http://hardballtalk.nbcsports....off-waivers-from-as/

 

Darrin's parent is a long time poster here and Sam is a family friend.  Sam was a great student with a Stanford degree in statistics. We've talked about whether, even as a major leaguer, he would have made more money as a private citizen.  32 years old, 10 years in, still making close to the major league minimum and has to start from zero when he's done.  He's been up and down the maximum number of times and teams have saved a lot of money by switching him in and out.  Peripheral players like Darrin and Sam really get undercut by the system. 

Last edited by leftyshortstop

I agree these guys get cut short and spend a lot of time going up and down but many still make a decent living. Most guys don't even make it this far. They should have something to show for their efforts, JMO.

 

40 man players DFA don't make minimum milb pay. Son has a friend who is a pitcher that has been kicked around as well. His milb pay was up to about 200k,  he just signed as a FA with another team, and he is making well over the ML minimum.

The thing that stinks is that you never know where you will lay your head at night, but most wouldn't trade it for anything.

Last edited by TPM
Originally Posted by leftyshortstop:

http://hardballtalk.nbcsports....off-waivers-from-as/

 

Darrin's parent is a long time poster here and Sam is a family friend.  Sam was a great student with a Stanford degree in statistics. We've talked about whether, even as a major leaguer, he would have made more money as a private citizen.  32 years old, 10 years in, still making close to the major league minimum and has to start from zero when he's done.  He's been up and down the maximum number of times and teams have saved a lot of money by switching him in and out.  Peripheral players like Darrin and Sam really get undercut by the system. 

Our older son is friends with Sam.  They never played together in college, but have become friends through the 'network.'  While I've never met him, I am told not only by our son but by others that know him that he's a great, GREAT human being.  He's also perhaps the best college center fielder I've ever seen.

 

I was at a Cubs game the very first day that Sam Fuld spent in the major leagues.  Just by chance.  I wish absolutely nothing but the BEST for Sam Fuld.  

We LOVE Sam and his wife Sarah, who went to Princeton herself.  Special people.  Sarah babysat our children.  Sam and my son used to work out together in the offseason.  Sam should write a book about the math of "employment risk" professions like sports, acting, drug dealing, commodities trading, etc.  The subject was dealt with briefly in "Freakonomics" but Sam and Sarah are statisticians who have lived the paradox.  Only the top few percent in these professions make it big, but they make it SO big that they create a huge supply of backups who barely hang on and are usually better off doing something else.  As a math guy - I think the subject is super interesting.

Things don't always go as planned.  There is the financial side of baseball and there is the educational side of baseball.  Some things can't be taught in a class room.  Most never get rich playing baseball, but their journey in life can certainly be impacted by their baseball experience. I like to think playing baseball is part of that person's education.  It's never a waste of time unless you allow it to be.

No question, there are lots of things that can’t be learned in the classroom, there’s much insight and wisdom which won’t be found in a textbook.  I know that baseball can provide life experiences that won’t likely be found elsewhere.  Learning certainly has no boundaries.  But a formal education (be it a four-year college, junior college, vocational/technical training, etc.) can be the path many individuals (including former athletes) need to travel down in order to ensure a stable livelihood.  There are exceptions of course, those who bypass college for whatever reason yet become huge successes (maybe in baseball); a college degree does not absolutely guarantee a secure future, but it is the ticket that many must get punched moving forward.  And the combination of that formal education along with the lessons learned through life (including baseball) can be very powerful.  Granted, things don’t always go as planned, and sometimes that is due to events out of our control, the choices we pursue in life, and, like it or not, the actions of others.  How effectively we are able to harness all that happens to us, and channel those experiences towards other goals (including helping others, improving a situation, promoting a worthy issue, etc.), can be a measure of our makeup in the long run.  For my sons, baseball has been a main driver in their lives and they wouldn't be where they are today without it...and what they learned through baseball will likely continue to shape who they are for many years to come.   

There is, however, a quality of life aspect that can't be put into dollars and cents. Being lucky (or talented) enough to be able to spend a significant portion of your life doing what you LOVE to do for a living is an experience that can't be compared with alternatives by math. If the main purpose of a person's life is to amass wealth, then math works perfectly.

My point was... Those years spent playing professional baseball should end up being valuable years.  Not just in terms of income, but the experience itself can create some good qualities that fit well in nearly every field. Not to mention, a professional baseball resume can open doors.

