After Lance Armstrong, Manti' Te'o, Roger Clemens, Marion Jones, and a host of other athletes
who lied to everybody's faces, the sports world finally has somebody who is completely honest.
Zack Greinke, who signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers for six years and more than $140 in the
off-season, said the reason for it was simple: it was about the money. Yep, it was ALL about the money and the former Angel wasn't keeping his fingers crossed behind his back
“I could play for the worst team if they paid the most,” Greinke to John Heyman of CBSsports.com. “If the last-place team offers $200 million and the first-place team offers $10, I’m going to go
for the $200 million no matter what team it was."
And there you have it. A professional athlete who tells the truth. Strike up the band and start
partying like it's 1999. It's close to a miracle. Greinke's honesty is refreshing in a world where athletes lie more often than most Americans update their Facebook status. The former Cy Young award winner, who has battled anxiety issues during his career, had no fear about coming right out
and being criticized for being a greedy athlete. I'm sure he'll hear it from a lot of fans when
he has a rough outing and Greinke might just become baseball's Gordon Gekko. You remember
Gekko in the movie, "Wall Street", famously saying, "greed, for a lack of a better word, is good."
But is sure is nice to hear about an athlete be honest rather than hide behind what has become their
anthem: it's not about the money.
At least Greinke wasn't like Albert Pujols who turned his back on loyalty a year ago, taking the
gateway to the West to sign a $250 million contract with the Angels. Pujols said it had nothing to
to with the Benjamin's but rather a conversation he had with God, who apparently, thought he'd look
good wearing a halo. Nope, it had absolutely nothing to do with the money. Nothing.
In 2000, Alex Rodriquez signed a 10-year, $252 million contract with the Texas Rangers, which
was the richest ever signed in Major League Baseball history by $63 million. But of course, it had
absolutely nothing to do with making $25 million and change per season. A-Rod would never lie,
would he? Yes, he just wanted the opportunity to play for a last place team with no pitching in a city where it's 110 degrees in the shade during the summer. Money played no factor in his decision
Professional athletes keep score, they know who's making what and for how long. Last summer,
Deron Williams of the New Jersey Nets was a free-agent and as a Dallas native, had a desire to
play for the Mavericks. Mark Cuban offered a 5-year deal worth $75 million, but the Nets
showed him a max contract worth an extra year and $25 million. What do you think Mrs. Williams
was thinking? "Um, Deron, you can go back to Dallas to live in the off-season or as soon as you
retire, but there's no way you're going to leave all that money on the table. Not while I'm your
wife." If Williams took less money, other players in the NBA would look at him and say, "You're
Tom Brady is a no fool. On Tuesday, Sports Illustrated reported the Patriots quarterback
re-structured his contract to help give the team more salary cap space. At first, everybody was
like, "Wow, he's the ultimate team player," and "Brady is so unselfish. Why can't be other players
like that?" Some of those other players were rolling their eyes and saying, "it's not what you all
after signing a three year extension. There are no guaranteed contracts, only guaranteed money
in the NFL and there's a big difference. In 2011, Michael Vick signed a 6-year, $100 million
contract with the Philadelphia Eagles. If this were baseball and Vick got hurt in say, his second
year, or stunk as bad as Carl Crawford in Boston, he'd still get every penny of that $100 million.
The NFL doesn't work like that After his second year, the Eagles were on the verge of cutting
him with Vick not earning even half of that $100 million. Both parties recently agreed to a 1-year, $10 million deal for next year.
Brady agreed to re-structure his contract in exchange for getting a lot more guaranteed money.
$54 million in guaranteed money. As he gets older and his skills erode and the chances of injury
increase, there's no telling if Brady could even make it to the final few years of the contract and
he'd get nothing. With this new deal, he gets a nice sweetener. Even though Brady's wife, Gisele
is worth more than $300 million and Brady has done well for himself, there is no way he's going
to just give up $20 million just to make his employers happy. Would you?
New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning restructured his deal three years ago to give his
team more cap space. Nobody made as big deal out of it as they did with Brady, but the cases
are similar. Manning gave the team some relief in exchange for a sweetener (more guaranteed
money). No athlete gives back money that he has earned. That's not the way it works because
after all, it's ALL about the money.
Zack Greinke knows it and so does just about every fan in the country. It's about the money,
always has been, always will be. But give Greinke for being honest. More professional athletes
should follow his lead.