This is a great time of year for most baseball players and fans--All the excitement of your major league team dwindling down the roster.
For some players, it's wondering if they are going to make the major league team and spend their first opening day as a big league player. For minor league players, it's wondering if they are going to move up a level or have to repeat one.
Here is a question that every minor league player is asked a thousand times every offseason: "Where are you going to be next year?"
They don't know!
It's March 26th and most minor league players still don't know where or if they are going.
Opening Day is just a week or so away. But, this is not such happy time for many professional baseball players, scouts, coaches and executives. In the next few days, some major league players and many minor league players will be released for the first and/or last time.
This is a difficult decision for many baseball executives. They have to make the decision that a particular player will not play another day of professional baseball for their organization. For some players, this is the first time they will realize that they will not play in the major leagues. Not a happy day!
It happens to about 20 to 40 minor league players from each organization every year.
Each team signs about 20 to 30 of the 50 picks from the First-Year Player Draft each year. Then they will sign some non drafted amatuer players, some players from other countries and some minor league free agents.
There are only so many roster spots on each team. With 20 to 40 new players in, 20 to 40 have to go. There are many reasons why a player will be released. Lack of success, getting older, injuries, and many others. At some point, whether a player was a bonus baby or not, they have to put up or get put out. That time comes for every player at some point. For many, that time is now.
Think about the fact that when these players were signed, they were usually the best of the best from whereever they came from. Some had a big send off from their home town. That player was going to put that town on the map. That can be difficult to handle when you go back home a few years later as a failure in many peoples eyes. A failure? Most people have no idea what type of competition that player was up against--only the best of the best from all over the world. Not an easy task by any means.
Good luck to all the players in this situation. I hope they are able to handle the pressure of going back home and facing the music, so to speak.
If they gave it everything they had, they should hold their heads up high and learn from their experiences. Failure is a life experience, not just a baseball experience.