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Offline Pack93z  
#1 Posted : Wednesday, October 30, 2013 12:18:38 PM(UTC)
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ADRIAN CÁRDENAS, 2B, Cubs

24 years old.. finally broke the bigs... and decided it was time to walk away.

A excellent read of the personal cost of playing professionally.. the thought process from behind the fovea of a young ball player.

I enjoyed it enough to share.

The New Yorker wrote:
When you lose yourself in the game, as you must, it’s all too easy to lose your sense of home. It didn’t take long for me to see how it happens, as I became friends with players and heard about the relationships and marriages that broke up, the relatives and close friends who faded from view, the parents or grandparents whose funerals were missed because of an expected call up to the majors. Sometimes I’d stay awake through the night, almost laughing to myself, mentally weighing the small fraction of success against the overshadowing personal and professional failure that comes with being a ballplayer.

I came to realize that professional baseball players are masochists: hitters stand sixty feet and six inches from the mound, waiting to get hit by a pitcher’s bullets; fielders get sucker punched in the face by bad hops, and then ask for a hundred more. We all fail far more than we succeed, humiliating ourselves in front of tens of thousands of fans, trying to attain the unattainable: batting a thousand, pitching without ever losing, secretly seeking the immortality of the record books. In spite of the torments—the career-ending injuries, the demotions, the fear of getting “Wally Pipped”—we keep rolling our baseball-shaped boulders up the impossible hill of the game, knowing we’ll never reach the top. Baseball is visceral, tragic, and absurd, with only fleeting moments of happiness; it may be the best representation of life. I was, and still am, in love with baseball. But I quit.

I quit after trying to balance my life as a professional baseball player with my life as a student during the last three years of my career. In the spring and summer, I played ball. In the fall, I studied creative writing and philosophy at New York University. But with every semester that passed, I loved school more than I loved baseball, and eventually I knew I had to choose one over the other. As I submerged myself into an academic environment, I thought often of my parents, who knew nothing about baseball but raised me with a passion for music and language so great that sports seemed irrelevant by comparison.

I quit because baseball was sacred to me until I started getting paid for it. The more that “baseball” became synonymous with “business,” the less it meant to me, and I saw less of myself in the game every time I got a check from the Philadelphia Phillies Organization, the Oakland Athletic Company, or the Chicago Cubs, L.L.C. To put it simply, other players were much better than I was at separating the game of baseball from the job of baseball. They could enjoy the thrill of a win—as it should be enjoyed—without thinking of what it meant to the owners’ bottom lines. These players, at once the objects of my envy and my admiration, are the resilient ones, still in the game. I am no longer one of them.
I think when there's enough will and aggression, there's no shortage of talent either.

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Offline wpr  
#2 Posted : Wednesday, October 30, 2013 1:07:33 PM(UTC)
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you don't see many kids walking away from $150,000 or more pay day.

Oops I am an old guy. I see the min was $480,000 in 2012.
"You don't hurt 'em if you don't hit 'em." Chesty Puller



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thanks Post received 1 applause.
texaspackerbacker on 10/30/2013(UTC)
Offline Zero2Cool  
#3 Posted : Wednesday, October 30, 2013 1:13:55 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: wpr Go to Quoted Post
you don't see many kids walking away from $150,000 or more pay day.

Oops I am an old guy. I see the min was $480,000 in 2012.


I think I'd stretch it out as long as I could. Save. Invest. Educate myself so when my tenure ran out, my family would be secure and I could pursue dreams more efficiently.

However, with that mindset, I probably wouldn't last long because of the commitment and dedication required to simply be in the bigs.

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Offline wpr  
#4 Posted : Wednesday, October 30, 2013 1:22:53 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Zero2Cool Go to Quoted Post
I think I'd stretch it out as long as I could. Save. Invest. Educate myself so when my tenure ran out, my family would be secure and I could pursue dreams more efficiently.

However, with that mindset, I probably wouldn't last long because of the commitment and dedication required to simply be in the bigs.


2 years. That's all you need to be set for life. He probably would bounce back and forth between AAA and the majors so maybe it would be 3-4 years. Then again I think the kids earn the full salary even when they drop back down to the minors. Maybe not.
"You don't hurt 'em if you don't hit 'em." Chesty Puller



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Offline texaspackerbacker  
#5 Posted : Wednesday, October 30, 2013 5:48:11 PM(UTC)
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A big "yeah right" to that prima donna - to avoid calling him a lot worse.

The other 99.99% of us - from ditch diggers to bank presidents - who would dearly LOVE getting paid to play a fun game just cannot understand his stupid feelings.
Expressing the Good Normal Views of Good Normal Americans.
If Anything I Say Smacks of Extremism, Please Tell Me EXACTLY What.
Offline Wade  
#6 Posted : Thursday, October 31, 2013 1:38:55 PM(UTC)
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I've never been that good at athletics. Heck, I have no idea what being *that* good at anything is like.

On the other hand, while I can fantasize with the best of them about being a "success" at sports (e.g. hitting that winning shot in the NCAA final game), I have a hard time imagining a "career" playing sports. Of course this may simply be the reaction of klutzoid Wade, but while I can fantasize about having game-playing skills that I'd never have, I can't imagine being content with that. And I can imagine wanting something more.

Let me try one of my strained analogies: I'm a poker player. An average poker player. (Okay, below average.) I can imagine being content with a second career of playing limit stud, but winning the World Series by playing no-limit holdem is merely a silly fantasy to me, even though the latter is *far* more lucrative than the former. (If the former is even feasible for a newcomer today.)

What's the difference?

Well, to me, profitable limit stud [which I cannot yet claim an ability for] means putting pretty serious mental skills to work. Serious understanding of probabilities, serious ability to remember and read hands. Serious enough that I can imagine playing full-time for the rest of my life and still having a long way to go in both regards.

NLHE? Frankly, I just can't see the attraction other than the adrenalin/testosterone rush that comes from making a big bet or a big bluff successfully. (Maybe if I was younger, the Vegas Bimbo Hanger-On factor would matter more, but I'd rather have a $5000/night escort with an MA on my arm.) Sure, it would be cool to have that WSOP bracelet (and the bimbos), but frankly I think I'd be bored stiff very soon. It's a nice fantasy. But not much more.

I'm not saying their isn't serious smarts among the top NLHE players. Of course there is. But for me, even though its at the "pinnacle" of the "poker profession", I doubt I'd be content and willing to stay in that job all that long if somehow my fantasy became reality tomorrow.

Now, maybe that's just because I'm not only below average generally, but I'm well below average at NLHE and similar "common card" poker variations. But I don't think it is.

(OTOH, there is no way I realized the above when I was 24. *That* part of the story amazes me.)


None of the above. It wouldn't have been a wasted vote. Obama and Romney -- Those were the wasted votes.
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