A week and a half ago, Royals starter Gil Meche retired from baseball, citing continued problems with his shoulder. In so doing, he walked away from a guaranteed $12 million 2011 salary, and this week, Meche explained by phone that he did so because he felt he didn't deserve to make the money when he wasn't able to make a contribution on the field.
"Once I started to realize I wasn’t earning my money, I felt bad. I was making a crazy amount of money for not even pitching. Honestly, I didn’t feel like I deserved it. I didn’t want to have those feelings again."
Meche's decision stands out as being refreshingly honorable in today's player landscape - albeit a little less than it seems on the surface given that the Royals had already paid him forty-three million dollars over the first four years of his contract. But while this gives the Royals a significant break, it may also serve to set a dangerous and annoying precedent for team/player conversations elsewhere around the league.
Sabean: Hey there, Aaron.
Rowand: Hey boss, what's going on?
Sabean: Oh you know, not much, just looking forward to getting back in the swing of things.
Rowand: I know what you mean.
Sabean: Gotta try and repeat! Back-to-back! haha
Sabean: Hey, you know what I found interesting-
Rowand: What's that?
Sabean: You hear about the whole Gil Meche thing?
Rowand: I did, yeah.
Sabean: Gave up the rest of his contract.
Sabean: Twelve million dollars.
Sabean: All because he said he wasn't earning it.
Sabean: He felt guilty about making so much while giving so little, so he gave it all up.
Rowand: Yeah wild story
Sabean: Such an honorable thing to do in this day and age.
Sabean: To give up that much money
Sabean: Because you aren't earning it.