First and foremost....
CONGRATS TO JIM RICE!!!! Finally a Hall of Famer.
And that's where I start..
I've been a Sox fan since the mid '70's, so maybe I'm a little partial here, but I'm sure no matter what team you follow there's "that guy." Jim Rice and Yaz were "my guys." My heroes, the guys I wanted to be, the guys I imitated in the back yard and on the Little League field were those two.
Now I have two boys of my own that are about that same age as I was when I idolized these guys. The only problem is my oldest was the biggest Manny fan (OK I helped him a little with that) but now after we went to Cooperstown and all he wanted for a souvenir from that day besides his HoF ticket was a Manny jersey, and only about a month later Manny gets his way and gets traded and my boy can't watch his hero?
The plus side of this is Youk and Pedroia were his second and third favorites and now they are signed for a few more years...Good for them, they seem to be going back to the Yaz and Rice era...Sure they would definitely demand BIG dollars on the free agent market, but maybe they're playing the game they love for a great contender, rather than playing baseball for the highest bidder and swapping teams whenever the money's greener on the other side.
I just want my boys to have the feeling about a guy they followed for years, like I did when I watched Yaz in his last game at Fenway, when he did his "big farewell," when you shed a tear 'cause a guy is jogging a lap around the field he is THE GUY, but you can't be THE GUY if jump from team to team for the better paycheck.
And a final note.....If you're good enough to be a hero or an idol to anyone you're probably making more in a year than any of us make in 20 years....Do you really need to go elsewhere to make an extra million or two, why can't ya just stay where you are and ONLY make $10 million a year, heck gimme $100,000 a year and I'll sit on any major league bench for the next 10 years, even if they only give me one at bat per year.