Baseball’s Out — In Writing

May 4th, 2015


When Jameis Winston throws out the first pitch at a Rays game soon, that might be the last time he throws a baseball for 20 years.

Drafted out of high school into Major League Baseball, Jameis, a former flame-throwing relief pitcher, thrived on the mound at Florida State as a dual sport athlete. He has professed his deep love of baseball and his dream of playing pro ball.

But Winston’s new — and signed — Buccaneers contract prohibits him from playing baseball, per Bucs-uniform-frowningAllie-LaForce-smittenBig-Ten-Network-hatingpedestrian-bumpingolive oil-lappingpopcorn-munchingcoffee-slurpingfried-chicken-eatingoatmeal-lovingcircle-jerkingbeer-chuggingcricket-watchingscone-loathingcollege football-naïvebaseball-box-score-readingNPR-listeningfilthy-hotel-stayingfight-instigatingbarista-training Peter King, of Sports Illustrated and NBC Sports fame.

Two: You may recall when I wrote about Winston—the Florida State baseball team’s closer last season—at the combine in my Feb. 23 column that I asked him whether he would ever want to play both sports as a professional. “I can’t speak on that,” he said. “It has always been my dream, but I’m just playing football right now.”

That section of the column alarmed Licht, and that Monday he texted Winston and then spoke with him about it. He told Winston that wasn’t something the Bucs would be likely to accept if he was their pick. Winston said he understood, but loved baseball so much that he was being honest about it with me.

Fast forward to last week. Licht and agents Greg Genske and Kenny Felder negotiated the Winston contract so he’d have the business of football out of the way and he could focus solely on football, starting with the Bucs’ minicamp that gets underway Thursday in Tampa. In the contract, a Bucs’ source said, is a clause prohibiting Winston from playing professional baseball during the life of his Tampa Bay deal.

(You can read all of King’s Winston column today.)

No, Jameis won’t be Deion Sanders or Bo Jackson. He’ll have to settle for being the Bucs’ savior.

16 Responses to “Baseball’s Out — In Writing”

  1. Love and Warrick Dunn Says:

    Just as we thought. Put it in the contract, and no need to worry. No big deal.

  2. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Unless he decides to quite football and play baseball. Retiring would release him from it.

    Not likely at this point…but if we have 3 losing seasons straight? Baseball might look inviting to him.

  3. DayOnePaul Says:

    Sooooooo…If Jameis ever decides he wants out of his Buc situation, all he has to do is pitch a minor league game, and then he’s a free agent?

  4. Harry Says:

    “No, Jameis won’t be Deion Sanders or Bo Jackson.”

    No, but he could be the Bucs’ Payton, or B-rady, or just our Luck! A Bucs fan can dream, right?

  5. JMan Says:

    Payton’s? Walter was never that slow or fat

  6. TheShaz Says:

    Honestly – I do not mind seeing Jameis on a baseball mound soon…..

    Throwing out the 1st pitch of a Rays game…..and that’s it.

  7. TheShaz Says:

    Wait a sec!

    I want to see the writing on that contract.

    What about the Michael Jordan loophole……Minor League Baseball ?


  8. Eric Says:

    Well our last couple of quarterbacks didn’t play football during their contract period.

  9. WS99 Says:

    Down right unamerican. I don’t see russell Wilson having to quit baseball.

  10. Horice Says:

    If I were an athlete in this era I would be making a list of all nationally and locally. And if I was made to talk, they’d get the Marahawn Lynch treatment. Criticism is fine, but character assignation would come at a price. That’s why I don’t get mad at Lynch. Imagine if you were doing your job and its all over the news and even people that know your job are making comments simply to get a reaction, regardless of the take being wrong. The Pope would eventually get pissed about it.

  11. tval Says:

    How about all the ignorant people bashing fsus schedule? Seems the nfl thought pretty highly of the collection of talent they had and faced.

  12. Buc1987 Says:

    “You can read all of King’s Winston column today” – Joe

    I highly suggest everyone click that link and read that article. It will explain why Mariota was never even in their thoughts and for a very long time.

  13. bucs4lyfe Says:

    Miguel grande Says:

    May 4th, 2015 at 10:52 am
    I wonder if their is a crab leg clause. Crabby Bill’s needs a spokesperson.
    that’s an appropriate photo of you

  14. Johnny Dejay Says:

    Or he could be eligible to play pro baseball in 4 years after his rookie contract expires…

  15. Warren Says:

    Now that he’s our QB and I’m happy about that of course…I can honestly say if I had the choice to be a 95 MPH pitcher or a QB today…it’s MLB pitcher all the way in 2015. Simple reasons: Less chance of getting injured = longer career = more money long term for me and my family. And baseball throws around some SERIOUS money.

    I love Football and am not a baseball fan (not even a little bit), but there’s a reason the NFL = Not For Long. I don’t have stats to back me up but I would be willing to bet the average starting QB has a shorter career than the average starting MLB pitcher.

    Charlie Ward was a Heisman Trophy winning QB and he chose basketball (and a longer career) for similar reasons.

    I suspect the main reason they would insist he not play both sports is because throwing a pigskin and then throwing a baseball all year round is going to take a hell of a toll on your arm. It’s not like playing CB and being an outfielder like Neon Deion.

  16. Stanglassman Says:

    I was at Charlie’s pro day and can tell you that he didn’t have as much of a choice as you think he had.