“Farewell to Friends-Foes”
What an uneasy time to be a ballplayer, just hours before the baseball trading deadline.
The world of social media has changed everything in our sports world. Baseball insiders, with their contacts, can put out rumors in an instant. And it goes global almost as quickly.
Some fact, some fiction, some fishing expedition.
Players can say it’s all part of the business, but that does not make it any easier.
Yes, players make mega money.
Guys making the average salary of 4.1M, shouldn’t have the problem paying 5,000 to have their luxury SUV shipped to wherever they are playing, or renting a nice condo..
If they are moved, the clubs pick up moving expenses. Here’s your plane ticket. Kiss the wife and the kids goodbye and join us on our road trip.
You relocate to snazzy hotels. If you have young kids, they probably come and join you to finish out the season.
If you have older kids, they stay behind to get ready for school, but dad will likely be home once the regular season or postseason games are over.
The trading deadline over the last couple of years has become a ‘media event’ and a ‘fan fest’ of discussion for ticket holders, talkshow hosts, beat writers, tV network guys and more.
Yes it can be unnerving for a wife to wonder about all the rumors. It is hard to shut out all the noise from the media.
Players once traded just seem immune to it. because you learn you will be taken care of.
Matt Kemp is gone from the Padres, probably quietly seething, that he has gone from a bad club to a worse club in Atlanta. Yes he has the money due on the final threes of his contract, regardless of who pays what share, Dodgers-Padres-Braves.
It must be hard to leave a beautiful home here, the LA lifestyle, and face the reality he is becoming a piece of aging baggage in baseball, eventhough he is having a good season.
Melvin Upton is now on his fourth team. Quiet reclusive, give him credit for fixing three bad years of baseball. He exits more as a ‘mercenary’ than a teammate.
Andrew Cashner, still has free agency ahead of him, and has strung together four decent stars in a month, so a payday is coming. He will forever be the answer to the question, ‘who did we get for Anthony Rizzo-oh him?” The word to describe him here was ‘unfulfilled’.
Drew Pomeranz felt a comfort zone here, but is now in a pressure cooker that is Red Sox baseball-Fenway Park. Shall be interesting to see how he copes with it all, if he cannot continue to be the starter he was in San Diego.
Colin Rea is moving closer to his Mississippi home. Young, developing, and hopeful he can bounce back from this elbow setback to become a middle rotation guy.
James Shields, a free spirit, may be on the move again. Everybody said the proper things upon his parting, but he surely was never worth the money the Padres lavished on him.
Fernando Rodney was liked by everyone, cooperative, and pretty reliable. He’s a rent-an-arm reliever.
The sitting and waiting for Derek Norris isn’t all that tough. He’s been traded once already, and seems to be on the move before 1pm today.
“This seems to be part of being a Padre, the yearly trades”. He’s seen lots of guys come and go, since coming here from Oakland.
“It’s not that they don’t want you, it’s just that they have other needs, and you can help them get them.”
“It’s nice to fee somebody else wants you. Sure I wish I played better, we all played better, but baseball can be a humbling game.”
It is a strange Padres clubhouse now. So many young players. So many fringe players. So many Latin players.
Wil Myers is your star. A kid pitching in Class A-ball last summer, is your supposed ace.
Farewell to friends. Waiting to say hello to better days with the Padres.
Tomorrow is a new day, and new players will be in that clubhouse, and may of the others around baseball.
It’s what the business of baseball has become.