Good Things Need To Come To An End

Good Things Need To Come To An End

Sometimes, you have to redo everything you have to build for the future. As much as I hate to say it, the Giants need to make some drastic moves

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The MLB offseason is in full swing, and teams have already made drastic moves. The Seattle Mariners are tearing everything down after trading James Paxton, Robinson Cano, Edwin Diaz, and Jean Segura. New York Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen has not shied away from making interesting moves, including a pursuit of Miami catcher JT Realmuto. And of course, Bryce Harper and Manny Machado remain the big fish on the market.

That being said, there is one team that needs to figure things out: my San Francisco Giants. They've finished in fourth place in each of the last two seasons, well below .500. Their payroll is bloated, the injury bug constantly bites them, and their farm system is depleted after their run from 2010-2014. What have they done instead? They keep making adjustments as if they are one piece away. They keep retooling the roster instead of rebuilding.

But things are different now. The Giants pulled a major coup and snatched up Farhan Zaidi, the former general manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Los Angeles went to back-to-back World Series under Zaidi's leadership after embracing the analytics that, if I can be honest, make no sense whatsoever. I do have to worry that there will be unintended consequences in regards to Zaidi's relationship with current Giants manager Bruce Bochy, but I pray that I will be wrong.

That being said, the Giants need to clear payroll, find some outfield help, and rebuild the third-worst minor league system in the majors. It's a pretty tall order.

With an aging core of players that probably would not bring back too much trade value, there is one name that would be perfect for a trade.

As much as I hate to say it, that guy is ace lefthander Madison Bumgarner.

Hear me out: Bumgarner is still on the right side of 30. Outside of a few freak injuries, including a shoulder injury after a dirtbike accident and a broken pinky, he's stayed healthy. He's due "just" $12 million this season. Come playoff time, there aren't too many pitchers better than MadBum. Quite simply, trading him is too logical to not do it.

Do I want to see him go? Absolutely not. But I want the Giants to be in a position where they can win in the future. If you take a look at what teams like the Chicago Cubs or Houston Astros have done, or even the Kansas City Royals a few years ago, you'll see that it works to build up your minor leagues.

The question now is: who would pull the trigger? Let's look at a couple of possibilities.

Atlanta Braves

The Atlanta Braves have one of the best farm systems in the majors, and this is after the graduation of phenom Ronald Acuna, Jr. Right-hander Mike Soroka figures to play into the rotational mix for the Braves, but even behind him are Ian Anderson, Kyle Wright, and Touki Touissant. By contrast, of the top five prospects that San Francisco has, only one is a pitcher, and he profiles as a No. 3 starter at best. Bumgarner would also be a fan favorite having grown up in North Carolina (easily Braves country right there). The thing is that the Braves are more than just an ace away, and would they want to mortgage the future by trading for him now? I don't think so.

Milwaukee Brewers

The Brewers used their relievers to push the Dodgers to the limits, so it's clear what having an ace like Bumgarner would have meant for them. The Brewers, like the Braves, have other needs as well. Unlike Atlanta, Milwaukee does not have the same pieces after trading for NL MVP Christian Yelich this past offseason. In fact, their farm system is ranked LOWER than San Francisco's. How would they make this work?

New York Yankees

The Yankees have dipped into their farm system already, shipping their top prospect Justus Sheffield to the Mariners as part of the Paxton deal. For a team that had a middle of the road system, it would take a lot to pry Bumgarner away. Jonathan Loisiga and Albert Abreu would have to be the starting points for any discussion to happen. And with the Yankees bringing JA Happ back on a three-year deal, a trade here looks less and less plausible.

Philadelphia Phillies

A team on the rise, the Phillies have plenty of payroll flexibility and a top 10 farm system. Obviously, they won't part ways with Sixto Sanchez or Adonis Medina, but a couple of Tier-2 prospects might be enough to get the job done. On top of that, the Phillies will get a lefty to slide in right between Aaron Nola and Jake Arrieta, and still have the money to offer someone like Harper a megadeal. If I'm Matt Klentak, I'm going for it.

Where will Bumgarner go? Who knows. It's been a great run, and he was a key to that. But the time has come for us to say goodbye.



