So, over the weekend, Cardinals SS Rafael Furcal was shut down for the spring when his elbow, which was hurt last September, acted up again, and he currently is seeking second opinions on his MRI which may be suggesting the need for the dreaded Tommy John surgery. This is very upsetting as a Cards fan because, the options at short are unproven (we essentially have 2 great backup SS to handle the starting job). Furcal had the option to have surgery back in September, but opted not to go through with the surgery (at Doctors recommendations) and now the Cardinals are in a tight spot as a result. Now, as many of you may or may not know, teams are not allowed to force their players to have surgery. So my question for the day is what do players owe their team?
This goes back a couple of years, but this is the same question that was asked when LeBron, and the subsequent year Albert Pujols, left the teams they had spent their entire career with for greener pastures. Fans of the Cavs and Cards were hoping that their star would take a "hometown discount" from their team, to stay with the fans that love them and the ownership who have given them support for the last few years. But do players owe their team that? Sadly, I feel that this, and the injury issues have different answers.
So, I might be a little biased here, but this has been an issue with the Cards in the past. But I believe that you owe your team your best effort, and your best health. If you are hurt, you need to get it fixed. Athletes get paid exorbitant amounts of money to play a game. They owe it to their employers to get healthy and perform at their highest level. I know surgery is less than ideal, but if that's what it takes to get healthy and perform at the highest level you owe it to your employer to do it.
I will be the first to say it was very disappointing to see Albert Pujols walk away from St. Louis. He had the potential to be a very special part of Cardinals Lore, but he owed the Cardinals and the city of St. Louis nothing. If you were working at a business or school or wherever you hope to work, and another company came to you and offered you 20% more than what you were making currently, you would be stupid to not seriously consider it. Now some of you really like where you work, and the extra 20% wouldn't be worth it, and that is why you see a lot of players offer their team "hometown discounts". Because they are happy where they are, and they don't want to move their family or anything like that. But, Lebron felt that the Cavs couldn't put a team around him that could help him win an NBA title, and he felt that he would be happier in Miami where he felt he had a better chance to win a title. Pujols was a proud guy, and he felt that he had been underpaid for years in St. Louis (honestly... he probably was). He felt he brought the Cardinals a great deal of revenue for years, and he felt being paid as one of the highest paid players was what he deserved. So the team that was willing him to pay him what he wanted, so it was his right to leave for L.A. Like I said, if you felt your current employer wasn't paying you what you deserved and another company offered you to pay you more... wouldn't you take it? These guys are human, just like you and me, and you can't hold them to a standard that you wouldn't hold yourself to when it comes to money.
Thanks for reading guys, have a great Tuesday,
-T.O. signing out