How many other 28 year-old pitching stars would waive their first two years of free agency eligibility during the prime of their lives? How many other stars would take less money than they know they’ll be offered down the road in order to stay in the city, with the team, that they love? That’s exactly what Adam Wainwright did in signing his new four-year contract with the St. Louis Cardinals Thursday. The current cornerstone of the Cardinals pitching staff and phenom stopper during the Redbirds’ 2006 World Series Championship run is proof that ballplayers who are humble and realize just how lucky they are to be playing baseball for a living really do exist.
"I get to do it in St. Louis, where the fans are the greatest in the
game, and I love the city and my wife loves the city, and that’s what’s
most important to us," he said. "We’re going to be there for,
hopefully, a long, long time, and a long time after this contract. My
wife is very, very excited about this deal, and I look forward to
raising our daughter there. It’s just a great situation for both
parties, I think."
Now don’t get me wrong. I am not one to say that ballplayers should be making less money. Not at all. I think they do deserve what they’re worth in regards to the overall revenues of the game and I think baseball is much better off with free agency. But it’s just nice to know that some players are satisfied with 2 million a year as opposed to 22 million.
And believe me, Adam is getting paid. He won’t be making a salt miner’s salary, that’s for sure. But if he just held out for two more years it’s almost guaranteed that he’d be getting big bank offers for his services, probably from teams like the Evil Empire.
Waino likes the Cardinals organization. He likes St. Louis. His wife likes St. Louis, too. He actually consulted his wife! Wow! What a guy! I won’t go as far as my sister has and declare that he is the most attractive man in baseball, but I will give him mad props (*cliche warning) for being a breath of fresh air.
Speaking of mad props, I want to take a second and commend some of the superior blogging going on at MLB by everyday joes like myself. These fellas continue to draw me in with their superior reporting/pontificating/lampooning: Cardinals Kingdom, by Brady, is a must for Redbirds fans, especially those interested in minor league developments. Paul at Prince of New York repeatedly impresses with his unique insight and well-researched ideas that tackle all angles of the game (buy his book here). And Matt at Diamondhacks is witty, funny, edgy, brave and downright hilarious with his atypical style of genius. I read these every day. You should too.
And please don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.