I’m sorry. If you are looking to reading about how the hottest tips on how to mint cash in today’s MLB lines, then this post is not for you. Nothing would satisfy me more than to about tonight’s game between the Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Philadelphia Phillies (which I am almost sure is going to end in a Dodger win with 10-plus runs), but instead, I’ll be shifting gears to one side of Sporstbetting that many sports fans (me included) don’t like to talk about or address—the emotional side of us.
For reasons that I am yet to find out, the hard-assed, big-egoed talker in me somehow got soft, and admittedly forced to shed a teardrop or two, when I watched the surreal video of New York Mets infielder Wilmer Flores crying on the field after hearing news about his supposed trade to the Brewers.
The Human Side of Sportsbetting: Lessons from the Wilmer Flores’ Supposed TradeTo put you into the full picture of why the crying was that big of a deal (to me), here is a brief of what happened. Now, sometime between the start and end of last Wednesday’s game between the New York Mets and the San Diego Padres, the interweb was bombarded with new that the New Yorkers had agreed to trade for Milwaukee’s outfielder Carlos Gomez in exchange Flores and injured pitcher Zack Wheeler. Of course the deal never happened eventually, but nearly everyone on the field on Wednesday heard about it, and some stupid fan decided to break the news to Flores while he was still on the field.
What followed was one of the most emotional scenes ever witnessed on TV, as Flores—understandably overwhelmed by the undignified fan news about a trade he didn’t know about and the prospect of leaving a team he he’s literally given everything for, in exchange for one that is barely worthy of being called a franchise—broke down to tears, albeit continuing to soldier on to play on the field.
Eventually, Mets manager Terry Collins pulled the infielder before his last at-bat, and later, Flores learned that the deal didn’t go though. Speaking later in the clubhouse, Flores confirmed that his reaction on the field was because he became emotional after hearing the news about his alleged departure.
So what’s really my issue with the Flores case, you ask? Several, I respond.
For starters, it is common knowledge that, since departing his hometown in Valencia, Venezuela as a 16-year-old to join the join the Mets in 2008, Flores has done nothing but give his best to the New York franchise. Of course, you can make a case for a number of occasions that his game has regressed, and rightfully so, but considering everyone has his fair share of ups-and-downs, your argument would not hold water in my court.
Next, if you know the Mets well and have followed them down the years (like I’ve done), then you’d know that Flores, along with the likes of Wheeler, Matt Harvey, Jeurys Familia and Juan Lagares, are the chiefly reason behind the growth and transformation of the New York team from a struggling franchise to one that is currently on the verge of breaking a 8-year playoff drought. Deciding to sacrifice Flores at this time, when he’s worked so hard to bring the team this far, is nothing less than a straight stab to the heart. It does not matter whether Gomez would have been a better player or not… When you’ve gone shopping, helped in cooking the food, and even assisted in setting the table, you duly deserve a seat at the table and your share of the meal, and not relishing your chance because some “important guest” is invited to the table. It’s as simple as that.
And don’t get me wrong, I agree that in the Major League, you are paid to play, so you should be ready to accept when it’s your time to leave or move on, whether or not it hurts your feelings. And yes, part of being a professional player, is being able to make any place your new home, like David Price is already doing in Toronto.
Even so, loyalty is something that counts greatly in family, work, schools and even fanbases. Heck, it even counts for the Crips and Bloods in Los Angeles, literally determining life-and-death situations. So in the modern day world of well-educated, logical-based intellectuals like you and me, a player being loyal to his team and expressing it in tears should count for something, right?
I mean, I know we are living in a cash-rules-everything society, and in fact, part of the reason I am writing this article is because I am getting paid well to do it. But when the noises about things like Sportsbetting, MLB picks and World Series favorites dim down and we are back to our quiet innate selves, only one thing floats above everything else -We’re only human! Essentially, that’s the reason why, even after calling for Flores’ head many a times recently, the Mets gave him a standing ovation last Wednesday on what they believed to be his final day with the team. I don’t know about you, but for me, that’s a reason worthy enough of me proudly wearing my heart on my sleeve and speaking this heartedly about Flores, even though I am the #1 hater of all NY baseball teams ‘coz I am a Los Angeles Diehard. Adios Amigos!!!