The game is about people. Too often we forget that, obsessing over statistics, complaining about contracts, demanding trades and firings and better performances from our favorite clubs.
That’s all part of baseball in the 21st century, all part of what makes the game great. But every so often, you get a reminder. You hear about something like outfielder Shin-Soo Choo’s farewell note to Chris Antonetti, and you remember just how deep the bonds run in baseball, even — on occasion — between a player and general manager.
Antonetti was the Cleveland Indians assistant GM when the team acquired Choo from the Seattle Mariners for Ben Broussard and cash on July 26, 2006. And Antonetti was the GM who traded Choo and infielder Jason Donald to the Cincinnati Reds last Dec. 11 as part of a three-team, nine-player deal with Arizona. (The Indians received outfielder Drew Stubbs from the Reds and pitchers Trevor Bauer, Matt Albers and Bryan Shaw from the Diamondbacks).
Most players, upon learning they’ve been traded, exchange a few words with club officials, then hang up the phone and go on their way. Choo, on the other hand, sent Antonetti a moving letter — a letter that he was willing to share with FOXSports.com as long as Antonetti approved, which he did.