Sports Biz with Darren Rovell

The $150 Million Man, LeBron And More

Roger Clemens

Roger Clemens is supposed to start tomorrow against the Pittsburgh Pirates. That means it’s time to update you on what his salary will be. Last month, Clemens agreed to a one-year deal worth $28,000,022. He would earn that if he played the entire season, which is divided into 182 games. From Saturday through the end of the regular season, he’ll spend 115 days with the Yankees. At $153,846 per game for 115 days, I have Clemens earning $17,692,231 this year.

After this season, Clemens will have earned $151,102,292 throughout his baseball career and that doesn’t even include any type of All-Star or attendance related bonuses. Thanks to the folks at the Baseball Reference  who compiled this from a file prepared by the late great Doug Pappas.

Year    Team                         Salary
1985 Boston Red Sox$140,000
1986 Boston Red Sox$340,000
1987Boston Red Sox$650,000
1988Boston Red Sox$1,350,000
1989Boston Red Sox$2,300,000
1990Boston Red Sox$2,600,000
1991Boston Red Sox$2,700,000
1992Boston Red Sox$4,705,520
1993Boston Red Sox$4,655,250
1994Boston Red Sox$5,155,250
1995Boston Red Sox$5,655,250
1996Boston Red Sox$5,500,000
1997Toronto Blue Jays$8,400,000
1998Toronto Blue Jays$8,550,000
1999NY Yankees$8,250,000
2000NY Yankees$6,350,000
2001NY Yankees$10,300,000
2002NY Yankees$10,300,000
2003NY Yankees$10,300,000
2004Houston Astros$5,000,000
2005Houston Astros$18,000,000
2006Houston Astros$12,208,791
2007NY Yankees$17,692,231

Total: $151,102,292

I’m estimating that Clemens will start 20 games. That puts his per start payday at $884,612. I should also note that, with the 40 percent luxury tax added ($7,076,928) the total cost of Clemens to the Yankees would actually be $24,769,159.

How To Sell The Finals
While everyone thinks that LeBron is going to boost the ratings significantly in the NBA Finals, after watching last night’s game, I’m not exactly sure. In fact, I’m predicting that this series will actually rate lower than last year’s 8.5 rating that the Miami Heat and the Dallas Mavericks brought in. That’s why I’m offering slogans to ABC/ESPN for free. Try these on for size.

“We are all Bruce Bowen’s Defense.”

“Shots of Eva. Twice a quarter. Guaranteed.”

“Hint: The Word LeBron James Also Spells REBELS JAM ON.”

“Please watch this. We wasted too much money on the Belmont.”

News & Notes
On his blog, Stephen Dubner of “Freakonomics” fame asked Mark Cuban if a hedge fund would ever buy a sports team. Cuban said he thinks “a hedge fund controlled by one or two individuals will own a sports team at some point.”

As referenced above, absolutely no one will be watching the Belmont Stakes this weekend. The best thing they can come up with is that a philly - Rags To Riches - is running in it. But there is actually an even better business story. The favorite, Preakness winner Curlin. The intrigue involves who collects the horse’s winnings. You see, two Kentucky lawyers paid $57,000 for the horse in 2005 and sold an 80 percent stake for a reported $3.5 million in February. But because the two are accused of defrauding more than 400 fen-phen plaintiffs out of $64.4 million  the plaintiffs might actually own part of the horse.

The Sports Business Journal is reporting that David Bonderman, founding partner of private equity firm TPG, would join MGM Studios chair and CEO Harry Evan Sloan and producer Jerry Bruckheimer in their bid to get an NHL expansion franchise in Las Vegas. Coming off those Stanley Cup ratings and a revenue sharing deal with NBC, maybe the only way to make money is take the temporary cash from expansion fees.

Great story in Sports Illustrated that I heard about through Mike & Mike this morning. In 10th grade, Justin Verlander didn’t have 50 cents for a chocolate milk. So he made an arrangement with his friend, Daniel Hicks, that if Hicks gave him 50 cents, Verlander would give him .1 percent of his signing bonus. Verlander was drafted by the Tigers out of Old Dominion, got a $3 million signing bonus and Hicks picked up $3,000 for the glass of chocolate milk.

Questions?  Comments?