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Friday, January 11, 2019

Report: Will Middlebrooks to retire

Somewhere, some Red Sox fan is wondering what could have been….

QLE Posted: January 11, 2019 at 06:09 AM | 27 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: injury, retirement, will middlebrooks

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   1. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: January 11, 2019 at 10:09 AM (#5804524)
Probably made about $3 million in his major league career by the age of 29; didn't go to college, married to a beautiful woman (Jenny Dell) who is working on network TV, and they just had their first kid, been married a couple of years. It seems like he is in a good place, but if you're him, what do you do professionally at age 29 with the last 10+ years he's had? Do you go into coaching? Open a gym and training academy near your home? Invest in real estate?
   2. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: January 11, 2019 at 10:14 AM (#5804531)
Realistically how far does that $3 million carry him? WMB never struck me as the brightest dude (I mean this is a guy who didn't want to wear glasses to help him see the baseball) so it's pretty easy to squander that. I don't know what a sideline reporter like Dell earns (is she still working?) but I assume he needs to do something.
   3. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 11, 2019 at 10:28 AM (#5804549)
Will Middlebrooks Retire?
   4. Ziggy's screen name Posted: January 11, 2019 at 10:58 AM (#5804583)
And this is the thread in which I learn that Will Middlebooks hadn't retired three years ago.

Three million may be easy to squander, but it's also easy to not squander. He might be set. If he's not, IIRC lots of initial contracts include a clause saying that the team will pay for college if the player wants to go after he retires.
   5. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: January 11, 2019 at 11:08 AM (#5804592)
Middlebrooks has lifetime healthcare. That helps a lot. No need to get that half-time Starbucks job just for the benefits.

In high school Ms McGunnigle knew a guy who later washed out of a minor league career at 24, with no college degree and no $3 million in lifetime earnings. He then went to MIT, got two degrees in nuclear engineering, and eventually had a directorship under the National Security Council. Maybe Middlebrooks can do something similar. That would show Jose who's smart!
   6. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: January 11, 2019 at 11:20 AM (#5804599)
This guy, former AA reliever, was a friend of mine in law school. Super smart guy - after graduation he signed up with Sidley Austin and is now in-house at Uber. So yeah, he's doing OK in his post-baseball life.
   7. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: January 11, 2019 at 11:24 AM (#5804604)
I'm with Jose about Middlebrooks' reputation...the thing about a guy like this is that he didn't make the money in one fell swoop - it was something like an average of $500K over six years. When you are 23, it looks like you're going to have a career off of his first season, and you are making $300K, you probably buy some fun things (nice car, nice clothes, great meals out, etc.) It's not crazy, but after taxes, how much are you really putting away? Less than $100K, anyway, right? Then, you get to be 26 years old and you realize you are bouncing around as a AAAA guy in San Diego, Milwaukee, etc. By then, he's got to know he's never going to see a $5 million payday, but he's probably put little more than $250K of it into savings.

Jenny Dell is doing well, and a 29-year-old with $250K in the bank is in better position than most of his peers...but he's going to need to get a job, unless Dell makes enough money that he can basically be a stay-at-home-dad for a few years (which is possible).
   8. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: January 11, 2019 at 11:25 AM (#5804606)
This is my office supply salesman. Great guy. I'm confident that Middlebrooks ain't going to MIT and I'm skeptical he can even spell MIT.
   9. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: January 11, 2019 at 11:35 AM (#5804613)
Invest in real estate?

Don't do it, Will :)

But yeah, I don't think it's that hard for former pro athletes to find gainful employment if they don't have a history of legal/other issues. I recently saw that Justin Tuck went to Wharton for his MBA after retiring and now works at Goldman Sachs. Not everyone can manage that, but I think former athletes do pretty well in sales jobs (insurance, real estate, whatever) just to name one area. There's probably a decent number of people out there who would like to shake hands with a former MLBer and see his World Series ring or whatever. And being a decent-looking 6'3 dude with probably a fair bit of self-confidence usually doesn't hurt your career prospects.
   10. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: January 11, 2019 at 03:12 PM (#5804762)
Aww. WMB is the Shea Hillenbrand of the 2013 Red Sox, except not an #######. Dell is on air talent for a major network, so she's probably doing pretty well and since Middlebrooks was in the minors last year they've already probably pared down their costs if necessary.
   11. jmurph Posted: January 11, 2019 at 03:35 PM (#5804773)
Middlebrooks has lifetime healthcare. That helps a lot.

He also has some amount of pension starting fairly young.

I acknowledge, though, that going from thinking he was going to be a star to being a normal guy, even one with some financial perks the rest of us don't have, has to be a difficult adjustment, mentally.
   12. McCoy Posted: January 11, 2019 at 03:45 PM (#5804775)
He could start accessing his pension as early as age 45 but if he did that he'd be hamstringing himself with a little less than $24,000 a year. Whereas if he waits until 62 he'll get over $72,000 a year.
   13. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 11, 2019 at 05:12 PM (#5804808)
This is my office supply salesman.


