SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - The first year Aaron Rowand was with the Phillies, the team just missed the playoffs. The second year, they won the division but were swept in the first round. Last year they won it all.
And, when the final out was recorded, Rowand naturally started jumping up and down to celebrate.
Of course, he was watching the game on television at his Las Vegas home at the time. So instead of joining the dogpile on the mound, he had to settle for sending congratulatory text messages to his former teammates.
Rowand turned down a 3-year offer from the Phillies and took a 5-year, $60 million deal from the Giants after the 2007 season. And, as much as he would have liked to have been a part of it, he said recently at Scottsdale Stadium that he has no regrets about his decision.
"No, not at all," he said. "I like to think I had my two cents' worth in there over the couple of years I was there. You know what? As much as I would have loved to have won a World Series again, one, I'm happy to be a San Francisco Giant. And, two, I'm just happy for them. There was no animosity or bad feelings over them winning the World Series at all. I was just happy as hell. It felt like I was celebrating with them when I was watching on TV.
"It might have been a little sour if I hadn't had won a World Series ring myself [with the White Sox] already but, again, I was real happy getting to watch them experience that. Because, I mean, it's the greatest thing in sports. That's the only way I know how to put it.
"It was great. I'm happy for them and happy for the city of Philadelphia. They've been waiting a long time for a championship." *