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2018 MLB Thread

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Hello, peeps.

“I like your interest in sports–ball, chiefest of all–baseball particularly: baseball is our game: the American game: I connect it with our national character. Sports  take people out of doors, get them filled with oxygen–generate some of the brutal customs (so-called brutal customs) which, after all, tend to habituate people to a necessary physical stoicism. We are some ways a dyspeptic, nervous set: anything which will repair such losses may be regarded as a blessing to the race.”

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we are looking for another player in the roto league on here if anyone is interested.  attached is a link to the league thread to post in if you are interested or have any questions. 

 

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19 hours ago, Beau Vine said:

Man that hits close to home. In 2007 when he was only 8 years old, I took my son to Wrigley to see the Astros play the Cubs. We had such a great time that we decided to go see a game at all the MLB parks. The next year we went to NY to catch games at Yankee Stadium and Shea before they were demolished. My brothers couldn't make the trip, but I didn't want my nephews to miss out on the experience, so I brought them along too. After that, my wife and daughter decided that they wanted to tag along as well, so I shifted gears a bit to try to include other things in our itineraries besides baseball that they would enjoy. What resulted was basically our family experiencing Americana at its finest, and we all came to really enjoy the anticipation and adventure of exploring each city and discovering how a game could become so revered as to become our "National Pastime." There are too many memories and stories to share here, but this article really makes me understand how lucky I was that we were able to finish up our quest in Cincinnati last summer just before my son moved to Austin to enroll at Texas. 

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22 minutes ago, Player said:

Man that hits close to home. In 2007 when he was only 8 years old, I took my son to Wrigley to see the Astros play the Cubs. We had such a great time that we decided to go see a game at all the MLB parks. The next year we went to NY to catch games at Yankee Stadium and Shea before they were demolished. My brothers couldn't make the trip, but I didn't want my nephews to miss out on the experience, so I brought them along too. After that, my wife and daughter decided that they wanted to tag along as well, so I shifted gears a bit to try to include other things in our itineraries besides baseball that they would enjoy. What resulted was basically our family experiencing Americana at its finest, and we all came to really enjoy the anticipation and adventure of exploring each city and discovering how a game could become so revered as to become our "National Pastime." There are too many memories and stories to share here, but this article really makes me understand how lucky I was that we were able to finish up our quest in Cincinnati last summer just before my son moved to Austin to enroll at Texas. 

Here's my topper, and I've probably told this before, but fuck it... I had run the Boston Marathon in 2004 and said, that's it, no more marathons.  But then the Red Sox won the WS in 2004 and I thought how fun it would be to be there, and I remembered how much fun it always was to be in Boston on marathon weekend, so I decided to run Boston in 2005 (I ran a qualifying time in 2004) and take my daughter, who was 6 so she could experience it. 

So I took her to a game at Fenway the day before.  And in about the 6th inning, they announced that kids could run the bases after the game.  And I turned to the guy next to me and said did they just say kids could run the bases?  Yeah, can you believe it?  And I told my daughter that she needed to tell the people on the field that she was afraid to run without her daddy, and she said, but I'm not.  And I said, well you need to tell them you're afraid to run without your daddy anyways.  And she said, but dad,  I'm not afreaid.  And I briefly considered acting mentally challenged and going out and running the bases on my own, but I figured I could never explain that to her, so I stood and watched. 

And this is my favorite picture that I have ever taken:

xUhOdqb.jpg

The next week, I was picking her up from school and we bumped into a good friend who grew up in Boston.  He asked how our trip was.  I looked at her and said "Tell him."

"I got to run the bases at Fenway."

He look at me, and I nodded.  His voice was breaking up when he said, "I've wanted to do that my entire life."

 

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Vlad Jr hit a walkoff hr with 2 outs in Montreal tonight. That was pretty damn cool. 

Edited by shnsajax

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This ain't cool though. 

Quote

Crushing news befell the A's on Tuesday. Their top prospect, left-hander A.J. Puk, has been recommended for Tommy John surgery.

Dr. James Andrews was consulted for a second opinion on Puk and advised ulnar collateral ligament repair surgery, which would keep Puk -- who was expected to make his big league debut this season -- out of action for more than a year.

Puk was selected by the A's as the sixth overall pick in the 2016 Draft.