 

Obviously a formal education is extremely important.  I look at life as being a combination of everything each person experiences.  That college grad that never got involved in sports will never know what the college grad that played professional baseball knows.  Likewise, the college grad that didn't spend time playing sports might know other things that the professional baseball player never experienced.

 

Point is, it is all important and helps form who we are and how we think.  The sad thing is when someone never learns anything from their experiences.   Only then is anything a waste of time!  

Darrin got picked up by the Jays, I believe it was the team who drafted him.

I reread a post that I made 7 yrs ago on this thread..and I haven't changed my mind... Baseball is a tough life style.

Wally's son mention that he did not want baseball to own him....I think while your playing it does.  My own son stated after he left baseball that he felt like his real life had just begun . 

His baseball experience has opened many doors for him During his nine yrs of pro ball son got his degree On his MLB scholarship plan and now works for Yahoo.... And loves his new easier life style

Last edited by njbb

Chris loves the game itself and always will, and would have continued to play in a heartbeat, he was very close to the big leagues and the injuries couldn't come at the worst time in '09 and '10, but it was the "business of baseball" and all that goes with it which compelled him to seriously rethink his future outside of the game.  Yes, pro baseball is an industry just like others in many ways but, at times, it also operates in a different galaxy than what my family was accustomed to, and Chris believed it was time to start new chapters in his life.  As I've said before, talent, performance, character, and work ethic can get you very far in this game...but only so far at times, there can be much more to it than that and some if it boggles your mind and challenges your soul.  Chris (as well as my other two sons) was extremely blessed to experience what he did in baseball and he will be eternally thankful for so much of it but, despite the injuries, there were obstacles and issues which precluded Chris from moving forward.  I admire so very much the players who continue to live their passion on the diamond, season after season; that passion burned in Chris as well, and likely still does to a large degree, but the "peculiarities" of the pro baseball business was the impetus behind Chris' pursuit of other career paths.  Good luck to your son njbb, I remember him well, excellent infielder! 

WallyL- I just recently stumbled across a story highlighting Chris's adventures and newfound passion. Great to hear he's pursuing another path, no doubt he'll find success.

 

Just to fill you guys and gals in, my son landed in Quebec today after signing a contract with Trois-Rivieres. There are 4 infielders on the team so he should get some at bats. Obviously the hope it to tear it up and find his way back into affiliated ball. He is slated to be the 3rd baseman. We plan to get up to New York to see him this Summer, they play in the NY and NJ area every 10 days or so.

So, yes... He still wants to play professional baseball!

Last edited by floridafan
Originally Posted by floridafan:

Just to fill you guys and gals in, my son landed in Quebec today after signing a contract with Trois-Rivieres. There are 4 infielders on the team so he should get some at bats. Obviously the hope it to tear it up and find his way back into affiliated ball. He is slated to be the 3rd baseman. We plan to get up to New York to see him this Summer, they play in the NY and NJ area every 10 days or so.

So, yes... He still wants to play professional baseball!

I feel that's GREAT!  He's still has time to get back into affiliated ball, and with that kind of drive, I am very hopeful.

 

A close friend of my son was recently picked up by the Padres after playing 2 years of independent ball (he was not drafted out of HS or college) playing on a good teams and he did very well for his team last season.   

 

I'm really rooting for guys like this as thy fight so hard to get as far as they can.

floridafan,

 

I missed this post. Not on here as much. Congrats to Eric to continue his dream.Matt has several guys he knows playing INDY ball. I hope he has a fun season and gets picked up by someone. Hope all is well!!!

 

Thanks Marley! He is enjoying things so far, knowing he expected to start every game at 3rd has its mental advantages. I hope for a solid fun 300+ at bat season for him! Time will tell!

First things first....I'd love to comment on this quote by PG as I believe in the old saying growing up "that dog will hunt". His words and wisdom do hold water in that anything we all face whether win or lose, succeed or fail does help sharpen our iron and mold us into who we are today as men and women.

 

My point was... Those years spent playing professional baseball should end up being valuable years.  Not just in terms of income, but the experience itself can create some good qualities that fit well in nearly every field. Not to mention, a professional baseball resume can open doors.

 

I'm a wee bit apprehensive about writing this because we all know how this game when it's great there is nothing more beautiful and when it's opposite of that in any aspect it is, well, cruel, heartache, and a wilderness experience. Not to all young men who have played this game most of their lives but, to many it does or can come close.

