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Friday, January 28, 2011

More Undeserved Bailouts

Take heart, Nation! Your faith in humanity is not misplaced. Consider the case of Gil Meche.

Meche is a mediocre Major League pitcher. Some years back, the Kansas City Royals inexplicably decided to lavish a major portion of their extremely limited payroll (the Yankees they ain't) to sign Meche as a free agent. They signed him to a guaranteed five-year, $55 million contract before the 2007 season, despite his frankly unspectacular record with the Seattle Mariners. After some injury-plagued seasons, Meche announced the other day that he would retire, rather than collect the $12 million due him this season. Because realistically he could not pitch at anywhere close to peak performance, Meche felt it would be wrong to accept the exorbitant salary that the Royals would have been obligated to pay him--particularly since the team had already paid him more than $40 million over the last four years.

Mr. Meche, your self-respect is exemplary. This act of civility and, frankly, generosity takes our breath away, and we can think of only one appropriate response:

What are you, a moron?!?

It must be nice to have the luxury to walk away from $12 million, but, still, IT'S TWELVE MILLION DOLLARS!!! When the Royals offered you this contract, they showed the kind of sound business judgment we've come to associate with Lehman Brothers, but that's hardly your fault. They were prepared to pay you; they were obligated to pay you. If you would have felt bad about accepting "undeserved" money, you could have donated your paychecks to charity.

All you've done is let a baseball team--a big business even if it is the Royals--off the hook for what turned out to be a calamitous financial decision. It's one thing for the government to bail out spendthrift corporations. Why should the employees have to bear the brunt?



  1. So, here's this guy. He has no major talent and he's unknown to almost everybody except the sports fans who love the KC Royals (and I have personally met them both!) and who hate him for draining the KC coffers. One day he wakes up and thinks (or his manager thinks for him), "Hm", he thinks, "I've already made over $40,000,000 dollars for doing NOTHING! Wow! So". he's still thinking, "I've already got enough for 40 regular people to live in, if not luxury, at least comfort, for the rest of their lives. I can play, or, more accurately, NOT play for one more year; get another $12,000,000, that I don't need; continue to be hated by Mel & Cynthia (the KC fans) and die in obscurity... OR... I can make this, essentially meaningless (in terms of my own well-being) gesture; become nationally famous; become hailed as some kind of frackin' hero; and GET THE FRAK OUT OF KANSAS CITY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What to do? What to do?"
    I'm just, y'know, speckerlatin'

  2. Still don't see why he couldn't give the money to charity. Or to the Solipsist! Why just give the money back to the Royals? Why reward their extravagance?