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13 hours ago, Mr. Bigglesworth said:

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.

 

That's your interpretation. Which may very well be the case, but he didn't make it that clear. The exact quote - "The notion that being a professional baseball player is a fun job has strongest appeal to those who know least about it" - could be interpreted as insinuating that it isn't fun at all. Hence the debate. 

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17 hours ago, Mr. Bigglesworth said:

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.

There is an extraordinary difference between playing AA and in the Majors. Easier travel, better hotels, better cities, the fame, nightlife, etc.  Those may mean nothing to you but I would think the typical athlete is more prone to being into those things than you are. But we've been over this so we'll have to agree to disagree. 

To your second point, who said making money is what makes baseball fun? I wouldn't expect it to make engineering fun either. The game itself is already fun. That part is no problem. A problem arises when the the downside - which is clearly a real thing, not body is disputing that - outweighs the fun, but I doubt it ever comes close. The money probably helps there, but that isn't what makes it fun. 

Otherwise, again, you would see productive players quitting once in a while. And we simply do not. Ever. 

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6 hours ago, Yoda said:

There is an extraordinary difference between playing AA and in the Majors. Easier travel, better hotels, better cities, the fame, nightlife, etc.

And my point is those things do not make the career sustainably fun.  They make the hassle of travel less tiresome, but in the end it is still travel.  Being on the road two weeks a month at 2 or 3 different cities will lose its appeal no matter how nice the team plane or hotel accommodations are.

6 hours ago, Yoda said:

A problem arises when the the downside - which is clearly a real thing, not body is disputing that - outweighs the fun, but I doubt it ever comes close. The money probably helps there, but that isn't what makes it fun. 

James never claimed the downsides outweigh the fun.  He merely stated that people outside of it overstate the fun and minimize the downsides associated with being a MLB player.

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6 hours ago, Yoda said:

That's your interpretation. Which may very well be the case, but he didn't make it that clear. The exact quote - "The notion that being a professional baseball player is a fun job has strongest appeal to those who know least about it" - could be interpreted as insinuating that it isn't fun at all. Hence the debate. 

I think my interpretation is the literal interpretation.

Throw on the pile that James tends to state things bombastically for effect / spur discussion, and I think it is pretty clear he was driving towards the idea that some fans romanticize the career and think it is far more fun than it actually is.

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On 2/6/2017 at 6:11 PM, Mr. Bigglesworth said:

Would you play in the minors?

That's a very interesting question... would you play in the minor leagues knowing ahead of time that you'd never make the majors?

Granted, being the minors is a much different job than being in the majors... specifically the travel part.  Flying everywhere and getting higher quality motels vs. long bus trips and motel 6 stays make the travel part a MUCH different animal.  But if we, for the sake of argument, say that you're travel arrangements would be the same as major league, so the only difference is you're paid a LOT less and don't get nearly the same fame... would you do it?

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Even if I had a 10 - 20% shot at making the show, which is much better chance than the vast majority of minor leaguers, I would not agree to be a minor leaguer if it meant I had to give up my current career.  But I do genuinely enjoy what I do and have a good career, so maybe I am not the right person to ask.

In any event, all my thought exercise was intended to drive at is most of the things people associate with being fun for a MLB player are stuff external to actually playing baseball, and I think those things would lose their shine fairly quickly.

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9 minutes ago, Mr. Bigglesworth said:

Even if I had a 10 - 20% shot at making the show, which is much better chance than the vast majority of minor leaguers, I would not agree to be a minor leaguer if it meant I had to give up my current career.  But I do genuinely enjoy what I do and have a good career.

In any event, all my thought exercise was intended to show is a lot of the things people associate with being fun for a MLB player are stuff external to actually playing baseball, and I think those things would lose their shine fairly quickly.

I would completely agree.  Anything done repeatedly starts to become mundane and boring after a while... human nature.  Things you HAVE to do even after they have become mundane and boring start to become annoying.

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On 2/6/2017 at 6:11 PM, Mr. Bigglesworth said:

Would you play in the minors?

If I was younger and wouldn't have to give up an established career, I would do it for the experience. I would not do it now.   

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I admire Don Kelly for his perseverance - he spent 7 years in the minors and got let go by the Tigers before finally getting a peek at The Show with the Pirates.  I wouldn't have done that, although that's easy to say.  No one plans to spend 7 years in the minors, but after the first 4 if your progress has stalled, I think you'd say "I'll give it one more", and you might say that more than once.

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Indeed.  I imagine there are a fair number of guys that would have made the show if they hung on a few more years, but OTOH, it is hard to fault anyone who is 25 and can see the writing on the wall (WRT not having any shot of being a MLB regular).  At some point one has to start preparing for life after baseball.

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55 minutes ago, John_Brian_K said:

I would LOVE to be an MLB player.

So would just about everyone.

