I’ve always been fascinated by the business side of baseball, from building franchises, growing a farm system and of course player transactions. Thursday night in Bowie, I had a chance to witness a player receive the news of his trade to another organization when relief pitcher Ryan Ouellette was informed that he had been traded to the Chicago White Sox.
As a reporter and a huge fan of the game I cover, seeing a professional athlete react to the news was a surreal experience. It almost didn’t feel real, as though it was a scene from a movie that was unfolding as I waited for an interview with Baysox catcher Caleb Joseph.
Baseball is an interesting game, a business that we sometimes forget is built around actual people. If you put yourself in Ouellette’s shoes and imagine working for an organization for four years and then one night you’re told to pack your bags and move to Birmingham, it has to be a shocking revelation. Though at the same time, in this business his co-workers seemed to really understand that moves like this are the nature of their job.
Ouellette’s team mates and coaches in Bowie walked by and wished him luck in Birmingham with the White Sox organization, everyone seemed to understand that at any point in their career this sort of thing could happen to them.
Mike Miller at OriolesHangout.com spoke with Ouellette after the news sunk in a little bit.
It was an event that as a fan I had always wondered about, now that I’ve gotten to witness the experience in person I feel that I have a greater understanding for the human aspect of this game.