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Akeel Morris Is Heading For A Big Payday Whether He Knows It Or Not

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     Akeel Morris of St. Thomas

KANSAS CITY – Woody Allen said that 90 percent of success is simply showing up.

Being in the right place at the right time doesn’t hurt, either.

And for Akeel Morris of St. Thomas, being on the New York Mets team during the World Series means a huge added financial reward outside of his base contract.

Morris, 22, who made his major league debut on the mound for the Mets on June 17, will be pleased to note that even players on the New York Yankees who were swept by the Houston Astros in four games stand to make an extra $15,000 this year.

As someone who was called up from Class A St. Lucie in June when the Mets were desperate for left-handed relief, Morris isn’t likely to be voted a full share for his work with the Metropolitans, but he will definitely get something even if he is only voted a partial share because he is in the World Series.

Morris appeared in one game, gave up five runs in two-thirds of an inning and immediately was sent down – you couldn’t exactly say the Virgin Islander is the reason why the Mets are where they are – but baseball tradition being what it is, he will reap the extra financial rewards of being on a winning team.

Players vote during the season on how many full and partial shares to award.

World Series shares are not guaranteed to go up from year to year.

They went down in 2013, from a winners’ share of $370,872.53 for the 2012 Giants to $307,322.68 for the 2013 Red Sox.

According to MLB.com, the players’ pool is formed from 50 percent of the gate receipts from the wild-card games, which this year were played at Yankee Stadium and PNC Park in Pittsburgh; 60 percent of the gate receipts from the first three games of the Division Series; 60 percent of the gate receipts from the first four games of the League Championship Series, and 60 percent of the gate receipts from the first four games of the World Series. The players’ pool is divided among the 10 postseason clubs.

Yes, that means even the losers of the wild-card game get a postseason share. This year, that was the Yankees and Pirates.

The Yankees’ entire postseason consisted of a 4-0 loss to the Astros. Still, the losers of last year’s wild-card game took home $15,266.43 for a full share.

That’s not a big number to high-salaried Yankees such as Alex Rodriguez ($22 million), wild-card game losing pitcher Masahiro Tanaka ($22 million), wild-card game non-starter Jacoby Ellsbury ($22.14 million) or the injured Mark Teixeira ($23.12 million).

But it should help ease the sting of not getting those coveted World Series rings a little.

Morris pitched in Kingsport in the Appalachian League in 2011 and 2012 and compiled a 3-8 record and two saves during that span – but that won’t mean anything if he and his New York teammates beat the Kansas City Royals and earn the coveted World Series ring.

And with the ring of success is the more immediate prize for the players on the team that wins the Fall Classic: a World Series share of the victory financial spoils.

Players who participate in the postseason – and many who don’t – split a massive cash bonus pool.

Last year, the World Series champion San Francisco Giants awarded 47 full shares of a record $388,605.94 each to players and staff.

The World Series losers didn’t do too badly, either. The Kansas City Royals awarded 54 full shares of $230,699.73 – that’s each – so each player for the losing team got $230,699.73.

Morris got a $120,000 signing bonus when he came aboard with the Mets, but his base salary could be as low as $8,000 plus $100.50 per day for meals at away games like tonight – so anything he’s been paid in the past will be certainly dwarfed by what he earns after the series is over – whether his team wins or loses.

The Royals are in the World Series again, of course, and will host the Mets in Game 1 on Fox tonight.

The Mets and Royals are constructed differently as ballclubs, with the Mets featuring their young power arms and the Royals a stable of young position players.

But the teams do have one huge thing in common: Young means cheap, relatively speaking, so for both teams’ players, a winning World Series share would seriously augment their 2015 salaries.

Matt Harvey, for example, made $614,125 this season. A World Series winning share could add mightily to the Dark Knight’s earnings. That’s a lot of extra Rangers tickets.

Jacob deGrom made $566,888. Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz both were prorated at the major-league minimum of $507,500 for the time they spent in the big leagues.

Closer Jeurys Familia, whom the Mets hope will be recording the final out in the World Series, made $523,925.

Shortstop Wilmer Flores made $513,543. An extra $400,000 or so would buy a lot of tissues — or a nice vacation in Milwaukee, if Flores would like to visit the city he almost was traded to in July.

Rightfielder Curtis Granderson, one of the highest-paid Mets at $16 million this season, is the only Met known to have a World Series bonus in his contract. Granderson will get an extra $100,000 bonus if he is named World Series MVP.

The Mets’ total payroll was about $100 million this season. Kansas City’s was a little more than $110 million.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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