Phil Hughes Turns Down Half A Million (I'll Take It)
I can't say I've been a Phil Hughes fan the past few years. He was more promise than production with the Yankees, usually hurt, and only had a couple of relatively good years. And what does a crap career in pinstripes get you? An exile to Frostbite Falls (aka, the Minnesota Twins). But something strange happened on the way to Target Field: Hughes became a pitcher and a man.
A rain delay just cost Phil Hughes half a million dollars. https://t.co/6j2MpnkPXk
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) September 24, 2014
In what was another awful year for the Twins, Hughes was a bright spot, going 16-10, with a sub-4.00 ERA in 209.2 innings. Did I mention he had as many wins as walks this year (and set a Major League record for K to BB)? That's his most season innings by almost 20, but it wasn't 210, a number that would have kicked in a $500,000 bonus. So we just round up, right? No. Well, couldn't we just re-write his contract to read 209 innings? Nope. Couldn't we... The Twins talked to Hughes about all sorts of ways of giving him the money, but he wouldn't hear of it. He wouldn't even appear as a relief pitcher to record that out and get his money. So what did he get in return?
Phil Hughes struck out 186 and walked just 16 this year. And he's morphing into Kenny Powers, it seems. pic.twitter.com/WF04Zi9mLm
— Dave Southorn (@IDS_Southorn) September 25, 2014
The news is full of reports about greedy players doing boorish things because they feel entitled. Hughes felt anything but that. Of course the flip side is his rich boss gets to keep the money (Hey, Twins, how about donating that money towards education, domestic violence prevention, or some other cause?), but Hughes realizes he was floundering in the Bronx and Minnesota threw him a lifeline. In return, he gave his all for a team that had no chance of making the postseason, and may have resurrected his career.
— Eye on Baseball (@EyeOnBaseball) September 24, 2014
So the next time I have to sit through another Ray Rice story or hear about baseball players bitching about having to pee into a cup, I'll think about my new favorite pitcher, Phil Hughes, and how he thinks an agreement is an agreement, and that a man's word really is his bond.
David Young has been a columnist for ESPN and Sports Illustrated and is now one for SportsGrid.com (and now a huge Phil Hughes fan). Follow him on Twitter @turkeysflying.
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