I did want him to sign here. I really did. I’m sports-sad that he didn’t.
Back in late July, when he was deep into those two months he would jokingly admit to having taken off, during an 0-5 effort in which he saw 19 pitches, took only four for balls (three in his final at-bat), fanned three times, and left runners on base in four of those trips in a 7-4 loss to the Angels, the Twitter conversation got a little jacked up and at one point I said that for about a year I’d had a theory about him that I wouldn’t ever write about.
And I won’t now, because I wrote about him on Friday and I’m done writing about him.
But when he said at his Hollywood premiere yesterday that it would have been easy and comfortable to stay in Texas, and that sometimes you just need to be taken out of your comfort zone so you can impact a whole lot of lives in a different place, well, yeah.
It was a blessing in disguise, he said on Saturday, that Texas didn’t jump out early in the winter to sign him (which his wife is “so glad” about).
I’m not sure I’m buying the disguise part. Maybe “time to move on” really was a post-Thanksgiving relevation, a “blessing” that came to him masquerading as not-enough-love. Maybe none of that occurred to him until the last few weeks.
I pass no judgment on his priorities. They’re very different from lots of pro athletes, and that’s cool. His ultimate goal as a ballplayer – if he had to single out one – is probably not to win a World Series.
OK. Is what it is. Part of the package.
Hearing what we heard yesterday, and understanding what we do about him, I’m not sure the decision he made this week should be surprising at all.
He made $28.2 million in five years here. He’ll make $125 million in five years there. I’m not going to say those numbers will end up looking backwards in terms of the production he provides, but I’m sorta confident about which team will have gotten the better deal.
I won’t boo him when he comes to Arlington in April.
But I won’t stand up and cheer his return, either.
He’s just another Los Angeles Angel now.