Saturday, January 27, 2007

J.D. Drew and Philly Hatred

Sphere: Related Content

In the long and not-quite-successful history of Philly sports, there are certain athletes who've affected the city to the point that the fans here utterly despise them. To name a few, Terrell Owens, Scott Rolen and Ricky Watters.

No single athlete with the possible exception of T.O. gets the Philly faithful going like J. D. Drew.

Drew was drafted by the Phillies and at the time was one of those can't-miss athletes. He had all the skills and promised to be a star. Instead, his agent, the vile Scott Boras stepped in:

This left open the tactic Boras had recommended to Varitek. In 1997, Boras represented Florida State outfielder J.D. Drew. Drew, picked #2 in the 1997 draft by the Phillies, demanded "Travis Lee" money of $11 million; the Phillies countered with a "standard" offer of $2.05 million. When the Phillies wouldn't budge, Drew signed with the Northern League; Boras declared that he would become a free agent a week before the 1998 draft.

Months later, MLB revised the rule to "clarify" that players who had signed only with independent leagues were still subject to the draft: Drew could play in the Northern League until he was 40 without ever being able to choose his own major league employer. Drew and Boras fumed. They could have sued over the rules change or the draft itself, but such a battle could keep Drew out of the majors for years, and the courts have repeatedly affirmed the legality of the NFL and NBA drafts.

To sum up, the Phillies used a second round pick in the amateur draft on a stud player and that player, with prodding from his agent decided to sit out whether than take the $2+ million the Phillies offered.

You don't do that to blue-collar Phillies fans and expect to get a free ride. Here we are nearly a decade later and Drew still get booed mercilously whenever he makes the trek to Philly. This is the same reason I'll never respect Eli Manning for dissing the Chargers and John Elway for destroying the then-Baltimore Colts.

No comments: