I'm writing this before Carlos Lee accepts or denies the trade to the Los Angeles Dodgers (or to any other team). I'm writing this primarily as a response to the overwhelming hate that's coming off against Carlos on the TCB message boards. I realize that the hate isn't coming from everyone involved, but I decided I'd like to write an extended explanation as to why we, as fans, have no reason to feel disgust toward Carlos Lee wanting to stay in Houston for the remainder of his contract.
2) Carlos, for all intents and purposes, appears to be a pretty decent human being in his personal life. He was attracted to Houston for large parts due to his ranch being nearby. Carlos is a family man. As I get older, I become increasingly empathetic to the concept that I want to be with my family as much as possible. While I may not work as a professional athlete, I do work many hours as a coach that sometime keep me away from my newly-wed wife for many hours a week for 6 months a year. It's heartbreaking to be separated for long periods of time from my family, and if I had to choose between being separated for "just a few months," as the haters are putting it to play for a contender, and spending more time with my family, I'd choose my family every single time. Some things are more important than winning a ring.
So next time you get that selfish feeling, and let's be clear that's exactly what you're being as a fan, that you think that Carlos Lee or any other athlete is being unreasonable for not accepting an offer to leave home and play for a contender "just for a few months," then just remember: he's earned that right. The Astros decided in 2006 that he was worth this price in 2012. Don't be mad at Carlos for doing what he thinks makes him happiest. Be mad at the organization that gave him the best gift anyone can give someone who believes his family may be more important than baseball. I respect you either way, Carlos. Best of luck.