STUMP » Articles » Happy Bobby Bonilla Day! and more Americana » 4 July 2016, 09:47

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Happy Bobby Bonilla Day! and more Americana  


4 July 2016, 09:47

Okay, I’m a few days late, but it seems a really appropriate story for Independence Day:

Never Forget That 53-Year-Old Bobby Bonilla Has the Best Dumb Contract in the World

A man who hasn’t played for the Mets in 17 years will receive $1.1 million every July 1 until 2035.


Today [July 1] marks the funniest day of the sports year, as it’s the day when Bobby Bonilla, a 53-year-old man who hasn’t played professional baseball in 15 years, and hasn’t played for the Mets in 17 years, will be paid $1,193,248.20 dollars by the New York Mets.

The story goes that Bonilla was coming up on the last year of his contract, which would have paid him $5.9 million for the 2000 season. The Mets decided to buy Bonilla out of that contract to free up some money to improve the team immediately. The deal was that Bonilla wouldn’t receive any money right away, but that from 2011to 2035 every year on July 1 Bonilla would get paid almost $1.2 million. Now, on the pro side, the Mets did make it to the World Series in 2000. But looking at the cons, they will end up paying Bonilla $29.8 million for that season when all is said and done.

So every July 1, let’s raise a glass to Bobby Bonilla and his agent for making one of the greatest deals anyone has ever made in the history of sports. And no matter how good the Mets get, let us never forget this one gloriously stupid moment. It’s just so beautifully dumb that I don’t think it’s possible to love it more.

One of my friends pointed out the story to me, because he wanted to check what the breakeven discount rate was for that specific deferred annuity.

I calculated it.

The breakeven rate was 8%.

If that was a dumb deal, then valuing public pensions at 8% in 2000 was also a dumb deal.


Anyway, nothing more American than negotiating the best deal you can.


Some of my favorite patriotic videos:

Make Mine Freedom!

Please stand for the American anthem:

More on that Super Bowl, specifically the fashion.

And some clips from Hamilton:

The tunes are quite catchy.

Here, they give King George III his due:

Kind of. Aw, poor King George. It wasn’t really his fault.

As Ron Chernow tells in this talk, George was quite progressive for his time (I mean this in a good way):

More on the Chernow talk.

Happy Ancient Brexit!