Forbes Magazine does a list of the highest paid players throughout professional sports that have been unable to keep themselves in the game for one reason or another. Guess who topped this years list? Our boy Chase Utley. That’s right, Chase Utley, you are reading that correctly. I know none of us think of Chase as a bench warmer but Forbes points out something staggering that not many of us in the city acknowledge.
The magazine does a good job of explaining. Here’s what they said:
Utley’s recent month on the disabled list is only the latest in a series of bumps, bruises and tears that have kept him out of more than 200 games since the beginning of the 2010 season, all while collecting some $60 million. So as much as we love him, there’s little choice but to declare Utley as sports’ best-paid bench warmer. via www.Forbes.com
Ahh Snap! Forbes also points out that they realize that injuries deserve some sympathy. But perpetually being hurt affects a players value and at some point the player must prove that they can stay on the field. I heard Ike Reese say yesterday when comparing J Roll and Chase that availability is sometimes more important than ability. I agree with that. At some point the player who is able to contribute to a team everyday will be more valuable then a more talented player who contributes a lot but only when they are able to make it on the field.
Utley is joined on the list by mostly NBA players. As long as the NBA maintains the way they work their salary there will alway be high paid bums floating around eating up cap space. Some of the accompanying names are Rashard Lewis, Ben Gordon, Kris Humphries and a couple of other NBA pine riders. Brian Roberts of the Orioles was the only other baseball player on list who basically is in a similar situation as Utley. Laurent Robinson was the only NFL player to make the list.