You have to give props to Zack Greinke of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Athletes these days rarely tell the truth to the media, especially when it comes to something that could be taken negatively.
That is why what Greinke said Monday is admirable.
When asked by John Heyman of CBS sports about why he signed a 6 year, $146 million with the Dodgers this offseason, Greinke responded that money was the number one reason why he is in Los Angeles.
Greinke told Heyman, “It’s obviously the number one thing. I could play for the worst team if they paid the most….If the last place team offers $200 million and the first place team offers $10 million, I’m going to go for the $200 million no matter what team it was.”
Again, hats off to Greinke for just throwing the truth out there (no matter how ugly it is).
Seldom do we hear athletes own up to the fact that the number one reason they signed somewhere was for the biggest paycheck.
Telling the truth like this is just about as uncommon as it is for a player to take a hometown discount to play for their hometown team or the team they were brought up by (like Jered Weaver did).
It’s sad that players play a sport they love for the money, but it’s the reality of the times.
However, just because telling the truth makes Greinke admirable, it doesn’t make him likeable. Many Dodger fans are not happy to hear this news and there are a few reasons why.
First of all, this statement makes it seem like he doesn’t truly wants to play for the Dodgers or isn’t invested in how they end up doing during the season.
It seems like an extremely selfish comment and has a complete me first and whatever happens to the team happens kind of attitude.
This kind of quote isn’t how you win over fans of a new team, especially Dodger fans who are some of the most passionate fans in baseball.
Dodger fans won’t care as much about these statements if Greinke pitches well, but look out if he is anything close to mediocre or worse.
He will get booed straight out of Chavez Ravine and his past anxiety issues will come back real quick.
The second reason why his statement doesn’t make him likeable is that is does not promote team chemistry.
I’m sure his statements won’t win over a ton of his new “friends” in Dodger blue.
If there’s one thing the Dodgers need this year in order to win with all their superstars and giant payroll, its team chemistry.
Hopefully for the Dodgers sake it doesn’t turn into anything bigger or more distracting that what it already is.
As a baseball fan, his quote, while honest, rubs me the wrong way.
I’m not a Dodger fan but his honest answer seems to take away from the main reason why these athletes should be playing baseball: for love of the game.
Many young kids would kill to be in these guys’ shoes and would play in the big leagues for free.
So why do they need to be greedy and play for only money?
Some fans won’t care what Greinke says as long as he pitches well but some Dodger fans already have a sour taste about Greinke.
Who could blame Dodger fans since he is only in Los Angeles for the Benjamins?
To add fuel to the fire for So Cal fans, Greinke went on to say (and this is paraphrased) that American League games are boring and watching a stacked Angel’s lineup last year wasn’t as fun as watching the Brewers play.
He then added, “I don’t know anyone who likes the American League games better.”
Is he joking?! While Dodger fans probably like to hear this, Angel fans are not so pleased.
It’s impressive really that he could upset two of the three teams in So Cal, including his own team, in one interview.
Greinke didn’t make a lot of friends or fans with this interview, but at least he was honest.
Baseball fans may not like hearing what he had to say, but his honesty is actually refreshing.
In the future though Zack, you should stick by the mantra “Sometimes it’s best to just keep your mouth shut” (even if you are speaking the truth).
Just remember, you’re in Hollywood now and comments like that don’t fly in Dodgertown.