Gil Meche has retired from Major League Baseball. This is nothing special; baseball players retire all the time. However, it is the manner in which he did so that is so refreshingly rare, it’s stunning: Meche retired, forfeiting his guaranteed $12 million contract for this coming season. And the reason he gave: he felt he wasn’t earning it:
“When I signed my contract, my main goal was to earn it,” Meche told the paper from his temporary home in Lafayette, La. “Once I started to realize I wasn’t earning my money, I felt bad. I was making a crazy amount of money for not even pitching. Honestly, I didn’t feel like I deserved it. I didn’t want to have those feelings again.”
“This isn’t about being a hero — that’s not even close to what it’s about,” Meche said. “It’s just me getting back to a point in my life where I’m comfortable. Making that amount of money from a team that’s already given me over $40 million for my life and for my kids, it just wasn’t the right thing to do.”
In a world dominated by greed in pro sports, this (regardless of any possible ulterior motive he may have) is commendable. He followed his principles and maintained his integrity over and above any money he might receive. And the fans will love him for it!
Bravo Gil Meche, bravo!