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Just Off-Camera

"They respect you if you write. The dumber the world gets, the more the words matter." -Dan Jenkins

Monday, January 09, 2006

Fighting The Hypo

I know casebook hypotheticals are often ridiculous, but when they stray into completely unrealistic sports scenarios, I have to draw the line. From my tax book:
On September 14, 2006, Ken Griffey, Jr. hits his 756th career home run, making him baseball's all-time career home run leader. Adam, a twelve-year old boy, catches the ball in the stands, making it legally his property. The ball is worth at least $1 million, since this is the amount that a wealthy collector has publicly offered to pay for it. William A. Klein et al., Federal Income Taxation 61 (13th ed. 2003).
Now, Griffey is entering the 2006 season with 536 career home runs, which would mean he'd have to hit 220 homers by September 14 to reach that mark, or slightly better than a 1.5 HR/game pace.

In all fairness to the authors, the casebook was published in 2003, so maybe they thought he would reach 756 homers by then. Even so, entering the 2003 season, Griffey had 468 home runs, which would mean he'd have to average 72 home runs a year to make the hypothetical possible. (Actually, he'd have to average a little more than that in order to reach his 756th home run by September 14, 2006.) Only once has any player ever hit that many in a season - Barry Bonds - and he might have had a little help from his friends at BALCO. So this hypothetical is still absolutely nuts. Why didn't they just pick Bonds for the hypo? Bonds already had 613 homers heading into 2003; he only needed to average about 36 homers a year to pass Aaron in 2006. My guess is that the casebook authors, like a lot of people, don't like Bonds.

Even still, I'm going to get tickets to the September 14 Reds game against the Padres. I wouldn't want to miss Griffey's 220th dinger of the season, when he breaks Aaron's record.


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