Please sir, I want some more…
First off, let’s have a huge crotch grab in the direction of @KingShimpy, who gets full credit for the “Darren Oliver Twist” name– at least as far as I saw– and the subsequent half-assed Photoshop.
Now, a minor mea culpa: while patrolling the comments on the post below I realized quite quickly that, assuming this afternoon’s report from Ken Rosenthal and Jon Morosi of Fox Sports is accurate, Darren Oliver’s position on the matter of his 2013 salary needs a lot more defending than my initial reaction provided.
That isn’t to say that I no longer find his decision a bit disappointing or off-putting– they call it “honouring” a contract for a reason– but I immediately regretted whatever small role my write-up may have had in the movement of some of the comment discussion toward the painfully simplistic stuff about greedy athlete shitheads not being happy with getting paid some exorbitant amount to have a career we’d all murder for. Or at least assault for. Or… send a terse email for? I don’t know.
Point is, let’s hold the fucking phone with this “how dare he?” nonsense and listen to the wisdom of a couple of commenters. (No, really).
Jays2010 hits the nail on the head:
There was nothing in Oliver’s contract saying he couldn’t retire if he didn’t feel his 2013 salary was to his liking.
If he is only willing to play for $4 million in 2013, more power to him.
Owners/GMs have 6 years of control to maximize their leverage.
Most players are never in a position to do what Oliver is doing. He is well within his rights to maximize his leverage. GMs are applauded for doing the exact same thing.
And Brumfield Wants Noise might even do him one better:
Think of Oliver as a retired player. The price to coax him out of retirement is $3 million for the team closest to his family (the Rangers) and $4.5 million for anybody else. How is that not reasonable? The guy is valuing spending time with his family and being a father that’s present year-round for the first time in his kids’ lives. He’s not fucking holding out.
You certainly don’t have to agree with those interpretations, or like what Oliver is doing or how it’s suddenly playing out in the media, but there’s plenty of merit to what these guys are saying. More importantly, I think if you’re going to discuss what the hell this is all about and whether the principle of it is right or not, here’s where you probably ought to be starting, and not the hopelessly flawed notion that Oliver shouldn’t dare make Alex Anthopoulos bend his principles, shuffle money around, or ask Rogers for a less-than-one-percent budget increase in an attempt to help coax a terrific reliever and the extremely valuable marginal wins he’d bring the club out of retirement.
Like I said in the first post, I think the Jays should play hardball and dare him to turn down the $3-million we already know they’d gladly pay, but that doesn’t mean we need to overstate the harm in Oliver asking for more.
So what? Call his bluff if you don’t like it. Let him retire like you already thought he was going to, if you don’t like it.
I mean… the strangest thing to me is how all the way up until earlier today people had been pining, hoping for this guy to choose to come back and would have lost their shit if he did. Now here we are, with a real chance for the club to negotiate a little and it’s all “oh, fuck him.”
True, I don’t think his would have been my choice, personally, but it’s hardly as slimy and indefensible as the people going to great lengths to insist money should be kept in Rogers’ pockets are making it out to be.