Loyalty is a Two-Way Street

Recently the manager of the Chicago White Sox decided to part ways with the organization he coached for eight years. He pushed the issue in the last week of the season. Rather than wait until it was over and then press his demands, he made for a disruptive situation. Apparently, it was his goal to leave if certain conditions were not met because he had an ace up his sleeve, or maybe next to the lineup card in his back pocket. He knew that there was an offer on the table from the Florida Marlins to become their new manager. In fact, it had been reported that the Florida people begged Chicago to release the manager the previous year so that he could switch organizations.

But, my disdain is not for the ex-manager of the Chicago White Sox. He did the smart thing. He knew he was being forced out regardless. He played his hand to his advantage and got what he wanted. This is the realization of the American Dream. Never mind the fact that the ex-manager was born and raised in Venezuela.

The aggrandizement comes with players on the Chicago Cubs who decided to make some public statements as reported in one of the daily newspapers. Supposedly, the third baseman who had been with the club for eight and a half years expressed a desire to play for Florida and its new manager. This was said before the season was over. When someone in baseball management expresses desire about a player on another team signing with them next year while the current year is still in play, that is called tampering and the team is subject to a fine. But, I guess it is not so the other way around.

What made it worse is that the third baseman allegedly said that he expected the Cubs to officially extend to him to play out his option year at the agreed-upon 16 million dollars. He said it was a formality so that in case he decided to not accept the option and defect, they would then get compensation for him signing as a free agent elsewhere. But, what if he decided to grab the offer? Who wouldn’t want to grab a new one year contract for 16 million? Apparently, not him because he wanted a multi-year contract. I doubt if anyone would give him anywhere near that yearly figure for an extended period of time due to his age, knack for getting injured, and the fact that he was not a top-tier quality player. Okay, there are always the New York Yankees rocking the boat- but they have a Mr. Rodriguez playing third base.

There is also the first baseman who played in Chicago for just this past year. He is a self-confessed .230 hitter with the ability to mix a lot of strikeouts with 25 to 30 home runs a year along with half-decent defensive capability. No one else wanted him at his asking price of 10 million a year but the Cubs got him when he agreed to defer half the pay to the following year when he could be already gone to another team.

The first baseman also expressed a keen desire to play for Florida next year. This after he had several times expressed how he wanted to die a Cub. But, that was before Mr. Guillen was hired by Florida. Again, what irks a baseball fan is when a player makes these comments to newspaper reporters before the season is over.

I would love to hear that these two ballplayers made statements off the record or were misquoted or suffer from short term memory lapses. Anything. In the meantime, these are the reasons that as I get younger, I lose loyalty and adoration to professional athletes.

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