Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Hardest life of a Jersey Chaser

A lot of people ask me what women I think have it the hardest when it comes to professional jersey chasing, aka actually dating/marrying one of these fuckers.

Like I said, I think cheating is really rampant in soccer, but one life I wouldn't really want back is that of the minor league baseball girlfriend. It was fun when I was 19/20, but I couldn't imagine still being there at this point in my life.

I love baseball. I could watch it all day, every day. Major League, Minor League, NCAA (maybe not little league), I love watching good baseball, as well as horrendously terrible baseball. So dating a dude in the minors was naturally, at first really fucking fun for me.

I love getting to travel. When college got to me, I'd be able to pick up and go to Tampa or NY or wherever and get away from school and immerse myself in baseball. But when it got to a point where all my fights were conducted via AIM and the phone, and a lot of birthdays were missed and like, I never went out because I hated being the 7th wheel, it started to suck.

I never worried that my ex baseballer cheated. But I know a ton who did. And still do. And then their girlfriends would come visit and I'd have to put on this face like "oh no you're boyfriend totally wasn't banging some random cocktail waitress with hair extensions on his air mattress last night".

The minor leaguers live literally on minimum wage and in shithole apartments, no less. I think my ex at the time was making a little more than 400 a week. And yes, he had a hefty signing bonus, but most stupid dudes blow through that shit on cars and drugs and happy ending massages. They don't have any concept of managing and end up seriously relying on that 400 a week and the fact that they are living in a 2 bedroom apartment with 7 guys. At one point, our apartment in Charleston had no cable. So when they'd go on road trips, I'd watch every fucking DVD possible.

The releasing and the trades, that's a whollllle other issue. I mean, it was one thing for me who could travel anywhere anyway, but for a girl who has a job and god forbid a kid, up rooting your life to follow a minor league contract is insanely difficult. Because more often than not, a.) there is no guarantee and b.) it's going to be to some sheisty town in like, Georgia or Arkansas. And the other option isn't any better - stay where you are by yourself/with your kid while your husband plays ball? Oh that's thrilling.

God, I used to watch that Fort Minor vide all the time, where it showed the pitcher for the Cub's wife and the twins and she talked about how hard it was during the season, and I'd bawl my eyes out because I was like holy shit this is going to be my life.

162 games a year for the majors is a lot of fucking time commitment. Baseball is one of the hardest sports to break into the majors simply because there are so fucking many of them. 30 teams, and each team has Triple A, Double A, High A, Short Season Low A, Short Season High A, and like, a gulf coast league. I mean, with soccer, you have the NCAA to showcase your abilities, the MLS to hone them, and a ton of different leagues with one reserve team in Europe. Football? You play in the NCAA, you get drafted, you are on a team. NBA? You play NCAA, you get drafted, you hopefully play in the NBA. Hockey? Fine, credit where due, you play college or juniors and work your way into an ECHL or AHL affiliate with a contract, but you don't have like 7 levels of minor league to compete with. And when you're playing for a team like the Yankees or the Redsox or the Dodgers, they buy their talent. They trade away their farm talent for seasoned reps that never pan out. I know dudes who are fully capable of playing major league for the Yankees and they will never get the call up. They're languishing in the minors, getting older every year.

And it's very hard to quit. It's very hard to walk away. After six or seven years of putting up with the bullshit, being in double or triple A, it's hard to up and quit and start a new life with a regular job. And for the girlfriends and wives, it's very hard to give up on your relationship. You want to believe so badly in your dude's abilities, but in the grand scheme of things it has nothing to do with abilities, it has to do with opportunities that come so few and far between. And you're playing a balancing game - teetering on the edge of poverty while he's in the minors, praying for a $414,000 minimum wage if he gets the permanent call up.

And trust me, these dudes cheat too. In the majors, in the minors, when people say "they have girlfriends in every town", I actually know two guys who have multiple girlfriends in multiple cities that don't include their hometowns and wives. The length of schedule makes it totally possible. And then you have the women who stuck it out and had it pay off for them, and now they are trading in fidelity for the minimum wage of the major league.

It was fun when I was a kid. When I had the time to dick around, when I didn't care about where I lived so much, when all I wanted to do was be with the guy I was with and watch baseball and be proud of him and drink beers illegally in ripped jeans and flip flops. But at 25, while I still love to dick around in different ways, a little bit of stability goes a long way. I would totally consider dating a baseball player - mainly because I know a lot of the cheaters already - but I don't know if I could ever do the minor league life again. It has nothing to do with money or anything like that, to be honest. It has to do with security in terms of being in one place and knowing a little bit better of where you'll be in a year, or five. I don't like the guess work. Professional sports have taught me that. Baseball especially.

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