Tuesday, March 22, 2016

#baseballwifelife: The Questions

Monday marked the halfway point of minor league Spring Training.  Maybe it's because I am counting days like a hawk, but it seems like this month is flying by.  D.J. has been having an amazing spring training so far and we cannot wait to see what this season holds for him. 

This is the start of D.J.'s fourth full season in the minor leagues and the system still seems to confuse 99% of everyone that I try to explain it to.  We get questions about the minor league system in general, questions about his living arrangements, pay, and so much more.  When I started writing this post, I wanted to get some other ladies advice, so I posted on the Facebook group I'm a part of.  You would never believe how many responses I got! There had to be over a hundred suggestions of questions that people don't understand about our lifestyle.

So after combing through them, here are some of the questions and hopefully answers to our crazy lifestyle that we live!

Why did he choose to play with the Indians? Is he hoping to be drafted soon? Does he want to make it to the real team?

OK, so what people don't seem to get is that D.J. has already been drafted.  By the Cleveland Indians.  Back in June of 2012.  Every June, the 30 Major League baseball clubs participate in the draft.  They choose roughly 40 players that they want on their teams - from high school kids, to junior college kids, to 4 year college kids.  4 year college kids are eligible for the draft their junior year of school and in some cases if they're 21 by a certain date. In D.J.'s case, teams scouted him in college and after his junior year in June of 2012, the Indians decided they would take a chance on him (since he was hurt at the time) and drafted him in the 39th round. Since he was drafted, he has been on multiple teams in the Indians organization.  So far, he has been on three different levels of teams and is hoping to continue to move up to the "real" team - the Cleveland Indians. So to answer the question above...he had no say in what team would draft him, he has already been drafted and he is already on the real team.  He is not in the major leagues, but he is an employee of the Cleveland Indians organization and is working his way up in the minor league system. 

Why do you still work at Norfolk Collegiate? Doesn't he make enough for you to stay at home? Why don't you just travel with him? Since he plays baseball for a living, doesn't that mean y'all are rich?

First off, I really enjoy my job.  I find that a woman with a career is very valuable in this world today.  That by no means do I dismiss the work that all the stay at home moms I know do.  They work their ass off every day in a different way than I do and I don't know if I would have enough patients to do that, so hats off to you ladies! Second off, no - D.J. does not make enough money for me to stay at home and travel with him every season.  We are fortunate enough to have a place we call home and during the season I man the house.  Last season, my job let me work remotely for the summer, but with my upcoming maternity leave, that is not happening this season.  As much as I would love to see every game D.J. plays and be with all the other baseball wives that are there for the season, that is not the baseball life that works for us.  Everyone has their own story and there is no judgement from any of the baseball ladies on that.  For the record, D.J. only gets paid during the months he is playing baseball.  So technically, he has no income from the months of September until April.  So having a steady income from my job is how we are fortunate enough to live the way we do.  I work because I like my job, we need a steady income and no, D.J. does not make millions (or even thousands) of dollars! 

Why can't he just play for the team in Norfolk? He can't just take a day off to come to the wedding? They play everyday!?!?!

Ah, these are some of the best questions.  Makes me realize how much I didn't know coming into this lifestyle.  It truly is a world of unknown until you experience it for yourself.  As great as it would be for D.J. to be on the Norfolk Tides, that is not possible...unless D.J. got traded to the Baltimore Orioles.  The Tides are the AAA team for the Orioles and he plays on the AA team for the Indians.  Completely different levels and organizations.  Bummer right?! Since they do play every day, off days are sacred.  Off days are spent traveling or sleeping for the most part.  Games are played hundreds of miles apart or an hour down the road.  So no, he can't just take a day off to come home or to your wedding or to the family reunion.  All of our summer holidays are spent traveling to whatever city D.J. is in that weekend! 

What does he do all day if he doesn’t go to the field till like 5?

You know how you go to sleep anywhere between 9-11 p.m. and wake up for work between 6-8 a.m.? Well they work from 1 p.m. till 11 p.m. on average.  So although he may not have to "go into work" until later than a normal 9-5 job, he also has a very different sleep schedule.  Then there are games at 11 a.m. or 1 p.m. that are played after getting home at 11:30 p.m. the night before. Yes, he has to get up early to play baseball, but it's also his job that is based on performance. He can't just go to work and get through it. He has to perform the best way he can each and every time he pitches, or his career may end earlier than we want. 

And a few more without long answers...

How long do you think he’ll keep playing? Hopefully a long time.  Baseball is very unpredictable.  He could be "fired" any day at any time throughout the season. He also says how it would be very hard to walk away from the game he loves. 

What is he going to do after baseball? No idea.  We will cross that bridge when we get there. 

Do you buy a house where he lives or does the team pay for housing? Typically the minor leaguers bunk up with each other - two guys per room in a three bedroom apartment.  Not to mention their wives/girlfriends that come to visit.  Or they have host families that offer up a room in their house for the players. So no, we don't buy a house and the team does NOT pay for housing.  That is all on the responsibility of the player.

If he plays for the Akron Rubberducks, how is he with the Cleveland Indians? The Akron Rubberducks is the AA team affiliate with the Cleveland Indians organization. The affiliates are basically rungs on a ladder with the Cleveland Indians being at the top. 

When will he make it to the bigs? That's the big question.  No one knows.  Could be tomorrow for some players, could be never for others.  That's the risk you take playing professional baseball.  You are always working for the next job opening on the next team up!

Don’t you get lonely when he is gone?! Obviously.  Thanks for rubbing it in.

I really have learned so much since this journey in professional baseball has began and I am happy to answer more questions you may have about our lifestyle! It truly has been a rollercoaster ride since I started dating D.J. and I am thankful for such a level-headed man to be on the ride with.

Oh, and if you want to know more specifically about D.J.'s season so far, check out this link! Heading into the season as the #66 prospect is an amazing accomplishment for someone drafted in the 39th round! 


  1. i can relate to so many of these questions. My favorite is what does he do in the offseasson?

  2. These are great answers! I admire both of you for living this life - I'm sure there are lots of days it isn't easy! Take care and wishing you all a great season.


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