 

My son played his last collegiate game last year, 2013 and after his former coach who magically accepted another position doing the same gig at another school almost a week after the season was over and had practically pitched his arm off in one week's time trying to win a Regional tourney game to make it to the World Series (which they had already qualified by other winning methods) my son's season was brutally over. He pitched I think 1 summer game because his arm practically fell off his body. So he immediately begin working out like never before and getting back into the books to finish up his degree. He never let on much around me during the past year how bad he was missing being out on the field, on the mound, around his teammates, laughing and just having a great time. But, as his parents we knew he like most young men who finish playing was struggling at certain times and missing the game tremendously. The "what if's" began creeping into head. So, he went to a couple of tryout's here and there. MiLB and Independent alike. He just never seemed to be in the right place at the right time and wanted to be sure if given a shot he would be thankful.

 

I'm getting sleepy as I write this so I may pass out before I am done. lol

 

Last week he received a call from a coach in the Peco's Independent league which is located in most likely the hottest habitat area known to the human race in the US - New Mexico. He plane landed tonite in Albuquerque and tomorrow will drive a 3 hour drive in a rental car to join up with his team. The Roswell Invaders. He believes it is to begin out of the bullpen possibly as a closer. We'll see. Right now he is on cloud 9 and just thankful for the crack in the door. And he realize it is just that - a crack in the door. But like he told me the other day, he'll take it gladly. When someone said that it is for practically chicken feed money they weren't kidding! I think it's more like the chicken feed DUST that flies off the hand when the feed has been thrown! haha. But what does he have to spend money on? (rhetorical) They play everyday. Host family provides meals. Team buys on road trips. He didn't drive the 21 hour trip which means me and mom get a small reprieve this summer (had he not landed employment) with no gas or date money! lol.

 

I've been pleased to see on their website under all the transactions the high number of players that have either been traded to what we would call "upper level" Independent teams and/or MLB teams. While I suppose being traded from one Indy league team to another might be like kissing your sister it seems that when you can make this leap and move a step up and get the chance or potential to play in front of more Scouts then it's a good thing. That seems to be all you need sometimes in this game or business.

 

My church and Deacon's prayed over my son today during service and it was awesome to feel and know that your church family is standing in the gap and saying "we will be praying for you!" God is good. In the adversities and trials of life just as He is when things are going peachy good.

 

I read this quote below to my son yesterday as I was studying for my Sunday School lesson and I think it resonates from what true perspective we should view our endeavors and not worry about what anyone else thinks in our attempts. After reading this I know now that I can never erase or forget the words.

 

"It's not the critic who counts. Not the one who points out how the
strong man stumbles, or how the doer of deeds might have done it better.
The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena whose face
is marred with sweat and dust and blood. Who strives valiantly. Who errs
and comes up short again and again and again. Who knows the great
enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause.
Who, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his
place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither
victory nor defeat." Theodore Roosevelt

 

As Floridafan so eloquently puts it...."The dream continues......stay tuned!"

 

YGD

Last edited by YoungGunDad

One thing that is wrong is minor league wages have not kept up with inflation. Since 1976 inflation is 400%. Minor league wages are up 75%. That's not right.

 

Where one of the legal people is wrong is about minor league teams being so profitable. It's not about low player salaries. Affiliated minor league teams don't pay player salaries. The affiliated MLB franchise pays them.

I don't think there can be any argument that many will play for free  or food, or the concept that MILB creates an opportunity. That is not the legal issue.  The question is whether the players are entitled to the protection of certain wage and hour laws, especially now that  MLB has become an incredibly lucrative business.

So, with those changes in the nature of MLB, is it right that MLB should be "exempt" for laws governing the treatment and pay of its employees,  which are required of nearly every other business in the Country.

For instance, players get hurt all the time. Should MLB and its teams be exempt from the requirement to carry  workers' compensation coverage and benefits for those employees who get hurt on the job?  Should players "assume the risk" of injury, some career threatening and some of which impact on earnings and work after baseball, because there are many who would play for free or the opportunity to be a MLB player?

Should  it enough a player who has a career ending injury which impacts their income ability after baseball  that MLB "rewards" players with the opportunity to play the game they "love" when it is the talent and skills of the players which is  creating millions and billions of dollars in revenue for the owners of MLB teams and Milb franchises? By analogy, should NFL and former NFL players assume the risk of dementia and other longer term issues created by concussions because the NFL provided an opportunity to play the game they love?

