We’ve all been in this situation before: you’re at the grocery store, and as you are leaving, you notice that the cashier handed you some extra change. You’re faced with a decision: to keep the change or not to keep the change. Usually, I decide how nice that cashier was, and let karma make the final decision. Well, the San Francisco Giants must be the equivalent of the employee of the month in baseball to Giants reliever Jeremy Affeldt, who returned $500,000 dollars to the team after noticing an error in his contract in 2010.
In his book To Stir a Movement, Affledt explains how this situation came to be in 2010 between he and the Giants. The two sides had agreed on a $4 million dollar contract. However, when the contract was officially written up, the final price was written instead as $4.5 million, and both sides signed the agreement without noticing the error. Even after being told by three separate sources, the MLBPA, his agent Michael Moye, and a Giants assistant general manager Bobby Evans, that he was entitled to the money because both sides signed the contract, Affeldt still decided to return the money to the organization.
Explaining why he returned the money, this is what Affledt says in his book courtesy of the San Francisco Chronicle. Affeldt also thought the negotiations for his new contract last year were benefited because of the situation:
“I talked to Bobby (Evans) the next day and said, ‘I can’t take that money,’ ” Affeldt said. ” ‘I won’t sleep well at night knowing I took that money because every time I open my paycheck I’ll know it’s not right.’ ”
Affeldt signed a new three-year, $18 million deal last winter and said he believes the negotiations went smoothly and quickly because of the residual good feelings from the 2010 experience.
Link to the full story here: http://www.sfchronicle.com/giants/article/Why-Affeldt-turned-down-500-000-4516372.php#ixzz2TOyVLiR1
In a sports world where we hear so many stories about how organizations have no loyalties to players, and vice-versa, it is nice to see a story like this where an honest person and an honest organization turned what could have been a very bad situation, and used integrity to flip it into a good thing.
By: Frank Santos