Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Arbitrary demand

Today's Sports headline for one fo the NYC papers is "$22 Million, the Rocket's Arbitration Demand".

For those of you not following along with the home game, this is a salary demand from a famous pitcher being made of the team that he decided to play for after he retired.

I admire Roger Clemens greatly for his natural talent as well as the way he's grown and worked to stay in the game. His work ethic and his gift for nurturing what he was born with and crafting his game to go with the flow of aging is an example from which many a young pissant whiner could take a lesson.

However, I'd like to see a player in his position say, "You know, just pay my expenses and I'm in for the year. I don't need a salary." Or even, "I'm in at last year's rate but please forward my checks to (fill in the charity of your choice)" Wayne Gretzky could have done this when he moved to the LA Kings to be closer to his wife. Yet, the Great One was in the middle of his career, it would have been a dangerous move on some levels. The Rocket is retired (if we're to believe all that press around the time he left the Yankees), he's playing for his home team, and he's made a boatload of cash from salary and endorsements over the course of a career that spans more than 2 decades. He's in the perfect position to hearken back to the days of yore, the time when the salary was a perk and athletes played for the love of the game.

I know, I know I keep harping on this playing for the love of the game thing. It's my thing, you're going to have to deal.

I'm just sick of spending the off season disliking athletes whose performance I admire. I can't be the only one who gets a little seasick moving from tears and cheers during the playoffs to disgust and flabbergastion as contract demands and compromises are made that could buy and sell me (and many of my less fortunate brethren and sistern) 10 times over. It's true, I far prefer this mild annoyance to the fury I feel at ass monkeys like the Big Unit who want all the money and the endorsements that come with playing for the Yanks but can't handle the pressure when they get here. Big Unit, no wonder he's an ass.

But just once wouldn't you like to hear, "Sure, I'm playing, but use my salary to give season tickets to that cool chick down at 117 Hudson."


  1. AMEN, sister, amen.

  2. Just heard a moment ago that the deal has gone down for 1 year $18 million. And he credits fans at an event in his honor chanting "One. More. Year." for helping him make his decision.

    Oh, so I get it, he did it for the FANS.