30 Strange Clauses in These Athletes’ Contracts
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The content of sports contracts are typically, well, boring. That is, aside from the huge sums of money involved.
However, every once in a while there’s an atypical add-on to a contract that could only exist in the sporting world. Sometimes it’s a bizarre performance bonus that only pays out in strange circumstances. Sometimes it’s the banning of certain off-field behaviors. In others, it’s in the form of oddly specific stipends.
Either way, the strangest clauses, riders, bonuses and stipends reveal that the business of sports can be, well, a weird one. Take a look at some of the odder details written into popular athletes’ contracts over the years.
Last updated: Jun. 19, 2020
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Manny Ramirez: The Buffet Stipend
Plenty of players have gotten a first look at their contract, spotted a detail or two, and thought to themselves, “Hey, this looks fishy.” Most of the time they’re upset about it. But when baseball legend Manny Ramirez decided to cap off his career with a stint in Japanese baseball, it was exactly what he was looking for.
As one of the all-time hitting greats, Ramirez clearly had some leverage in his deal, and he used to it to get out of practice and secure unlimited free sushi. That’s right: he was all you can eat, all the time.
Like much in his career, the stipend left many observers befuddled — what was motivating this episode of Manny being Manny? Is Japan being the origin of the cuisine part of why it’s included here? Or did Ramirez labor through his MLB career looking for the team that would finally grant him unlimited access to his favored food? Are the clauses from former Red Sox contracts stipulating a lifetime supply of New England clam chowder just getting overlooked? Unless Ramirez decides to write that tell-all memoir, America — and Japan — might not get any “ahi” moments.
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Eddie Lacy: The Really Stressful Version of Weight Watchers Bonus
Typically, when an employer gives you a target weight, you sue. Immediately. But in the world of sports, it’s not quite that simple.
While you can typically rely on professional athletes to keep up their bodies, occasionally a player might decide to begin their retirement early. This can leave teams in a pretty awkward situation.
Most everyone can use a little extra motivation when dieting, but what the Seattle Seahawks offered running back Eddie Lacy was a hefty perk. Lacy had been among the league’s best backs in Green Bay before he lost a step — and gained a spare tire. As such, Seattle was interested in doing what it could to get the better, smaller version of him.
The stipulation: If Lacy could cut his weight from the 267 pounds reported during his free-agent visits in March to 245 pounds by September — and keep it there until December — the Seahawks would pay him an additional $385,000 that year.
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Ichiro Suzuki: The Rent Is Too Damn High Clause
Some contract clauses are more than a little curious because, well, they seem to imply that the player doesn’t necessarily understand currency. Namely that it can be exchanged for goods and services. Certain stipends, like the one requested by baseball legend Ichiro Suzuki, are particularly baffling given the millions upon millions of dollars in their salary can easily cover such expenses.
The Japanese star had already devastated pitchers in his home country for years when he decided to come to the MLB in 2001. He was awarded Rookie of the Year, a Gold Glove and American League MVP in that first season, then shocked the baseball world by shattering George Sisler’s single-season hit record in 2004 after it had stood for nearly a century.
By the time Ichiro was negotiating a new deal in 2007, he was widely acknowledged to be one of the greatest players in the game — then or ever — and it allowed him the leverage to make certain demands. The outfielder had $40,000 a year written into his contract to cover renting a house in the Seattle area.
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Michael Jordan: The You Want To Play MORE Basketball?! Clause
One of the most famous contract clauses is Michael Jordan’s “for the love of the game” clause, which allowed him to play basketball whenever he wanted.
Now, that might sound a bit odd, but most NBA players end up signing deals that ban them from playing in pickup games or outside of practice and official games. With 82 games in an NBA regular season, most teams are probably hoping that players spend their time off the court working out and recovering. Throw in the fact that a pickup game is a pretty easy way to roll an ankle or sprain a knee and it makes a lot of sense that teams would want to limit their players’ recreational activities.
But “Air” Jordan was simply not interested in being limited like that. The Chicago Bulls, naturally, abided by his wishes.
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Rollie Fingers: The Mustache Wax Stipend
Rollie Fingers was an excellent relief pitcher in the 1970s, racking up nearly 350 saves while posting a sparkling career ERA mark of 2.90 with 1,299 strikeouts. But you probably didn’t know that. That’s because you, like most baseball fans, just remember his glorious handlebar mustache. And while an army of hipster originators keep trying to live up to the standard he created, there can be only one Rollie Fingers.
