When you get a $100 million contract "the first year is the most difficult"

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That quote comes from Vernon Wells. And yeah, I’m sure it’s an absolute drag.

OK, that’s a bit of a cheap shot, inasmuch as Wells was likely asked specifically about the pressure ballplayers face after getting huge deals, not the difficulty of life at large, but it is the kind of quote that turns your head a bit.

It comes in what is actually a pretty interesting article about guys in the $100 million club, most specifically Matt Holliday, who is adjusting to what must me a strange new world this year.  The best part: Scott Boras likes to have a “talk” with his big money guys after their first season as $100 million men is underway:

Boras called it the
“post-contract conversation” and he described how it’s impossible
to have it before a season starts or even in the opening weeks. It
takes a player experiencing the new reality of a big contract for
him to understand how to react.
“I usually let them get four weeks, five weeks into the season
and then we have the conversation,” Boras said. “There is no way to
prepare an athlete for this because so few athletes ever get there.

I don’t have pity for the $100 million men, but anyone who is thrust into a new world like that has to lose their gravity for a while, and losing one’s gravity isn’t pleasant, even if it is in comfortable circumstances.

Still, I would love to be a fly on the wall for that conversation.  I imagine
it would be much like listening to Chinese or Klingon or something it’s
so far from our normal frame of reference.

Dodgers to retire Fernando Valenzuela’s No. 34 this summer

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
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LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Dodgers will retire the No. 34 jersey of pitcher Fernando Valenzuela during a three-day celebration this summer.

Valenzuela was part of two World Series champion teams, winning the 1981 Rookie of the Year and Cy Young awards. He was a six-time All-Star during his 11 seasons in Los Angeles from 1980-90.

He will be honored from Aug. 11-13 when the Dodgers host Colorado.

Valenzuela will join Pee Wee Reese, Tommy Lasorda, Duke Snider, Gil Hodges, Jim Gilliam, Don Sutton, Walter Alston, Sandy Koufax, Roy Campanella, Jackie Robinson and Don Drysdale with retired numbers.

“To be a part of the group that includes so many legends is a great honor,” Valenzuela said. “But also for the fans, the support they’ve given me as a player and working for the Dodgers, this is also for them.”