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I would call that rewarding, and I think it analogous to parenting.

I think parenting is challenging and rewarding and a number of other adjectives, but fun isn't really one of them, despite enjoying it.

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59 minutes ago, tiger337 said:

I think it's a fun but difficult job.  JBK seemed to be suggesting it was an easy job, which I don't believe is true.  I would like to be talented enough to play a sport for a living, but the travelling and the pounding your body takes over a 162-game season is draining.  And unless you are really really good, you've got very little job security.  

Easy?  No.  I never once said anything about it being easy.  I do not think I even inferred it.

You guys missed the boat on that statement big time.  It was a pretty simple statement that I did not think left a ton of room for interpretation.  It would be awesome to be a pro player of a sport you loved to play as a kid, may play recreationaly now, and spend your life obsessing over while getting paid an amount of money that is very rarely seen outside of the entertainment industry.  And oh yeah you get 4 months off a year.  

"Off" is a word that can be taken a couple of different ways so I guess I have to explain it.  You are not doing your day to day job which is playing baseball.  You get to do whatever you want.  If you want to stay successful you work out and take care of yourself, but that is not a requirement so you are left with a good amount of free time.  I get 5 weeks a year.  A pro player gets close to 4 months.

This feels like one of those 'the sky is blue' type discussions.  Disagreeing just to disagree. 

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1 hour ago, Yoda said:

This is one of those bad pinterest quotes. It sounds cute, but makes no sense at all. I get his point, it's never as fun as it looks, but he's overcompensating big time. To insinuate that it's not a fun job might be the silliest thing he's ever said. There's a reason they all cry when they have to retire. 

The only way it would not be fun is if you hated the game and did not like to travel.

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41 minutes ago, John_Brian_K said:

 If you want to stay successful you work out and take care of yourself, but that is not a requirement so you are left with a good amount of free time.

I think it's pretty much a requirement now if you want to stay in the game.  

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49 minutes ago, tiger337 said:

I think it's pretty much a requirement now if you want to stay in the game.  

Baseball contracts do not require players to work out in the off season.  I could list about 20 different players who are pretty over weight, but continue to get it done.  They may be the exception, but by no means is it required to work out or take care of yourself.

'Take care of yourself' could mean different things to different people I guess.  One mans eating healthy and staying away from booze may be enough, for others it may mean a strict work out regime and to others it may be mental health over physical health and they do whatever they want in the off season.

I agree you have an overall better shot of staying in the game if you are fit....

slow off season this year.

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2 minutes ago, John_Brian_K said:

Baseball contracts do not require players to work out in the off season.  I could list about 20 different players who are pretty over weight, but continue to get it done.  They may be the exception, but by no means is it required to work out or take care of yourself.

'Take care of yourself' could mean different things to different people I guess.  One mans eating healthy and staying away from booze may be enough, for others it may mean a strict work out regime and to others it may be mental health over physical health and they do whatever they want in the off season.

I agree you have an overall better shot of staying in the game if you are fit....

slow off season this year.

What I mean is that most of them work out hard during the off-season so if somebody slacks off, he is likely going to fall behind.  It's not a legal requirement, but a practical one.  It's not like the old days when weight lifting and other types of strenuous exercise were frowned upon.  

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Just now, tiger337 said:

What I mean is that most of them work out hard during the off-season so if somebody slacks off, he is likely going to fall behind.  It's not a legal requirement, but a practical one.  It's not like the old days when weight lifting and other types of strenuous exercise were frowned upon.  

I agree.  Still a sweet job to have.

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1 hour ago, John_Brian_K said:

Easy?  No.  I never once said anything about it being easy.  I do not think I even inferred it.

You guys missed the boat on that statement big time.  It was a pretty simple statement that I did not think left a ton of room for interpretation.  It would be awesome to be a pro player of a sport you loved to play as a kid, may play recreationaly now, and spend your life obsessing over while getting paid an amount of money that is very rarely seen outside of the entertainment industry.  And oh yeah you get 4 months off a year.  

"Off" is a word that can be taken a couple of different ways so I guess I have to explain it.  You are not doing your day to day job which is playing baseball.  You get to do whatever you want.  If you want to stay successful you work out and take care of yourself, but that is not a requirement so you are left with a good amount of free time.  I get 5 weeks a year.  A pro player gets close to 4 months.

This feels like one of those 'the sky is blue' type discussions.  Disagreeing just to disagree. 

Your simple statement was, unsurprisingly, overly simplistic.

It is analogous to the dude that thinks being with the hottest chick would be the most amazing thing ever.  And it might be for a while.  But no matter how much you like being with her, there comes a point where the other things that come along for the ride to be with her start to wear on you (like her ***hole brother or her damned cat) and you start to take the things that attracted you to her for granted.

