The Boundaries Blur; The Boundaries Clarify
5 January 2010
The New York Times reported on December 29 that Jason Bay awaits a physical early this week before signing a four-year contract with the New York Mets valued at 66 million dollars with an optional fifth year that could allow him to earn 80 million dollars over all.
Bay played last season and part of 2008 as the left fielder for the Boston Red Sox, replacing Manny Ramirez who was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers while Bay left the Pittsburgh Pirates for Boston.
The Red Sox recently offered him 60 million for four seasons but, evidently, were unwilling to commit to a fifth year. Bay rejected their offer, and Boston signed Mike Cameron as his replacement.
So far, the story of Bay’s move to the Mets is unexceptional. He rejected one offer and has accepted one with higher pay. These events become more interesting with the report that Bay’s agent tried to reopen talks with Boston, who, with Cameron signed, had no interest.
With so much “treasure” weaving through these events, the question of Bay’s “heart” surely comes to mind. The reference, of course, is to the Sermon on the Mount wherein Jesus says, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Mt 6:21).
And so questions arise. Is Bay’s heart in Boston or New York? Evidently his heart was not sufficiently in Boston to take 60 million for four years. But having accepted 66 million for four years with an option for a fifth year at 14 million in New York, his agent went back to talk to Boston. Was he telling Boston his heart was there? Or was he trying to increase the treasure promised in New York?
Bay will probably play in New York and test the home run-resistant fences at Citi Field. And while he does so, Mets’ fans may understandably wonder whether he’s playing for his heart’s team. And there’s always a chance Bay will reconcile his heart to his treasure.