Baseball Magazine

Pay Vs Job Security

By Meachrm @BaseballBTYard
In every career there are varying degrees of pay and job security.  Professional baseball is no different.  Some players are extremely high paid and others make closer to the league minimum.  Some players have their "cup of coffee" in the major leagues and others seem to stick around forever.  There could be entire books written on why that is the case but the point is, pro baseball, in some respects, is no different than any other occupation.
When I watch games on TV, I sometimes find myself saying "wow, I played against that guy.  I can't believe he is still playing."  And what amazes me is that most of the guys I say that about are not the premier players and never were, even in their prime.  So what has allowed them to have so much job security in a business that doesn't generally have much?
The answer is the "little things."  These players have a style of play that simply helps teams win.  They play good defense, usually at multiple positions.  They run the bases well.  They move runners up.  They can bunt.  They can hit and run.  They throw strikes.  They stay healthy.  They are positive influences in the clubhouse.  They are good mentors for younger, more talented players.  They are coaches on the field.  In short, they are professionals in everything they do.
It is true that teams need some superstar players and pitchers to win big at the major league level.  But baseball people also know that players like the ones who have the attributes listed above are major pieces of the puzzle.  Ask a casual fan who the top players in the game are and you'll probably hear names like Pujols, Halladay, Jeter, Fielder, Bautista, and Braun.  These are the stars of the game.  You probably won't hear names like Craig Counsell,  Arthur Rhodes, and Darren Oliver.  These guys have been in the major leagues seemingly forever.  They could also walk down practically any street in America and not get recognized.
Some young people go for the enormous pay by putting up huge numbers.  Other people thrive on perfecting the "little things" and performing a needed role.  Both types are important to the success of any team at any level.  And not just in sports.

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