George Hale’s Perspective: Gil Meche

Updated 3 years ago

THERE HAVE BEEN A NUMBER OF TIMES WHEN I HAVE REPORTEDAND COMMENTED ON SPOILED, OVERPAID AND SELFISH ATHLETESWHO PLAY PROFESSIONAL SPORTS.WE HAVE HEARD THE STORIES OF EGOTISTICAL: MILLIONAIRE,PRIMA DONNAS WHO THINK THAT THE RULES OF CONDUCT DON’TAPPLY TO THEM.IT’S ALSO TRUE OF ACTORS, ACTRESSES AND ROCK STARS.SO I THINK IT’S ONLY FAIR WHEN I TELL THE OTHER SIDE OFTHE STORY.THE NAME IS GIL MECHE.NOW MANY OF YOU, NOT DIED IN THE WOOL, SPORTS FANS MAY NOTKNOW WHO HE IS.MECHE IS A MAJOR LEAGUE PITCHER WHO HAILS FROM LOUSIANA ANDHAS HAD DECENT SUCCESS IN THE BIGS.HE PITCHES FOR THE KANSAS CITY ROYALS.OR AT LEAST HE DID PITCH UNTIL THIS WEEK.WITHOUT MUCH WARNING MECHE ANNOUNCED THAT HE WAS RETIRING FROM MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL AFTER TEN YEARS.NO BIGGIE.PLAYERS CALL IT OFF WHEN THE SKILLS ARE GONE.BUT THIS CASE IS DIFFERENT.THE BIG STORY IS THAT HE REQUIRES MAJOR SURGERY ON HIS ARM ANDPROBABLY COULD NEVER PITCH AGAIN.BUT, UNDER HIS CONTRACT, HE COULD REPORT FOR SPRING TRAININGAND COLLECT 12.4 MILLION DUE ON HIS CONTRACT.EASY MONEY REALLY.RIDE IT OUT IN THE BULLPEN AND THEN RETIRE WITH MORE MONEY.BUT HE DIDN’T.MECHE DID THE UNUSAL.HE WALKED IN THERE, TOLD THE ROYALS THAT HE COULDN’T PITCH, ANDTHEY COULD KEEP THE MONEY BECAUSE HE WAS UNABLE TO EARN IT.FOUR YEARS AGO THE ROYALS TOOK A CHANCE ON HIM AND GAVEHIM 55 MILLION ON A FIVE YEAR DEAL.NOT MANY IN BASEBALL THOUGHT THAT HE WAS GOOD ENOUGHFOR THAT KIND OF CONTRACT.AFTER ALL HE HAD A HISTORY OF INJURY AND AT THAT POINTHAD WON ONLY 55 GAMES.SO WHEN THE CHIPS WERE DOWN AND HE HAD TO MAKE A DECISION GIL MECHE MADE ONE.HE SIMPLY SAID KEEP THE 12 MILLION AND SPEND IT ON MAKINGTHE TEAM BETTER.NOW I KNOW THERE ARE CYNICS OUT THERE WHO WILL SAY HEMADE A TON OF MONEY AND THE DECISION WAS EASY.BUT THERE ARE A LOT OF PLAYERS WHO WILL BE HOME THIS YEAR WITHONE KIND OF INJURY OR ANOTHER MAKING LOTS OF DOLLARS AND NOTWEARING A UNIFORM.MECHE, UNLIKE SO MANY IN SPORTS THESE DAYS, STOOD UP ANDMADE A SELFLESS, TEAM AND COMMUNITY FIRST, MOVE.HE WENT ANOTHER STEP AND SAID HE REGRETED NOT WINNINGMORE GAMES FOR THE FRANCHISE.I’M REMINDED OF THE FACT THAT THE GREAT STAN MUSIAL DID MUCHTHE SAME THING YEARS AGO WHEN PLAYING FOR THE CARDINALS.HE ASKED FOR A PAY CUT BECAUSE HE DIDN’T PLAY WELL DURINGTHE SEASON.HE ONLY GOT 80,000 FOR THE SEASON.I NEVER MET GIL MECHE BUT I APPLAUD HIM FOR HAVING DIGNITYAND CLASS AND SETTING AN EXAMPLE FOR THE YOUNGER PLAYERSWHO WILL FOLLOW HIM.THIS IS GEORGE HALE WITH MY PERSPECTIVE ON SPORTS.


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