Author Topic: Twins baseball pitcher turns down chance to pitch for $500K bonus  (Read 1363 times)

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Offline Martok

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Twins baseball pitcher turns down chance to pitch for $500K bonus
« on: September 30, 2014, 05:06:35 AM »
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I'm not a huge baseball fan these days; a lot of my joy for the game vanished during the 94-95 strike.  However, I do continue to follow the sport on a very limited basis, and I do retain a small degree of pride in my home team (crappy though they've been these last few seasons).  And it's stories like this one that continue to give me cause for pride.  Both the team management and the player deserve kudos IMO. 


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DETROIT -- Minnesota Twins right-hander Phil Hughes turned down a chance to pitch again this weekend, even though one more out would have earned him a $500,000 bonus.

Hughes' half-million-dollar bonus kicks in if he reaches 210 innings this year, but he is set to finish with 209 2/3 after a rain delay forced him out of his final scheduled start Wednesday.

Manager Ron Gardenhire said Thursday the Twins were prepared to let Hughes pitch again before the end of the season.

"I just didn't think it was right," Hughes said before the team's 4-2 loss to Detroit. "If I were fighting for a playoff spot, I'd 100 percent be available. But given the circumstances, I don't think it's the right thing to do."

Hughes is 16-10 with a 3.52 ERA in his first season with Minnesota, which signed him to a three-year deal in the offseason. He spent seven seasons with the New York Yankees before that.

Hughes has already triggered a pair of $250,000 bonuses for reaching 180 and 195 innings this season, on top of his $8 million salary.

"I owe too much to this organization for the next two years to risk getting hurt for an incentive," Hughes said. "For whatever reason it wasn't meant to be. There's a lot bigger problems out there. I'm proud of my season."

Twins general manager Terry Ryan said he was impressed by Hughes' decision.

"He decided after a little thought, he just wasn't going to do it," Ryan said, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune. "So I respect that. It is a decision that would be difficult to make if you're a player."

Hughes has 186 strikeouts and only 16 walks this season. His strikeout-to-walk ratio of 11.63 will be a major league record, breaking the mark of 11.00 set by Bret Saberhagen of the New York Mets in 1994.

If Hughes were to pitch again and walk one more hitter without a strikeout, he would fall short of that record.


Now I'm not naive enough to believe that either party made their decisions for purely noble/altruistic reasons:  The Twins get some good PR, whilst simultaneously getting to demonstrate loyalty to a player they hope to have around for a while; and Hughes undoubtedly factored health considerations and possibly stats (a record strikeout-to-walk ratio) into his decision.  But this was still a classy move on both their parts. 

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Offline bayonetbrant

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Re: Twins baseball pitcher turns down chance to pitch for $500K bonus
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2014, 07:53:06 AM »
Plus, his going out and grabbing an extra inning somewhere might have cost a different player his appearance bonus
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Offline BanzaiCat

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Re: Twins baseball pitcher turns down chance to pitch for $500K bonus
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2014, 10:28:09 AM »
Plus, dude makes around eight million a year and already got two $750K bonuses for hitting two other inning milestones this year. I won't cry too much about him missing out on half a million.

Offline Martok

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Re: Twins baseball pitcher turns down chance to pitch for $500K bonus
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2014, 02:31:47 PM »
Plus, dude makes around eight million a year and already got two $750K bonuses for hitting two other inning milestones this year. I won't cry too much about him missing out on half a million.
Plus, his going out and grabbing an extra inning somewhere might have cost a different player his appearance bonus

Both points Hughes himself made as well.  He didn't feel it was right when he had already made as much as he has this season. 

"Like we need an excuse to drink to anything..." - Banzai_Cat
"I like to think of it not as an excuse but more like Pavlovian Response." - Sir Slash

"At our ages, they all look like jailbait." - mirth

"If we had lines here that would have crossed all of them. For the 1,077,986th time." - Gusington

"Government is so expensive that it should at least be entertaining." - airboy

Offline BanzaiCat

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Re: Twins baseball pitcher turns down chance to pitch for $500K bonus
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2014, 03:28:45 PM »
He could have been a huge jerk about it, so I give him that.