Michael Calhoun

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – The economics of baseball have changed dramatically, since Stan Musial retired almost a half-century ago.

But so have athletes’ attitudes — and their motivations for playing the game — according to a leading sports economist from Webster University.

First off, Patrick Rishe says, agents are in the ears of players today more than they’ve ever been before, and are encouraging them to demand higher and higher salaries and to pit teams against each other.

There was more of a gentleman’s element to the game in Musial’s day, Rishe adds, “so perhaps, even if Stan was worth in the low to mid twenties, maybe he’s be okay settling for a little less.”

“Players back in that day were not seeing it as much as a business, as really just playing a sport that they loved.”

Regardless, measuring a players’ worth against his contemporaries, Rishe says Musial would be right up there with A-Rod and Albert in today’s dollars.

Speaking of Pujols: he’s often expressed admiration for The Man, along with an unease with being known as El Hombre, the Spanish translation.

KMOX reporter Michael Calhoun asks Rishe, of Pujols’ contract negotiations: “Could that be an intangible that reaches across the generations and gives Pujols a reason to maybe accept less money to stay here?”

“I don’t think so, Rishe responds. “But I think it’d be nice to think that way,”

Copyright KMOX Radio


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