Thursday, February 14, 2008

Charitable Rookie

Tom Haudricourt reports that Ryan Braun has donated his $10,000 bonus for winning NL Rookie of the Year to Habitat for Humanity. Apparently Braun also did some charitable work for the group last year.

I don't mean to pick on Ryan Braun or to make light of his generosity by using him as a springboard for this comment, but the story reminded me of something I heard years ago from some baseball talking head about why you hear of so many players being involved in charitable doings. And it's not because they're all such nice guys. It's taxes. They get a tax write off for the time they spend. In essence, a baseball player can make money at about the same rate doing charitable work as he does playing baseball. And because they are who they are, I doubt that many of them are in there doing any of the heavy lifting. They show up for some photo opps, scoop a few shovels of dirt while the cameras are rolling, shake a few hands, and get on their merry way. It's a fairly lucrative gig. Again, I'm not picking on anyone individually. Ten grand is a lot of money and Braun is paying with his wallet rather than his time - he should be commended for that. And I'm not saying that having a baseball star show up at your charitable event doesn't go a long way toward helping your cause. Nor am I saying that there aren't any generous baseball players. I'm just saying...

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