike all agreed to it, so the Angels were perfectly within their rights to give such a meager raise to Trout. But that doesn’t mean it was the right thing to do. Under the current CBA, Trout wouldn’t be eligible for arbitration until after the 2014 season, and wont be a free agent until after the 2017 World Series.
That gives the young superstar plenty of time to sit and stew, and his agent plenty of time to sit and plot against the Angels. If the free agency era in professional sports has taught us anything, it’s that you don’t want to get on the bad side of your most prized player’s agent.
Given all the lofty contracts the Angels gave to free agents like Albert Pujols, Josh Hamilton, Joe Blanton and others over the past couple of years, it’s no wonder they were short of cash to pay their center…ooops, I mean LEFT fielder. That’s right, to add insult to injury, the Angels are shifting Trout over the left field in favor of the glove and speed of Peter Bourjos in center field.
So now we get the obligatory “I’m angry but I’m not going to blow my top” quote from Landis.
“In my opinion, this contract falls well short of a ‘fair’ contract and I have voiced this to the Angels throughout the process. Nonetheless, the renewal of Mike’s contract will put an end (to) this discussion.”
Any married man who’s ever had his wife say to him “It’s fine honey, don’t worry about it now” knows exactly how the Angels management should be feeling right now. Somehow, in some fashion, Landis is going to make them pay–and pay dearly–for the perceived slap in the face to his client.
I’ve never been a big supporter of the mega-money that athletes make, but I can also see where a team sees a chance to save a few bucks in precisely the wrong place. Raise the price of peanuts, sell a few more billboard ads in the outfield, or grant naming rights to every individual microphone in the press box, but don’t get cheap when it comes to the contract for a kid who just won the ROY, and was second only to a player who won the hitting triple crown in MVP balloting.
Does Landis have a legitimate beef with the Angels? I’m not so sure he doesn’t, but I guarantee you that he and Trout will be dining on grass-fed steak for quite a while by the time he’s done with them.