Ryan Braun attracted some unwanted media attention on March 16 when he told MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy his displeasure with the length of spring training.
Braun said, “My favorite Spring Training at-bat is a first-pitch lineout to center. Or even better, a first-pitch, line drive double play. Because we’re all in the business of saving time. We don’t get paid by the hour. I’m serious. I’m not kidding.”
Baseball is arguably the toughest sport in the country to play. I played baseball for 12 years from tee-ball up through my senior year of high school. At the high school level, we would play 20 games a season. The average pitch speed we would face would be between 60-75 mph, with a few cracking the 80s.
Hitting a baseball at 75 mph is tough, let alone 90-95 consistently with breaking pitches coming at you 10 mph slower. On top of that, a 20-game high school season for me was exhausting and these players are expected to play 33 spring training games on top of their 162 regular season games.
The baseball season, in a nutshell, is too long and I think it is obvious that today’s players do not need six weeks of meaningless baseball to get ready for a season.
Braun didn’t choose the right words to express that opinion. When we as fans hear any kind of professional athlete express the want to fail vs. competing for success, that raises some eyebrows of a person’s character.
When Braun says “we don’t get paid by the hour,” that sends a negative message to those of us everyday people that actually do work by the hour. A lot of people have to get up early in the morning and work a full day just to make ends meet. Braun lives in a world many of us can only dream of making north of $20 million per year.
There are two lessons to be taken from this. Major League Baseball needs to shorten spring training for the sake of these player’s health, and players like Braun need to be careful how they phrase things.
The Brewers are in a rebuilding process so the team doesn’t need any distractions that take time away from what really matters, winning.
Ryan Braun will make $2283 every hour of 2017, whether he's "working" or not. https://t.co/YdaeHR7Yzn
— David Branson (@obxleatherman) March 18, 2017
I really feel for Ryan Braun, and personally wish for him to never have to endure one more second of playing baseball.
— CardsCards (@StlCardsCards) March 17, 2017