The Value Of The Commissioner?

Mark Heisler penned a typically entertaining Sunday L.A. Times column on David Stern's mind-numbingly poor decision last week to suspend Amare Stoudemire and Boris Diaw for game 5 of the now complete Suns-Spurs series. In the piece, he questions Stern's ability to lead after this and mentions his salary is $6 million a year. Another NY Times story I found cites it at $3.5 million (but I'm guessing that Heisler has good information that Stern's bonuses and perks take it to $6 million).

finchem.jpgI bring this up because we know Tim Finchem is actually making nearly as much as Stern with his announced extension of 6 years at $4.5 million, not including perks and bonus packages that many believe have it going higher than that).

I'm curious if you think Finchem's worth an amount comparable to Stern who prior to this incident, has struggled with rules changes to make the game more fun to watch but who has made his owners millions and kept the league healthy.  

Finchem has shown a consistent lack of creativity and imagination when it comes to course architecture (look how many lousy TPC's have been built under his watch), history (sayonara Western Open), varied tournament formats (72-hole stroke play every week gets old) and the role that reduced creativity plays in undermining the "product" (leaving equipment governance to the USGA and R&A). 

The FedEx Cup will likely prove to be a dud in terms of making players tee it up more and in creating a compelling playoff scenario with a big, thrilling finish like the LPGA's ADT Championship (but the players may be as much to blame for this).

However, Finchem's never done something as stupid as Stern just did, a move that undermined the credibility of the league and the integrity of the playoffs. Even as pathetic as his stance on drug testing has been, no one can contend that it has hurt the PGA Tour. Yet.

So is Finchem worth $28 million over the next six years?