The Rockies often take heat for this practice. Many fans wish that the team would be better on the field if they would sign players with personal lives that sometimes found their way into the tabloids. Even to a smaller degree, fans often complain that the Rockies should not be so concerned with how well a player will add to the chemistry of the clubhouse.
There is no denying that employing only players with high character eliminates a large pool of talent in Major League Baseball. The Rockies have undoubtedly had opportunities to ignore off-the-field issues and simply sign a talented player.
The argument to make the team as good as possible is valid, and to the average fan, the best possible team on the field is all that matters, Rockies fans should appreciate what they have at Coors Field.
On Thursday Tim Lincecum,the reigning Cy Young winner and San Francisco Giants ace, as reported by the Columbian in Vancouver, Washington, was cited for possession of marijuana after being pulled over for speeding on Interstate 5 just north of Portland, OR.
The report stated that when the police officer approached Lincecum's Mercedes he instantly smelled the drug. While Lincecum was cooperative with the cop, the crime had already been committed.
Lincecum's crime was nothing that is out of the ordinary. The debate rages on in America that pot should be legalized and the case can be made that alcohol is more dangerous than the drug. The 25 year-old pitcher was doing nothing more than a large percentage of his fellow Americans take part in every day.
Lincecum, however, is not the average American.
The average American cannot throw a fastball in the upper-90's and dominate a Major League lineup every five days. The average American does not have the opportunity to make a phenomenal living playing a game that kids play. It would be a huge mistake to suggest that Major League Baseball players do not work hard. However, a Major League Baseball player also has the ability to do something that most Americans do not have the option of ever saying, that they love what they do for a living.
The question begs to be asked when these athletes are going to learn. Lincecum is on the verge of his first arbitration-eligible offseason. He very well could end up winning his second consecutive Cy Young award, something that will only add more digits to the amount of money that will be awarded to the righty in arbitration.
Lincecum is essentially guaranteed, at 25 years old, that if he manages his money properly, that he will have a comfortable living for the rest of his life. Why would someone do anything that would risk an opportunity like Lincecum has at his resting on his right shoulder?
The Giants have been plagued with selfish players. From Jeff Kent to Lincecum, with Barry Bonds in the middle, this team seems to always have players who embarrass the team with their selfish actions.
The Rockies, on the other hand, field a team with players that can be looked up to. Last offseason, reliever Luis Vizcaino was arrested in Tampa, FL for driving under the influence. He was promptly traded to the Chicago Cubs. Before Vizcaino, pitcher Denny Neagle was arrested for soliciting a prostitute. He was released from the team less than a week later. Before that, Rockies pitcher Pedro Astacio was in legal trouble for a dispute with his girlfriend, and that was before Dan O'Dowd took the reins.
Families can go to Rockies games and watch them on TV without parents hoping that their child will not go away from the game with a new hero who does not live up to the moral standard of that family. While Charles Barkley may not want to admit that professional athletes are role models, the fact of the matter is, kids look up to them and model their lives after the athletes. It is nice to have a team that plays in Denver who has a locker room full of character, rather than selfishness.