|Although Willie Mays was one of the best major league baseball players, he had to work in the winter for a living|
San Francisco Giants' legend Willie Mays, perhaps the greatest ball player of all time, did not have a multi-year contract where he can support himself for the rest of his life. He had to take on a second job in the offseason just to make ends meet for most of his playing career.
Today, only minor leaguers regularly take on second jobs, but there is at least one current MLB player who is actively working to make a living in the offseason. You can find him playing with one of the Giants' biggest rivals.
According to Charlie Steiner during a Los Angeles Dodgers' radio broadcast, Jerry Sands, first baseman for the Dodgers, works as a substitute teacher during the winter months. He was actually called into work during spring training, but he had to politely decline.
|By brendan-c on Flickr [CC-BY-2.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons|
Working for the MLB definitely has a lot more perks than working as a substitute teacher--and a lot more upside.
Any other players or coaches work during the offseason?
You bet. Giants' third-base coach Tim Flannery works as a musician and makes albums, but I am sure it is more for passion than necessity.
If Sands pans out and overtakes James Loney as a regular, it is safe to say his teaching days are over. However, it's always good to have a back-up plan in case he suffers a career-ending injury.
Remember our old friend Jonathan Sanchez?
Apparently, he has had a rough go as a Kansas City Royal. The inconsistency continues...
Sanchez has a 21.00 ERA, albeit it in just three innings pitched. He has given up seven earned runs in those three innings on seven hits and two walks.
Opponents are hitting .438 against him and his WHIP is 3.00. A bad start or the Giants looking good for trading him?
According to Jon Miller during a Giants' spring training broadcast, the Royals' brass were concerned about Sanchez's velocity being down. His average fastball was around 89 mph, which concerned Kansas City.
However, during one spring training game, Sanchez was clocked throwing 99 mph.
Knowing Jonathan Sanchez and his tendencies, I believe the sudden velocity jump was a product of Sanchez's frustration. He probably saw people getting on him about his low velocity, so he wanted to prove 'em wrong.
So he aired one out. Gotta love Johnny Sanchez.
For those who think Matt Cain will be donning the orange and black for a long time, think again.
According to Andrew Baggarly of Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, Cain said he was "really torn"about his future with the Giants.
CSN Bay Area also reported that Cain was "excited" about the possibility of free agency.
This does not bode well for the Giants. Anytime a player is excited for free agency, it means big money for the player--money the Giants have had a track record of shying away from.
The Giants do not like to overpay for players, so if Cain demands C.C. Sabathia money, $20-25 million, the Giants' right-handed hurler could be wearing pinstripes. If this were the case, I think Cain would be overly thrilled rather than just excited.
The good news is there is hope that Cain and the Giants could work something out.
Baggarly also reported on March 10 that "it would be a surprise" if Cain's deal does not get done before the season starts.
The Giants open up in Arizona in less than three weeks.
|By eürodäna via Wikimedia Commons|
Was Jonathan Sanchez's trade worth it? Will Cabrera be more valuable than Sanchez? Is Sanchez's velocity going to be closer to 99 mph or 89 mph? How will Sanchez do in Kansas City?
Will Jerry Sands be a substitute teacher after this season? Will major league players ever work again in the offseason?
We will find out in the weeks and months ahead.
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Don't forget to take my poll on the left. Who will start for the Giants at first base this season?
Information from Extra Baggs and MLB.com contributed to this article.
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