Today, the Milwaukee Brewers and rightfielder Corey Hart came to agreement on compensation for the young player's services. The day before the scheduled arbitration hearing, both sides met in the middle on a 1-year, $3.25 million deal.
In 2008, Hart earned roughly $440,000 and it's not a moment too soon that he and the club came together on a number. A guy like Hart doesn't come around every day. His numbers are not going to crack the record books. Last year, he batted .268, driving in nearly 100 runs while recording 23 stolen bases. As I've expressed before, he is the first and only player in franchise history to record back-to-back 20/20 seasons.
But like I said, he's not going to set any records offensively. It's his attitude, his demeanor, the way he carries himself. He's a country boy from Bowling Green, Kentucky. He's a 26-year old father of three. He understands exactly what it's all about. He's paid a lot of money to play a boys' game. The interview he gave this morning from Brewers camp said it all - he would just assume play his entire career in a Brewers uniform. That is something you don't see or hear anymore in baseball.
This is the guy who bought out the lease on his local Chuck E. Cheese restaurant because his kids love to eat there so much. They were being forced to close their doors, and he paid off the loan so they didn't have to close their doors.
I want this guy in Milwaukee until he retires. As long as he doesn't go cold like he did last September, I'm good with him. Thanks for being a great guy, Corey, and lets get down to business for the 2009 season.