Minor League Life

3.23.2015

With another baseball season starting there is always another flood of questions as to what is going on for Adam and me and how it all works. Whether from old friends, from new followers, or from people that just have never cared about the whole of baseball. So I decided it was time to blog about the minor league life to field - get it? Field... - a few of the most frequently asked questions from those around us.



What team is he on?

Currently, Adam is in the Arizona Diamondbacks Organization. As far as what team he is on, that all depends on how Spring Training goes. His first year playing professional baseball he played for the Missoula Osprey in Montana and last year he played for the South Bend Silverhawks in Indiana. And both seasons he had a small stint at in Phoenix playing for the Diamondbacks AZL team while he did a little rehab on his shoulder.

So is he trying to get drafted?

Adam has already been drafted. The only way to play major or minor league baseball is to get drafted or signed as a free agent. You don't get a chance to play professionally unless you are already signed with a team. So currently, he is working his was through the Arizona Diamondbacks ranks. He could get traded, but unless that happens we are Diamondbacks people.

Oh, so what team is he on? Triple A?

I feel like this question comes because most people don't realize how in depth the minor league system is. Triple A or Double A teams are a lot more common in TV shows and movies. But the whole minor leagues system is a lot more intricate. Every team has a rookie ball team, Single A, Double A, and Triple A team. And then some organizations have even more than that because they have two or three rookie ball teams and two Single A teams. The Diamondbacks have all of the above. Their Organization is set up like this:

AZL League - AZL Diamonds, Scottsdale AZ
Rookie Ball - Missoula Osprey, Missoula MT
Single A Short Season - Hillsboro Hops, Hilsboro OR
Single A - Kane County Cougars, Geneva IL (used to be South Bend Silverhawks, South Bend IN)
Single A Advanced - Visalia Rawhide, Visalia CA
Double A - Mobile BayBears, Mobile A
Triple A - Reno Aces, Reno NV
Major Leagus - Arizona Diamondbacks, Phoenix AZ

And then you are sorted and divided at the end of Spring Training to the team they feel your skill level is best suited to. And they move and adjust all season long depending on how everyone plays and what the different teams are in need of.

So you don't know where he will be this year?

Nope! We will probably find out the last week or March/first week of April. Right now we have our fingers crossed for a certain team based on his locker room and work group placement at Spring Training. But nothing is ever set in stone until you are on an airplane and headed to the specific location. And even with that, you could play two games and there be a need for you on a different team so they will call a player into their office and say, "Hi, you are leaving tomorrow for this new team." And the guys pack up and move on.

Does he want to make the major leagues?

This is going to sound rude, but duh! Of course he wants to make the major leagues! We wouldn't be putting all this effort and energy and time apart into something if we didn't hope it worked out. If he didn't want to make the big league roster I would tell him to pack up the car and come home. But as long as this is his dream, I am fully supportive. So he wants it, and sometimes I feel like I want it more because it would make life a little easier!

Do you think he has a chance to make the bigs? What position is he?

I do. Adam works hard. He works SO hard. In fact, sometimes I think, "How the heck do you have that much drive and dedication?! How do you only eat chicken and rice?! Don't you want ice cream? I want ice cream." But nope, when he sets a goal he sticks too it. I think he can do it. And he just needs to keep pushing. And he will. He is a pitcher. He throws a fastball, a slider, and a changeup. And he seems to be getting better every season - thanks to his dedication and hard work.

Why do you still have to work then? Don't professional athletes make a lot of money?

I still work because major league players make a lot of money, but minor league players do not. All players are only paid during "in season" months - which means April to September/October depending on playoffs and all that. So a major league player has his "major league minimum" which is still a decent amount or they have a contract which is usually a lot more than that. But a minor league player makes the very smallest amount of money. Depending on the level Adam can make somewhere between $1,200 and $3,000 a month. And while Adam is making his way up and proving himself he is on the lower end of that scale. So while Adam works his way through the minors I work full time in Idaho and hopefully some day I can be a stay at home Mom while Adam makes money with his big league contract. But until then we like our arrangement.

Do you ever wish you could travel with him?

Oh, of course! I have looked into the option of remote jobs. I have looked into the option of working really hard when he is here and then somehow scrapping by when we travel together. But at the end of the day, and no offense to my sweet husband, I think I would hate traveling with him. I think the days would be long - he is at the field every day from about noon until around 10 or 11 at night. And I think I would get bored. And I think I would probably get into some very bad habits of only eating Cheetos and never trying to progress mentally and physically. So yeah, it would be so great to follow my guy around the country, but I think it is better for me to support him while keeping myself busy and mentally strong.

Why Idaho, of all places?

Adam and I have basically lived somewhere different every season so far. We are really trying to find a fit for both the off season and during season. Our first year was Utah, which was great! That is where we met, fell in love, got married, and built a lot of relationships with amazing people. Our friends were there and our family was there. And it was easy for the summer Adam was gone. I would have been happy staying there. But then there was an opportunity to move to Arizona with my job which meant only 4 and half months apart rather than 7. It felt so right. So I took the transfer, we packed up, and we moved to Arizona. And it was great at first! But as soon as Adam left I felt really alone. No friends, no family, no full time support from people who cared about me, and my job wasn't a match for what I like to do. I was basically miserable and it got to the point that Adam could tell from across the country. And he felt really bad. So he asked me where I would want to be. I said Utah or Idaho. And he said go find a job! And so I did. I had options in both states, but at the end of the day Idaho felt best. A great job which offered work-life balance, family, friends, volunteer work, and lots of opportunities to grow and learn. So here we are in Idaho. And I can honestly say there has never been a better fit for our situation.

Seven months is a long time! Is that hard?

Yeah. I won't lie. When Adam leaves it is the hardest. And every year it gets harder, which you would think is not the case since we are getting used to it. But every year we have built a stronger relationship and so it really is hard when he leaves. Bu you know what? I wouldn't have it any other way. I am so happy to be supporting my husband as he lives out his dream, a dream he has had since before he even knew I existed. And I know he would so the same things for me. I love hearing his enthusiasm about how practice went. I look forward to Facetime every single night. I get excited to go visit him and watch his games and meet his teammates. The best choice that we have made though, that makes it easier, is we have included the gospel in our long distance relationship because it is an important aspect of our life. We read scriptures and say prayer together every night when we Facetime. Seven months apart is a long time. It isn't easy, but it is totally worth it to see our communication strengthen and our love for each other deepen in a way that I don't think would have happened without the long distance.

And that is the answers I have to all of the questions that I have been asked many times this year. But I am always open to answering more. Because if you are anything like me, you are curious and slightly nosy. But this is an experience I am totally willing to share with you. Because if it doesn't help you in some shape or form, it might help someone else. This is a life I never expected for myself, but the support and the lessons learned are totally unique and I am happy to share what I can.
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