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Professional Athletes Are Paid Too Much

Are pro-athletes really deserving of the monetary commission they receive?
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For generations, children have aspired to become professional athletes. In the 1920's children wanted to be Babe Ruth; in 2012 children wanted to be Derek Jeter. The list of pro-athletes that influence the younger generation can go on and on. Looking back on elementary school yearbooks, the most common profession for youths has (and will continue to be) a professional athlete. Whether it involves the MLB, the NFL, the NHL, or any other professional league, children tend to pick this profession out of love for the specific sport. Yet, these innocent and uninformed children seem to strike gold by choosing one of the most economically successful jobs in the world.

While professional athletes dedicate most of their life to their respected sport, the amount they are paid to simply play games is absurd. For example, the average salary for a professional football player in the NFL is $1.9 million per year. Keep in mind that that is average, without external endorsements. Therefore, some athletes make much more than that. The crowd favorite Peyton Manning averages $19 million a year. Sports other than football also have averages that are incredibly generous. In the world of golf, the popular Tiger Woods makes more than $45 million a year. These pro-athletes make millions of dollars, most of whom have not received an outstanding education. In fact, some have not even received a college diploma.

Zooming out from the glamorous and indulgent world of professional athletics, taking a look at other professions seems to be much less appealing. How is it that jobs that are vital to the success of the public receive much less commission than jobs that revolve around running to catch a ball? The average pediatrician makes $173,000 a year. The average teacher salary is $50,000 a year. This does not mean that a professional athlete is any less of a hard-working, devoted, deserving professional. This also does not mean that the athletes have not pushed themselves and worked incredibly hard throughout the years to get where they are, but it does mean that there is a line where inequity takes over. Fame and fortune are showered upon athletes. Is it truly necessary to average out millions of dollars per year when people spend massive amounts of time researching and developing new policies, cures, or other ways to improve the condition of the world? The salary and status of professional athletes seems to be a major power imbalance in the world of careers.

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The Stress Of Searching For The Perfect Internship, As Told By College Students

College students need to start getting professional experience sooner or later, why not now?

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One of the most stressful questions to ask a college student is "What are you doing this summer?" The search for a summer internship is relentless, even if you start the process earlier than others. But it is not the reality of having a summer internship that stresses college students so much, but rather the unrealistic expectations associated with such internship and other professional opportunities.

For example, as an undergraduate student interested in law, most law firms do not usually offer many internship positions for undergraduate students, especially if you are entering your sophomore or junior year. Additionally, most internships require multiple years of experience in that specific career field in order to qualify for an interview. Yet, how can years of previous experience be automatically expected when most undergraduate students are unsure of what career path they want to pursue? Some undergraduate students do not even have a specific major let alone a binding career plan for themselves.

When companies tirelessly demand these unrealistic expectations of undergraduate students, specifically underclassmen, their list of requirements worsen the concerning levels of stress and anxiety amongst college students. According to a study by the American Psychological Association, 61% of college students who seek counseling services report being affected by anxiety, 49% to depression, and 45% to stress. Because stress and anxiety levels for college students are increasing at unprecedented rates, the pressures and frustration of landing the perfect summer internship only negatively contribute to these statistics.

As a result, any company, corporation, firm, etc. offering internship positions to college students need to acknowledge the effects of their job descriptions and guidelines on an undergraduate student's mental stability. Furthermore, companies must improve their standards for internship positions in order to grant undergraduate students first-hand experience that will gradually expand their knowledge of the career field of their choice. Officials responsible for reading and reviewing internship applications should considerably and realistically review the applications of undergraduate college students. These students have to gain professional experience in their career field sooner or later, so why not now?

Additionally, the frantic search for a summer internship perpetuates false expectations for an undergraduate's resume. Nowadays, college students are expected to be over-involved in various organizations. These extracurriculars, whether they be leadership positions, work-study options, or internships all contribute towards the image of the "perfect resume". This picture-perfect resume perpetuates the unrealistic expectations for undergraduate students, emphasizing their already high levels of stress and anxiety.

Realistically, a freshman or sophomore in college lacks years of experience working in their career field, but these students should not feel stressed or anxious about the lack of experience represented on their resume. There is a way to promote healthy competition as long as that competition is realistic. Underclassmen should not feel stress because they do not have the same resume as upperclassmen.

In moments of stress, college students need to realize what expectations are within their reach. Having multiple years of experience in their career fields by their sophomore year of college is extremely unlikely for underclassmen. However, students are not wholly responsible for recognizing this during their internship and job search. Companies, corporations, and hiring officials should be responsible for addressing realistic expectations for internship candidates. This recognition will address rising levels of stress and aniety amongst college students, spreading awareness about growing mental stability concerns.

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