Being jilted is no fun.
Which is a shame because “jilt” is a fun word.
Let’s go a’jilting!
It’s a jiltingly beautiful day, let’s have a picnic.
But, language is fickle and being jilted, of course, is no fun at all.
(If you haven’t been jilted – by a date, a boyfriend or girlfriend, or even a fiancé – you are a rare bird, or a bird with selective memory. You can keep reading, Unjilted One, but this won’t be as meaningful for you.)
So, what to do if you thought you were jilted … but you discover you weren’t? Not jilted. Unjilted. Ajilted. Non-jiltified.
What if you’ve already moved on only to discover that you weren’t jilted after all?
On Saturday morning, reporters learned that Baltimore Orioles first baseman (sometime right fielder and one-time winning pitcher) Chris Davis had re-signed with the club.
Welcome back to Baltimore, Chris Davis!
(I’m not sure I can even welcome you back, “Crush”, because, as it turns out, you never really even left.)
Re-signed and resigned are two different things which is extremely hard for some writers to understand.
Although maybe not in this case. Because Orioles fans who just a few weeks ago were desperate to keep Davis had given up on him. They’d moved on.
And, so, on Saturday morning they weren’t exactly jubilant. Instead, they were sort of resigned to the re-signed Davis.
(Re-signed “pending physical.” Always “pending physical” with the Orioles who are very health-conscious spenders.)
Just a few weeks ago, Davis was offered – and rejected – a 6-year, $150-million contract. In other words, the Orioles offered Davis 1/10th of last week’s Powerball jackpot. And, he said no.
Which is a very jilty thing to do. Because 1/10th of last week’s Powerball jackpot is a lot of dough – and the most the Orioles had ever offered anyone – but apparently it was not enough for Davis.
Can you blame Orioles fans for getting their feelings hurt?
Moving on after a jilting is a process.
First, Denial. (“He can’t possibly turn down $150 million. Who turns down $150 million?”)
Anger. (“What the hell is wrong with him? I hate him.”)
Fear. (“How could he do this to us? Who’s going to hit all our home runs now?”)
Loathing. (“I hope he goes to the Yankees. Davis is overrated. He’ll ruin them.”)
Self-Pity. (“The Orioles are so cheap they can’t sign anybody. They suck.”)
And, finally, closure. (“What’s that? We’re ‘in’ on Cespedes? Awesome!”)
So, thanks for the memories, Crush. We’ll always have this.
And, all of these.
Then, after weeks of moving on, the Orioles and Davis came to an agreement. Davis apparently had no other suitors, but the O’s raised their offer anyway. (If you know anything about auctions, you know that this isn’t how an auction is supposed to work. But, baseball is funny sometimes.)
Ultimately, Davis signed for a reported 7 years and $161 million. Some of that money will be deferred, meaning that he will continue to get a generous salary until 2031 when he is 51.
A lot of fans are mad at Chris Davis. They think he’s greedy, ungrateful, and, well, just really, really greedy.
But, here’s the thing. Davis is just like most of us. And, by most of us, I mean the “most” of us who are men.
In a 2007 study, half of men surveyed (51 percent) reportedly negotiated for a better salary when offered a job. (This is compared to just 12.5 percent of women.)
So, Davis just did what most men do when offered a job. He negotiated for more.
Good for him. People change jobs over money all the time. He negotiated to stay put. You do what you gotta do.
In 1930, Babe Ruth negotiated a two-year contract with the Yankees for $160,000. (That’s about $2.2 million in 2016 dollars.)
“I am glad I don’t have to talk or think about money for awhile now,” Ruth told reporters. “I hope we have a great year [and] I’m going to try to hit a home run for every thousand dollars the club lays on the line.”
Now, that’s the kind of return on investment I can get behind.
For the two-year length of Ruth’s contract, that $1,000 per home run would have worked out to 160 home runs, or 80 per season.
Ruth led the league in home runs in both years of that contract – 49 in 1930 and 46 in 1931. It ended up to be about $1,700 a home run. Babe was pretty close.
At $1,000 per home run, Chris Davis will need to hit 23,000 home runs this season … and next season … and the season after that … and for each of the seven seasons of his contract.
I’m pretty sure that 23,000 home runs — or even just 1,643 if adjusted to 2016 dollars — will be enough to soften even the jiltedest of fans.
Welcome back, Crush … With your 23,000 home runs a year, these next seven seasons are going to be awesome!