Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Meche Leaving Money On The Table

In a very surprising move, Kansas City Royals pitcher Gil Meche has announced his retirement. That's not the surprising part of the retirement. I know it's Gil Meche. Not a big deal overall.

Meche was in limited action in 2010 due to shoulder problems. Those same shoulder problems is why he announced his retirement. Don't ask me to what extent, I'm no doctor. He won't go the surgery route because he doesn't want to sit out the 2011 season. Here's Meche's statement:

"After a lot of thinking and prioritizing of issues in my life I have decided to retire from baseball.  As a competitor my entire life this is the hardest decision that I've ever faced, but it's not fair to me, my family or the Kansas City Royals that I attempt to pitch anymore.  I came into this game as a starting pitcher and unfortunately my health, more accurately, my shoulder, has deteriorated to the point where surgery would be the only option and at this stage of my life I would prefer to call it a career rather than to attempt to pitch in relief for the final year of my contract.  I can't thank the Kansas City Royals and their fans enough for my four seasons there and if I have any regret, it's that we weren't able to accomplish on the field what the goal was when I signed there."

Instead of getting paid the remainder of his contract (1 year, $12 million) he has told the Royals that he will forfeit the money. You don't hear any athlete leaving that kind of money on the table. Call me morally corrupt, but if my leg is cut off and I can't play I'm taking the money. I know some think of Meche as somewhat heroic and I do think it's noble to walk away and not steal money, especially from a team that is counting every nickel and dime. I know it's difficult to walk away from the game you love, let alone $12 million.   

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