Today's the day the hotshots at MLB HQ and the billionaires club discuss when to get Major League Baseball players back on the field. It's been a rough few months, but it looks like we weathered the storm. Great job everybody.
Want to point out a dynamite blog from White Sox Dave yesterday on what's supposed to transpire today, and what some potential hang-ups could be (for this "season" and in the future). (Really great stuff in this thought out, well written piece by WSD)
So fingers crossed these guys figure out a revenue split and get the wheels in motion so we have baseball back in our lives stat.
The prolonged absence and uncertainty over the last few months got me thinking what if baseball didn't come back? For a real long time. What would all these guys do if they weren't sitting on nest eggs and all of a sudden needed income (I realize it's far fetched but I'm a fuckin weirdo like that)
I got to thinking of some realistic, and some not so realistic, scenarios and ran them by some friends for their input.
This doesn't come from left-field (get it?) either. Back in the day, before athletes were given gonezo contracts, many of them had to work second jobs in the offseason. Not talking about scrubs or no-name guys either. I'm talking Hall of Famers.
Take for example Mickey Mantle. In his first "pro" season, he was moved back and forth between the New York Yankees and their top farm team (Triple A wasn't a thing back then) The Kansas City Blues, by manager Casey Stengel. The Commerce Comet's salary for the 1951 season was $7,500. Adjusted for inflation, $7,500.00 in 1951 is equal to $77,092.20 in 2020. Sounds like a decent amount of money for a kid and his dad from the middle of nowhere Oklahoma back then. But Mantle spent that offseason with his father, Mutt, working the lead and zinc mines.
Mantle's manager, Casey Stengel, famously drove a taxi cab in his offseasons back in his hometown of Kansas City.
Nearly 50 years prior Cubs stud pitcher Mordecai Brown also worked the mines in his offseason.
In 1906 Chicago Cubs pitcher Mordecai “Three Finger” Brown won 26 games leading the Cubs to the National League pennant. Despite his stardom, he made just $2,800. He took a coal-mining job at season’s end to help pay his bills.
All-star Christy Mathewson pumped gas at a service station. Walter Johnson dug postholes for the Idaho Telephone Company while Lefty Gomez removed sludge from refinery tanks for Union Oil. Pittsburgh Pirates shortstop Honus Wagner founded a circus with his brothers. Opting to avoid animals and rely on clowns and acrobats, the circus was a failure and Wagner went broke.
Then you have Jim Palmer, who in 1966 also made $7,500 despite being an absolute force all season, winning a World Series pitching matchup against Sandy Koufax, and a World Title.
Splice Today - In Game 2 of the 1966 World Series, 20-year-old pitcher Jim Palmer tossed a complete-game shutout against the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Baltimore Orioles won the series and Palmer became an overnight sensation. Palmer’s salary for the season was $7,500. Even with his $11,000 World Series bonus, it wasn’t enough to cover the cost of a new home and the birth of his first child. So he took a second job. He sold suits at Hamburgers Clothing in downtown Baltimore for $150 a week, “enough to pay for groceries, hot water and electricity.”
Cardinals HOF'er Stan Musial ran his own Christmas Tree business in St. Louis in the offseason.
Yogi Berra also had a foot in the Christmas tree game, as well as several other hustles.
Legendary Yankee, Yogi Berra, had numerous offseason jobs. He worked as a hardware salesman for Sears Roebuck, a waiter for an Italian restaurant and a salesman for a New Jersey men’s shop. Berra later became a spokesman for Yoo-hoo chocolate drinks. Instead of a salary, he took stock options and Berra ultimately became company vice-president.
Willie Mays sold cars for a Buick Dealership in San Fran.
Tigers pitching legend Denny McLain, a two-time Cy Young Award winner, was a talented organist who gave music lessons and worked as a lounge singer. In 1968 McLain appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show. He played “The Girl From Ipanema” on keyboard with St. Louis pitcher Bob Gibson accompanying him on guitar.
(McLain’s post-season career was less fruitful. In 1985 he was sentenced to 23 years in prison for racketeering, extortion, and drug-related charges.)
Richie Hebner, an infielder for the Pittsburgh Pirates, was literally a ditch digger. And by ditches I mean graves. Hebner’s family owned a cemetery in West Roxbury, Massachusetts, and throughout his career, he buried the dead. He was paid $35 per grave and kept the job for more than 30 years.
Brooklyn Dodger legend Roy Campanella owned and ran a liquor store in Brooklyn.
You get the point. Be it for extra money, or just to stay busy, lots of pro ballplayers had second jobs.
So this idea isn't that far fetched.
Baseball players today obviously make absurd amounts of money in comparison to NFL and NHL players. But there's a good amount of young guys not financially set for generations to come, and there are always guys who are awful with their money. So let's say negotiations nosedive this morning, and God forbid this season gets scrapped. Negotiations on revenue splits go even further south next year after owners took the bath that they did this season. So next season gets axed as well. Now obviously 99% of these guys could go to Asia and kill it playing there. But let's say things escalate between the U.S. and China and Trump forbids travel between here and China, Korea, Japan, etc. in his next term. So baseball isn't an option.
What would these guys do?
You are about to enter another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land of imagination. Next stop, the Twilight Zone!
The year is 2022. Baseball has ripped from our lives by greed, a virus, and politics. Today's players are forced to find something else to do to stay busy or make ends meet.