This guy was a real estate agent at our company for a while.
   14. McCoy Posted: January 11, 2019 at 05:38 PM (#5804818)
This guy was our assistant general manager at a hotel I worked at 5 years ago or so. The closest thing to a major league connection he had was he played high school ball with Steve Clevenger
   15. karlmagnus Posted: January 11, 2019 at 06:23 PM (#5804830)
Surprisingly, Hillenbrand was a much better player (6.3 WaR) and accumulated $19.3 million, which ought to set him up fairly well even after taxes and agents' fees. Middlebrooks really will have to work for a living (Jenny D won't keep him around forever if he doesn't) but hopefully good looks and good personality (from memory) will get him a long way in a sales function, with or without a college degree.
   16. GregD Posted: January 11, 2019 at 06:38 PM (#5804835)
This guy was a neighbor and friend of my dad and worked into his seventies as a golf pro and lived pretty modestly (though respectably). Two-time all-star though even in this day and age the timing of his back and arm problems would have kept him from becoming ridiculously rich, unless his agent negotiated an extension after his fourth or fifth season.

Perhaps predictably, he both suffered terribly from arm problems and also derided baseball's shift to pitch counts. In my day....in his day they burned him out by age 29. But he was a hilarious guy with a million stories.
   17. Styles P. Deadball Posted: January 12, 2019 at 09:59 AM (#5804885)
This guy was a neighbor and friend of my dad and worked into his seventies as a golf pro and lived pretty modestly (though respectably). Two-time all-star though even in this day and age the timing of his back and arm problems would have kept him from becoming ridiculously rich, unless his agent negotiated an extension after his fourth or fifth season.


6'6" 215 lbs in his playing days. The dude was built like a praying mantis.
   18. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: January 12, 2019 at 11:12 AM (#5804892)
My dad holds on occasion with this guy, they're members at the same course. He apparently did ok for himself after baseball, and is still doing lessons.
   19. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: January 12, 2019 at 03:45 PM (#5804935)
Wasn’t Laga one of Sparky’s “next Mickey Mantle” guys?
   20. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: January 12, 2019 at 03:53 PM (#5804936)
Wasn’t Laga one of Sparky’s “next Mickey Mantle” guys?
Doesn’t really narrow it down much.
   21. bookbook Posted: January 12, 2019 at 04:30 PM (#5804939)
a 29-year-old with $250K in the bank is in better position than most of his peers..


The average American has less than $50k in savings, much less the average 29 year old. The truth is that in a city like San Diego, you can live in a fairly modest house and spend $200-300k per year without even starting on extravagances.
   22. GregD Posted: January 12, 2019 at 05:05 PM (#5804940)
6'6" 215 lbs in his playing days. The dude was built like a praying mantis.
Practiced with the Celtics in the offseason one or two years and had good basketball scholarship offers out of high school
   23. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: January 12, 2019 at 05:31 PM (#5804942)
20 - That’s a valid point.

Re: Middlebrooks, he is one of the most memorable players I’ve ever seen at Sox minor league camp. I’ve been going to spring training since 2001. One of my favorite things to do is go to the minor league camp and watch the kids. Middlebrooks stuck out like a sore thumb. At an age when only a few players were driving the ball and those who were were pulling everything Middlebrooks would routinely hit oppo homers. Beyond that, the dude just looked the part. He was tall, strong and had broad shoulders. He just was one of those guys you looked at and said “yeah, he’s an athlete.” He stuck out even among other players.

The other one FWIW was Clay Buchholz. I remember seeing him walking around minor league camp and it was a riot. Every player there typically goes out of his way to have the uniform sharp, hat straight and run everywhere to impress the coaches. Buchholz had his cap askew, shirt half untucked and just seemed to mosey from field to field. I remember thinking that if I had to guess which player was the one busted for stealing laptops from his high school I would have picked Buchholz right away.
   24. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: January 12, 2019 at 07:07 PM (#5804955)
Beyond that, the dude just looked the part. He was tall, strong and had broad shoulders. He just was one of those guys you looked at and said “yeah, he’s an athlete.” He stuck out even among other players.
Maybe he can find success as a jeans salesman.
   25. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: January 12, 2019 at 07:36 PM (#5804962)
His BBRef picture shows him in a Phillies hat, but it looks like he never played a game for them in the majors or minors. Weird.

EDIT: Or, I could have clicked on the article, which explains that he was in the Phillies' organization last year, but got hurt in spring training and didn't play.
   26. TVerik. Old Java Rodney. Posted: January 12, 2019 at 08:52 PM (#5804983)
I last saw Dell at the 2018 World's Strongest Man competition, "sideline reporting" for CBS Sports Network. Which no one gets or cares about.
   27. Joe Bivens, Slack Rumped Rutabaga Head Posted: January 12, 2019 at 09:52 PM (#5804988)
She's on a travelling food eating show.

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