Former baseball superstar Alex Rodriguez will host a CNBC reality show entitled Back in the Game for athletes who are trying to “straighten their lives out” again.
Here’s what we know bout the show via the press release shared by Politico’s Alex Weprin:
“It’s a story we hear all too often. A pro athlete heads into retirement, only to find themselves in financial free-fall. With no more games to play or paychecks to cash, the future can often look bleak to those athletes struggling to adjust and adapt. But help may be on the way.”
A-Rod retired with an MLB-record $480 million in career earnings (via Forbes).
Over the course of 22 seasons, Rodriguez had 12,207 plate appearances. That means he made $39,321 each time he stepped up to the plate — even if he struck out. Note that this breakdown includes his salaries from 1994 until 1996 when the most he made in a year was $442,000.
Let’s compare that with a nurse, who makes between $19,000 and $32,000 for an entire year of work (via PayScale.com).
A-Rod has also had a successful run as a broadcaster for FOX Sports, he owns his own Mercedez-Benz dealership in Texas and made a decent sum of cash in his commercials for Pepsi.
As the host of the show — which will be produced by Michael Strahan — Rodriguez will presumably make more money than the “contestants” on the show.
Many athletes, Strahan included, made lots of money during their playing career, but almost none made as much as Rodriguez did. It’d be significantly harder for him to go broke considering how much cash he raked in.
Meanwhile, Rodriguez retired in the middle of last season. What makes him the right person to give advice on the matter of retirement?
A more qualified host would be someone who has had various post-career jobs and has an idea what it’s like to go through the transition to a different lifestyle, not someone who’s astronomically rich and only recently retired.
The former athletes (who have to be contestants on the show) will need money much more desperately than A-Rod, who will make $21 million from the Yankees this season and collect cash as the host as well.
ESPN’s 30 for 30 “Broke” (above) explains the tale of many who have come across hard times in the retirement.
Antoine Walker told ESPN’s First Take that he lost his $110 million earnings due to bad real estate investments. Former NFL superstar Terrell Owens filed for bankruptcy in 2012.
According to one study, 16 percent of former NFL players drafted between 1993 and 2003 had filed for bankruptcy by year twelve of their retirement.
The idea that this problematic trend is now the subject of a reality show is disturbing, even if the intention of the program is to try and help those who need it.
Even more troublesome, however, is that it’s Rodriguez who will make money on this show. Of all former athletes, A-Rod is arguably the player least in need of financial help these days.