Let's start with the hometown guys-
A 5 tool player on the field, Javy is shining in a number of different business ventures off the field as well. He's opened a custom tire and paint autobody. On the side his brothers and he would are a successful acrobatic reggaeton dance crew hyping up the tourist crowds in Central Park. He's also expanded his home farming operation (which he already has and runs in real life).
Dallas is the only white barber at an all-black barbershop.
Jon hosts his own outdoor's show on CMT. When he's bored he drives freight across the country.
Eloy Jimenez is a greeter at Wal-Mart.
Anthony has fulfilled his dream of opening his own breakfast only restaurant in Fort Lauderdale. He runs the kitchen making his famous waffles from scratch every morning. Florida, being the geriatric capital of the world, means a booming 5am-8am crowd so he's closed by 1pm each day. He then takes off his chefs apron and puts on his best floral shirt and hops on his Vespa to ride to his used car lot where he sells dogged out 5.0 Mustang convertibles.
Tim Anderson runs an illegal street racing syndicate, after a raid by the ATF he's forced to flee the country. His whereabouts are unknown and he's on the run.
Lucas began monetizing his Twitch page but wound up spending so much time playing video games he's developed horrible calluses on his hands rendering them useless for pitching. What could have been…
Jason has a few side jobs. He works at his local footlocker and is that super athletic FedEx driver that sprints packages from the truck to your door and finishes his routes 3 hours before the other drivers.
Yoan Moncada opened his own pawn shop in Berwyn where he specializes in liquidating gold chains.
Kyle owns and operates several franchise locations of "Just Salad".
Edwin's begun breeding and training parrots for his new pet store "Edwin's Birds of Paradise."
With Kris' Red Bull deal expiring, no contract, and a new adorable baby to feed, he's pivoted. Instead of going the easy no-brainer route and becoming a male model, he's a floor manager at Dick's Sporting Goods and started his own traveling IT assistance company similar to Geek Squad.
Dylan works at The Mattress Firm as a floor salesman. He looks great in his yellow short sleeve dress shirt tie combo.
Aside from Jason's flourishing restaurant in Columbus, OH, "SeeSaw", (and our upcoming project "Shake-It" in West Town Chicago) he's become THE bar mitzvah Tudor and rising star rabbi in training at the hot new River North synagogue allllll the older bubbalahs would be whispering about at Sunday service.
Ian is a substitute teacher back in Pennslyvania.
Adam is a "sandwich artist" at Subway.
Tim "Bussie" Buss
Joe is driving around the country selling T-Shirts out of his Astro van.
Mike is killing it. Because of course he is. He's moved back home to Millville, NJ where he coaches his high school's JV baseball team. All his players moms wanna bang him and all their dads keep offering to be his assistant. For the first time ever no kid wants to make varsity. He's also fulfilled his lifelong dream of becoming a meteorologist and works at his local Jersey ABC station. He's also a volunteer firefighter. On nights he's not coaching our youth, forecasting the weather, putting out fires, saving lives, or getting cats out of trees, he can be found at South-Jersey driving ranges hustling people.
(Reminder, we are in the Twilight Zone, the year is 2022. Meaning this isn't real)
It seems as if karma has finally caught up to Ryan and he's fallen on tough times. Ryan appointed himself manager at his and former bff Aaron Rogers' co-owned restaurant "The 8-Twelve MVP Bar & Grill" in Brookefield, WI. After losing key staff due to his attitude and seeing sales slide as a result, Ryan allegedly paid an acquaintance to set fire to the place. When the insurance adjuster came to inspect the damage and suspected the cause to be "Jewish Lightning" Ryan was indignant and demanded his insurance company's bosses fire him. Which they did. A detective later proved Ryan to be behind the arson. Charges are pending. Allegedly.
Tony is the new star of the Jesse White Tumblers.
After being fired from his corrections officer job for abusing inmates, Joey now works at his dads company in some made-up role. Everybody hates him because he acts like he runs the place. He's basically Colin Ferrell in Horrible Bosses (very underrated movie).
Christian is a greeter at PacSun at the mall. But his real dream is to go all-in using his grandfather's inheritance to start that paintball company he’s been wanting to start but we all know will never survive.
Jose Altuve has made lemonade out of lemons. Taking advantage of his knack for surveillance he now works with the FBI as one of those guys who sits in the van listening in on wire-taps.
Cody started his own "Foodie blog" called Cody's Critiques where he just complains about restaurants for a living.
Carl Edwards Jr.
Josh is a roadie for a Nickleback cover band.
Clayton is another who got in the retail game. He's a sales associate at Patagonia where his friends and him enjoy a healthy 40% off employee discount.
Justin is running the tilt-a-whirl at the county fair
Tito was bartending at a Four Seasons hotel bar for a week until he said something inappropriate to the concierge and was DFA'd.
Bryce opened his own nightclub. He wears all black suits with black shirts and thinks he’s equivalent to God because he controls who gets in the club and who gets the good tables.
Justin surprisingly ballooned to 300 lbs after Kate left him and he is now a cop in his hometown. Classic asshole who peaked but still wants to be the man so stay out of his way.
Aaron is the real-life Schwarzenaeger character from Kindergarten Cop. A giant oversized teddy bear. He teaches kindergarten at P.S. 178 in the Bronx and is beloved by students and teachers alike. He is up for Teacher of the Year 2022.
That's all I got. If you've got others send them in.
ps - Please give us sports back. Clearly starting to lose my mind.