The Press Is Dumb About Money and Numbers #1

by Johnny Debacle

The rocky road to getting dumberThe press is bad enough when asked to handle simple things like NFL contracts with non-guaranteed money which consist almost entirely of hugely underwater option years or the compensation of retiring Exxon Mobil CEOs. But conflating geological based wealth and sports seems to lead to a whole ‘nother level of stupidity as evidenced by this sensationalist headline Dodger could be first billionaire player.

The player, Matt White, is a marginal one who owned property in Western Mass that happened to be situated on 24mm tons of goshen rock, which is used in landscaping and is sold for $100 / ton. So $100 times 24mm equals $2.4bn in value to the AP. Simple. Obvious. Right?

Wait…you are saying it actually might….cost something to pull that goshen rock out of the ground? Hmmm. And permitting for mining may be an issue? But he could still be the first billionaire ballplayer right? No? Then how does this help the article? You and your facts, factman! I hope the AP will just ignore the reality and continue to write almost all of their news ex anum.

I will say this unequivocally, there is no chance he makes a billion off this. There is no chance he makes $100mm off this. It is unlikely, in my relatively uninformed estimation, that he makes as much from his goshen rock as even the average earnings of a baseball player who squeaks out a 10 year MLB career.

Recommendation: Short the press. Long brains.

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