It’s old news that former Rockies slugger Matt Holliday is on his way to the bay to meet up with Billy Beane and company. Good luck matty and in some way good riddance.
Whoa? Good riddance. Yep, thanks for the memories but you left with cash in hand and legacy in shambles. Now it’s nothing personal. I like ya matty. I saw the way you would always play toss with your boys after batting practice in Tucson and I’m sure you’re a great father and husband. But, you left your baseball legacy in Colorado for money and your Colorado history will be just cut short and tarnished.
I know it’s naive and outdated to think that a player in professional sports is there for more then the job. You make the plays and expect to get paid. Whoever’s willing to pay.
Here’s the sad part. Not often a player comes along and is so loyal to an organization that his playing becomes more than statistics, it becomes legacy. Now Mr. Holliday you were happy to say you loved Denver in 2006 when you were quoted as saying, “Where am I going to go?” “The Rockies control my rights for three more years…I love Denver and I want to be here.” Enter his agent Scott Boras.
Matt Holliday was poised to be a franchise player not only in statistics but in legacy. They say you are who you associate with and it’s long known Boras style is one year deals and moving on to the next highest bidder. So Mr. Beane, I’m sure you weren’t bamboozled into thinking Matt would really stay with the A’s for any great period of time, did you? After all you have created a system much like that of Branch Rickey in creating talent from the ground up and you can’t spend the franchise on him like the Yankees or the Red Sox. Good luck with that and those negotiations with Boras and Holliday.
I can’t help but think how different history had been if Cal Ripken had a greedy agent and jumped ship on the Orioles. Or what if Mickey Mantle had decided Boston could pay what he was “really” worth and skipped his 17 year career with the Yankees?
I can think to players like Todd Helton who have worked from day one through all the bad teams and good ones and kept to the team. Yes, it’s true in 2007 the Red Sox and Rockies had talked before the season of a deal at Todd’s request. I don’t think anyone could blame him though. He had put in his time and spent his entire career with the Rockies and wanted a winning shot. The argument could be made that he is not a hall of fame first baseman but in the memories of Rockies fans he will remembered as the rock of the Rockies. Now how much is that worth monetarily? Can it even be calculated?
Maybe it’s that variable that agents like Scott Boras cannot understand or players like Matt Holliday just don’t seem to get. Money can’t buy everything and in many hearts and memories Mr. Holliday you will become that flash in the pan who took the money and ran.
In fairness to both sides of this issue, I will examine club managements’ responsibility to players in my next blog.