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The Mariners travel schedule has been brutal

Jun 7, 2012, 10:35 AM EDT

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The Mariners started the season in Japan and since the regular season began have played more road games than any other team. And — because they are so remote — they log more air miles than any other team in baseball, with even divisional games requiring all flights to be longer than two-hours.

Even though they get to fly first class and stay in nice places, it has to take its toll.  Also, as Geoff Baker notes in today’s column, it takes its toll on beat writers:

The point is not to gripe. I love my life and this job. But I’m trying to tell you that the players experience the exact same thing and then have to perform physically on the field. It’s an exhausting experience. The Mariners have a very valid excuse right now. Should their record be better? I don’t know for sure. But if they want to complain about the travel, I won’t criticize them. For myself, I have spent a grand total of 3 1/2 weeks in Seattle the past four months.

That’s insane. For anyone with families, or children, it’s tough to keep up relationships or normal life. Players have their wives and kids travel with them for some of it — as do I — but not all of it. The Mariners have made a huge sacrifice since February in the name of a crazed MLB schedule. Only now, will they get a shot at a normal life.

Baker is a good guy who thinks about things, so don’t take this as an excuse to bash beat writers for complaining about a job you’d kill to have.  Rather, read the column to get some good insight into some behind the scenes things you never get to see.

  1. umrguy42 - Jun 7, 2012 at 11:21 AM

    Presumably, the ballclub charters aircraft for this purpose. Do the beat writers get to ride along, or do they have to fly commercial? If the latter, well, at least you get/have gotten plenty of frequent flier miles, I’d think…

    • umrguy42 - Jun 7, 2012 at 11:27 AM

      *comes back* Great article, I think really makes the point.

  2. kopy - Jun 7, 2012 at 11:58 AM

    It’s a hell of a lot better than the travel the NHL has going on. The Wild and Jets routinely fly halfway across the continent to play divisional games. Only someone on the East Coast would think Minnesota is in the Western half of the United States.

  3. 12strikes - Jun 7, 2012 at 12:07 PM

    Hey if one of those ball players want to swap their multi-million dollar, winter off, traveling jobs for my 80K, 52 weeks a year, stay local job they are more then welcomed to give me a call.

    Bottom you can’t say you love our job then complain about a major part of it.

    • IdahoMariner - Jun 7, 2012 at 1:27 PM

      I am FAR from a Baker apologist….but if you read the article, he is very clearly making the point that THIS YEAR the schedule has been far more brutal than normal. So it’s been above and beyond the normal level of travel for the Ms and their cohorts. The normal travel is worse than other teams,but he still loves his job. This year is clearly another story altogether,especially with that nonsense with coming back from Japan and having to go back to Arizona, then going to Oakland for the in-country opener. Oakland at least got to go straight home from Japan, do a couple exhibitions there, then hosted the Ms when they resumed play.

  4. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Jun 7, 2012 at 12:26 PM

    Travel exhausts me. I can’t imagine playnig 162 game with a schedule starting out like that.

  5. MattJanik - Jun 7, 2012 at 12:28 PM

    I thought that article was brilliant and well-balanced. Just because you have a job you consider the best in the world doesn’t mean there aren’t things about it that suck. Lots of things go on behind the scenes in sports that most fans never even consider.

    A little bit of an apples-to-oranges comparison, but working in Athletic Communications at a small DII school, I have some similar feelings. I’ll tell anybody who will listen that I have the greatest job in the world, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t times when the hours and the nights and the weekends and the detachment from a more “normal” social life don’t wear on you a little.

    As for the “winter off” argument, I promise you baseball players don’t have the winter “off”. I’m sure most of them take some time to themselves after the season ends, but then it’s right back to working out to make sure they’re ready to go in mid-February. Just because games aren’t being played for fans to go watch most certainly does not mean work isn’t being done.

    There’s no more “off-season” for an athlete than there is “off-season” for a more ‘normal’ (for lack of a better word) 9-to-5 job.

    • 12strikes - Jun 7, 2012 at 12:55 PM

      I don’t argue the point that people have things about their job they don’t like. What I’m saying you can’t pull that line out when it related to a major part of your job. It’s like a person that works on computers saying I love my job except for the typing.

      They do have the winter off. No one telling them what time to be at the park or at the air port. No games. It’s their decision to work out. Not a boss telling them to. If they don’t feel like working out they don’t. Could that have ramification later, sure, but that does not change the point that working out is something they want to do, not HAVE to do.

      Travel is a major part of being a MLB player and a MLB Beat writer. You can’t separate the travel.

  6. rcali - Jun 7, 2012 at 1:25 PM

    Wahhhhhhhmmmbulance has arrived. Yes, try traveling in economy seats like a lot of us who travel for work have to do. Don’t forget to bring your credit card for that terrible $8 ham-like sandwhich their selling back there as well.

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