There is no doubt I want Matt Holliday's bat in the middle of the Cardinals lineup.
But the way this situation is going down really turns my stomach.
According to a report in the Boston Herald, the reason the Red Sox declined to take their pursuit of the free agent slugger to the next level was because, when Boston offered Holliday $85 million to come play left field at Fenway Park, agent Scott Boras countered that Holliday would do it -- for $170 million.
So much for the reports that Holliday was telling all his Cardinals teammates that this was all a negotiating ploy and that it was his intention all along to come back to St. Louis to stay. Apparently he really is after the last dollar and he would be playing in front of the Green Monster in 2010 and beyond if Boston took the bait.
I know I'm going to hear more about how it's Boras' job to get Holliday the best deal and that it's Holliday's right to get the most money. To an extent, this is true. But how much is enough? How much is too much.
Can one person even spend $100 million in a lifetime? So why do you have to have $170 million? We have a right, as fans, to be offended. Every extra dollar these players ask for is another dollar you and I have to pay for our tickets, hot dogs and frosty beverages. And it gets pretty offensive when $16 million isn't good enough for Holliday when us working stiffs making an average of $40,000 a year are asked to dig down deep to help him out by passing the hat for another couple of million.
Is it worth it to play in the fishbowl of Boston -- the town that chewed up and spit out Edgar Renteria -- for $170 million if you can bat between Albert Pujols and Ryan Ludwick for $128 million?
Could you possibly be even remotely sincere in saying that the most important thing is to play for a winner when your goal is to cripple the budget of the team that signs you.
A disturbing trait about Holliday that has emerged in things I have read about him is that he seems to constantly crave recognition. It's almost as if he would be personally insulted if he isn't one of the highest paid players in the game. That stands in stark contrast to Cardinals superstar Albert Pujols, probably the best player in the game, is it's 19th highest paid player in terms of the total value of his contract (Holliday seems certain to knock him down to 20th). He doesn't come close to the top 20 of average annual value. Heck, he's FOURTH amongst major league first basemen, earning $7 million a year less than Mark Teixeira, four million a year less than Ryan Howard and about a million and a half dollars less a year than Todd Helton.
So, hopefully this deal will all get worked out in the next couple of days and we can all start thinking about the crack of the bat the pop of a mitt instead of the ka ching of Holliday's personal cash register.
And Matt, don't get me wrong... I'm a big fan. But save the standard this is always where I wanted to be and I'm so happy to play in front of the St. Louis fans. After all, you've proved it's not personal. It's all just business.
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