In yesterday’s edition of the Tampa Bay Times, 2012 Cy Young winner David Price scribbled his name on the list of star athletes who have said goodbye to the fans of their former teams by taking out full-pages ad in their local newspapers. People always say that print is dead, but nobody told athletes that as they spend a few hundred bucks to do the “classy thing” in bidding a fond farewell to the people who cheered them on (and occasionally booed them) for however long they were there. And Price was hardly alone in this sentimental act this week, as former Boston Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester took out his own ad in the Boston Globe after he was traded to the Oakland Athletics, and thanked the fans that he’ll probably end up playing for again next season anyway.
Price, who was traded to the Detroit Tigers last week, went above and beyond in writing what seems to be a truly heartfelt display of gratitude to so many people, and he also included an image of his French Bulldog Astro, because you just can’t be upset with a guy while he’s holding his dog.
You also can’t be upset with Price since he was traded, but there have been other athletes in recent years who have taken out full-page ads only after they managed to enrage the majority of fans that they were leaving behind. For example, there was Dwight Howard’s ad in the Orlando Sentinel that ran after he forced his way to Los Angeles, but only after he convinced the franchise’s pathetically desperate front office management to fire the fan favorite coach, Stan Van Gundy.
Nobody thought that Albert Pujols would leave the St. Louis Cardinals in free agency several years ago, especially after he said that he wouldn’t go to another team over a matter of a few million dollars, but then he signed with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and tried to make it all better with this ad in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
When you think about it, the days of the one-team superstar in any sports are likely dying with Derek Jeter’s retirement, Tom Brady’s eventual decision to sit back and enjoy his and Gisele’s absurd wealth, and probably Kobe Bryant’s final season in L.A. So we’re probably due for another dozen or so of these ads in the next decade. Because I’m a swell guy, I decided to save a lot of our favorite and future least favorite athletes some time by making this easy-to-follow template that they can just fill in when the day comes and zip it on over to their local newspaper’s ad sales office. You’re welcome, jerks!