As you might imagine, pitchers arms are rather fragile and prone to injury from all the hard throwing they do. Since a team must pay the player regardless of his performance, signing a free-agent pitcher to a long-term contract is one of the more risky gambles in MLB.
When the Kansas City Royals signed Gil Meche to a five-year, $55 million contract four years ago, baseball fans and experts alike predicted that the Royals would regret their actions. But here’s where the story gets good!
Meche’s first two years with the Royals went well; he even made the American League All-Star team in his first season. But in his fourth year, he made only nine starts, as the result of a bad shoulder. Nonetheless, since he was owed $12.4 million for 2011, the Royals expected him to return to the team, sore shoulder and all, perhaps as a relief pitcher.
But then in January, Meche shocked the Royals and the entire baseball world by announcing his retirement. He was essentially forfeiting the $12.4 million he was owed! He didn’t want to take the money when he knew that he wouldn’t be able to pitch, at least not effectively. Meche said it…
“just wasn’t the right thing to do.”
Joe Posnanski of Sports Illustrated called Meche’s announcement “perhaps the most unbelievable finish in major league baseball history.” He pointed out that not only had Meche performed at a high level the first two years of the deal, but that, arguably some of his injury problems were the Royals’ doing.
Yet, Meche, who is invariably described as “modest,” decided that “the team’s done enough for me.”
“A devout life does bring wealth, but it’s the rich simplicity of being yourself before God. Since we entered the world penniless and will leave it penniless, if we have bread on the table and shoes on our feet, that’s enough… Lust for money brings trouble and nothing but trouble. Going down that path, some lose their footing in the faith completely and live to regret it bitterly ever after.” ~ 1 Timothy 6:6-10 (The Message)
In an age of greediness and self-indulgence Gil Meche is a breath of fresh air; a reminder that the most important things in this life are not the THINGS in this life!
Lord, teach us what it means to be content in You!