In The Game: A Response to the Loneliness of a Minor-League Intern

I had a great write up that was mostly pictures of the Weezer concert planned for today, but then a friend of mine sent me the link to this article. While well written, this kid seems to want to guarantee he never works for a team, ever. I understand you want to be a scout and work on the baseball ops side, but do you know how many other people want to do that but are totally willing to do the grunt work too? Let's break this down. I have to be honest, it took me several attempts to read through the whole article. You can read his article first, if you'd like. 
milb internships
Definitely one of my best outfits, maybe I should be a fashion blogger...
I'll be very honest here, I genuinely appreciated all of my internship experiences, and I was technically paying to work [you know, had to take the "internship credit" course and pay tuition for the "hour"]. An internship is defined as "a temporary position with an emphasis on on-the-job training rather than merely employment, and it can be paid or unpaid." [According to google.] When Leo first starts explaining the application process he claims "Who wouldn't want a 19-year-old who would work hard for low pay and be eager to learn the tricks of the trade?" [Now, remember this specific phrase, because he contradicts in a few paragraphs later]. He laments that there "is no single qualification that one must possess to get a chance in this industry" hellloooo it's an internship, first, second, MiLB is the industry for the "jack of all trades"

Leo then convinces an AGM that he was best qualified for the "general intern” position and that he wanted it more than the other people applying for the role. He then immediately belittles the role by saying "It appeared that pretty much anyone my age is qualified to become a minor-league general intern..." yes, because it's an internship role that helps you learn all aspects of MiLB, the best kind of internship to prepare you for a job. I'm assuming his interpretation of the role was that he would just get to hang out, watch baseball, take it easy, and "learn the ropes" of scouting.

The internship begins in May [where Leo learns that working in baseball, you have to work some holidays, I laughed a little when he was surprised he would have to work Mother's Day.] He then goes on to describe his first day by using both "bored" and "boring" followed by "tedious." I can't tell if he's actually owning up to his naiveté or if he's being a jerk when he says "How naive of me to think interns get to watch the game." Seriously? No one just gets to kick back and watch the entire game, except maybe the owner. 

The next week he declares that he didn't like doing data entry, even jokes with "So you want to be a minor league intern, huh?" Seriously, dude? Then he declares that he "figured the job might not be the best route." Then he has the audacity to insinuate that the other front office staff employees had settled with their current roles. He uses the word "complacent" to describe their state, a word with a pretty heavily negative connotation.

I'm going to stop here for a moment, because this young man is pretty much the counter to the argument I made earlier this week that our generation isn't as bad as everyone makes us out to be. Some jobs in baseball are tough to get, others are nearly impossible. Leo has set his sights on a position that doesn't just fall into your lap, you have to make all of the right connections, be in all of the right places, and still have a heavy dose of luck on your side. Leo here complains that he felt "marginalized" in his role and then writes about the front office employees as if he's better than them. The self-described "19-year-old who would work hard for low pay and be eager to learn" I told you that phrase was going to be important.
Now, I am going to quickly wrap this up because the whole thing just makes my blood boil. Leo deigns the internship worthy of one more week. He then has to dress up as the mascot in the third week [better question, how did he make it to the third week as the general intern without having to dress up as the mascot?] and declares that he "was out." In closing, Leo claims to have learned "a lot" with the team and claims to be grateful [which pretty much contradicts his entire tone throughout the article to this point], quotes Billy Beane, and decides to make it you need computer smarts not mascot skills.

If I've said it once, I've said it ten million times, baseball is a very small industry. Everyone knows everyone and everyone talks to everyone. I assume that Leo didn't think about the future career related repercussions of this article or of his quick little three week internship "experiment" in MiLB. I am biased in this situation, because I wanted to work in an MLB front office, but my trip through the minors taught me more than I could have expected, turned into the best way for me to find my dream, and was an experience I was willing to take a low paying job requiring an hour commute one way to stay involved. You can read Leo's full article via Baseball Prospectus here.

I know a lot of my MiLB counterparts read along, do you feel like you've settled and lost the drive to chase your dream by making a name for yourself in the minors? Do you think I'm being too hard on Leo here?

1 comment :

  1. I read this article and laughed. Working in baseball ops and scouting is tough to break into. I think he just thought he could apply and get in.