Everything I have read about now-former Pirates' pitcher Matt Morris has been beaming with how much of a class act he is. Many regard him as one of the classiest players in baseball.
Morris retired yesterday, two days after being released outright from the Pittsburgh Pirates. It comes after not even a full season with Pittsburgh, and a 0-4 start to 2008.
The starter acquired from the Giants at the 2007 trade deadline is owed over 11 million dollars combined over this year and a buyout next year. A colossal blunder made by former general manager Dave Littlefield before he was fired.
This begs the question to be asked by a guy like me.
Just what is so classy about taking 11 million dollars for doing absolute nothing to deserve it?
I know what you are saying, why would you leave 11 million on the table? No one in their right mind does that.
Maybe not, at least not 11 million, but players have done it in the past.
Keith Foulke did it last year prior to training camp, when he signed a one year deal with the Cleveland Indians. Instead of showing up, throwing a few pitches and going on the disabled list for the rest of the year, Foulke shut it down and did the right thing.
Morris was a good pitcher, he made a lot of money over his career, and he is a guy with a family and good morals. So, he isn't exactly in a dire need, or he isn't prone to blow what he has.
Rumor has it, that had Morris retired before the Pirates released him, the players organization would haven't been happy anyway. I say, who cares? The guy is doing the right thing; he isn't cheating an organization out of money he doesn't deserve.
I know there will be people out there, with the feeling that the Pirates made their own bed, and now they must sleep in it.
But really, that isn't the issue. Matt Morris' decision to retire after being released is.
What makes it right? If he knew he would retire if he got released, why he couldn’t have said, "Hey look, thanks for the opportunity, but instead of releasing me, I'll just retire,” is beyond me.
It would show much more dignity if he took that route, but no, Morris decided to retire only after he got released. Morris didn't even protest the idea of being released when he talked to the media about his retirement.
"It's over and I'm happy where I am right now. In my heart, I'm happy. At the end, it all came to a head very quickly, but I've had a great career. It was time to move on and, obviously, the Pirates felt the same way."
He seems pretty reserved to the fact that it is over for him. He doesn't sound like he wants to comeback or that he wanted to pitch for another team this season.
That is why I question his move here. Had he shown interest in still pitching, then obviously he couldn't retire and I'd have no problem. Or had he shown some disagreement with the release, then okay I'd even go for that.
But, neither is the case. Morris has no issues with riding off into the sunset. He also has no issue with taking 11 million dollars away from a struggling organization.
Class act? You tell me.