A Dream Job For Insomniacs

added 2/23/2011 by Bob Hulsey

My former supervisor sent me an e-mail the other day. He knows I need to find employment since my layoff a few months ago and wanted to pass along a job opening he had seen. Major League Baseball is offering a "Dream Job".

In a nutshell, the job is to sit and watch every MLB game this season, blog about it and do media appearances. Like most openings nowadays, they don't say how much the job pays until they're about to hire you - like that little detail is really unimportant to most job-seekers.

At first blush, it sounds like a great gig. You get paid to watch, read and talk baseball all day long. Who wouldn't want to do that? I applied, not because I think there's any chance I'll get the job but because I can count it on the log I keep for the Texas Workforce Commission to justify receiving unemployment benefits.

Here are the qualifications as set forth on the MLB website:

  • Strong writing skills.
  • Strong verbal communication skills.
  • Strong organizational skills with the ability to give attention to multiple things at the same time.

    This is easier than you might think. You keep the sound going for all the games at once and then look up when somebody raises his voice. Unless it's Tim McCarver, in which case you ignore it.

  • Must be a baseball expert.

    This gets a little tricky. If they're looking for a SABR geek who can recite what Jeff Fulchino's ERA+ is against lefthanders in night games during the month of July without looking it up, I'm not that type of expert. Somebody like that needs a girlfriend more than he needs a job.

  • Must be comfortable in front of a camera and present a positive public image.

    If the lens doesn't shatter then, yeah, sure, okay. I think.

  • Must have a witty and creative personality.

    That puts me ahead of Tom Grieve on the application list at least.

  • Must complete a background check to the satisfaction of MLB.

    No sweat. If Harold Reynolds can pass a MLB background check, I should have no trouble.

    So far, I've got a chance to make a career out of this but then MLB discloses the deal-breaker:

  • Must reside in a location in New York City chosen by MLB for the entire baseball season.

  • Must be present in that location to observe all regular season and post-season MLB games during the 2011 season.

    In other words, you're a hostage in your NYC man cave for seven months and probably not allowed out for fresh air except the day before and after the All-Star Game and the week spent between playoff series thanks to Turner's preference for re-runs of "C.S.I. Sheboygan" instead of speeding up the post-season so it can end before November.

    Your typical day starts with the 10 a.m. Patriots Day game in Boston and ends at 2 a.m. with a snoozer between the Royals and Mariners at Safeco. All I can imagine is that scene from the movie "A Clockwork Orange" where Malcolm McDowell's eyelids are forced open to view endless scenes of rape and torture. Not that watching the Royals and Mariners is like watching rape and torture but it will definitely seem like sleep deprivation. My starting salary for this is now $50.000.

    This man cave better have some first-class accommodations too. Like the number for at least a half-dozen good delivery joints. There must be at least three ultra-plush couches and recliners because they are going to get quite a workout over the course of seven months. Some DVRs will be essential and at least one 1080i hi-def unit for both the toilet and the shower. A treadmill and periodic visits with a Swedish masseuse should also be required in the contract. And I better make $70,000 to account for New York's voracious tax appetite.

    162 games times 30 teams divided by two opponents is 2,430 games to watch. Add in the All-Star Game and the post-season makes a potential 42 additional games for a grand total of 2,472 contests to watch. I love watching baseball games but not even Chauncey Gardiner loves to watch television that much. By August, I would have pins rammed through my handmade Carlos Zambrano voodoo doll in hopes that Big Z would have another meltdown just to break the monotony.

    Can you imagine how postal you'd become with those same annoying Fox regional commercials night after night after night after friggin' night? And imagine how you'd feel when the NFL season starts and everyone else is watching the Packers and the Bears while you're stuck with the Brewers and the Nationals?

    That's a lot of snark to fill up one blog with. I can be witty, creative, insightful, inciteful, verbose or trivial, but there's only so many ways to say the Pirates suck before your thesaurus forsakes you.

    Not that there wouldn't be some perks. You'd see a lot of great baseball for free. You'd get national notoriety so 30 different fan bases can tell you that you're biased against their team. Your mug would be on the MLB Network as often as Richard Justice. And you can go around in your pajamas all day as much as Hugh Hefner.

    Ultimately, I'd still have to turn them down. First of all, New York gives me the creeps. Every seventh New Yorker looks like Son of Sam and everything in that bedbug-infested land is expensive. I'd feel as comfortable in New York as Lance Berkman or Ed Whitson. Besides, if Texas ever got smart enough or angry enough to secede from the Union, I'd want to be on Texas soil when they slam the borders shut.

    I'd want to be somewhere that I can get authentic Texas barbecue and fresh Louisiana gumbo, not to mention Mexican food cooked by real authentic Mexicans. New York can brag all they want about their world class chefs but nobody does Texas cuisine better than Texans.

    It might be nice to spend a summer out of the 90-degree heat but New York can get as hot and sticky as Houston when it wants to.

    Heck, I might just try this but they'd have to talk it up real nice to get me to go. Make it $100,000 and I'm in - if it comes with free cable and internet. Honey, get Scott Boras on the phone for me.