In a violation of everything that is today’s professional sports world, Gil Meche said no. The Kansas City Royals pitcher had a year left on his contract that would pay him $12 million this year. But he spurned the money, saying that he didn’t believe he should be paid since his shoulder is injured and he can’t really pitch. He could go in as a relief pitcher, but that’s not why he was hired. So he said no.
Other players would have kept them money, like Mo Vaughn, who once played for the Red Sox and was happy to pocket the $15 million due after injury kept him on the bench. Today’s NY Times had a story by Tyler Kepner that described the new life that Meche has taken on.
He’s made $40 million already and now, he’s living in his hometown of Lafayette Louisiana and is feeling pretty good. He’s going to get to see his kids and doesn’t have to have yet another operation on his bum shoulder.
Still, he’s throwing back that giant monthly check, and he’s stunned his peers on the KC roster by doing so. One former manager of the Mets explained that ‘it’s so odd and so rare,” and that nobody gives up the dough, just because of an injury. They usually sit on the bench, chew on sunflower seeds, and work on their investments. But not Meche.
In the story, you can sense that Meche feels pretty good, and especially when he realized that by giving up the dough, he gives up his guilty conscience about not earning his pay. Pass the gumbo, pass him a beer, he’s outta there.