If this has been the worst sports fandom year of my life (which it was as a Padres-Raiders-USC Trojans fan), then today, Thursday, 12/4 was the worst day of my sports fandom year. Why? Because my San Diego Padres, in their effort to have a lower pay roll than the Little League World Series Champions from Hawaii, have helped their payroll slashing mission by trading shortstop Khalil Greene to the St. Louis Cardinals for two pitching prospects.
Greene has been my favorite pro athlete for the last few years. He was a Padre for starters. He played the shortstop defensively as good as any other SS in baseball if not better. Yes, he was putrid at the plate in 2008, but he will bounce back (Cardinals fans this is a great great trade for you - enjoy). Today for me is one of those painful days a sports fan will ultimately experience in their lives; a favorite player from their favorite team is traded, not resigned, etc. I could post a blog here about Greene's contract and the money aspect and what it means to both the Padres and the Cardinals. But that's what the real sports writers are for.
The real reason I am saddened deeply today that my favorite pro athlete will now be in a Cardinals uni (I know it's not intentional, but the Cardinals are officially the main bully/instigator of the Padres for the last 5 years) is because of the kind of human being Greene is. He was one of the faces of the Padres organization. His face, image, and jersey can be found all over Petco Park, as I observed this summer seeing a game in San Diego (and that was after he was out for the season). Greene is a player and human you teach your children to emulate, and be like due to his class, introspection, positive attitude, humility, and calm demeanor. There is no one else like him in pro sport and I have been proud to be a Padres fan and Khalil Greene fan. While the Padres have deeply, deeply disappointed me recently, and will continue to so through the month of December, I will remain a Padres fan here in New Jersey, where I am stuck calling home among idiot Yankees fans. As well, I will remain a Khalil Greene fan forever, and only root against him for the few pitches he may face in a Padres-Cardinals series.
These things in time happen to all sports fans, and they teach you to be careful with your heart and your teams. Today was my turn, and I am saddened greatly to see my favorite player not on my favorite team. Good luck Khalil. And St. Louis fans, congrats. You just got yourself a great player and a great human being.
P.S. St. Louis, you guys owe us big time for a list of things still including Jim Edmonds, and Pujols taking out two Padres in one inning, let alone now taking advantage of a soulless front office in San Diego and taking Greene away.