THE AINGE CASE
The story of Danny Ainge (The Courting of Danny Ainge, Oct. 12) is a sad one; sad because here is a young man who had committed himself to playing baseball but apparently isn't willing to work at his chosen profession in order to make himself a better player. He has played the equivalent of two full seasons in the majors without the benefit of spring training or winter-league baseball, and still he expects to go out on the field and be successful. When he isn't successful he considers his career in baseball a failure and wants to pack it in, to move on to supposedly greener pastures in the NBA.
Many of today's successful baseball players have had to put in long hours of hard work and play in the winter leagues to improve their skills. It's necessary in baseball; only a rare few make it on raw talent alone. In my opinion, Ainge is an example of a spoiled athlete who wants everything handed to him.
In spite of the scathing criticism Danny Ainge has received for wanting to change jobs, it appears to me that his crime is having an alternative to baseball. Heaven knows there are hundreds of promising athletes who don't quite measure up to expectations. If one of them ever offered to return his bonus money, I've never heard about it. I can't help but think how Toronto would have jumped at his offer if the only other things Ainge could do in life involved menial labor.
Ainge can live just fine for three years without baseball on what Toronto will be paying him, but what will the Blue Jays have to show for it? The biggest losers will be those of us who have marveled at Ainge's basketball talents for the last four years and would like to go on enjoying them.