Major Luxury Baseball

I believe there is a sense among some baseball fans that the players we cheer for and against live something of a charmed life, and while there’s certainly some truth to that sentiment, most of the benefits that baseball players receive is well earned.

It’s true that even on the very pages of this blog, from time to time, we will poke fun at Adam Jones’ inability to take a pitch or Brad Penny’s grease ball or even Adam Lind’s confounding inability to lay off breaking pitches, but our irreverence doesn’t mean we don’t understand just how hard the majority of baseball players work at being the elite athletes that they are.

It may appear as though we are forgetting that baseball players work hard. Rest assured, we understand that they work very hard. Day in and day out, they work hard through the longest schedule in professional sports.

I was reminded of this after reading a recent feature on WEEI.com on Dustin Pedroia. Initially perusing the piece resulted in a shaking of my head at all of the opportunities and benefits afforded the life of a baseball star. You see, Pedroia recently switched up his off season workout regime after the Athlete’s Performance gym moved an inconvenient 45 minutes away from the Boston Red Sox second baseman’s Arizona home. Now, instead of relying on an outside location for his work out regime, he and Andre Ethier of the Los Angeles Dodgers have built something of a compound on Ethier’s property.

Inside the semi-massive “shed” is a layout that includes a batting cage, artificial turf, a kitchen (complete with chef and daily menu), workout room complete with a multitude of weights and exercise items, a lounge area with big-screen television and even a penned in play area for kids the size of [Pedroia's son].

It’s easy to get caught up in the luxury of being able to construct such a thing as part of one’s home, but the real story here is more about the effort in which these baseball players are putting into their preparation. Typically, fans see nine innings of a game being played and make their opinions known based on that. However, we take for granted the time and energy spent merely on being able to play at such a high caliber. The bottom line is that it’s not always fun being a professional athlete.

According to Pedroia:

I think of it as work. That’s how you have to do it. If you want to be a good player you have to put in the time to prepare yourself to do that. Preparation makes you good. If you surround yourself around guys who work their butt off, you’re going to be one of those guys right there with them. We have a good group of guys. It’s fun getting up and going and just putting in the time. We’re doing the stuff we need to do to further our careers and be great that year, that’s how we look at it.

I realize that this verges on a Suzyn Waldman type of sentimental admiration in the style of “Yay, aren’t baseball players awesome,” but as we near the beginning of the season, we’re quite likely to engage in large amounts of mockery and sarcasm directed at these athletes. It should be known that underneath all of that poking of fun lies deep rooted respect for all of the hard work that results in our entertainment.

Comments (12)

  1. Baseball players are fat

  2. Hard “work”??? This is what I call hard play. Sure, it’s physically draining, no argument there. But this is what I do on the weekend for FUN…shag fly balls, work out, hit some dingers (in a little league park, lol).

    I would play in the MLB for freeif it meant working out all day and playing ball all night.

    • I think you’re severely underestimating what baseball players do.

      • I think you’re severely underestimating what people with real jobs have to do.

        • I think you’re severely overestimating the competition for real jobs.

          • I agree that there is more competition and greater demand in the marketplace for elite baseball players than say, medical doctors. According to a free-market perspective, baseball players do earn all the benefits they receive.
            Yet the idealist that I am, I consider not only market demand, but also the value of the job to society when determining whether someone is over or underpaid.
            Or you can hero-worship grown men playing a children’s game for millions of dollars.

          • In all reality, if you take a look at the numbers sports superstars are actually underpaid (while the average player is overpaid).

            Superstars generate insane amounts of income for their team.

            And I still stand behind my point. I would do anything to switch places with even the worst of MLB players.

    • I’m pretty sure you’d feel it was less fun and more work if you had to do it for a 6 month schedule, plus spring training and off-the-field workouts, maintaining a strict diet and schedule. Not to mention playing in a city you might not like, having to move at the whim of a trade or being sent down/called up, being publicly heckled and mocked on a daily basis…

  3. Dustin Pedroia and Andre Ethier will be in the best shape of their lives, come spring training. BOOK IT!

  4. Is there some way that we can convince them to include Litsch and Cecil? It seems like their view of ‘best shape of their lives’ is somewhat more ovoid than mine.

    The two Jays players in the past who were constantly praised for their work effort and preparation were Halladay and Johnny Mac. It would be nice to see that kind of commitment from more players.

    Crap… can we just get the season started please.

  5. I’m here to complain to management that a photo of Ether (in short pants, or something similar) wasn’t used instead of the cheese eater. IT’S ON ANDRE’S PROPERTY AFTER ALL!

    Oh and on the over/under estimating jobs thing: it sucks to travel too.

  6. How did you not finish this article with a line something like “Dustin Pedroia works hard at what he does just like everyone else and is worthy of respect and admiration, the rat-faced bastard.”

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