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A Day of Big-Money Contracts Between Howard Stern, Cliff Lee, and Carl Crawford

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The epicenter of the baseball universe exists along the Northeastern corridor between Philadelphia, New York, and Boston. In this region, baseball is a big deal to the teams and their fans.

The epicenter received a major shock today when the Red Sox swooped in and vultured Carl Crawford away from the Angels for 7 years and $142 million. They delivered a big FU to the Yankees in the process. Now, the Yankees are looking to steal some of that thunder and are offering Cliff Lee a 7-year deal worth somewhere in the neighborhood of $25 million annually.

Remember when Alex Rodriguez's 10-year $250 million contract seemed absolutely insane when the Rangers signed him 10 years ago? Now, it's almost the norm to shell out that kind of money to top dollar free agents.

New York serves as the radio universe. If you make it in New York in the radio industry you're considered the best. And, Howard Stern is the best of the best. In that universe, Howard Stern decided to stick with Sirius, and signed a 5-year contract. Chances are he won't be making less than his 5-year mega-million dollar deal he signed in 2004. One analyst estimated Howard Stern's new contract could be worth $400 million.

As the years go on, the money being awarded to athletes, entertainers, and musicians just gets more and more insane. Not to preach, but the "U" word looms over us like a cloud of volcanic ash. Unemployment is still well above 9% nationally and not showing any signs of dipping anytime soon. But, for Howard Stern, Carl Crawford, Jayson Werth, and Cliff Lee it's just business as usual.

The cream always rises to the top.

Contact Dennis Bakay at dbakay@philly2philly.com