Happy Bobby Bonilla Day! 

Deferred contracts aren't always dumb, but this one sure was.

Many, many years ago, Bobby Bonilla was an All-Star baseball player. He played for many teams and earned some of the richest contracts of the time. Though Bonilla retired way back in 2001, the New York Mets have just paid him nearly $1.2 million, just as they do every July 1st. “Why?”, you ask. A ridiculous deferred contract, that’s why. Wikipedia provides a succinct summary:

After his subpar 1999 season, the Mets released Bonilla, but still owed him $5.9 million. Bonilla and his agent offered the Mets a deal: Bonilla would defer payment for a decade, and the Mets would pay him an annual paycheck of $1.19 million starting in 2011 and ending in 2035, adding up to a total payout of $29.8 million. Mets owner Fred Wilpon accepted the deal mostly because he was heavily invested with Ponzi scheme operator Bernie Madoff, and the 10 percent returns he thought he was getting on his investments with Madoff outweighed the eight percent interest the Mets would be paying on Bonilla’s initial $5.9 million.

I can’t imagine how former Mets owner Fred Wilpon got so rich, because he’s clearly an idiot. If you were regularly getting 10% returns, you should have 1) been at least somewhat suspicious and 2) still, not given away a guaranteed 8%, just to try and get more of that supposed 10%!