Thursday, February 22, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays' Archer shares thoughts from Tebow to anthem protests

NEW YORK — Chris Archer's work on the mound is usually noticeable enough. It is especially on a day like Saturday when he pitched well, "as good as we've seen him all year," according to manager Kevin Cash, but tied the franchise mark for futility in a 5-1 defeat to the Yankees in earning his 18th loss, matching Tanyon Sturtze's 2002 team record.

Archer is also known for how he expresses himself, in wearing his hair long, in tweeting philosophical and inspirational quotes, in spending countless hours making charitable and community service appearances, and in sharing his words and thought-out opinions on a variety of subjects.

Here are his thoughts on several topics of note:

On Tim Tebow, who last week signed a $100,000 minor-league deal with the Mets to try a career in baseball:

It's interesting because he signed for almost the same signing bonus I did ($161,000), and he signed for a lot more than a lot of guys who are probably more skilled and more polished and they're not 29 years old. But it's an opportunity, and I think the Mets are looking at it as an opportunity for him to help shape the organization. I never want to take away from somebody's joy, if that's really what he loves to do and he feels that he can be successful. Best wishes, you know.

But it's crazy how guys play all through high school, all through college, play independent ball and don't get that type of private showcase, and then he does. But that's the world we live in. Hopefully the Mets get out of it what they want, and hopefully he gets out of it what he wants.

On being the Rays nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award, honoring a player for extraordinary character, community involvement and philanthropy:

It means a lot. A lot of people try to do a lot of things on the field in this game, they try to be as good as they can be on the field. I'm trying to have the same impact off the field as well. You know me, I'm trying to use this platform to positively impact as many lives as I can. And the fact that the Rays nominated me is a huge honor considering what the award is about and who it is named after.

On hoping to win the overall Clemente award, chosen by an MLB committee with input from fans based on posting hashtags (#VoteArcher) to Twitter and Facebook:

Hopefully it's not a popularity contest. Hopefully they really take into account who's putting in the hours and who's putting in the actual effort, not dollars. Who's putting in the effort to make a difference throughout the game.

On 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick's stance of not standing for the national anthem:

It's his constitutional right, and everybody chooses different ways to get their message across. It's a little bold for me personally, but he has the right. And it seems like he's putting other actions behind it, too, monetarily and getting out in the community (like talking to military veterans). And that's the most important thing for me.

Taking a knee during the national anthem, that's one thing. We could all pick and choose something that we don't like about America. I choose to pick the things that I do like. That's how I look at America. Obviously there's some dark clouds, there's some rain in the forecast. But for me, I look at the half-full while addressing the half-empty.

You look at all the things that were written and recorded hundreds of years ago in 1776, the country was in a different place. So him saying that the anthem wasn't relevant then as freedom because we had slaves, and we're still struggling with it now, there's some truth in it. But we've made some great progress. There's some great opportunity for anybody born in America. There are some minds that are polluted and corrupt, but you can pick and choose the minds anywhere, versus any race, religion, creed, philosophy. You can find fault in all of it.

It's a bold move, and I choose to kind of look at it the opposite way in representing my country in any possible way I can.

To a New York-based reporter on tying Sturtze's record for losses, despite Archer making 16 quality starts and having a 4.05 ERA:

Ever since I started playing baseball professionally, I never evaluated myself based off win-loss. … You haven't seen me pitch this season very much, but if you have you could understand why I think that.

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