Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Fallen

To the average fan, spring training offers a simple glimpse of the future. A young prospect pitching in his first Cactus League game, striking out the side. A newly signed veteran hitting a homerun, meshing with his new teammates. There's unfulfilled promise in the spring. Everyone is full of hope at what the season might entail.

From the outside looking in, the atmosphere seems light. After all, these games are meaningless. Spring is simply a preparation phase. For many minor leaguers--especially the vets--this couldn't be farther from the truth. It's as stressful as it gets.

The end of spring is the time rosters are set. Each day players wander into the clubhouse with their heads down, looking towards a single sheet of paper to learn their fate. The paper consumes them until the very end. Sometimes, names disappear entirely from the paper.

A couple of my best friends saw their names erased today. With the stroke of a pen, Paul Oseguera and David Maroul were released. Oseguera was once rated the top 16 year old in the country. He was even in Sports Illustrated. Almost ten years and several surgeries later, he's looking for a new team.

Oseguera is a great friend and great person. He's one of the guys that I truly miss hanging out with. He'll continue to attempt to play. He knows the talent is still in there somewhere, even if the surgeries have taken much of it away. He has a newborn to provide for and a beautiful wife. Hopefully he soon finds a job within baseball that will earn him at least a little bit of a salary.

Maroul has a similar story. He was once the College World Series' Most Outstanding Player while playing for Texas. A golden glove and a plus arm, combined with power potential, made for an intriguing combination. And he's as nice a guy as you will find.

Clubbies, coaches, and teammates alike will vouch for these guys. Now they're in baseball limbo, wondering if they should continue pursuing a dream or look for another line of work. In their minds, they have more to offer. It's not an easy decision to make.

I wish them and everyone else released all the best of luck. Hopefully they will find happier days, whether they be on or off the diamond.

And for the sake of the players, let the cauldron that is spring soon come to an end.

8 comments:

Mike said...

Just found this blog courtesy of Twitter (Matt Leach). I hope you are able to post more this season. Best of luck in making The Show.

Bill Ivie said...

Absolutely amazing piece, Garrett. Keep us up to date on your progress, sir. Good luck!

Nathan White said...

As a fellow southeast missouri guy and huge baseball fan, I wish you the best. Guessing there hasn't been too many Adavance Hornets make it as far as you already.

obsessivegiantscompulsive said...

Does anybody read? Garrett has already announced his retirement. He's only talking about his buddies.

I agree though that I hope he keeps on posting and I wish him best of luck in whatever path he chooses.

gbroshuis said...

Thanks to the new readers for dropping in! Here's a couple of pieces talking about my retirement:

http://minorleaguelife.blogspot.com/2010/03/thank-you-blanket.html

http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospects/players-perspective/2010/269589.html

Thanks for the warm thoughts everyone.

GB

bacci40 said...

gb,

hope you keep using this blog to post your thoughts about everything...not just baseball

and dang, loved maroul and oseguera

im sure they will catch on elsewhere

jjoemaroul said...

Nicely said. Baseball can be cruel but we all love it! Thanks.

-Johnnie Joe Maroul (Dave's brother)

Renee said...

Thank you for writing such a true piece. This time of year has got to be the most stressful on a ball player. I wish the best for all of you regardless of your pursuits in life. You are all good souls (including you GB).

Happy Easter and welcome to another baseball season.
- Renee (Paul Oseguera's last 'host big sister' in San Jose).