Let me begin by way of an introduction. My name is Raymond Sinibaldi and I am a, soon to be retiring (I hope), school teacher in Manatee County Florida. I have been a baseball/Red Sox fan since 1959 (a few years before you were born) and when I attended my first game at Fenway Park, Ted Williams was playing left field.
Did you know that in 1959 Ted played the entire year with a pinched nerve in his neck? Did you know that he only hit .254 that year with 10 home runs and 43 RBI? Did you know that in 19 years his 162 game average was .344 with 37 home runs and 130 RBI? Did you know that in 1959 he was the highest paid athlete in all of sports making $125,000 a year? Did you know that following that 1959 season the Red Sox sent him his contract to play for $125,000 for 1960? Did you know that Ted refused to sign it because he didn’t feel he earned it in 1959? Did you know that he sent it back saying he would only sign it if they gave him the maximum pay cut allowed, 25 %? Did you know that he gave himself a pay cut of $31,250 from a salary of $125,000? Well, if you didn’t, now you do!
I tell you this because I think it is important and I think you’re important.
David you are the last player remaining from the wonderful experience of the 2004 baseball season. You have always seemed to grasp and understand what that meant to millions and millions of Red Sox fans. You have displayed an inherent sense that this was far more important than simply a baseball team, that the Red Sox are a part of the culture of a large population of folks known as New Englanders.
What you did, personally, during that season, especially the playoffs, ranks among the most spectacular clutch performances the Fenway Faithful of any generation has ever witnessed. You have secured a place in Fenway Park and Red Sox history reserved for a very limited few. I will forevermore be grateful to you and that “band of idiots” who brought boundless joy which echoed across four generations.
However David, I must be honest and tell you that your comments of late about being “humiliated” and “disrespected” by the Red Sox organization have me scratching my head. I mean really David? You do understand that this organization has paid you $84,000,000 for your efforts theses past 10 baseball seasons, and to most folks who follow and root for you and the Red Sox that is more money than they will make in a lifetime, maybe several lifetimes? You do understand that averages out to $46,000.00 per paycheck every two weeks during the season the past 10 years? You do understand that breaks down to $16,646.85 each time you have come to the plate in a Red Sox uniform? And $57,534.25 for each game the Red Sox have played since you joined them and in 173 of them you didn’t even play? And $77,419.35 for each run you have batted in? And $245,614.03 for each home run you hit? You do understand that to most people, that would indicate a whole lot of respect? You do understand that the wonderful game you play is a humongous business right? A business which generates billions and billions of dollars! You do understand that you are 36 years old and that usually means, despite your outstanding year thus far, that your most productive years are behind you?
Now David I want you to understand that I work with high school baseball kids in Florida. I know the amount of time, energy and effort it takes for them to perform at what is the “entry-level” to the next level. Therefore I know and understand that there is more, way more that goes into reaching, then maintaining the level of skill required for you to get and stay where you are. I recognize and understand the amount of work, away from the field and the games that goes into your success. Knowing that, I personally do not subscribe to the line of thinking that breaks down your salary by each game, at bat, home run or RBI. But maybe YOU should give it some thought. You should give it some thought because that is the way a whole lot of teachers and postal workers, and secretaries and K’Mart shoppers, and bankers, and bus drivers and construction workers and hell even doctors and lawyers and engineers and some CEO’s look at it! Not to even mention folks out of and displaced from work.
David, in closing I want to say that you seem like a really good guy. You are obviously loved and respected by many and you are generous with your time, energy and efforts for the less fortunate both in Boston and in your native Dominican. I admire and commend you for those efforts. I also do not begrudge you one penny of any contract you sign or will sign for I do subscribe to the theory that the folks who sign your pay checks are making more than you or they wouldn’t be paying you. I believe whole heartedly in the capitalist system and I believe you should maximize your economic potential. However, I urge you to stop saying things about being “humiliated” and “disrespected”. Those are dire terms and should not be used to describe your situation, for though it may be personally frustrating and unpleasant, I don’t believe it is dire. They make you sound silly and out of touch.
What ere may come, you have earned and will always hold a special place in the heart of this particular baseball fan who loves the Red Sox and I thank you for that and wish you nothing but the very best in your future both in baseball and whatever is next for you! Enjoy the All Star game, you have earned it and I wish you continued success the rest of this rather trying Red Sox season, but just think about what I said.