Kansas City Royals pitcher Gil Meche announced his retirement last week.  In doing so, he has volunteered to return the $12 million dollars that he was due.

In an era that has given us Ochocinco’s 18-wheel Hum-V and Gilbert Arenas spending $60,000 a year to feed his pet sharks (yes, you read that right), it’s refreshing to see an athlete who has some perspective as it relates to finances.

Gil Meche’s career wasn’t spectacular.  He went just 6-15 with a 5.29 ERA for Kansas City over the past two seasons, during which time he was affected by injuries to his right (throwing) shoulder.  Not being able to pitch anymore left him with only one option, and that was to retire.

A mediocre relief pitcher retiring is hardly big news, but what makes this story interesting is that Meche has voluntarily given up the $12 million dollars that he was to earn this year.  Meche said:

“When I signed my contract, my main goal was to earn it. Once I started to realize I wasn’t earning my money, I felt bad. I was making a crazy amount of money for not even pitching. Honestly, I didn’t feel like I deserved it. I didn’t want to have those feelings again.”

First of all, the Royals could certainly use the money.

Secondly, good for you Gil.  Happy retirement, and enjoy the over $40 million that you DID earn.