Some online have criticized Hiroki Kuroda for joining an East Coast team this winter after refusing to approve a trade to an East Coast team last summer. Those criticisms are way off the mark.
There’s a big difference between making your own decision to go east after months of deliberations, as opposed to being forced to do so at a moment’s notice, against your will.
In November 2010, Kuroda signed a contract in good faith to pitch in Los Angeles in 2011 and made clear his intention of how important it was to him to be in Los Angeles by negotiating a no-trade clause. Now, some would fault him for not volunteering to leave the team he signed with – not to mention his family – behind.
This is a pretty bizarre loyalty test, where you’re required to make a sacrifice for a team that, the minute you make the sacrifice, is no longer your team. I don’t know where the idea that he owed the Dodgers something comes from.
Trading Kuroda for prospects would have helped the Dodgers. So would Kuroda and all his teammates playing for free. It doesn’t mean they’re lesser people for choosing not to do so. It doesn’t mean that Kuroda didn’t have valid reasons for staying.
Those of you who are employed – would you accept a sudden and immediate transfer to a completely different company, across the country, even when you didn’t want to go, only because it would help the company you were previously working for?