Mike Trout signed a contract that will pay him $426.5 million over 12 years. That’s about $35.5 million per year to play baseball. To a sharp-eyed lawyer with a bent for litigation – the Trout contract is more than that.

It is proof my granddaughter got cheated.

Oh sure, Mike Trout is a good baseball player. He has a .306 lifetime average, has more than 250 home runs and a slugging percentage near .575.

Decent numbers – but they don’t compare to the numbers amassed by my granddaughter when she played t-ball.

While there are no official stats, I can confirm that she hit safely in every plate appearance, accumulated oodles of RBIs and scored every time she got on base – which was every time.

Now those are some serious numbers.

Yet Mike Trout gets $425 million and my granddaughter was left begging concession stand money.

Some readers will be quick to ridicule the comparison between t-ball and Major League Baseball. Of course those people, all high-caliber since they read this newspaper, are unaware of the lawsuit.

The one filed by the U.S. women’s soccer team.

For those who missed this, the women’s soccer team sued U.S. Soccer. They accuse the outfit of gender discrimination. The players say they are paid less than players on the men’s team.

As with most lawyer stuff, there are all sorts of big words involved, and a fair dose of figures. Those figures show women are paid just 38 percent of what the men earn.

The lower pay – the women say – proves that U.S. soccer is picking on women soccer players.

We’re not here to dispute their numbers. We have no idea how much soccer players are paid. Heck, we have no idea why people watch soccer.

But if anything, their numbers show that women soccer players are fairly paid – perhaps slightly overpaid.

News-flash for the U.S women’s soccer team: T-ball ain’t as popular as Major League Baseball.

So what’s the connection between t-ball, baseball and soccer?

There’s a bit more demand for Los Angeles Angels baseball games than your typical t-ball clash. The Angels average some 27,000 fans every night, with a few million more watching on television.

T-ball teams attract some parents and a smattering of grandparents – most of whom wonder exactly how long the damn game can go on (and no – let’s not play one more inning just for fun).

So, while people will spend a lot of money to watch Mike Trout play baseball, nobody pays a dime watch t-ball. In fact, I know of one brother who tried to pay NOT to watch t-ball.

The point here is the women soccer players aren’t paid less because they are women. They are paid less because they aren’t as good.

Yeah, we know. In today’s world, that borders on blasphemy. To suggest women aren’t anything but better than men at everything is justification for stoning.

But it’s true. Look at the numbers. Like the numbers 5 and 2.

That was the final score when a boys’ soccer team played the U.S. women’s soccer team. The U.S. women’s soccer team, the one that won the World Cup, lost to a team of 15 year-old-boys, 5-2.

In soccer, that’s a shellacking.

This is not meant to disparage the women’s team. They are great players to a person. Best women’s team in the world, just not better than a young high school boys’ team. The boys, by the way, play for free.

And while the U.S. women’s team is much more successful than the U.S. men, the men’s team is in much greater demand. The men are faster, they are stronger and they play the game at a much higher level.

More blasphemy, we know, but some 2.8 billion people agree with us.

That’s how many more people worldwide watched the most recent men’s World Cup than watched the last women’s World Cup.

We agree. None of this really matters. In the end, lawyers will make money and one side will win. But as an old, dumpy, grumpy guy – this is just getting old.

In today’s world it seem everything is about racism or sexism or homophobism, transphobism – you pick your ism. Even if you’ve never heard the word, in today’s world – you’re probably guilty of it.

This soccer thing is not about sexism. It’s about demand. The more demand, the more money.

Which could explain why t-ball games are free.

DAN HAMMES is publisher of the Gazette Record.

(1) comment


One day, the granddaughter of the man who stated women soccer players are paid less because they are not as good (even though he admits the U.S. Women’s team is much more successful than the U.S. Men’s team) most likely is going to realize she too, despite all her successes, is not as good in grandpa’s eyes, since grandpa obviously will be rooting for less successful, but in demand, boys.

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