I don’t blog about it very often, but I am indeed a Yankee fan, despite living deep in Red Sox nation. I’m not a militant fan, of course. I’ll stick up for my team if they come under assault, but I’m not one to go around yelling about how awful the Red Sox are (even if they’re having an awful season). I also don’t watch all the games religiously, though I catch them when I can, and I enjoy rooting for the team.
So I was very relieved and happy to hear Aaron Judge had signed a 10 year contract with the Yankees. Yes, it’s $360 million. Yes, we’ll still be paying that when he’s 40, and there’s no way of knowing how he’ll be playing by then, but I was firmly in the “we need to pay him whatever it takes to keep him” camp.
My best justification for that is another player near and dear to the hearts of many of my fellow Mainers: Tom Brady.
The amount of love for Tom Brady up here would have been pretty hard to describe. People treated him about as close to a saint as you could get. The man could do no wrong, and he’d been with the Patriots from his rookie season.
Then, they let him go. He was too old. The Pats didn’t want to keep playing him, or didn’t want to pay him as much as he wanted, or something else stood in the way. He stopped being a Patriot, and he went to Tampa Bay, where he subsequently won another Super Bowl.
The Patriots, in my opinion, should have paid whatever they had to keep Brady with the team, and they should have let him keep playing as long as he wanted to. He’d taken the team to a 12-4 record his last season as a Patriot. He should have been there until he retired completely. Instead, there’s this strang sort of limbo situation where he’s been a Buccaneer for three years now. He’ll never be a 100% Patriot player, and I think that’s a shame.
Look at some of the Yankees who were Yankees from their rookie season until they retired:
- Lou Gehrig
- Earle Combs
- Bill Dickey
- Joe DiMaggio
- Phil Rizzuto
- Whitey Ford
- Mickey Mantle
- Don Mattingly
- Bernie Williams
- Mariano Rivera
- Derek Jeter
There are more, but that’s an impressive list. What would it have been like to let Gehrig or DiMaggio or Rivera or Jeter play out the rest of their careers on a team other than the Yankees?
Maybe I’m old fashioned, but I’m a big believer in team loyalty, both from a player to a team and a team to a player. If Judge had left, I wouldn’t have just criticized the Yankees for letting him go. I would have criticized Judge for leaving. To switch sports, it’s one of my beefs with college football now and the transfer portal. One of the things I really liked about college sports was players coming and sticking with their team until they graduated. More and more, it’s feeling like a free agent market out there.
Anyway. Not like many of you will care about this, and it’s a far cry from my typical blog post fodder, but it’s something I’d been thinking about for a while, and I was happy to see the resolution I was rooting for.
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