Is this real life?
I honestly didn’t know this was a thing outside of a few Twitter re-tweets from Tony Jackson of ESPN Los Angeles.
As usual, Jon Weisman from Dodger Thoughts was on point talking about Los Angeles Dodgers fans criticizing Hiroki Kuroda for his decision to sign with the New York Yankees.
This is a pretty bizarre loyalty test, where you’re required to make a sacrifice for a team that, the minute you make the sacrifice, is no longer your team. I don’t know where the idea that he owed the Dodgers something comes from.
Trading Kuroda for prospects would have helped the Dodgers. So would Kuroda and all his teammates playing for free. It doesn’t mean they’re lesser people for choosing not to do so. It doesn’t mean that Kuroda didn’t have valid reasons for staying.
Those of you who are employed – would you accept a sudden and immediate transfer to a completely different company, across the country, even when you didn’t want to go, only because it would help the company you were previously working for?
Even putting that aside though, the odd part about any criticism directed towards him is that Kuroda didn’t do anything particularly disloyal.
And this is coming from a guy who wanted him to go at the trade deadline so the Dodgers could get prospects.
By all accounts, he seemed to have wanted to remain a Dodger, but Ned Colletti opted for a gaggle of two-year contracts for average veterans instead, thus leaving no room for Kuroda in the budget. At that point, it wasn’t so much about loyalty anymore, it became a question of whether Kuroda was willing to take 5-6 million less (or if he even had a real offer from the Dodgers at all) to play for a mess of an organization on a team that probably wouldn’t contend with a GM that already clearly choose other players over him.
At that point, staying with the Dodgers was not only completely irrational, but borderline insulting as well.
Hard to expect a professional athlete to tolerate all of that when you or me wouldn’t.