Buck Showalter asks unsigned Chris Davis: 'How much is enough?'
Money is the object right now between the Orioles and Davis, who has slugged 159 home runs since the start of the 2012 season.
With the free-agency campaign of slugger Chris Davis dragging into the middle of January, when it's getting awfully close to the start of spring training, Orioles manager Buck Showalter inserted himself into the apparent financial gulf between team and player.
Speaking at a "leadership conference" Wednesday in Towson, Md. that co-starred Ravens coach John Harbaugh and others, Showalter -- well, he tried shaming Davis into coming to the realization that he couldn't possibly ever spend all of the money he wants for playing a kid's game. Or something along those lines, via the Baltimore Sun:
Though Showalter and the Orioles have made it clear they want Davis back and have offered him a $150 million deal to stay in Baltimore, Showalter seemed both resigned and a bit defiant in his latest comments about the situation.
"How much is enough?" he said. "I asked Chris during the season, 'Chris, when you walk into a Target store, can you buy anything you want. So, how much is enough?'
"I love Chris, but if that [his decision] makes or breaks our team, shame on us."
With the unrelatable money going around Major League Baseball these days (and how many times have they said that throughout history?), there is something to the question: "How much is enough?"
Money isn't everything. What else do you value in life? You couldn't possibly spend it all. Don't be greedy. And so on.
It's the kind of question that fans (and reporters) ask all of the time. It might even be a good question for Showalter to ask Davis in private, as long as he has more of the facts at hand (such as "How much is Davis asking?" and "How much has another team offered?") Is Davis turning down the Orioles for an offer that is not substantially higher? Or does another offer even exist? Because, when it comes down to it, Davis's choice affects Showalter's livelihood too. And even though Showalter is employed by owner Peter Angelos (in a different way than players are), Showalter is probably someone seen by Davis as a confidant. Let's assume Davis appreciates any and all advice from Buck.
But it was wrong of Showalter to side with management against Davis in this way. Total baloney. Ham-fisted. Low. Crude. Because, in the end, it's not Showalter's life. It's not his money. He gets paid better than most managers -- it's not player money in terms of amount, but it's near the top of his profession -- so why can't Davis get his? As a free agent, Davis is in a position, after spending parts of eight seasons in the majors and more toiling in the minors, to get himself the best deal he can (regardless of how much money it literally ends up being). Showalter trying to shame him into taking less -- so that ownership can keep more -- is shameful in itself. Why isn't Showalter asking Angelos "How much is enough?"
Greed and frugality, if that's what we're calling them, can be different sides of the same coin.