04-05-2014, 11:59 AM #141
The average lifespan of a late round draft pick or minor league signee is what, two or three years at most, to show off their potential for advancement to the higher levels and even consideration for big league play. It is the equivalent of going to school, being an apprentice or an internship. You may get a scholarship (signing bonus) which allows you to live a little better over the time you are trying to make a career.
You get a thousand a month for the time you are playing. You may make some more doing the winter ball thing. I believe players in spring training get something in regards to housing (don't the Twins have a dorm) and some foodstufs.
And you may work 50 hours of more a week, but what else do you do. Yes, you can't play minor league ball and have a second job. The schedule doesn't permit. But you wake up (as major league players do) and can either stay home or go to the office and at the office you have the field to practice, workout facilities (some great, some only okay).
Yes, they should get a bit more (and it slowly rises as they rise) and when you hang around the minors forever (six-year free agents) you do get a more substantial contract, if anyone wishes to hire you.
But you do find out pretty darn early if you are going to make it in the system or not. Every year the team drafts 40-50 guys who are ready to take the jobs of the 150 that played the year before. One-third are cut adrift to battle all the other cut adrifts for a dozen or two openings that MAY happen in other minor league systems, or even keep the dream alive in the even lower paying indy leagues.
Could the teams pay a bit more to help with incidental costs like housing and food, especially since you do have to relocate to not-knowing-until-assigned. And I dread the thought of being a player that starts at Cedar Rapids and gets promoted to Ft. Myers, and advanced to New Britain for a week, and returns to Ft. Myers and the released. Talk about living out of a trunk.
But think about your own post high school years? I remember running off to PA in the 70's and working as a cartoonist assistant for $75 a week and food and room. I did 10 weeks in Colorado for $125 a week as an actor with room and board. Same in Ohio another summer season. I did a residency one summer in Florida for $500, staying with a family. (I will admit that all those money totals were decent for the era). But when I left any of those jobs, I had to scramble home and sack out at the parents, look for more work, and the find a palce to live for a shot period of time. Life was fun and unstable, yet it was part of the elarning process and achieving my later in life goals.
When in college, you pay to go to work everyday, and have to pay to live in a dorm system or live cheaper (and take more food risks) on your own.
I applaud the teams like Eliz and Cedar Rapids that have families to look after the boys of summer, that have halfway decent facilities to make work play.
Would $500,000 plugged into payroll/room/board for the five minor league team be worth it. Hell yes. And making the EST/GCL an Academy with room/board as well as pay a joy of a place to play ball everyday, Who-Ya!
But it is a choice to play ball at any level. It is a choice to try any number of professions when you are young, gaining experience, succeeding, but most often failing, in your dream before entering the real world, which sometimes isn't all that much more pleasant than the dream world you left behind.
Last edited by Rosterman; 04-06-2014 at 09:13 PM.
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Mr. Brooks (04-05-2014)
04-05-2014, 12:03 PM #142
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Excellent post Rosterman.