It’s pretty easy to turn down money when it means you have to work for it. It’s called being lazy and we all do it. We have the ability to work hard and get paid, but we choose to relax, hang out, and enjoy ourselves rather than push ourselves to the limit. Pretty simply, we’re turning down money because we don’t want to work. It’s just the way the world works, and that’s ok.
But how many of you, given money, would pay not to have to work? What if every hour of tv you watched cost you $20? What if you were given $100,000 on January 1st and had to dole out money when you didn’t want to work your hardest.
Think you would take work more seriously?
Well, most people don’t like giving away money they’ve earned, and there’s been an amazing example of someone who didn’t simply turn down money, as we all do, but who had the money and actually took action to give it back because he believed that he didn’t deserve it.
Gil Meche signed a contract before the 2007 season to pitch for the Kansas City Royals for 5 years and $55 million. A few weeks ago, he announced his retirement.
What’s the big deal? Well, his contract had one more year on it and by retiring, he’s turning down the $12 million he would have been paid this year! He needs surgery to repair his shoulder and he would likely pitch in relief rather than as a starter, two things he didn’t want to do, no matter the price. He could have taken $12 million to get surgery and mostly sit around in the bullpen, but he declined.
It’s pretty bizarre, and he had no obligation to give back his money. In baseball, a contract is guaranteed, even if a player gets injured. In the NFL, contracts are not guaranteed and if a team wants to cut a player, they can without having to honor the rest of the contract.
So why did he do it? I spent awhile trying to find some hidden reason we didn’t think about. I thought maybe he had some sort of insurance policy that would pay him anyway, some other source of income, but the truth is that Gil Meche is deciding to pay $12 million not to play baseball for one year with no catch. Ridiculous!
He thinks that it’s not fair for him to be paid that much and not live up to his expectations.
It’s easy to say that he has enough money and can survive on that other $43 million that he made the past 4 years. But it’s a lot harder to actually take action in order to not receive money, especially that much. How many of you would give back money that you were entitled to?
He is not the only player to have been in this position, and it’s extraordinarily rare for this to happen. For example, over the course of 4 years, Carl Pavano ‘pitched’ for the Yankees. He made a total of 26 starts, 8 fewer than Gil Meche made in the first year of his contract alone. And do you know how much Pavano gave back because he felt he didn’t live up to his contract? $0.00.
Readers, do you think Gil Meche is stupid for turning down that much money? Do you think you would have done the same thing? If you were making $500,000 and felt you weren’t doing your job well, would you turn down an annual bonus or give some of it back to the company?