Often times fans see major league baseball players as super human athletes that simply collect a paycheck while playing a child’s game. When the Minnesota Twins signed Blaine Boyer this offseason, they obviously got a pitcher competing for a bullpen roster spot, but they may not have known the perspective he is able to put on the game. From a fan’s perspective, it’s something truly remarkable.
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A quick look at Blaine Boyer’s page on Baseball Reference quickly allows you to see that something sticks out. The former San Diego Padres pitcher has a gap from 2011-2014. While players like Johan Santana may have injuries to fill that time period, Boyer filled his with uncertainty.
In his time away from Major League Baseball, Blaine Boyer considered retirement, acted upon it, traveled, and found his way back. Deciding that baseball may be keeping him from other life choices, Boyer decided to hang up his cleats and pursue other avenues. At the end of the day, it was that the game left a hole.
In a piece by the Star Tribune’s Phil Miller, Boyer sums it up saying, “I was just so tired of the lifestyle, of the travel and the empty days. I was ready to move on to whatever the next chapter of my life would be. The major league lifestyle can be pretty depressing. Everybody sees the money and the glamour, but there’s a lot of alone time, a lot of time to think about whether you’re really happy like this, sitting around hotel rooms and clubhouses in one city after another. You feel like you’re missing out on some important things.”
Seeing him explain it, Boyer’s comments quickly push a rethinking of exactly how a fan views the major league lifestyle. While the salary is always going to be a healthy chunk of change, believing every player makes the multiple millions of dollars is also a stretch.
Miller gets into more depth with Boyer when talking about life after baseball, and his time he spent with his family during his initial retirement. The piece gives great insight to who Blaine Boyer is as a person, and truly encompasses baseball as so much more than a game. While Boyer is looking to make the Twins roster, there is so much more to it than that for him.
Boyer’s family plans on traveling this season to stay close to him. His wife, and two children (3 and 4 years old), will follow dad in his endeavors as they take place on the mound this season. Once again though, Boyer will have the chance to evaluate the game on his terms. At the end of March, Boyer could opt out of his contract with the Twins, and set a new path once again.
At the end of the day, Blaine Boyer defines baseball in its purest form. While it’s a great game, it’s just that, and when it gets overshadowed by other avenues in life, it’s more than ok to walk away.
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