IT IS ABOUT THE MONEY
Don’t be fooled when a guy says “It’s not about the money.” It is. It always is. Jason Bay took the money and scampered off to Queens where he will languish with the Mets. Bay was well-liked in Boston. By his teammates and the fans. The teammates get it. At some point, they’ll all be in a similar situation. Almost always, they’ll opt for the most money. Nomar did it. He spit in the Red Sox eye when they offered him a treasure chest of cash. He never came close to making that kind of dough anywhere else. It’s tough to figure. Bronson Arroyo and Mike Lowell took “hometown discounts” to stay with Boston. Arroyo was dispatched to Cincinnati for Wily Mo Pena and if not for a bad thumb, Lowell would be a Texas Ranger. Loyalty, money he said, she said. This easy for me to say. I’ll never make the kind of money in 10 lifetimes that Bay will earn over the next 4 years with the Mets. I’m OK with that. In fact, I won’t come close to making what Bay will make in just the difference of the deal. Boston offered 60 million over 4 years. The Mets got him for 4 years at 66 million. 6 million is a lot to you and me. It’s a drop in the bucket to Bay. Back in the ’70s, they built Steve Austin, Lee Majors for 6 million. He could run faster, jump higher…all those bionic parts. Bay is 31, and his skills will decline markedly over the life of his contract. Boston made the right decision. Bay served as the conduit between the Manny Ramirez era and the future. His swing seemed perfectly suited for Fenway. He will have to swing a lot harder at Citi Field. The deeper fence will also play into his defensive liabilities, leaving him much more ground to cover. He’s back in the National League, where he played in front of empty houses for the Pirates for years. He’ll see tons of empty seats at Citi, never saw one, ever at Fenway. It’s tough to feel sorry for him, or the Sox for that matter. The Sox will be fine without Jason Bay. Bay will probably be fine without the Sox. I do think they both would have been better off together, for at least a couple of years.