Friday, November 16, 2007

For love or money

What is more important – the undying devotion and love of baseball’s most passionate fan base, Red Sox Nation, or money? That is the million-dollar question being considered by Mike Lowell and his family.

The “Re-sign Lowell” faction of Red Sox Nation has implored Sox management and Mike Lowell to come to terms on a deal that would see him stay in Boston for at least the next three years. Red Sox management has a 3 year/$36M deal on the table for Lowell, should he choose to accept it; depending on who you believe (you know, those guys who start columns out with “A source close to the negotiations/situation”) there may be teams out there who are willing to offer Lowell a 4 year deal worth between $55 and $60M.

The Nation seems to be behind management’s offer of a 3 year deal – in what could be interpreted as something akin to emotional blackmail – the Nation is asking Lowell to take “the hometown discount” in exchange for their undying love and devotion. From our humble perspective, the deal on the table for Lowell is more than fair – as it the deal put on the table for Johnny Damon before he left for New York – but our stance remains the same as it was for Damon; money talks.

Some of the messageboards have fans asking Lowell to consider how much is on the table, and go on to ask “How much more do you really need?”. To a man, woman and child, Red Sox Nation believes that Mike Lowell should leave anywhere between $19 and $24M on the table for the privilege of playing at Fenway Park. For those of you who subscribe to this line of thinking – we would ask you to really consider that same argument if you were in Lowell’s shoes. The response from 95% of you would undoubtedly be “Hell Yes” – but think about it from an athlete’s perspective and not from the perspective of us average everyday Joes. We’re not saying their perspective is right or wrong – we’re just saying “consider it”.

The lifestyle these players are accustomed to is beyond comprehension to the average fan – they like each and every one of us want the best possible life for ourselves, our families and future generations to come; an extra $19-$24M in your last three or four years of work can go a long, long, long way to ensuring your grandkids and their grandkids will be well looked after. Which one of us wouldn’t want that? Managers, agents, mansions, hired help, vacations, private schools, etc…it all adds up.

For those of you who point to fans love and adoration – they’ll get that anywhere they go; just ask Johnny Damon. Red Sox Nation loved him until he left – these guys know the score. Love from a team’s fan base is fleeting at best – a bad year or two and the love and adoration turns to disappointment and boos; money, if well-invested will always be there and grow. We won’t get into the fact that half of these guys complain about how intrusive fans are on their lives – what makes you think they want the love in the first place?

Either way, Mike Lowell wins – he comes out with a great contract, be it in Boston or somewhere else – and he deserves it, he’s had a solid career and came up with a huge year at the most opportune time. Why shouldn’t he cash in on it? Why should he leave that much money on the table to sign with an organization that is making money hand over fist anyways? Red Sox management has done a masterful job of marketing themselves as the little guys – everyone knows that isn’t true; if they really wanted Mike Lowell, they’d sign him.

Whatever Lowell decides to do, he shouldn’t be loved or hated for it – he’s just another man trying to do what is best for him and his family…something we should all understand and respect.

Word is there was a hockey game at the TD Banknorth Garden last night – we’ve blocked it out of our mind.

A great way to start off an abbreviated week – three wins. Tonight’s suggestions:

Tampa Bay over Washington – the Lightning have been lights out at home so best to stick with them; the Caps are off to a slower than expected start. Lay $100 on Tampa.

Carolina over Atlanta – the Canes should roll over the Thrashers tonight at home, they had their bad home game for the month, so expect them to get back on track tonight. Lay $100 on the Canes.

Montreal over Buffalo – we hate back the Habs, but you have to against a Sabres team that lost last night and is still having trouble scoring. Lay $100 on the Habs.

We’ll post the money lines tomorrow when we recap the night that was.

That’s it for today gang – thanks for taking the time to check in. Have a great one peeps.

Hazel, we hope things are groovy in your world.

We’re Out!


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