 

Edited by spystud13

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that was pretty awesome, but I don't think we will be needing more in game interviews...

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Really good read from theathletic.com

Quote

The recent budget bill passed by Congress and signed into law by the President had language guaranteeing minor leaguer baseball players that they would not be paid less than “a weekly salary equal to the minimum wage.” That sounds fine, and yet it's a devastating new legal definition that's designed to put a cap on what minor leaguers can argue they are due. That's because their work week is now legally a 40-hour, seasonal work week that is only relevant during the regular season. It's now codified that teams are able to avoid paying players during Spring Training, the offseason, and anything that lasts more than 40 hours in a given week.

Instead of declaring this ludicrous from my desk—does baseball really seem like a 40-hour work week to anyone?— I thought it might make sense to get a real sense of what it's like to be a minor leaguer. Since baseball has literally called minor leaguers “creative professionals” who are basically all enjoying their own “short-term seasonal apprenticeship,” it makes sense to ask just how seasonal their lives are, what their hours are like all year, and how much they make once you factor in their offseason jobs.

To answer these questions, I turned to former minor leaguer Eric Sim. Born in South Korea, Sim lived there until he was 13. He played in Korea, then in Canada, and after a scholarship at a Kansas junior college, he got a division one scholarship and landed on scouts' radars.

After a good year at the University of South Florida in Tampa, the San Francisco Giants drafted the right-handed catcher in the 27th round in 2010. An OPS over 1.000 in 43 rookie ball games — and of course a seven-year contract with the organization — was enough for Sim to struggle through five years of “seasonal apprenticeships” that paid $1,100 a month, five to six months a year. He even tried to reboot as a pitcher in independent league ball, but that's a whole different bag of beans. For our purposes, we'll focus on his time in the Giants organization.

image4-4.jpg

Now a bar manager in British Columbia, Sim was kind enough to give us insight into his daily schedule as a baseball player, and also how much money he made. While he's unique as a personality — just check out his twitter feed — his story is a common one in the minors. Other minor leaguers confirmed similar details from their own experiences but, worried about their future within baseball, none would agree to go on the record. Understandable.

Let's start with a typical game day, this time for an away game. From the Chronicle of Sim:

3:00 PM: Get to the field
3:00 – 3:30 PM: Heat up the arm, arm stretch by trainer, and [pain-reducing ultra]sound work if needed
3:30 – 4:30 PM: Cage work, tee work, front toss, some batting practice in the cage
4:30 – 5:30 PM: Practice, warm up, play catch, take infield, team defense, more BP
5:30 – 6:30 PM: Pregame meal
6:30 – 6:45 PM: Cage warm-up before game
7:00 – 10:00+ PM: Game
10:00 – 11:00 PM: Ice, cold tub, post-recovery stuff, shower, post-game meal, pack for bus
11:00 PM – 11:00 AM: Augusta GA to Lexington KY, with a few bathroom and food breaks
11:00 AM – 3:00 PM: Sleep for a few hours in a Days Inn
Repeat

I guess you could ignore the fact there are only about two full off days a month, and that there are extra-inning games, and say that the player just worked from three to eleven, eight hours, five times a week, presto bingo, 40-hour work week. You could get cute and say they really only started working at 4:30, but that would be cynically disingenuous if you ask me. Calling this a normal week is already strange, but we can move on.

Did you catch that last part of the schedule? The whole sleeping on a bus part? If I was going to spend ten or more hours traveling to a work event, that would not be considered my own time—that would be company time. It's a tough way to spend your night, either way.

But the argument about pay is not as much about the typical work day as it is about the rest of the year. Let's get to this “seasonal” idea now.

1.jpg
 
Sim (with Ryan Vogelsong) on the San Jose Giants in 2013. (Photo courtesy of Eric Sim)

Baseball players are not paid for spring training. They aren't paid for extended spring training either. I can't, for the life of me, understand why. Here's a day in the life of Eric Sim in the spring.

