A recent trip down to Clearwater for a little weekend of spring training action led me to decide one thing for sure: there is no better job in America than a middle reliever. I held the opinion for years that bullpen catcher was the best it gets, but it doesn’t sound so good when you consider spending more time on your knees than Monica and walking like Verbal Kent for the rest of your life.
Sure the NBA average salary is higher, but there is nothing average about being 6’8” and needing specially made clothes the rest of your life. Plus, there’s a lot of running involved. In baseball, you pitch nine innings a week, make a million a year, have all your expenses paid for, and the best part is the pretty pension plan that awaits.
You’ll never get a brass bust in Cooperstown, but you will get to participate the best two months of baseball there are. Spring training for a pitcher entails fielding grounders and hitting golf balls, with a complementary $500/day condo on the Florida coast for two months and $150 for food every day you’re there. Teachers get summer off, baseball players get the winter season off.
The biggest danger you face is twisting an ankle running from the bullpen when someone charges the mound, but those fights are like little league football: lots of yelling from the stands and not much contact. Touring the country in a gutted 757 with your family to do what countless drunken bald men do to vent could be worse.
Of course this is a gross oversimplification, the fatigue of signing autographs is right up there with that of a 40 hour week, but it’s worth it in the long run. What job beats this? As long as you don’t say UK basketball coach or host of “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader,” I’d like to hear because it’s never too early to change majors.