It appears thatBehind the Music: Craig Biggio
has touched a nerve. And there are some people who disagree with some of the things that I wrote. Well, being that this was an opinion piece, that's fine, feel free. But there are some matters which I'd like to address.
One commenter said that it was a poorly sourced piece relying on hearsay. Well, I'd disagree. First, as I said, Tracy Ringolsby is a nationally respected baseball writer who's beat is the Colorado Rockies. If anyone knows what's really happened in matters regarding the Colorado Rockies, I'd trust it to be this guy. But, if that's not good enough, how about a quote from one Craig Biggio: "It [signing a contract with the Rockies] was as close as you can get....The organization was great. The stadium was new. The atmosphere was great, with 50,000 every night."
Look, all that I'm saying is that Craig Biggio came damn close to signing with the Rockies, and that he was willing to take less money to do it because of his love for Colorado and the Denver area. I don't have a problem with that. That doesn't offend me. As my post about Carlos Beltran should make clear, I've got no problem with a player who moves on through free agency to another franchise -- whether it's for the money or for a better playing situation. That's how the sport works. I don't boo Carlos Beltran. I don't boo Randy Johnson or Jeff Kent. I didn't boo Darryl Kile or Mike Hampton. I wouldn't have booed Jeff Bagwell should he have ever chosen to leave. Those guys were doing what they thought to be the best for themselves and for their careers. Hell, I won't even boo Roger Clemens for that. I'd boo Clemens for being an all-around ass, but not because he signed with the New York Yankees.
What I'm offended by, if anything, is the meme that Craig Biggio's an all-around stand-up guy who never left Houston because of the loyalty he feels for the city, the fans, and for the franchise. The fact is that, the one time that he had the chance to make the move, he did everything within his power to make the jump. The past several times he's come up for free agency, the only suitor he's had that's been willing to pay him what he's sought has been the Astros. But when he had that one true chance, he tried to leave. Just like Carlos Beltran. Just like Roger Clemens. Just like Darryl Kile. Just like Randy Johnson. And I'm just tired of hearing what a special guy Biggio is. About how he's not like all of the other greedy bastards out there because he is.
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And finally, as to the point that Darryl Kile was a grown man who could make his own decisions, well, that's right. Darryl Kile was a grown man who could make his own decisions. The point is that, maybe if Craig Biggio would've pushed staying in Houston as hard as pushed going to Colorado, maybe Darryl Kile would've stayed with the Astros. The further point is that, if Craig Biggio was the team guy that everybody claims that he is, then he'd been pushing Kile to sign with the Astros. And Biggio didn't. He advised Kile to sign with the Rockies.
And I'm not offended by that, either. I'm just sick and tired of "Craig Biggio: Mr. Houston" being shoved down my throat everyday, every at bat, every strikeout, when the facts don't support it.
And, if I'm offended by anything, I'm offended by the Houston media's continued inability to not report on what it's supposed to be reporting. Remember, the same media talking about the great person that is Craig Biggio is the same media who reported about the great humanitarian that is Warren Moon, until Moon left the city and the media decided to start talking about the mistresses. And this is the same media who was comparing David Carr to John Elway. And calling Charley Casserly a genius. The same media that attempted to destroy the career of Gerry Hunsicker because Drayton McLane didn't like Hunsicker getting credit for building the Astros.
Now, I've got a correction, or somewhat correction: Ringolsby reports that Biggio was a free agent following the 1996 season. The MSNBC story linked to above reports that he was a free agent following the 1995 season. It appears that Biggio was a free agent after the 1995 season, which tracks with my recollection. But I don't think that this error of Ringolsby should detract from the essence of his piece. -- John Royal