I can assure you there are no shortage of MLB players that love what they do but don't view their job like a trip to the amusement park.  Most dislike the travel.  Most feel it is a grind.  Most don't like being bothered by the fans or the media.  Most don't like the hours they have to put training in just to keep a job, and most don't like the business side of professional athletics and the petty crap that goes on when management decides to play favorites.

Yes they are paid a lot of money and gain a lot of fame and opportunities are available to them and theirs that are largely unrivaled.  Yes they play a game they ostensibly loved playing as a child and still love to play.  It is not being suggested that it is a bad job or not a sweet job.  It obviously is the very definition of a sweet job.  Doesn't mean it is the most fun job or even that it is more fun than anyone else who has a career they love.

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And this ignores the much larger number of professional athletes that never stick in the majors.  How fun was the job for them?

And, not to put to fine a point on it, if we don't think being a AA ****-kicker is fun, then why would being a MLB player be fun?

Because their groupies are hotter?  Because the pay and accommodations are amazing?  The crowds bigger?  Being on TV, having more fame?

How long does the novelty of that keep before it is old hat?

The only reason I think it would be sustainably more fun is because the challenge is greater.

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4 hours ago, Mr. Bigglesworth said:

I'll miss my sons terribly when my sons move out and likely will have a private cry, but fun would be not be on my short list of adjectives to describe parenting.

YMMV -  we celebrated.

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1 hour ago, Mr. Bigglesworth said:

And this ignores the much larger number of professional athletes that never stick in the majors.  How fun was the job for them?

And, not to put to fine a point on it, if we don't think being a AA ****-kicker is fun, then why would being a MLB player be fun?

Because their groupies are hotter?  Because the pay and accommodations are amazing?  The crowds bigger?  Being on TV, having more fame?

How long does the novelty of that keep before it is old hat?

The only reason I think it would be sustainably more fun is because the challenge is greater.

I'm not sure what point you're trying to make. How long does the "fun" need to be sustained? Are we talking the 10% or so that last more than 5 years? 

I get that a lot of people don't consider the downside to playing, but I think you're greatly overstating it. This isn't factory work. And yes, all of those things you listed probably matter to a lot of them, and is probably sustainable for a reasonable period of time, in addition to playing the game itself. Otherwise we'd see a lot more players quitting who are still capable of providing some value. 

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I think the actual game maybe the easiest part of being an MLB player.  I think the travel, having to stay in shape, do all the interviews, having to be at the ball park early etc. seems like it would take more of a toll on you then the actual game. 

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Just now, Mr. Bigglesworth said:

Would you play in the minors?

They're not the same thing. I also happen to have a job where I'm paid very well and it's also a lot of fun, so taking a huge pay cut to play in the minors is not something I would do. I also hate busses. There's a big difference between a long bus ride and a plane ride. In the minors, you're visiting a bunch of crappy towns with very little to do. In the majors, you are visiting the nicest cities in the US. That aspect of the traveling would be the biggest reason I wouldn't. 

Again, what's your point? There's an enormous difference between playing in the majors and playing in the minors. 

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3 minutes ago, RandyMarsh said:

I think the actual game maybe the easiest part of being an MLB player.  I think the travel, having to stay in shape, do all the interviews, having to be at the ball park early etc. seems like it would take more of a toll on you then the actual game. 

Obviously. Despite those, I think overall it would still be a very fun job. 

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I think the transparency of your job performance as a MLB player, with detailed stats available for your boss, co-workers and the general public to see, would be a downside to a lot of people. I'd say 50% of the workforce work in jobs where performance measures are rather vague and, at least in the short term, as long as you conduct yourself the right way with people skills you are able to slide by for wqeks or months before even your superiors realize you aren't cutting it.

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Being a consistently high performer on a successful team would be fun.  Being in a cohesive locker room would perhaps be the most fun of all - every funny locker room we've ever been in, times 10.  I think that baseball and hockey are particularly fertile ground for that.  To be sure it would be very stressful, and the marginal guys don't feel secure from one day to the next.  We'd all love to give it a try for a year or two.

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14 hours ago, Yoda said:

Again, what's your point? There's an enormous difference between playing in the majors and playing in the minors. 

My point is to the extent there is a major difference between minors and majors, relatively little of that would or should be impacting the fun of the job.

Another way to look at it.  If my boss told me today that I am to be paid $15M a year for 8 months of work and I must travel to different major cities for 3 - 4 day stints, it wouldn't make my job any more fun.  It would make my job more desirable.  It would mean I could pursue more activities and opportunities on off hours than I can now.  I'd certainly be less likely to quit.  But none of that makes engineering more fun, nor would I image it would make baseball more fun.

