Gil Meche’s Retirement: Why It Matters

Gil Meche Royals

This has basically nothing to do with the Mets. But it has a helluva lot to do with baseball. So if you are only interested in reading about the Mets, my advice is that you step away here. Gil Meche, once a pitcher for the Seattle Mariners and the Kansas City Royals, announced his retirement on Tuesday. There’s one interesting detail about this that really made me feel that he deserved an article – Meche left $12MM on the table.

First off, let me make this clear. As of right now, as I am writing this article, it is not confirmed that Meche is leaving the $12MM on the table. It is just assumed because the money is not insured and multiple sources have told Jon Paul Morosi (Fox Sports) that Meche is ready to leave every penny of that $12MM on the table.

If this is true, Gil Meche has just jumped up among the top of my favorite baseball players. Take a look at what he had to say about his retirement.

“As a competitor my entire life this is the hardest decision that I’ve ever faced, but it’s not fair to me, my family or the Kansas City Royals that I attempt to pitch anymore,” Meche explained. “I came into this game as a starting pitcher and unfortunately my health, more accurately, my shoulder, has deteriorated to the point where surgery would be the only option and at this stage of my life I would prefer to call it a career rather than to attempt to pitch in relief for the final year of my contract.”

Honestly, if it is confirmed that Meche has left this money on the table, it really gives me hope for the future. With the best players of this generation dragging out contract talks over a sum of money that this man is willing to give up for his pride…It says a lot about Gil Meche. It says that there are players out there who really play for the game and not the money – and that they know when to give it up so they don’t financially strap their team.

I don’t really care what the Royals will do with that $12MM nor will I look to keep track of that. What I do care about is that Gil Meche did something that I don’t think I would have ever expected any player of this generation to do, especially in this economy. I’m not trying to knock on the entire MLB — I know there are some really charitable guys out there and without naming names, I thank them for what they do for their community.

Meche was no Hall of Famer but he was a pretty good pitcher when he wasn’t hurt. He finished his career with a record of 84-83 and the record really doesn’t tell the whole story. I can wish him only the best, in his future endeavors and in the healing of his body. Meche is a good guy and I hope you will understand why I took the time to dedicate something to him.