Let's talk some baseball, shall we? "Slugger" Phil Nevin has been traded from the San Diego Padres to the Baltimore Orioles for "pitcher" Sidney Ponson. Essentially, this is a trade between two teams that should be doing better than they are trying to rid themselves of two problems. (A disclaimer: I have owned Phil Nevin on my fantasy teams in years past, and he always got injured. For this reason, I hate the guy. Also, Sidney Ponson came and stunk it up for the Giants in a late season trade a few years ago, and for THIS reason, I hate him too.)
Phil Nevin has a no-trade clause, which lets him refuse a trade to any of eight teams he's specifically listed. Baltimore is on that list. (Why it's on that list is an interesting question, because it's a team with a beautiful park, and they pay their players good money. The reason I suspect it's on the list is one of the key reasons I think it's just fine for him to turn down the trade - they are in the AL East.) First things first - the Padres granted him this no-trade clause, and they well acknowledge that its in his right to refuse the trade. However, they've told him that if he exercises that right, he's going to be benched most of the time while staying in San Diego.
"I have a certain amount of time to make a decision, and I'm going to use that time," Nevin, 34, said. "I haven't had a chance to sit down with my family and kids and talk about these things face to face. This is a kind of life-changing decision."
I think it's in Nevin's best interest to go to Baltimore -- and it is looking more and more like he might do just that, but I think there are a few wholly justifiable reasons not to do so:
1) Family His family and home are in San Diego. Big whoop in the world of baseball, but Nevin is at the end of his career and probably wants to spend more time with them. San Diego is one of the nicest places in the world, and it's hard to find fault with someone who wants to settle down there permanently.
2) The AL East Look, the Orioles are only 3 1/2 games out of first place, so anything can happen. But for the Orioles to win a playoff spot, it means that either the Red Sox or the Yankees aren't going to the playoffs. Despite the problems those teams have, the O's have more. Lots more. I just can't see it happening. If one wants to use the "don't you want to be in the playoffs?" argument, Nevin has a much better chance of doing so while with the Padres.
3)Cause Why NOT?There's an adage that every player - because he has the luxury of playing sports for a living - has to work his hardest every day, enjoy the privilege of playing a game for a living, and do everything the RIGHT way. There is no other industry where there remains such disdain for the employee who really just wants to get his job done so he can go home to his family. Where the job doesn't HAVE to be the end-all, be-all definition of his life. Perhaps Phil Nevin has found some happiness in his current situation in San Diego and doesn't want to shake that up. Maybe he likes the routine he's gotten into. The guy's day to day routine can't be all wine and roses. The schedule for any MLB player is hard - aside from the games there is working out, exercise, an insane amount of travel and all the headaches that come with it (even luxury travel like they have), let alone the physical therapy someone with an injury history like Nevin must go through. Does it make him an evil person if he wants to minimize the rest of headaches in his life?
Again, I think Nevin will go to Baltimore, and I also think he should if for no other reason than to know he's playing for a team that wants him. But if he refuses the trade, he has every right to do so.