Monday, May 15, 2006


So, I look at Boston Dirt Dogs this morning and see a link to an article about Coco Crisp signing autographs for $54 a pop. BDD also complains about Red Sox Nation cards costing $59.95. I thought they were only about $15. I bought one last season for $15 because it came with MLB Radio all season (which costs about $15). Having it allowed me to buy tickets for the Green Monster It was worth it.

Fans complain about the cost of tickets, and athletes charging for autographs at appearances. I've even heard fans complain that Red Sox games are broadcast on a cable channel instead of broadcast for free on a network. Sox fans complain about the $5 hot dogs and $6 beers the Sox sell during rain delays.

What makes all this complaining quite ridiculous is the things Sox fans expect from the team. For instance, fans are clamoring for Roger Clemens. The term on WEEI that amuses me is that Clemens will cost the Red Sox "nothing." People are referring to Clemens not costing us any prospects in a trade. However, the $10+ million Clemens will get from somebody is far from nothing. That money has to come from somewhere. And that somewhere is the money from Red Sox Nation cards, and tickets, and hot dogs, and beer, and advertising.

So stop complaining about spending money on the team or the players. A Coco Crisp autograph is not a necessity in anyone's life. It is a luxury. Luxuries cost money. You also have a choice whether or not to buy a luxury. I won't spend $54 for anyone's autograph unless I could sell it for more than $54 later. That's one of the reasons players charge these appearance fees. They know when they sign stuff, it becomes valuable. The player is the one that makes it valuable by signing it. In other words, his work makes the item valuable. It makes perfect sense that since his actions increase the value of the item, he would want to collect some money. Why should some collectibles broker profit from the autograph, but not the player?