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Saturday, January 3, 2009

GEM made mistake by signing Sadler long-term, will likely have to pay

The news continues to flow from the Gillett-Evernham team this offseason, as Elliot Sadler has not taken kindly to being replaced in the #19 car and plans to sue the team for breach of contract. If an agreement can not be reached between Sadler and the team in the next couple weeks, he has until Jan. 20 to officially file the complaint, which he most certainly will do.

The problem is that last May, Sadler and GEM agreed to a 3-year deal, but after A.J. Allmendinger showed some great potential at the end of the season, the team decided to go in a different direction. While I agree with the decision to switch drivers, GEM really screwed this one up by hurrying to sign Sadler so early in the season, even though he hadn’t shown them much reason to do so. I was scratching my head when I first heard the news, and whoever made that decision at GEM really needs their logic sensors checked.

While I’m no lawyer and haven’t seen the contract, I’m fairly confident that if you tell someone you’ve hired them for three years, then fire them 6 months later, it’s pretty clear that you are in breach of contract. The only possible out they might have is if there was a performance clause, but I doubt Sadler would have agreed to something like that. So unless they were 100 percent sure Sadler was the guy they wanted, why sign the contract?

It’s very likely the team will have to hand over a pretty large check to Sadler, who will probably find a ride elsewhere … if not now, then once the season starts and drivers start to get fired … or maybe go into the broadcasting business. The mistake is all GEM‘s, and they wouldn’t have any problem right now if they had just been patient enough to wait until the end of the year to decide whether to sign Sadler to an extended contract.

The lesson of all this is simple: Don’t go all in with a pair of eights when the next card dealt might give you a flush. Timing is everything, and GEM missed this one by a mile.

NASCAR’s Mafia connection?
News came out this week that couple of ex-employees of ISC (NASCAR’s “sister” company that is completely separate … wink, wink) were sentenced to probation for their role in the failed efforts to bring a speedway to Staten Island, New York. It appears the Gambino crime family was throwing extra money in the direction of these ISC officials in relation to the trucking of dirt for the speedway. Also, the indictment indicates that several Gambino family members were working to make the speedway a reality, which indicates they had something to gain from its creation.

I fully recognize that NASCAR was founded by moonshiners, and I have no issue with that, but dealing with real-life gangsters is a whole new deal that I hope was isolated to this incident. When I buy my $4 hot dog at Daytona, I don’t want to be supporting the next whacking by the Gambinos.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

i agree with your article totally...except where did you find a 4 dollar hotdog at daytona??

January 4, 2009 at 5:34 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Getting rid of the "Karma Tarnished Sadler" will be akin to a nasty divorce.
In this instance, it may well be prudent and worthwhile to pay whatever is necessary to be free of such a consistently mediocre driver.
No amount of money is worth proceeding on a road to nowhere.

Keeping Sadler in any organization that has aspirations of success would be futile.

The man is a certified repeat non-performer.

Today, in a very tough, very competivive business atmosphere,
"aw shucks the clown" just is not enough to assure a return of investment.

January 4, 2009 at 8:04 AM 
Blogger Matt Myftiu said...

Maybe my memory fails me and I embellished a bit, but I'm pretty sure the concession prices were pretty outlandish at Daytona last time I went. So that's where that came from.

January 4, 2009 at 9:45 AM 
Anonymous Ed said...

Well you know that lawyers do hold the world hostage, so who knows what will come out of this. But I bet there is a "performance clause" in that contract that would allow both to bow out with less of a penalty than otherwise would be. And on top of that the buyout of Sadler might even equal the savings GEM will get with AJ. I bet he was willing to drive for less. Sadler was overpaid and you are right Matt, I was wondering why they signed him early--maybe because of sponsors. But AJ clearly showed a penchant for performance in GEM's cars so the case could be made by a lawyer that Sadler wasn't performing up to par--and he wasn't. All these guys, Michael Waltrip, Kenny Wallace, Eliot Sadler are all "likable" guys is some sense and act goofy on air to get sponsors but in the end they are just mediocre drivers. MW says he will take being the "worst" driver to win 2 Daytona 500's. Well maybe he won 1 and a half. Rain outs don't really count. And hell his team mate and owner gave him the first won...

So Sadler will get a ride somewhere and be one of those recycled has beens like Jimmy Spencer and all the rest. Good riddance.

January 4, 2009 at 1:03 PM 

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