The genesis of said mustache is a fun story in and of itself. Mercurial A’s owner Charlie Finley offered players a $300 bonus to grow a mustache by Father’s Day. Fingers took up the challenge, and the rest is history.
Not only was Finley right that interesting facial hair would be a hit with the fans, he put his money just above where his mouth is Fingers’ next deal — the pitcher had a $100 mustache wax allowance written into his contract.
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Roy Oswalt: The Haul Out My New Bulldozer Bonus
Typically, performance bonuses are created prior to the season and involve sustaining excellent play over time. However, every once in a while, an enterprising owner might see fit to offer a player an incentive should they accomplish a feat in the short term. That’s clearly what was motivating Houston Astros owner Drayton McLane in 2005 when he added an addendum to the contract of ace Roy Oswalt prior to a crucial Game 6 in the 2005 NLCS.
McLane wanted to motivate his starter a little more, so he offered him a bulldozer. A Caterpillar D6N XL, to be specific, contingent on Oswalt and the Astros winning the game.
Oswalt flattened the competition — spinning a gem with seven innings of one-run ball — en route to the Astros heading to the World Series, his winning the series MVP and, well, getting that sweet bulldozer.
Rick Mirer: The End of the World Stipulation
To fans of any of the five NFL teams that deployed Rick Mirer, his last name is fitting. After all, he was the one who left them mired in mediocre-to-inadequate quarterback play. As such, it’s easy to forget that Rick Mirer was, at one point, considered pretty good. He threw for nearly 6,000 yards over his career at Notre Dame and entered the NFL as the second overall pick in the draft by the Seattle Seahawks.
The thing is, Mirer and his agent were clearly worried that the Seahawks would try to weasel out of the money he was owed and, thus, decided to make the contract pretty ironclad.
The actual language of Mirer’s contract stated that the quarterback would get paid the money owed in any condition “up to and including the end of the world.” Of course, what value American dollars might have in post-apocalyptic Seattle would have been anyone’s guess, but Mirer was ready just in case.
Teammate Jeff Graham once asked Mirer what would happen if he was orbiting on the space ship when Ragnarok finally hit during a press conference, to which Mirer quickly responded, “I keep the shuttle.”
Ironically, for plenty of fans, the end of the world might have been preferable to the miserable 24-44 record he compiled as a starter.
Ossee Schreckengost: The What Kind of Animal Eats Crackers in Bed Rider
The clause included for Ossee Schreckengost regarding pitcher Rube Waddell prior to the 1907 season was an important reminder of two things to know about baseball at the turn of the 20th century.
Firstly, the names were fantastic. Just ask Mordecai “Three Finger” Brown.
The other would be that in baseball’s early days, being a star came with fame and fortune, but not necessarily the sort of money and luxuries it does today.
Waddell roomed with his personal catcher, Schreckengost, while the A’s were on the road, which prompted Schreckengost to request a rather specific clause be added to Waddell’s contract.
Known as “Schreck” before it was cool, Schreckengost was interested in a contract that would address his biggest concern about continuing in his role with the A’s. He demanded that Waddell’s contract specifically stipulated he would not be permitted to eat animal crackers in the bed that he and Schreck shared. Usually when someone complains about a contract containing crumbs, this is not what they mean.
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Carlos Beltran: The Go Go Gadget Eyes Clause
It’s easy to forget, but Carlos Beltran was once known for something other than cheating. The star outfielder had already built a solid reputation following his sterling career with the Royals and an incredible run with the Astros in the back half of the 2004 season. That meant it was a real buyer’s market for Beltran prior to the 2005 season during his first-ever free agency.
Beltran was clearly interested in securing whatever perks he thought might help him live up to the $119 million deal. He had his contract with the New York Mets include the requirement that the team obtain an “ocular enhancer” — essentially a machine that fired colored, numbered tennis balls at insane speeds to see if Beltran could identify the color and number — as well as retain an operator for it.
Of course, as Beltran got older he apparently got sick of this sort of spastic Wimbledon routine and began organizing a scheme to steal signs, but hey, hitting is hard.
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Ray “Slim” Caldwell: The Drunkenness Clause
Few positions in professional sports are as unique as that of the starting pitcher in baseball. On the days they pitch, they’re the single most important player to their team, bar none. If your starter has a bad day, the only thing that’s going to save you is a pitcher on the other team having a worse one.