I think that is the thrust of James' point.  It isn't that playing baseball or being on a team isn't fun, it is.  It just is that the appeal of the career for those in it has relatively little to do with fun, it has a lot more to do with the salary / opportunities / challenge the career provides.  I also think people conflate desirability of a job with having fun.  That is it.

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12 hours ago, lordstanley said:

I think the transparency of your job performance as a MLB player, with detailed stats available for your boss, co-workers and the general public to see, would be a downside to a lot of people. I'd say 50% of the workforce work in jobs where performance measures are rather vague and, at least in the short term, as long as you conduct yourself the right way with people skills you are able to slide by for wqeks or months before even your superiors realize you aren't cutting it.

Will Rhymes would be gritty enough to get promoted in most offices independent of performance.

Provided he doesn't tweet in off hours.

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12 hours ago, lordstanley said:

I think the transparency of your job performance as a MLB player, with detailed stats available for your boss, co-workers and the general public to see, would be a downside to a lot of people. I'd say 50% of the workforce work in jobs where performance measures are rather vague and, at least in the short term, as long as you conduct yourself the right way with people skills you are able to slide by for wqeks or months before even your superiors realize you aren't cutting it.

I've had days where I sucked but got nowhere near the paycheck that Mark Lowe got last season.  I don't know if that factors into the conversation or not.

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14 hours ago, lordstanley said:

I think the transparency of your job performance as a MLB player, with detailed stats available for your boss, co-workers and the general public to see, would be a downside to a lot of people. I'd say 50% of the workforce work in jobs where performance measures are rather vague and, at least in the short term, as long as you conduct yourself the right way with people skills you are able to slide by for wqeks or months before even your superiors realize you aren't cutting it.

This is exactly why I don't take days off. No vacations, no sick time. I'm always here because I think if I take time off people will figure out I don't really do anything.

My only real skill is doing something next to nothing but different than the day before.

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15 hours ago, RandyMarsh said:

I think the actual game maybe the easiest part of being an MLB player.  I think the travel, having to stay in shape, do all the interviews, having to be at the ball park early etc. seems like it would take more of a toll on you then the actual game. 

not to mention for those guys with families they don't really see them much from February until October.  Even if they live with you in your 'home' city how much do you really se them?  If htey are school aged chances are they are there from mid June to mid august, that's two months.  Probably just a few hours a day.  "Fun" might not be the right word and could be tripping people up here.  I think the camaraderie/brotherhood side of it makes it satisfying, along with the pay.  The satisfaction of a job well done and excelling at what you set out to do in life is very rewarding.  But I imagine come July and August unless your team is in the race it can be a drag.  I remember one year the Tigers had one off day in August.  I thought about my own aches and pains just from doing my thing.  I had tickets to a game, my third one in that week, and I was "too tired" to go.  Just didn't feel like making the drive and all of that.  Then I thought about what it must be like to be a player.

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18 hours ago, RandyMarsh said:

I think the actual game maybe the easiest part of being an MLB player.  I think the travel, having to stay in shape, do all the interviews, having to be at the ball park early etc. seems like it would take more of a toll on you then the actual game. 

The skill set it takes to hit a round ball with a round bat coming at you at 90+ and moving consistently enough to be in the majors would be, IMO, by far the hardest part of the job.

Everyones different of course, but travelling in the majors is not like going on vacation with your family.  There is no making reservations, making sure you have enough money for food, packing, no getting the kids in and out of the car, no planning.  People do all that for you.  You show up to the home ball park or meet the plane at the airport, get on and have everything taken care of.

For me, right now missing the kids would be too tough for me to deal with, because I am used to seeing them everyday.  If I were a big leaguer I doubt I even have kids right now.  If you told me right here and right now I could travel with the team and be a pinch runner or something for a million a year I would figure out a way for the family to travel with me, I would work for 4-5 years and retire.

My dad worked on the line for 40 years.  I am sure he had days where he was dragging because of the monotony of doing the same thing every day, I have bad days...even bad weeks and I am sure MLB players have bad days, but to equate playing baseball and getting paid millions to do it with 'being a drag' is crazy talk IMO.

I enjoy travelling though, so some of the discussion about travelling being a part of what people would hate about it is understandable if you hate travelling to all the best main cities in the country.

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Even with all of the accommodations taken care of paired with 5 star hotels and top end dining available, travel becomes a drag at some point.  They are playing something like 25 road series a season.  That is a lot to pack into 6 months.

Nobody is arguing it isn't objectively an amazing job with crazy compensation and perks.  Nobody.  Everyone involved knows how good they have it.

All was claimed is people outside of the career overstate how fun having the career is.

 

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