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The Professional Free Agent Showcase

Feb 2, 2010, 3:20 PM EDT

Here’s an idea I had never considered: a “three-day mixer” called the Professional Free Agent
Showcase where unemployed baseball players work out for and scouts for teams
looking for talent.  The inaugural one kicks off today and lasts through Thursday at Al Lang Field in
St. Petersburg, Fla.

It’s not for Major League free agents. According to the article it’s for “the six-year, fringe-type ballplayer.”  Minor league free agents mostly, though there are a couple of guys with some big league experience like Tim Raines, Jr. and Nick Beirbrodt. It’s set up by former ballplayer Rob Ducey and former ballplayers such as Cecil Fielder and Heathcliff Slocumb are helping to run it.  It costs each free agent $500 to attend, and basically works like one of those private, Ben Sheets-style private workouts, only for 20 dudes instead of one.

Kind of sounds like a meat market. Kind of sounds depressing. Then again, that describes all manner of things any of the rest of us who have ever been unemployed have had to go through, so it’s really hard to find fault.

  1. Charles Gates - Feb 2, 2010 at 3:24 PM

    What scouts were watching Johnny Damon?

  2. Old Gator - Feb 2, 2010 at 3:32 PM

    Sounds like a frat mixer to me. But even at nineteen, I wouldn’t be caught dead going to one of those things unless I knew I was going to get laid. And for Five hundred freaking dollars??? Sheesh, I would have had to go out and catch maybe three dozen good sized diamondback rattlers to sell to the serpentarium to make that up. Forget it.

  3. Matt @ Fack Youk - Feb 2, 2010 at 3:53 PM

    The MLBPA set something up simialr to this in Spring Training 1995, as there were several established, unsigned MLB veterans. With the compressed regular season and Spring Training time tables following the strike, these guys couldn’t afford to sit around until they were signed. So the union essentially held their own Spring Training camp for these guys so that they wouldn’t be behind the curve when they finally inked a deal.

  4. Union - Feb 2, 2010 at 3:55 PM

    They should rename it, The Professional Free Agent Game Show and turn it into a reality show. It’s not like it would be the first reality show full of washed up stars, I think it has some serious potential.

  5. TF in Tampa - Feb 2, 2010 at 4:10 PM

    Top 10 Appropriate Cliches I can think of in liew of the alternatives:
    10) It takes money, to make money.
    9) You gotta be in it, to win it.
    8) Be there, or be square.
    7) No guts, no glory.
    6) Half a loaf, is better than no loaf.
    5) It sure beats a sharp stick in the eye.
    4) If you wanna play, ya gotta pay.
    3) Thirty is the new twenty.
    2) If it works out, Take the money and run.
    And the #1 reason to show up at the tryout!!!
    1) If it doesn’t work out, Tell em’ to stick it where the sun don’t shine.
    Now, if I’ve missed any fell free to expand the list.

  6. YX - Feb 2, 2010 at 5:08 PM

    Steve Strausbaugh… Maybe Mets would sign mistaken him for Stephen Strasburg and sign him for 15mil.

  7. Hulka - Feb 2, 2010 at 5:54 PM

    Sparky Lyle suggested something very similar to this in his novel “The Year I Owned the Yankees.” His idea was a little spiffier, though…

  8. Lovetta Hornbacher - Feb 15, 2010 at 4:27 PM

    I wish getting over a broken heart can be so easy as following a few steps.. but its not… 😦

  9. Johnnie Rabjohn - Feb 15, 2010 at 4:29 PM

    Hi. I read a few of your other posts and wanted to know if you would be interested in exchanging blogroll links?

  10. online stock trading - Feb 16, 2010 at 6:49 PM

    There is obviously a lot to learn. There are some good points here.

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