Gil Mensch, er, Meche: when the party's over, do you leave?

This guy has done something unusual in professional baseball.  
Last night I read an article in the New York Times titled "Pitcher Spurns $12 Million to Keep Self-Respect." It tells an unusual story about the Meche-ster.
With millions lurking out there for the taking by him, do you know what he did? He turned in his glove.

The Royals had signed him to a five-year, $55 million free-agent contract before the 2007 season, back when he made the American League All-Stars. By mid-2009, his body began to fail him; he started nine times in 2010 without a single win. So, in an unusual move for MLB-ers, he's not taking the remaining money. Why? Because he wanted to EARN it, and he knows that going forward, he really can't. Also, he says he has already made $40 million playing baseball, and "that's enough."

The question is, if you had $12 million remaining on your contract and you could just sit on the bench and collect it, would you?


Mark A. said...

If I were in his situation as a player knowing that I was washed up, I think that I would work with the Royals and try to get on the staff as a front office guy. Or a pitching coach. Perhaps work in the minors.

Reading the story, he wants to spend time with his family, which is a good thing. Staying in baseball probably wouldn't accomplish that, so I might take a portion of the monies due. Have them "buy out" my contract.

Tough situation, but good to hear an uplifting story from the sports pages.

zman40 said...

Heck yes, I would collect. But, I have never played in the Majors, let alone the minors.

That being said, I appreciate the professionalism that Gil brought to the Royals. He had planned on pitching out of the bullpen this year, but he didn't want to be the guy making 12 million a year and not doing anything to help the club. Honestly, I was looking forward to having him in the Royals 'pen, but I respect his choice. It takes a big man to walk away from that much cash and, to me, I don't think you will find a Major Leaguer that has the integrity that Gil has.

Here is a post I did on Gil before he retired.

It's good to see you back!

Todd Uncommon said...

I really don't know what I'd do.

Since the baseball business is so shifty and cutthroat anyway, I wouldn't have blamed him to stick to the letter of the contract and just collect. Especially since it's the Royals, which oddly doesn't seem to spend a single dollar more to win, but apparently spends millions to continue to lose in inventive new ways.

I don't think that it would have been bad to try to leave the game with at least one more win (or save?) for a high note, and he could have done a lot of good giving away even a portion of $12 million to many who could really use it.

There's a refreshing and appreciable sense of integrity, but I would have liked to have seen a little more Robin Hood action there.

skoormit said...

I'm sticking to the union. If the teams signs a guaranteed contract, the team takes a risk. Letting them out of it when it turns out bad for them undermines the integrity of the collective bargaining agreement.

Also, if you don't want the $12 million yourself (commendable), how about sacrificing that half-year of your personal leisure and give the money to charity? Could make an enormous difference for a lot of people.

capewood said...

Welcome back.