I've talked to buddies around the country and have heard of guys working at Lowes, at Mexican restaurants, delivering pizzas, and doing handyman jobs. In a piece last year, I even talked about a buddy who delivered Jimmy John sandwiches using a bike with no breaks.
Applying for these jobs is always odd. You go in, ask for an application, and have to write down "San Francisco Giants" for your previous employer. If you're lucky enough to get an interview, the manager will ask why the hell you need a job if you're a professional ballplayer. But that's only if you're lucky enough to get an interview. Some won't even consider hiring you. They assume you'll want too much money, you have no job skills, or you won't really want the job. And then of course you have to tell them you'll only be able to work for three or four months.
A couple of friends get around this by not even saying they're ballplayers. They tell employers they're college students seeking part-time employment. They claim it makes life a lot easier for them.
What am I doing this off-season? A number of things besides writing this drivel. I've begun giving pitching lessons (a minor league staple), but lessons have been slow. I've also been selling a few pieces of writing (thanks Baseball America), but as others will attest, it's much easier to get published than to get paid. After getting fingerprints taken, paying for a background check, obtaining a TB test, requesting transcripts, and making numerous phone calls, I'm on the sublist at three different school districts, but I've only been called to sub four times in two months. (This is better than a teammate in California, who spent $300 getting certified to sub and still hasn't been called.)
I need to buy a few more Christmas presents, but funds are limited. I could always crawl to my wife and beg for money, but I feel so useless doing that. In fact I already purchased a couple of items for her, but it simply reminded me of a line from "Rounders" (where KGB tells Mike that he's paying him with his money.)
Maybe I'll just make some Christmas gifts. I went down to the basement a few days ago and found old catching gear, cardboard boxes, a few pieces of plywood, and an old microwave. I'm in the process of making a radioactive cardboard catcher. I'm not sure who I'm giving it to, but I think someone will appreciate it.