I have always liked pitcher Zack Greinke.
First of all, he’s got a cool first name for a baseball pitcher. Zack just sort of sounds like the name of a guy who would play baseball.
Another thing I like about Zack is that he had the inner strength when he was with the Kansas City Royals to admit that he had some anxiety issues. His anxiety issues were serious enough, as a matter of fact, to force him to the leave the game for a short time. The fact that Zack was able to overcome his condition and pitch at a high level is a testament to his courage and his toughness.
The other reason I’ve always liked Zack is that he tends to be honest — sometimes brutally honest. Zack this week signed the largest contract ever for a right-handed pitcher. I laughed when I read the reasons he decided to sign a six-year, $147 million contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
“Besides the money ... they have a team that could win a World Series for several years,” Zack said.
Is that great or what?
For once, a professional athlete admitted that the reason he signed a contract was because of the money. Most of the time athletes, who have had their agents spend months working to get them the best contract they can get, say that “it wasn’t about the money,” even though everyone knows that it’s always about the money.
Last year, Albert Pujols decided to sign a contract with the Los Angeles Angels for something like $240 million rather than accept the St. Louis Cardinals’ offer of a bit more than $200 million. When he did, he basically said it wasn’t about the money.
I like Albert, and I don’t blame him for wanting more money, but I just wish he would have said, “Dude, it’s a $40 million difference. Would you take $40 million less? I didn’t think so.”