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Giving up allegiance to your team?


The Mojo Maniac

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So, I'm currently looking for work as a broadcaster in Minor League baseball, and in a perfect world I'd like to eventually broadcast for an MLB team.

One problem is, though, I feel very strange about the possibility of never again being able to root for my team (the Mariners) as openly as I currently do, the moment I begin working in another organization (especially that of a rival). Turns out, a few of the specific teams I'd like to work for, are indeed affiliates of M's rivals. :wacko:

Don't get me wrong, I'll readily accept and put my all into any job with any organization. But I'm definitely expecting some initial shock in having to (at least partially) wave goodbye to my lifelong allegiance.

Has anyone else ever been in this situation, regardless of what sport? I'd be interested to hear your viewpoints.

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First off, I suspect you could easily broadcast for a minor league team and not feel to weird about it. Does an A's minor league affiliate winning ball games really bother you as a Mariners fan? I think I could do this (if, you know, I had the skills) for any minor league team with no feelings on conflict. This should buy you some time to get used to following different players much more closely and get used to "the job". You have no idea where your career will take you...but you should have no trouble adjusting to a neutral team...and hopefully by then you'll even be OK with a rival because you'll be used to the business...maybe you'll even grow to like the team (a risk you'll have to take).

I don't know that it means you'd have to stop liking the Mariners but when "your" team is playing them, you'd have to maybe be careful.

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I had talked to a sports broadcaster and asked him something along the same lines as your question.

He said he had treated it as if he was a player that was drafted by the team. You've still got your favorite childhood team tucked away in your mind, but you have to represent the team your work/play for.

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I worked for a minor league affiliate of the Marlins for 2 years, I'm a Braves fan. Granted, that's not exactly Sox-Yankees or Cubs-Cardinals, but it's still a divisional rivalry. I'm sure there will be some things you'll have to give up since broadcasters are a rather public representative of the organization - no M's gear at work, and in the age of social media, you'll probably want to make your Twitter private (assuming you have one and tweet about the Mariners).

I was a mascot, so things were a bit different - outside of the suit, nobody cared what I wore. I did think twice about (and decide against) wearing a Braves hat to the stadium, even though I'd only have it on while entering the stadium, during the pre-game production meeting, and leaving the stadium. Didn't want to ruffle any feathers, although I doubt anyone would've cared. (I did once wear a Brian McCann shirsey under my polo one game that McCann was rehabbing as a Rome Brave. Shh.)

I'm sure you know at least a little about the relationship between minor and major league teams. I don't know how "attached" any of your prospective teams are to their major league affiliates, but in my experience (despite a 10+ year affiliation), it's very loose. Nobody where I worked really gave a crap about the Marlins, apart from seeing former Grasshoppers do well in the majors. The coaches and players are employees of the major league club. The front office staff are employees of the minor league club. It shows. People rarely wore Marlins apparel (and the ones that did, only because they worked spring training and picked up some gear), only a few Marlins items were available in the gift shop, and I was actually told that I couldn't wear a Marlins hat during games that I worked as a non-mascot employee.

You also won't be the first person working for that team (or any team) that grew up as/remains a fan of another franchise. To expect you to pull a "we have always been at war with Eastasia" is ridiculous. They won't. You'll be fine.

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Monkeypower, that's a great way to put it. Probably gonna make that my strategy going forward.

And 49erfan, yes I know lots about the majors/minors relationship. Most of my prospective teams right now are single-A (I know I'm not going to make an immediate jump from college to triple-A) and now that I think about it, most single-A teams aren't super attached to their affiliates...lots of shuffling. And yes, I'm also aware that front office staff are employees of the minor league team, not the MLB organization like the players and coaches.

I guess now my biggest challenge is my brother, who's about to go on a minor league hat collection spree and always likes to ruffle feathers in sports. No matter what team I end up with, I'm sure he'll be wearing the hat of our biggest rival. :rolleyes:

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Monkeypower, that's a great way to put it. Probably gonna make that my strategy going forward.

And 49erfan, yes I know lots about the majors/minors relationship. Most of my prospective teams right now are single-A (I know I'm not going to make an immediate jump from college to triple-A) and now that I think about it, most single-A teams aren't super attached to their affiliates...lots of shuffling. And yes, I'm also aware that front office staff are employees of the minor league team, not the MLB organization like the players and coaches.

I guess now my biggest challenge is my brother, who's about to go on a minor league hat collection spree and always likes to ruffle feathers in sports. No matter what team I end up with, I'm sure he'll be wearing the hat of our biggest rival. :rolleyes:

The team I worked for was single-A as well. I'm assuming by your location that it's mostly Northwest League teams that you're looking at. You'll probably find that most of your coworkers (if they're from the PNW) are Mariners fans as well, quite literally wearing one hat at work and another at home.

Working in minor league baseball is an absolute blast. Good luck in your search!

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Thanks! And actually no...while I'd love to work for a Northwest League team, it's a short-season league. My preference is full season single-A, and I'm targeting the California League. The cities in that league are far from the "sand and surfing" part of CA, but the proximity to larger markets is very attractive.

Obviously though, I'll end up where I end up. Wherever the job is. Even if it's an A's, Angels, Rangers, Astros...or Yankees affiliate!

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I work for the AAA affiliate of a major league team who is a rival of my favorite team. Overall it's no big deal, but it's a little difficult sometimes when I want to talk baseball at work but can't really discuss my favorite team because they're supposed to be our rivals. Also I'm not allowed to wear anything representing other teams so it's difficult when all of my jackets and such are branded with my favorite team...

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