There are plenty of reasons to envy professional baseball players. Money. Fame. Status. The adulation of thousands, maybe millions, of baseball fans. The ability to play a child's game for a living -- a healthy living at that. Did we mention the money already?
Yes, there are plenty of reasons to want to be a baseball player, but with all of those attractions we mortals tend to forget about the costs. You lead a public life. Your workplace performance isn't scrutinized just by your boss, but by those same thousands that say they love you. And the travel: If you're lucky, you get to see your home and your loved ones about half of the year. That's no fun.
Which is why Sox pitcher Mark Buehrleis already talking about retirement in camp:
When Buehrle wasn't shaking hands with new teammates or hugging old ones Sunday, he was exchanging text messages with his father, John, about the pain of separation from his family. "People may say I'm full of it," said Buehrle, relaxing in front of his locker at the White Sox's new Camelback Ranch. "I don't know. Maybe I am. But as I look at it today, I don't think you're going to see me in a baseball uniform for too many more years. I miss my family too much when I'm away."
Buehrle is 30 and recently became a father. We don't know -- we're still relatively young and childless, praise be to whatever deity is in charge of keeping we irresponsible youths from birthing children we're not ready to take care of -- but we'd imagine that having an 18-month-old son tends to realign your priorities. Stay out on long road trips all year playing the game you love? Or stay at home, sit around, and watch your kid grow up before you miss his whole childhood? Like we said, we don't know. But we can imagine where Mark is coming from here.
Eamonn Brennan is a writer, editor and blogger hunkered down in Lincoln Park. You can also read him at Yahoo! Sports, FanHouse, MOUTHPIECE Sports Blog, and Inside The Hall, or at his personal site, eamonnbrennan.com.