However, because they also pitch on a rotation, it means they’re only available every fourth or fifth game. That can put as much as a week between seeing action, meaning starting pitchers usually have a lot of downtime. And for pitchers with a bit of a wild streak, downtime can be a real issue.
Thus was the case with Ray “Slim” Caldwell. Caldwell was an incredible pitcher, but his drunken antics made him something of a pariah among the league. Legendary Cleveland manager Tris Speaker, though, decided to take a chance on the 31-year-old late in his career, provided Caldwell was willing to address his drinking in his contract. He did. Just not with the sobriety clause you think.
Getting Caldwell off the sauce was a stretch goal for Speaker and his organization, so they simply scheduled his drunkenness. Caldwell’s contract stipulated that he get drunk after every game he pitches, not show up at the ballpark the next day, arrive the following day for cardio, train the third and then be ready for his next start the day after.
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Rougned Odor: The Back to the Barter System Clause
Rougned Odor is a horse trader. And no, that’s not editorializing: he once received two horses as a part of his major league contract. This, ahem, rider was included in the six-year contract extension the second baseman signed with the Texas Rangers in spring 2017.
The young infielder had clearly been identified as a future fixture in Rangers’ lineup, so they drew up an enticing extension to retain Odor.
What did the Rangers do? They threw in a couple of quarters. No, not four bits — though, he was getting nearly $50 million in the deal — two quarter horses, a mare and her two-week-old foal, to be specific.
Odor was interested in being able to move his family out of Venezuela — which was in a dangerous state of chaos — to a ranch in North Texas, and the horses were part and parcel with that.
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George Brett: The Pinch Hit for Me 6C’s Toilet Is Clogged Clause
Back before free agency caused baseball contracts to explode, getting rich from the sport required making smart investments. And while most players probably didn’t have the foresight to save and invest — this is a group of mostly people in their 20s, after all — some really saw the importance of leveraging their time in the league into a nest egg that could keep providing after they had retired. This was something the Kansas City Royals knew appealed to legendary hitter George Brett, and they used it to help entice him into signing his next deal.
To sweeten Brett’s deal, Royals co-owner Avron Fogelman included a 10% stake in a 1,100-apartment complex, which included a $1 million guarantee for Brett, as well as the option to sell his stake for $2 million. As such, some 1,100 households suddenly found themselves with a new (partial) landlord in the Royals great.
Granted, Brett’s stake didn’t necessarily mean he was actively engaged in management of the property, but one can still assume that if any residents noticed a little too much pine tar on the building facade, they kept it to themselves.
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Bobby Bonilla: The Ponzi Scheme Buyout
Prior to the 2000 season, the New York Mets had a dilemma. They had no more need for aging outfielder Bobby Bonilla, but they owed him $5.9 million to play. So, the Wilpons, who owned the Mets, got together with Bonilla’s agent and worked out a deal.
Ultimately, Bonilla agreed to defer his salary with an 8% interest rate, resulting in him getting $1,193,248.20 every July 1 from 2011 to 2035.
You might look at a deal like that and say, “Gee, isn’t it pretty stupid to agree to pay someone nearly $30 million instead of $5.9 million?” And to that, the Wilpons might have replied, “No, you fool! We can take that $5.9 million and invest it with our whiz money manager Bernie Madoff, and it will be worth WAY more than $30 million by 2035. This guy’s earning 20% annual returns! That’s just insane! Seems too good to be true, really. I don’t know how he does it!”
Regardless of why, it has created a wonderful new holiday throughout baseball. Since 2011, fans throughout the MLB have rejoiced in the annual rites of Bobby Bonilla Day each July 1, a day when everyone can come together and laugh at the ineptitude of the New York Mets as Bonilla collects yet another seven-figure check.
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Stefan Schwartz: The Get Your Head Out of the Clouds Rider
It’s not at all uncommon for sports contracts to contain stipulations that void the deal should the player engage in certain activities. After all, when a mild ATV accident or skydiving snafu can leave your team without its star player next season, the extracurricular activities of top athletes aren’t necessarily as private as they are for most people.
However, when it comes to Swedish soccer star Stefan Schwartz, the activity that concerned his English Premier League team was just out of this world.
Sunderland had been hearing some troubling rumors that their star player, Schwartz, was especially interested in the potential for space tourism. This was the late 1990s, so the club really didn’t have a lot to worry about, but just to be sure they included a stipulation that Schwartz was not allowed to visit outer space while he was signed with the club.