6:30 AM: Take the early van cuz it has the least amount of people in it.
7:00 – 7:30 AM: Breakfast in the clubhouse, heat up arm, arm stretch by trainer, [ultra]sound work if needed, get meal money
7:30 – 8:30 AM: Early work

8:30 – 9:00 AM: Driveline stuff was banned with the Giants so I had to do my Plyo[care/ weighted ball workout] during a long shower
9:00 – 10:00 AM: Practice: Warm up, play catch, take infield defense practice
10:00 – 11:00 AM: Station work, team defense
11:00 AM – 1:00 PM: BP, bullpens, pitchers do conditioning and shag
1:00 – 2:00 PM: Lunch break, spread provided
2:00 – 5:00 PM: Game
5:00 – 6:00 PM: Ice, cold tub, post-recovery stuff, shower, home
6:00 – 7:00 PM: Happy hour for cheap food and drinks, if missed, reverse happy hour 9pm-11pm

Now you're talking about an eleven-hour unpaid day. Is there any other way to characterize this? The team sells tickets, takes in money at the gate, makes money off of concessions, and the player works all day for two free meals. That happy hour trick — designed to make the most of the meal money and turn it into some sort of salary — was one Sim learned in rookie ball.

“Our best option was to hit up happy hour at Zips sports bar in Scottsdale where they had $1.50 pizza and it's huge,” Sim writes in an email. “None of us ate healthy, as healthy food is expensive as fuck.” 

Before we get to the actual ins and outs of Sim's wallet, let's chronicle an offseason day. It'll raise some issues that are often brought up in any argument about minor league salaries, namely the ostensible long break from work and the chance to get a second job.

7:00 – 9:00 AM: Workout
9:00 – 10:00 AM: Cook three meals for the day to save money
10:00 AM – 2:00 PM: Driveline Baseball throwing program: warm up, jaeger bands, Plyos, long toss, pulldown, mound work, post-recovery work
3:00 – 7:00 PM: Coaching (offseason job #1)

7:00 – 8:00 PM: Giants conditioning program
4:00 – 12:00 AM: Bartend (offseason job #2)

You could look at this day and say he only did one hour of work for his team. You could! Weird to demand six months worth of an hour a day for free, but maybe you could shrug and say it's just an hour. It's homework.

But when does a workout leave the personal arena and enter the professional? He's got a two-hour physical workout on there, and then there's the four hours of totally voluntary developmental work at a facility. Every minor leaguer spends their time in the offseason at some such facility. Some teams have throwing programs and plans for players' offseasons that threaten the “voluntary” designation; other players do those things on their own at a place like Driveline. Sim was definitely not doing all of that work just for fun, even if he found it fun. It's part of trying to be a major leaguer.

And those facilities cost money. All of this costs money. Gloves cost money! Supplements cost money.

I had to get an off-season job every year which I coached and did lessons, but a lot of it went to supplements,” Sim says. “I spent around $300 a month on NSF certified stuff, which is expensive as fuck, plus gym membership $70 a month, gas $150 a month — I lived with my parents so no rent there — but I spent like $300 a month for Driveline, and they gave me a nice discount, since I went once a week driving from home to Seattle. I spent a majority of my day training so I could only work three to four hours a day — worked almost every day, but still couldn't save up any money.” 

So the offseason second jobs barely paid for all the stuff he needed to train for the seasonal job, which didn't pay him in the offseason. And this is without rent, meaning he had to depend on his parents.

There are other items within Sim's accounting that offer a window into the difficulties of a minor leaguer. Meal money was provided outside of the salary, $120 a week in the Arizona Rookie League, but then $20 went to the clubbie who provided those meals, which were… not feasts.

 

 

As you ascend, things get a little better, but not by much, although you'd think the teams would want their players eating better so that they could become better athletes. Living space was another matter.

We all got a three-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment, the rent was $1450 plus utilities and everything else, so we had seven guys in our apartment. Six guys in three rooms, one living in the living room. We shared it evenly so we each paid around $300… almost half our paycheck,” remembers Sim. “Funny story, one of our guys was a different cat and he decided to put curtains up in the living room so that he had some privacy while sleeping in the living room… the legend's name is Joe Biagini, he's in the big leagues now.” 

All of this could be filed under “paying your dues” on the way to the major leagues. But Sim still has his tax return from his final year of playing baseball, which was also his most lucrative and the furthest away from his signing bonus. He showed me the return, and we can try to summarize the income here so that the finances of a minor leaguer can better come into focus.

