Free agent outfielder Jason Heyward is reportedly signing with the Chicago Cubs. Heyward spent last season with the St. Louis Cardinals where he hit .293 with 13 home runs and 60 RBI. Cardinals fans are beside themselves right now.
Please resist the urge to run down Heyward, the Cubs or the Cardinals for that matter. I’m sure the Cardinals made their last, best offer. I’m sure the Cubs made what Heyward thought was a better offer. Jason Heyward is a good guy and a good player. Let’s leave it there.
Too bad my words can’t shield the world from social media snipers – people who are already taking shots at the teams and the player. It really is crazy behavior. We don’t do this stuff in real-life. Our local paper, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch often posts articles and photos of people taking new jobs in the area.
One can safely assume those folks are getting promotions and higher salaries with their new positions. No one calls them greedy or a traitor and they don’t make disparaging comments about their former employers. It’s business, never personal.
In sports, however, we treat every business decision like someone kicked our puppy. OMG! I can’t believe Brett Favre signed with the Vikings! OMG! I can’t believe Roger Clemens signed with the Yankees! OMG! I can’t believe Jason Heyward signed with the Cubs! The Cubs!
They did and he did. Believe it. Players don’t hate other teams and the players on those teams the way fans do. I tell kids during my Musial Moments presentations that rivalries are what make sports great, but rivals and opponents are not our enemies.
The financials have not been disclosed yet, but Jason Heyward probably got a better-paying job. That’s it. Don’t take it personally. Heyward joined the Cubs – not ISIS.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, somebody get Chris Davis’ agent on the phone.