So, as it would turn out, Schwartz could have been subjected to the single costliest alien abduction in history had the little green men inadvertently voided his contract.
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Spencer Prior: The Fear Factor Clause
Always read things before you sign them. That’s contract law 101, right there. You never know what potentially outrageous blurb got slipped into a footnote on page 37. And few people know this better than Spencer Prior, who got caught out by an unnoticed contract clause that must have left him feeling a little sheepish.
The story goes like so: Back in 2011, this Spencer was for hire. He ended up inking a deal with Cardiff City, a team run by legendary soccer prankster Sam Hammam. Prior’s contract included a requirement that he consume fried sheep testicles with lemon and salt; sheep brains with parsley, lemon and salt; and sheep liver with sheep blood (that recipe may need to be workshopped a bit).
But that was actually pretty mild considering one of the other requirements was that the player have a “physical liaison” with a sheep as well, all part of a desire to get Prior to acknowledge the famous love of ovines on the part of the Welsh people.
It was all a joke, though. The clauses were not enforced.
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Mario Balotelli: The Please, Please Don’t Make Us Regret This Stipulation
Plenty of pro athletes develop a bit of a reputation for overindulging in nightlife and other pursuits. It’s understandable, on some level. After all, you’re talking about a bunch of people in their 20s earning vast sums of money and receiving the adulation of an adoring public — it’s surprising it doesn’t go to their heads more often.
However, when play starts to interfere with work, teams get involved — often with language written into contracts that allow them to nullify the whole deal.
Mario Balotelli is one such athlete. He made a name for himself as a player with flashy haircuts and an unfortunate penchant for getting into the news for reasons other than his play.
As such, prior to signing with AC Milan in 2015, the striker had to agree to a “good behavior clause” that meant he wasn’t allowed to smoke, visit nightclubs, make controversial social media posts or even get an overly provocative haircut.
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Rolf-Christel Guié-Mien: The Yes But Why Are We Paying For This Clause
Another example of a player requesting a rather paltry stipend was soccer player Rolf-Christel Guié-Mien. Guié-Mien insisted that his team pay for cooking classes for his wife. The Congolese midfielder made the odd request before signing with German team Eintracht Frankfurt.
One can certainly hope the genesis of this was that Guié-Mien was simply a doting husband who knew his wife had a real passion for food and fine cuisine. However, as a general rule of thumb, gifting cooking classes to your wife can easily be interpreted in less generous ways, so other athletes — or just husbands in general — should be sure they know what they’re doing before going that route.
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Johnny Cueto: The This Feels Like You’re Making Fun of Me Bonus
When star pitcher Johnny Cueto signed with San Francisco as a free agent prior to the 2016 season, Giants fans and executives were clearly thinking they were inking the sort of horse that could anchor their rotation into the future. After all, Cueto was known for his durability and talent during his long tenure with the Cincinnati Reds. They also included a performance bonus of $50,000 should he ever manage to win the Silver Slugger award as the league’s best-hitting pitcher.
Now, on the surface, there’s nothing unusual about that. Performance bonuses are often tied to major awards, and getting offensive production out of your pitcher can frequently make the difference in a tight game.
However, given Cueto’s career as a hitter to that point, well, they might as well have included a stipulation about how much he would make should a formation of flying pigs make a low pass over the stadium.
Cueto’s lifetime batting average? 0.103. If you’re not a baseball fan, that’s very, very bad. Cueto has one extra-base hit. In his career. A double in 2012. Suffice to say, Cueto has not managed to cash in on that $50,000.
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Steve Novak: The You Monsters Clause
When people talk about the New York Knicks front office doing unconscionable things, they’re usually referring to the organization’s painfully inept efforts at building a basketball team. However, when it comes to forward Steve Novak, it’s something else entirely. Why? They banned him from owning a dog.
The Knicks weren’t being quite as monstrous as it sounds. Novak has an allergy to dog hair, so they were simply trying to ensure he wouldn’t end up underperforming because he spent time cuddling with a furry friend off the court. And it wasn’t so much a ban as a $100,000 donation he would have to make should he be caught with a canine. But still, blocking someone from owning man’s best friend? Even for the Knicks, that’s pretty bad.