I'd also love to be a rock star, porn star, movie/TV star, and/or Magic the Gathering star.

Well, maybe not the last one.

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I think I would dislike the lifestyle of a MLB player but would love the games and the money,  

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I think the lifestyle would get worse the older and more famous you get, presuming you have a family.  As a young guy in your early and mid 20s it's probably a lot of fun.  Just an extension of what you've always done but with nicer furnishings and a lot of walking around money.  As you settle and get used to it all I can see where the novelty wears off.  Have to work harder to keep in shape.  

One day I was driving around the area where Cabrera bought a house, over in the Grosse Pointe area.  Got me wondering if someone like him drives himself to and from the park or does he have a driver?   That area from Comerica Park has some shady spots and the freeway doesn't really take you there.   Would someone that wealthy be riding around by himself on Mack Ave or Jefferson at 11:30?  I know most players live N of Comerica in Birmingham and those areas so they could just go up Woodward or 75.

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6 hours ago, Oblong said:

I think the lifestyle would get worse the older and more famous you get, presuming you have a family.  As a young guy in your early and mid 20s it's probably a lot of fun.  Just an extension of what you've always done but with nicer furnishings and a lot of walking around money.  As you settle and get used to it all I can see where the novelty wears off.  Have to work harder to keep in shape.  

One day I was driving around the area where Cabrera bought a house, over in the Grosse Pointe area.  Got me wondering if someone like him drives himself to and from the park or does he have a driver?   That area from Comerica Park has some shady spots and the freeway doesn't really take you there.   Would someone that wealthy be riding around by himself on Mack Ave or Jefferson at 11:30?  I know most players live N of Comerica in Birmingham and those areas so they could just go up Woodward or 75.

likely, the Lodge.  Miggy used to rent a house from our builder.  It was phat, though not as crazy as the compound he lives in now.

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13 hours ago, Mr. Bigglesworth said:

I'd also love to be a rock star, porn star, movie/TV star, and/or Magic the Gathering star.

Prioritize please.  Note: if "porn star" isn't first it's the wrong answer.

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4 days until pitchers and catchers report

8 days until position players report

14 days until the Florida Southern game

15 days until the first spring training game

53 days until opening day – Tigers @ White Sox

57 days until home opener – Red Sox @ Tigers

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7 hours ago, Charles Liston said:

Prioritize please.  Note: if "porn star" isn't first it's the wrong answer.

I think Rock Star could take care of two birds at once.

 

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Talk about a job people think is great, but probably is horrific in reality...porn star.  If we can discuss the merits of being a pro player as not fun or something only people from the outside think is great...I could go ALL day about how the realities of being a porn star are horrific compared to the perception.

I will take a pro player all day.  Rock Star would be another good example.  That life style leads to excess in all the wrong things IMO.  Sounds great, but most likely is a drag after the first few years.  

The money angle helps with some of these jobs (assuming male porn stars make a lot of money, which I have no idea really), but when the bills need to be paid, even if you are doing something you love it could turn into a drag because your performance dictates your salary in some jobs.

My brother and I love to fish.  We used to talk about how awesome it would be to be a pro fisherman, but the reality of that job is that you get paid based on performance so that great job could get stressful if you are running into bad luck for a few months.  If would cease to be fun in those instances, but a pro ball player making a few mil a year? Even 'scrubs' make that over the course of their careers.  If not enough to retire on it certainly is enough to get them through while they pursue other careers.

Same could be said of a rock star I guess.  Make a boat load of money quickly and then get the **** out and enjoy a healthy life with no real worries about money since you are not addicted to coke, which can become an expensive habit when mixed with parties all the time etc.  Which leads to people going broke.  Very few people could keep up with a lifestyle filled with drugs and alcohol ALL the time past their 30's, which is why so many flame out.

So in summary:

Baseball=Great career

Pr0n Star=not so much

Rock Star=Great if you get out quick

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Why would being a baseball player be less stressful than a pro fisherman?

And the 'scrubs' do not make a couple of million over the course of their career.

First of all, most pro players don't even make the major leagues or make any type of 'real' money.

Those that do make the show, half play 3 seasons or fewer.  That nets you roughly a million in MLB earnings, give or take.  I don't mean to diminish a million dollars, but if you hand most 26 year olds 1 million dollars, very few will have any of it in 10 years.  These guys are the scrubs.  Someone like Mike Rabelo as an example.

If you can get to season 4, you are in good shape.  You are in a group that has a decent chance at a 10 year career, which it seems plausible to retire on with discipline.  Relatively few in this group is a scrub.  Don Kelly has 9 years in and has earned $5.5 Million dollars.  He is probably the scrubbiest guy in this sub group and had to put in a lot of time to get what he got.  That written, most in this group are good major leaguers.

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I would imagine that there is a lot of truth to Boogie Nights. I recently saw a documentary on Netflix about former porn stars and the majority of them didn't have favorable things to share.

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