February 6, 2010
An oft-criticized topic in major league baseball, and really all of professional sports, is players making boatloads of money, and purchasing unnecessary material possessions such as mansions, cars, jewelry, and clothes. In reality, not much is to be made of the topic. They earned the money, and whether you felt they deserved it or not, they can spend it as they may.
That is why the recent actions taking place have really caught so many people by surprise. Following the past events occurring in Haiti, a massive earthquake, major league baseball has really responded quite nicely and frankly, out of normal fashion for the league. With an earthquake leaving three million in need of medical care and at least 200,000 dead, the Haitians were clearly unprepared for a disaster of this measure, and even if they had been, would it have even been avoidable?
After learning of the chaos to the South, many Americans jumped to donate money and whatever material possessions they could. Major League Baseball followed suit, and sent a donation of one million dollars less than forty eight hours after the quake, on behalf of all thirty teams.
Many players have also donated, as well as individual ballclubs. Once again, the Yankees are throwing around the most money of the bunch, sending a half million in support of Haitian relief. Many individual players sent small monetary donations, a majority of them not hailing from the small country.
So next time, before you tear a player apart for owning seven cars and a mansion in every city from New York to Los Angeles, think about what they may have contributed in a time of need. As fan-friendly as they may not be, or however greedy, when they received a call of help from the Haitians, they answered it. The next time you get on a player for poor performance, poor character, or anything else that may get under your skin, however understandable, remember that there is more to life than baseball.
Gary Kowal is a contributing columnist to myGameBalls.com.