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Bill Walton: The Born To Run Clause
Bill Walton has long had a reputation as a bit of an oddball, going all the way back to his days under John Wooden at UCLA. One of the stops in his career, though, is often overlooked. That might be due to it being his years with the San Diego Clippers, but he signed with the team prior to the 1979-80 season. Why? Because he was a big fan of The Boss.
And no, that’s not a reference to the owner or coach. THE Boss. As in, Bruce Springsteen. The rock and roll legend had a string of seven sold-out shows at the Sports Arena that October, and Walton was apparently not interested in dealing with scalpers. He insisted that the Clippers give him access to eight tickets for each of the seven performances coming up in the fall, something that could translate to upwards of 30 hours of Springsteen and the E-Street Band. Funnily enough, he didn’t even want the tickets for free — just a shot at buying them for face value.
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Diana Taurasi: The Bizarro Michael Jordan Stipulation
The aforementioned “love of the game” clause in Michael Jordan’s contract is one that’s become well-known over the years. However, WNBA star Diana Taurasi had her own version of the clause that really pushed in the other direction. It was a six-figure payout to the hoops legend… if she didn’t play.
More specifically, it was an incentive for her to make herself exclusive to just one team. Like many WNBA players, Taurasi couldn’t turn down the huge money that comes with moonlighting in Russian leagues during the WNBA offseason. The WNBA might offer the best competition, but her salary was just $107,000 a year in spite of being one of the league’s most elite players.
Meanwhile, she was pulling down a cool $1.5 million a season for UMMC Ekaterinburg. So, when they offered her $200,000 to skip the WNBA season in 2015, Taurasi accepted.
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Monica Abbott: The Bring Your Extended Family Clause
Professional softball does not have the drawing power of the MLB, but maybe it should. After all, college softball programs consistently churn out elite talents who are usually looking for a chance to extend their career after they graduate, and plenty of people might not be keen on seeing their hard-earned dollars line the pockets of greedy MLB owners.
Scrap Yard Fast Pitch — a Houston-based professional softball team — constructed a clever ruse to get around the National Pro Fastpitch’s $150,000 team salary cap and pay star pitcher Monica Abbott the sport’s first million-dollar contract.
Abbott signed for a base salary of just $20,000, but the team included a $20,000 bonus for every game attended by at least 100 people — whether Abbott was pitching or not. So, basically, Abbott could probably have purchased 100 tickets to any game in question and still be way ahead on the deal.
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Roberto Firmino: The Those Guys Are Jerks Clause
Most soccer contracts contain a release clause that allows another club to purchase a player’s contract provided they’re willing to pony up the dough. If an opposing team is willing to meet the figure, they can move ahead in negotiations with the player, leaving them with a degree of control over where they play.
In the case of Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino, that figure is 82 million pounds, or about $101 million. The one team that can’t trigger the clause? Arsenal.
While the freedom to take his skills to another team is there, Liverpool’s anti-Arsenal clause reportedly stems from Arsenal’s brazen attempt to trigger the release clause for then-Liverpool striker Luis Suarez in 2013.
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Giuseppe Reina: The Devil’s in the Details Clause
There’s a reason why people have lawyers. It’s because no normal human being is capable of navigating all of the opaque language that makes up contract law.
Take, for instance, Guiseppe Reina and the deal he signed with Arminia Bielefeld back in 2002. Reina was clearly interested in living the high life, so he insisted that the contract include language requiring the team to build him a new house each and every season.
The team made good on his demand, though Reina would probably phrase it differently. The thing is, Reina’s contract did not stipulate the size — or material — of the house in question, so Arminia Bielefeld kept up its end by building him a house each year… out of Legos.
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Akili Smith: The Boy We Kinda Hoped To Pay This One Bonus
Akili Smith is a former NFL quarterback. Taken by the Cincinnati Bengals with the third pick in the 1999 draft, Smith fell way short of expectations.
That doesn’t exactly narrow it down, though, so here’s another detail: He also bet most of his rookie contract’s value on being a good passer. Strike that, on being a not-terrible passer. Smith ended a three-week holdout by signing a deal that included a $10.8 million signing bonus and performance incentives potentially worth as much as $56 million — if he triggered certain performance bonuses.
One of those performance bonuses came in the form of an “escalation clause,” which would pay Smith millions more should he pass for at least 1,600 yards in the season, a cakewalk for any competent NFL starting quarterback.
