KANSAS CITY—If you were guaranteed more than $12 million dollars, but knew you couldn't do the job, what would you do? Show up and try your best or resign, saving your employer's bottom line?
It's a question baseball fans around Kansas City are debating after the Royals' highest paid player, pitcher Gil Meche, announced his retirement.
He was the Royals' $55 million dollar man. When the team signed Meche in 2007, the contract sent shockwaves through baseball. The newspaper even ran a Meche-meter during his first season to measure whether the Royals were getting their money's worth.
For two-and-a-half seasons they did. Meche was an All-Star in 2007. By 2009 he was having shoulder problems, but no fan FOX 4 talked to expected him to walk away from more than $12 million dollars for the last year of his contract.
"I don't think I would," Royals fan James Murphy said. "That's a lot of money. I could go out there and set in the bullpen, pitch whenever they need me to, out of the bullpen, I think he did a lot better when he did pitch out of the bullpen last year. "
And that's all Meche had to do to get paid: sit in the bullpen and pitch occasionally. He could even have spent the season on the disabled list and received the millions the Royals agreed to pay him.
But Meche chose to retire, saying remaining on the roster was not the right thing to do. Some fans say it's easier to do the right thing, when you've already made more than $40 million from the Royals alone.
"It really depends on the individual and what the individual values," fan Butch Davidson said. "Like myself, there are some things I love to do that I wish I had the time to do them. That may be where he's headed with his life."
Now fans are focused on how the team will use the $12 million dollars Meche has saved them. Meche wants the Royals to find players to help them win. Some fans have other ideas, like cutting ticket prices.
Don't expect the Royals to start spending the money Meche has saved them anytime soon. General Manager Dayton Moore says the team is committed to the crop of young players they have right now.