These are some of the issues and balances which are the  the subject of the lawsuits. It is not clear that the wage/hour laws will apply to MLB as they apply to every other employer in the Country. It certainly seems fair that the questions are being asked, in my view.

If MLB should be required to cover employees for the medical and disability caused by work related injuries, should MLB also be required to comply with wage and hour laws for those same employees, and does the current compensation system set by  MLB meet those obligations? Those are the issues in question.

Last edited by infielddad
Originally Posted by BaseballInstructor50:

As a former 10 yr professional player, I would do it all again.  The pay is tough at first but you are playing to join an elite group and challenge yourself to be the best.  Here is an article I wrote in response to the former minor league players suing for compensation.  Hope you enjoy

 

http://baseballminded.com/will-pitch-for-food/

The logic in your article could be used to argue MLBers shouldn't make millions. They should be happy to play. I believe minor league pay should keep up with inflation. In the same time inflation has increased 400% minor league pay has increased 75%. That's not right. Without an anti-trust exemption baseball could never get away with it.

Originally Posted by BaseballInstructor50:

As a former 10 yr professional player, I would do it all again.  The pay is tough at first but you are playing to join an elite group and challenge yourself to be the best.  Here is an article I wrote in response to the former minor league players suing for compensation.  Hope you enjoy

 

http://baseballminded.com/will-pitch-for-food/

you are forgetting that at this level, this is a business and players are labor.  Again if it weren't from the anti-trust exemption that MLB enjoys there wouldn't be ANY argument here.   Not sure why the antitrust exemption should exempt MLB from other elements of common applicable  labor law  -- like the minimum wage.  

Capitalism isn't evil. But when business takes advantage of labor you get unions. Baseball is taking advantage of minor leaguers via an exemption they shouldn't have. Cities, counties and states should also be telling MLB owners, "Build your own damn stadium."

Originally Posted by RJM:

Capitalism isn't evil. But when business takes advantage of labor you get unions. Baseball is taking advantage of minor leaguers via an exemption they shouldn't have. Cities, counties and states should also be telling MLB owners, "Build your own damn stadium."

RJM, 

 

It's not so much business taking advantage of labor, it's the preposterous situation in which MLB and MLBPA, two parties with no obligation to look out for MiLB player interests,   negotiate all the rules for minor leaguers' signing bonuses, draft, free agency, salaries, and work conditions.   

 

 MiLB players deserve a seat at the table; however, their youth, inexperience, MLB dreams, short career cycles and easy replaceability make MiLB players reluctant to assert their collective bargaining rights and difficult to organize.  

Originally Posted by Swampboy:
Originally Posted by RJM:

Capitalism isn't evil. But when business takes advantage of labor you get unions. Baseball is taking advantage of minor leaguers via an exemption they shouldn't have. Cities, counties and states should also be telling MLB owners, "Build your own damn stadium."

RJM, 

 

It's not so much business taking advantage of labor, it's the preposterous situation in which MLB and MLBPA, two parties with no obligation to look out for MiLB player interests,   negotiate all the rules for minor leaguers' signing bonuses, draft, free agency, salaries, and work conditions.   

 

 MiLB players deserve a seat at the table; however, their youth, inexperience, MLB dreams, short career cycles and easy replaceability make MiLB players reluctant to assert their collective bargaining rights and difficult to organize.  

With that background, which I think is quite accurate, one of the byproducts is the wage and hour litigation which is currently pending. For the most part, capitalism exists within a system of competition, not exemptions from competition. MLB is the opposite of capitalism in so many ways. 

Just as Flood, followed by Messersmith and McNally eventually were successful in the challenge to the reserve clause, the current actions challenge a compensation system based in history and power, from one side only, and which is clearly collusive. I would bet that the cost of the payroll for a MILB team is close to a rounding error for each Milb team when compared to total revenue. What is so different from the reserve issue is the Milb players don't have power or resources.

While I think the position of the former and current Milb players has validity, I am not  confident their position will get the result they hope to achieve. This may also end up being a situation where it is shown they don't have all  the resources to run that marathon.

 

I bet there are thousands crossing the border that would love to work at McDonalds does that mean their current employees should  be grateful and work for less than  minimum wage?  

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