But, well, Mr. Smith went to Cincinnati and essentially filibustered the team’s offense. Smith was benched after the 11th game of the season with only 1,253 yards.
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Ricky Williams: The Please God Don’t Get Injured Clause
Leaving a player’s rookie contract laden with performance bonuses is one way NFL teams try to deal with unproven college players. After all, many players can look like a sure thing just long enough to sign a huge deal only to make it clear within a game or two that they’re never going to live up to the hype.
That was part of why the Dolphins were happy when star running back Ricky Williams and his agent Master P — yes, that Master P — were willing to sign a deal that hinged almost entirely on Williams becoming an elite NFL back.
Williams got an $8.8 million signing bonus, but just $2.3 million in base salary over the next seven seasons — a paltry sum for a guy projected as being among the league’s top performers. But Williams and Master P had a master plan: give up guaranteed money for huge performance bonuses he could get if he made good on his talent.
Unfortunately, while Williams was legitimately among one of the league’s best, the Dolphins were definitely not. And in football, the individual athlete can’t really produce without the right pieces around them. In Williams’ case, a woefully bad offense doomed him. He wound up missing out on most of the cash he could have made with a more traditional contract structure.
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Everyone in Baseball: The Reserve Clause
Baseball is supposed to be the most American thing out there aside from apple pie, but for the first 70 or so years of its existence, it was engaged in the rather un-American activity of preventing free-market competition.
It came down to the “reserve clause” in contracts. The language essentially gave owners exclusive bargaining rights with a player up until the team sold or traded them. This meant that a star player could get lowballed by their owner repeatedly with little to no recourse. While a player could refuse to take the field, that was about it. Even if they forced a trade, they would be back in the same situation.
For decades, baseball players were severely underpaid, and owners reaped the enormous benefits. Things began to change only when famous outfielder Curtis Flood made a stand in 1969.
Flood protested after St. Louis traded him to Philadelphia without having any input in the decision. Flood took a bold stand in challenging the clause, ultimately suffering a premature end to his career because of it.
Eventually, an independent arbitrator named Peter Seitz would rule on behalf of the players and open up the chance for them to pursue fair compensation on the open market.
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Tony Battie: The Well It Was a Nice Thought Bonus
There are performance bonuses that involve offering a player a lot of extra money should they produce superstar-level stats for their team. But then there are also bonuses that are more about ensuring a player gets fair value if they can show themselves to be consistent contributors. That was the case for Tony Battie.
Battie’s contract with the Nets in 2009 had a base salary of $6 million, but it also had some hefty payouts if Battie could just be a consistent presence on the floor. Battie would get an additional $100,000 for playing in at least 50 games — out of an 82-game regular season — then another $100,000 if he averaged just five free throw attempts over that stretch. He’d also receive $100,000 if he was active for 50 games and the Nets made the playoffs.
Well, spoiler alert, the Nets did not make the playoffs. They were JUST edged out of the final cut after finishing the season 12-70. As for Battie’s contract clauses, it might sound like he made it if you mumble. That’s because he played in 15 games rather than 50, averaging 0.7 free throw attempts during that stretch.
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Matt Bonner: The Hang On Let Me Add That Up Bonus
Usually, performance bonuses aren’t that hard to keep track of. But Matt Bonner’s performance bonus with the San Antonio Spurs was a little harder to chalk up.
In his case, Bonner’s 2010 season would include an additional $100,000 if he was a more accurate shooter. Specifically, if his combined shooting percentage on both free throws and field goals was 169 percent or higher. Had Bonner put together a season hovering around 169 percent, it might have made for some tricky efforts to remember where that last brick left him with regards to his bonus.
Fortunately for Bonner, he finished the season at 157 percent, so there was never much danger.
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Baron Davis: The We Aspire To Be Mediocre Bonus
Usually, when you talk about letting the team down, it’s in reference to a player who disappointed their teammates.
In the case of Baron Davis, he was really, really let down by his teammates. All of them.
Davis signed a deal prior to the 2010-2011 season that included a $1 million bonus if the Los Angeles Clippers won enough games. More specifically, to trigger the clause, Davis would have to play in just 70 games out of the 82-game regular season, with the Clippers winning at least 30 of them.
In other words, Davis could earn $1 million as long as he stayed healthy and the Clippers managed a winning percentage in excess of .366. Not exactly a stretch goal.
Unfortunately, the Clippers went 29-53 that year, even with Davis appearing in 75 games.