When Clayton Kershaw signed his new contact, the ESPN coverage was over the moon. Tons and tons of Jayson Stark-style factoids about how much Kershaw was getting per win and per pitch, straight out past the Oort Cloud. The subtext, of course, was "CAN YOU BELIEVE HOW MUCH MONEY THIS GUY IS GETTING TO PLAY A GAME?"
Kershaw is one of the best in the world at what he does, and certainly one of the best players on his team. His employer (The Dodgers) was recently purchased for an obscene sum of money by a business partnership that is not in the business of losing money, and who immediately turned around and signed a broadcast rights deal guaranteeing them an even more obscene sum of money, because people want to see - wait for this - guys like Clayton Kershaw play baseball on the talking box in the living room (or their tablet, or the sports bar, or whatever. Nitpicking crap like this in lieu of real conversation is one of the reasons our civilization is going to hell faster than traffic in a Chris Christie-free town in New jersey. But I digress).
Which means, ultimately, that the obscene sum of money Mr. Kershaw is receiving as his slice of the obscene sum of money his efforts are helping to rake in for his employer, comes in large part from rights fees paid by media corporations.
Which signed a deal in 2012 paying baseball $750M annually.
Some of which is going to end up in the pockets of Mr. Kershaw.
(A more aggressive blogger would then take the logical next step and suggest that the ESPN report could easily be construed as part of the ongoing constructed narrative to vilify labor compensation in sports so as to reserve a higher percentage of profits for the owners, but it's Sunday, I'm hung over, and frankly, if you haven't figured that out by now you're probably reading the wrong sports blog anyway.)