I don’t think the GBL needs to make player salaries public, but a (very) little amount of research reveals that your average Baseball Hero in the GBL makes from $1000 to $3000 a month.
For simplicity, let’s give a $2500/mo salary to Joe Batter. Joe’s a good player, and worth the money.
The GBL season starts in late May – and for argument’s sake, I’m going to assume that GBL players get paid for the entire month (this is a guess on my part). The league ends at the end of August for all non-playoff teams. That’s a 4-month season, folks. Joe Batter stands to earn $10,000. Not terribly bad for four months work, but considering what other entertainers make, this is an amazing bargain (and thankfully the bargain is passed down to fans with cheap ticket prices). Also, a Vipers player doesn’t have the option of year-round employment at the ball diamond in Calgary, so he ends up on the awfully low side of other local salary comparisons.
I’ll cut to the chase now.
All I want in return for my purchase of a Vipers game ticket is to be entertained, and competitive baseball entertains me.
Former Vipers pitcher Ryan Schurman was an interesting pitcher to me in 2008 because I actually got to talk to him a little bit and he seemed like a genuinely nice guy. I was watching him pitch one game, and he was getting lit up by the Yuma Scorpions. The Vipers fans seated behind me were booing loudly for the Vipers to get Schurman off the mound, but I couldn’t help but continue to cheer for him to finally get some outs when he had two strikes on a batter.
Schurman’s an extreme case because he’s a player I got to meet briefly, but I feel the same way towards the current Calgary Vipers too. Admit it, salary creates an “us and them” scenario in sports at the highest level. Players like Jorge Mejia, however, make similar money as we in the stands do. I think this wipes out the “us and them” boundary, and just leaves “us”.
Now before I start suggesting we all hold hands and sing “What A Wonderful World”, hear me out. As a paying customer, I expect to see the Vipers compete, and I’ll be critical when they fall short on that front. Seeing as, however, that the Vipers is more of an “us” scenario than a big-leagues “us and them” scenario, I’m going to cheer and jeer from that perspective. I’d rather cheer a Viper through a rough stretch than try to boo him out of it – but I’m a fan and prone to being irrational so this won’t always be the case.
I’ll still boo the visitors, though. Booing is fun. I’m sure the visitors would expect no less, and would rather hear booing than crickets chirping anyways. And on that note, is A.J. Valentine going be be back with the Scorpions in 2009? We loved his visits in 08.