Take home full-year pay: $17,000
— Salary from baseball: $5,000
— Offseason jobs: $12,000
Food stipend: $1,320
Spring Training meal money: $600
Away game meal money: $1200
Minus clubbie costs: -$480

Equipment costs: $8,500
— One new glove a year: $200
— Batting gloves: $600+
— Other gear (cleats, etc): $2,200 

— Supplements: $1,800
— Offseason gym & Driveline: $2,250
— Gas (drive to Driveline): $1,500

In-season rent: $1,500
— Rent and utilities per month for half a room: $300

Squint and you'll see $18,000 in income—more of it earned by bartending three nights a week in the offseason than by playing baseball. The signing bonus was long gone. Then you'll see nearly $10,000 in fixed baseball-related expenses. That left around $700 a month for clothes, food, and everything else, and that only thanks to his parents donating five months of free rent. $23 a day spending money, in his best year.

In Sim's first year, he did have the $4,500 of his signing bonus in hand, but due partially to playing more than a month in extended Spring Training, he made only $2,875 (!) in baseball wages for five months of play and lost money on the year, even after his two offseason jobs. If only he could have figured out how to eat the free bats he got from the Giants.

Oh, wait.

“Everyone gets two bats each and you have to break one to get a new one from the Giants,” writes Sim. “We all go out to practice and our coaches, including the legend Tom Trebelhorn, raid all of our rooms, find 30 bats stashed in the rooms (one dude had 14 of them so that he could sell them back home). We have a meeting, Treb throws all the bats plus some beers he found (we weren't allowed to have booze in the rooms either) in front of us and yelled at us for 30 minutes.” 

You might read all this and still feel that this is all reasonable sacrifice for a goal. I would disagree, because I see teams getting a benefit from these players. Minor leaguers are lottery tickets for the team, and at the very least also fodder for developmental prospect proving ground, as well as players to help fill out spring training lineups and increase gate receipts. Those are benefits for which teams are now legally protected from paying an otherwise legally established minimum rate.

There might be a fair amount of arguing we could do on these points. But I do think it would be hard to read all of this and believe that this is the description of a seasonal apprenticeship that's really only 40 hours of work five or six months a year.

Try something a little closer to 24/7/365.

 

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Good read, my thoughts on it.

The guys play baseball for a living. If they’re not getting paid enough to survive it’s time to move to your next career or side hustle. If minor league games generated more revenue they’d get paid more. It’s the beauty of capitalism. You’re paid what you’re worth or what the goods and services you deliver are perceived to be worth.

 

In short not going to lose any sleep cause minor leagues don’t make a lot of money. They have a shot at a minimum half million dollar lotto ticket by playing a game well enough. Its their risk to take or not take.

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1 hour ago, Hoosier Longhorn said:

Already one huge injury note. Royals catcher Salvador Perz out 4-6 weeks with torn ACL. Huge hit for a team that figures to struggle already.  

I hate it for Salvy but maybe this will help with the losing. Royals are going to suck anyway but gotdam Dayton Moore trying to limit the losing by bringing in veterans (Jay, Duda, Escobar, Moose et al) instead of finding out if any of our minor leaguers have anything to offer. Silly way to do a rebuild if you ask me. I'm heading to Kaufman in just a little bit.

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30 minutes ago, Shoxthemonkey said:

I hate it for Salvy but maybe this will help with the losing. Royals are going to suck anyway but gotdam Dayton Moore trying to limit the losing by bringing in veterans (Jay, Duda, Escobar, Moose et al) instead of finding out if any of our minor leaguers have anything to offer. Silly way to do a rebuild if you ask me. I'm heading to Kaufman in just a little bit.

KC is my second team and I agree on your points. I think bringing back Moose was more to sell tickets. I doubt Duda,Jay or a few others finish the season as a Royal. 

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Moose was a steal for a year and I'm really surprised that nobody offered him more than the Royals did for just a year. Maybe they did and he just wanted to stay in his own house while it all gets sorted out, I don't know. All I know for sure is that our farm system doesn't have very many pieces that other teams covet. I also know that GDDM and Lonnie Goldberg don't have a very good record with draft picks .We're likely screwed either way.

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This pitcher is a fucking disaster.

Also it was hilarious watching Jeter look around with a “where da fuck are all the fans?” look on his face about 5 minutes before first pitch.

Welcome to Miami home slice.

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