Inside the mind of the traded player

Reader Michael Martin has a newish blog, and today he has a thought-provoking piece up. Inspired by a conversation he had with an unnamed former Chicago Cub who was himself once part of a midseason trade, Michael reflects on the often overlooked impact such deals have on the psyche of the player:

To the vast majority of the fans, players are simply components that affect the representation and winning capabilities of their hometown teams. If they under-produce, most don’t care if they’re dumped just like that. If they’re expendable, who cares if they’re gone, so long as they fill in a hole in the roster? Few of us stop to think what that means to the player. How it determines the rest of his season, his career, and the life of his family is rarely fathomed.

Michael’s blog isn’t all about baseball, but it’s all pretty good stuff, so I encourage you all to have a click and read a bit while you wait around to see who gets traded today.

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  1. MooseinOhio said...

    I turned down a job offer that would have required me to be on the road a minimum of three weeks every month because I did not want to be away from my wife and daughter that much.  While the job would have been great for my career it was not great for my life and opted not to accept.  Being away for half the month may have been workable but I couldn’t bring myself to accept a position that easily would have crossed the half a month line.

    While it is not the same scenario as a traded player I can certainly feel for the angst a traded player who has a family may go through. Of course, going from a last place team to a contender may help ease the discomft of being away from the family but it must stink to go in the opposite direction. 

    Granted it may be the break you need to make it on a major league team (e.g. David Murphy from Sox role player to Ranger starter) and long-term may be the best thing for your career.  However I can also see how it could present some challenges short-term.

  2. Wade said...

    Interesting article, to be sure, but aren’t there individually acute, cognitive angles present in any business or job transaction?  Anything can be dissected and/or whittled down further if put under a microscope, and they’re sometimes explained in the following fashion:
    Athlete: “It is what it is, etc., etc”
    Executive: “It’s a business decision”

    And all the science, I don’t understand.
    It’s just my job, six days a week…

    Have a great Friday everybody.

  3. Randy said...

    I think we’re all aware of the changes that come with relocating. I feel no empathy. That’s the tradeoff.

    If I were relocated I would have the same things as the player, plus my neighborhood would be far different and my wife would have to look for a job, the kids would have to acclimate to school and both of us would be working to make our new house a “home”, rather than hiring someone.

    Plus, most ballplayers spend considerable time away from home as it is now. They’ve traveled, been traded and have kids and team friends – before they ever made it the big leagues.

    I understand hitting in one uniform one day and another uniform another day can be tough. But ultimately, for most players, it seems to work out.

  4. Aaron Moreno said...

    The big difference is typically, when someone relocates, they do it by choice. It may not be a good choice, but it’s a choice. Most athletes don’t get that choice. When/if they hit free agency, they get to choose for the first time. What does his old team demand? Loyalty. For what, getting underpaid by whatever team drafted him?

  5. NaOH said...

    Doug Glanville also discussed this topic last year in one of his many fine articles for the NY Times. The piece, titled “Neither Here Nor There,” is available just a click away for those who are interested.

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