I grew up watching baseball starting in the early-mid '70's I had my heros...Yaz, Rice, Evans, etc.(yeah Red Sox fan)
It took a trip to the baseball hall of fame with my eight & nine year old boys for it to really sink in. Sure maybe I'm a softy, sometimes emotional but, when I saw Carl Yastrzemski's plaque I may have shed a quick tear.
Some because he was my hero from as long ago as I can remember and some because nowadays I know my boys will probably never have a "Yaz" in there lives, my oldest loved Manny Ramirez as long as he's been watching baseball, but now he wasn't happy and he's with L.A., or who knows where he may sign but my boy won't be able to watch him daily like I could with Yaz.
My youngest (don't know how it happened) is a Yankee fan and likes Arod and Jeter (and like he'll ever see him being from the east coast after Free agency...Giambi).
But what I'm getting at is how can a kid have a hero like I did and feel the way I did 20+ years later when these guys are saying "screw the hometown gimme the money."
Sure it was before/and the beginning of free agency but, Yastrzemski never had a multy-year contract. He always signed what the Sox put in front of him before spring training and always played for the Sox rather than himself. They probably didn't pay him what he could have gotten on the market. Team player all the way!!!
Wouldn't it be great to have a player or two like that on every team. Giambi didn't do anything special going to New York. Wouldn't it have been great for Oakland to have a hero out there the past seven years, or have Griffey Jr. stay in Seattle even with his injuries. As great as he is I'll bet anyone in Seattle would say he was the best thing in baseball since Babe Ruth if he didn't go to the Reds (not saying the people in Seattle don't like him but..)
I'm just hoping the signings of Pedroia and Youk for the Sox, Longoria for the Rays and other young guys signing up longterm are a sign that guys are starting to feel some kind of dedication to the team that gave them there start.