Quote of the Day: Rickey's Hall of Fame speech

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Rickey Henderson, on how he got started playing baseball:

When I was a kid in Oakland, Mr. Hank Thomas tricked me into playing
Babe Ruth baseball by coming to pick me up with a glazed doughnut and a
cup of hot chocolate. That was how he got me up and out of bed and to
the ballpark.

My first year in high school, my favorite sport was football. I
didn’t like baseball. But my counselor, Mrs. Wilkerson, bribed me into
playing baseball. She would pay me a quarter every time I would get a
hit, score a run or steal a base. After my first 10 games, I had 30
hits, 25 runs scored and 33 steals. Not bad money for a kid in high
school!

While his Hall of Fame induction speech wasn’t exactly polished you could tell that Henderson put a lot of time and effort
into both the content and delivery, and he delighted the Cooperstown
crowd with a very entertaining talk that included plenty of laughs,
many heartfelt thank yous, and even some gentle ribbing at Reggie
Jackson.

The Marlins made an empty threat. Giancarlo Stanton made an empty promise.

Associated Press
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I covered the main press conference about Giancarlo Stanton earlier, but afterward he and his agents fanned out to various TV shows, radio shows and reporter scrums from which some new, fun things have spun out. Part of what they’ve talked about is silly and meaningless, part of it just meaningless.

Here’s the silly and meaningless, from a Marlins official, apparently, trying to bully Stanton into accepting either the Giants or the Cardinals trades despite the fact that he told them beforehand that he was not willing to go to either of those teams:

This is silly because it comes off like a threat. Like the worst possible thing that can happen to a guy is to stay with the very team that is making the threat. It’s like telling your wife that if she does not leave you, she’s stuck with you forever.

It’s meaningless too, in that Stanton has an opt-out clause after 2020. If the Marlins could not make a trade Stanton would approve, he’d simply collect close to $90 million and then leave at age 30. Oooh, don’t throw me into that briar patch, Mr. Jeter!

Not that Stanton’s people are offering statements of serious gravitas. His agent was asked about Stanton’s opt-out rights, which he retains even though he’s now with the Yankees:

That may very well be true! He just got here and everything is going great so far. It’s totally empty, of course, because anything can happen between now and the fall of 2020. If the big time free agents of the next two years sign for the sort of money that makes Stanton look underpaid, he’ll certainly opt-out, even if he wants to stay with the Yankees. Ask Alex Rodriguez and CC Sabathia how that works. The opt-out clause is pure, unadulterated leverage for a player and unless he totally craters over the next three seasons he’ll most certainly use it, regardless of present desires.

Which, hey, that’s how things work when a big trade or free agent signing happens. Everyone who has lost looks bad and everyone who won sounds happy. Then, later, the baseball happens.