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.Embed from Getty Images
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.)Embed from Getty Images
“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!
Can he pitch, though?
I kid, I kid. Wei-Yin (5 and a possible) Chen got $80 million for five years with the Marlins. Yes, he’s a lefty. But at no time with the O’s did I ever see him as a $16 million/year pitcher. He certainly was decent enough, but not for the O’s at those prices.
When it looked like Crush was gone, I was hoping the O’s were going to go hard at Cespedes and get a decent starting pitcher. Of course, Cespedes is out of the picture now, but the deferred money to Davis could possibly allow Uncle Pete and the brain trust to get that starter. At least I hope so.
Sure he can pitch … remember his two scoreless innings pitching vs. the Red Sox in May 2012. He got the win and is a career 1-0 pitcher. It’s one of my favorite Chris Davis moments!
I agree with you about Chen. But, we do need to fill that hole. Davis’ deferred salary will at least provide some wiggle room in signing other players in the next few seasons and, hopefully, they’ll give Manny Machado a similarly generous contract in the next couple years.
And, the insiders were saying this morning that the O’s aren’t out on Cespedes just yet. So, who knows, maybe the O’s have a few other surprises in store for the team.
I was ready to move on, but really, I’m glad the big fella is staying. :)
Oh I remember that…I meant every fifth day! :)
Yes, it is another hole to fill. And they have to keep Manny around; he’s a building block. The more I see Schoop, I say the same for him also. And a lineup with Crush, AJ10 and Trumbo should bash with the best of them.
I have a feeling the O’s will regret this contract.
I agree, these mega-contracts rarely turn out well. But, it’s the way of the world, especially in the AL East. I think the Orioles also realized that, beyond the home runs, there were some important intangibles in keeping Davis — keeping fans engaged, keeping Davis’ clubhouse presence, and showing that they’re a team willing to compete with the Yankees and Red Sox.
I don’t think this contract can work out in the way that Gary, you or most of us have always thought “worked out” means. These long-term contracts today are designed that way. It makes the A’s contracts and ways to deal with the roster all so much more appealing to me. But that is so archaic.
You’re absolutely right, Bruce. These contracts are so big there’s no way they can work out for the team. How do you quantify a successful $161M contract? Babe Ruth was brilliant — he came up with a way to quantify his contract in 1930. Sure, Chris Davis hitting 23,000 home runs a season is crazy (if using 2016 dollars, Babe Ruth’s standard would still require Davis to hit 1,643 a year), but these big contracts need a bar for success and I don’t think when you get to that level there can be one. Even if the Orioles win the next 7 World Series (and, mind you, I’m good with that), it’s still a team effort; Davis can only share in the success. And, that kind of contract will always put you put you on notice with fans — well, unless you really do clobber the ball every night.
I don’t like the idea of someone being worth so much money just for hitting a ball (which will just set me off on a “living wage now for everyone” tangent). But, I support free agency and if Chris Davis can wrangle $161M out of a team, I won’t begrudge him his dough.
I’m glad things worked out between you two!
Mike, I was having a challenging and sad Monday morning. Then I saw your comment and I laughed out loud. It was perfect and it cheered me up … Thank you for that! ~ Jackie
I guess negotiating for the big bucks is part of the game when you’re in a career that can end as quickly as it started through no fault of your own. By the way, is “jiltedest” even a word?😳
Exactly right, Gloria! As for “jiltedest” … I think it’s important that if you can’t think of the word you want, you have the freedom to just make one up. “Jiltedest” is a pretty good one, don’t you think? :)
It’s the bestest!
Love the post. Here’s hoping that Mr. Davis stays true and fulfills the length of this generous contract. Power, along with starting pitching is the most sought after commodity in baseball today. The Orioles, and especially Buck Showalter, are a organization that always tries to do the right thing. I wish them well…….
Thanks scontursi. The Orioles had their press conference with Davis on Thursday … and Davis said all the right things about wanting to stay in Baltimore, about how much he loves the team and the fans. I don’t know if anyone can ever live up to one of these mega-contracts, but I think Baltimore is a very good fit for him and I’m sure glad he’s staying.
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