The final game of the World Series is set for tonight, Wednesday, October 30. The Washington Nationals are tied with the Houston Astros 3-3 in the best-of-seven series. The Astros host the final game of the series; neither team has won a game at home this series.
Regardless of who walks away with the coveted Commissioner's Trophy, both clubhouses will earn a sizable, eight-figure bonus that will be divided between players, coaches and non-uniformed personnel like team chefs and security guards.
All 10 MLB clubs that make it to the postseason receive a playoff bonus. "Beyond the players getting extra green in their wallet, the owners have long seen the bonus system as a way to prevent players from throwing games as part of any gambling scam," Forbes reports.
In 2018, the 10 postseason teams earned a record $88.2 million in bonuses. That's called "the players' pool," and it changes each year based on ticket sales: It's made up of 50% of the gate receipts from the Wild Card games, 60% of the gate receipts from the first three games of the Division Series, 60% of the gate receipts from the first four games of the League Championship Series, and 60% of the gate receipts from the first four games of the World Series," according to the MLB.
The amount each team gets from the player's pool depends on how far they advance. The further they make it, the bigger the share they earn.
Last year, the winning Boston Red Sox team split a record $31.7 million. The World Series runner-up, the Los Angeles Dodgers, split $21.2 million.
It's too soon to tell how big the postseason pot will be this year, but both the Nationals and Astros can expect a hefty bonus. Here's a breakdown of the percentage of the pool that goes to each team:
World Series Champion: 36%
World Series Runner-Up: 24%
League Championship Series Runners-Up (2): 24% (12% each)
Division Series Runners-Up (4): 13% (3.2% each)
Wild Card Game Runners-Up (2): 3% (1.5% each)
Once the money has been divvied out to each club, it's up to the players to decide who gets a share of their team's winnings.
"Each year, as stipulated in the basic agreement between the players union and Major League Baseball, teams headed to the postseason hold a meeting to distribute shares," The New York Times reports. "The money is designated in 25 full shares, but the players may divide the shares to include those who played during the year but were not on the playoff roster, as well as coaches, trainers and strength coaches."
Plus, "other nonuniformed personnel, like clubhouse attendants, chefs, public relations staff, security guards, bus drivers and grounds crew members — a precedent set in 1903 — can be awarded some of the cash."
In 2018, the Red Sox split their winnings into 66 full shares worth $416,838 each, 10.025 partial shares and eight cash awards, the MLB announced last year. The Dodgers chose to split their winnings into 67 full shares worth $262,027 each, 13.29 partial shares and 24 cash awards.
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