I don’t know what it is … maybe I’m just a product of the 60s, when ballplayers were loyal to their teams (even if it was because the owners were as much slave owners as they were team owners). Still, when I read that Jake Arrieta — who’s havin’ by FAR the two best years of his career — is willing to walk away if the Cubs don’t offer him a minimum of $200 million and 7 years, I just wanna slap his greedy little Wall Street face.
I get it. Arrieta won the trophy last year, and he’s looking like Cy Young himself this year, while Strasburg — an inferior pitcher, if you go by the numbers — just penned a seven-year extension with the Nats for Jesus money. Plus, if you throw in the deals Price and Scherzer got (both 7-year stints for more than $200 million) then mix all that information together in the context bowl, then yeah, it sounds like Arrieta is worth what he and that bottom-feeder Boras are gonna be asking for. However, it’s totally friggin’ unreasonable in a world where garbage men are gettin’ 60-some grand a year to wade through Chicago’s trash, no matter what it’s doin’ outside. And what really rubs me raw is when I hear some of these guys, who drive Bentleys outta their 10 car garages to the ballpark, talk about how much they care about the fans. Quite frankly it insults my intelligence. Limited though it may be, I got enough gray matter up there to tell when a guy who plays a game for a living is dropping his kids off at the pool … and I’m the pool.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m grateful for everything Jake has brought to the Cubs. I admire his work ethic and his focus. And there’s no getting around the impact he’s had on this team and its win/loss record. To be fair, he also said he’d like to stay in Chicago. I appreciate that, I do. It’s the way he said it that chaps my backside. “I made it clear I like Chicago.” Arrieta said. “I think everyone knows that. If I had it my way, I’d stay here.” To which I have to ask one question: “Well, Jake, who the friggin’ hell do you think is making the decision?!” That whole “if I had it my way” line of thinking is the most condescending kinda bull shit there is. No one points a gun to a player’s head and forces ’em to put their John Hancock on the starvation wage that $130 million for 5 years would be. The player makes the decision. Period. Even if a shark like Boras — who makes his living off of the backs of people with talent — wants more.
The fact that this is even up for discussion at this point in the 2016 season, thus possibly causing an unneeded distraction, is beyond me. It’s like we already won the World Series or something, when we haven’t even been in the damn thing since the year we dropped the bomb on Japan. Wouldn’t it be better to focus on checking that item off the list first, before everyone gets their panties in a wad over the assumption that Arrieta will march through the season (80% of which has yet to be played) in the manner he’s established thus far? There’s plenty of time to contemplate the $20 beer prices and tickets so expensive you gotta have a co-signer to buy, likely required to keep the likes of Arrieta from feeling under-appreciated. If we could just concentrate on winning the division instead of being confrontational within the organization, I think that would be a better use of everyone’s time. And us poor SOBs who are scrimping and scratching to save enough to go to a game or two — you know, those fans everyone always says they care so much about — we’d appreciate it.