The saying, "No good deed goes unpunished" was uttered long before
Christian Lopez set foot on this earth, but he'll probably take it with him
to his grave. That along with idiot, unselfish, moron, and honorable.
Lopez has heard and probably read a lot of the good and vicious things
said about him since he decided to give Derek Jeter the home run ball he
pounced on that was the 3,000 hit of the Yankee captain's career.
Lopez chose not to sell it to the highest-bidder, put it on eBay, or give
it to Steiner Sports to auction off. If he had done it any of those ways,
Lopez, a 23-year old customer rep for Verizon with more than $100,000
in college loans, could've fetched upwards of $250,000 for the ball.
But he gave it to Jeter with no strings, or price tag attached. The Yankees
gave him a bunch of goodies but the so-called experts in this arena said
Lopez left more than $150,000 on the table. If you had a chance to listen
to sports talk radio in New York over the last few days, you'd have
thought Lopez was the biggest moron to grace the planet since Anthony
Weiner or Eliot Spitzer or Plaxico Buress or...well, you get the picture.
Others said that Lopez showed class, honesty, and integrity saying that
he did the right thing. This is a debate that will rage on for quite some
time, or at least until Casey Anthony gets a seven-figure check for giving
some network or magazine the first interview once she gets freed from
jail. I wrote on Lopez as soon as I found out he gave up the ball back
to Jeter for nothing and I felt that he did the right thing. I still do.
In this day and age, where it seems like everyone from that Little League
treasurer in Connecticut who embezzled more than $100,000 from the
organization to Terrelle Pryor, who hawked his autograph for more than
$40,000 and traded his Ohio State memorabilia for tattoos, has been on
a big money-grab. It's always take, take, take and "what's in it for me?"
The story of Lopez and his unselfishness is refreshing. Yet, people rip
him because he should have seized the opportunity and taken Jeter's
ball for everything that it was worth. Show me the money! Give me
the Qwanza and then show me more money! Everything has become
about the money hasn't it?
It's sickening. Ever since Gordon Gekko in "Wall Street" uttered the
phrase, "greed is good" back in the late 80's, this country seems to be
addicted to money and being greedy. Enron, Madoff, the bonuses for
Wall Street executives. Just as long as I'm getting mine, it's all good.
Isn't that what Reggie Bush thought while he was a star at USC? Some
overzealous potential agent offered him cars, cash, and houses and Bush
said, "Hell, yeah I'm taking it. This is my opportunity to get paid".
The greed of Bush put USC on probation, stripped them of their national
title,and made the former Trojan give back his Heisman Trophy before
he was asked to return it. His reputation has been soiled forever
and he'll never see or hear anything again that has Reggie Bush followed
by the words honesty and integrity.
Now comes along Christian Lopez, who doesn't care about the money
or "getting paid" and he gets ripped to shreds. They say he could've
used the Jeter ball money to pay off loans, buy a house, whatever, but
instead he waved off the Benjamins and now he's an idiot, a moron,
Everything was perfect about that day Jeter recorded his 3,000th
hit. The weather was amazing, Jeter hit a home run, went 5-for-5,
and even had the game-winning hit. It became even better when
Lopez said he didn't care about the money, it was all about the moment.
If Lopez held a press conference after the game and said, "show
me the effin' money, this is my ball, and my opportunity to get rich"
what would've happened? He would have been crucified for being
a selfish, greedy, self-absorbed person.
We are a nation of second-guessers, back-stabbers, and critics.
This country is filled with people who'd throw their mothers and co-
workers under the bus to get ahead and make themselves look better.
Why can't we be happy for a guy who does the right thing and doesn't
put a dollar sign on everything?
Lopez wound up with the ball. It was his choice of what he wanted to
do with it. It was not mine, not yours, and not his cousin Vinny's. He
did it his way. He said to hell with the money, this is a great moment
and I don't want to screw it up by being greedy.
Christian Lopez is a good guy who did a good thing. He didn't have
dollar signs in his eyes or care about anything but being part of a
special moment. Don't trash the kid, praise him. Don't damn him,
accept what he did. Quit being a hater.