It can be a tough job market out there, especially if you have trouble hitting the curve. That's why job seekers must be certain to have a résumé that is complete, persuasive and, of course, entirely professional.
Ballplayers aren't exempt. Just take a look at the following resumes we've come across this winter …
(To the beat of Jay Z's "Empire State of Mind.")
Yeah, I was up in New York,
Right next to Jeter
But now Imma free agent
May be right in your infield
Cuz I'll be 2B forever,
I'm the new Raj Hornsby
And since I made it there,
I can make it anywhere,
Long as you pay me my share
(Let's hear it for $310 million, million, million …)
For years I kept Yankees hot
Even made up for that A-Rod snot
Now sign me and watch me whip the Yankees, man
Sh--, I can make your cap more famous than New Era can
For instance, I could bleed Dodger Blue
Wear "LA" right above my bill
But I aint sayin' I will
Not less Magic pays me $310 mil
(Let's hear it for $310 million, million, million …)
Advanced stats so blinding,
Managers need binders
Just to write a lineup
Free agency is lined with casualties,
Guys put up huge OPS, then overnight become worse,
Don't bite that apple, Jed
Get caught up in the WAR mob
Soon you'll lose your job
Winter is cold when you finish 30 games under .500
Good GMs gone tomorrow, unemployment lines filled with them
Jesus Montero won't save you, life starts when the game ends
But Robbie Cano, don't 'cha know
I will keep turn you into a champion,
My bat never sleeps, better stock up on champagne
In New York
Concrete jungle where Cano made dreams true
There's nothing he can't do
Next year won't necessarily be in New York
His signing will make your team brand new
His game will inspire you
Let's hear it for Robinson Ca-no, Ca-no, Ca-no
Seven-time All-Star, six-time MVP candidate, three time Gold Glove winner and 1999 American League Rookie of the Year. I have somehow hit 16 -- yes, 16! -- postseason home runs despite playing the bulk of my career with the Royals, Astros and Mets.
• Outfielder, St. Louis Cardinals, 2012-13
Led the Cardinals to the 2013 World Series by hitting two home runs and driving in 12 runs in the National League playoffs. And I would have lifted them to the world championship, too, if only the damn Fenway Park fences were the proper height!
• Outfielder, San Francisco Giants, 2011
Hit .323 with seven home runs in just 44 games. Why couldn't Buster Posey have been healthy that season?
• Outfielder, New York Mets, 2005-11
Averaged 34 home runs and 113 RBIs from 2006-08. So don't blame me for the Mets' collapses those seasons.
• Outfielder, Houston Astros, 2004
Batted .435 with eight home runs and 14 RBIs in 12 postseason games. Eight home runs in 12 games! And then the Astros let me go. And people wonder why Houston has never won a World Series and has lost 100 games three years in a row?
• Outfielder, Kansas City Royals, 1998-2004
Averaged 25 home runs, 103 RBIs and 110 runs in four full seasons. Not that it did any good. I was playing in Kansas City.
Fernando Callejo High School, Manati, Puerto Rico
The School of Hard Knocks: Aka, 16 years in the majors, with no World Series ring to show for it. That, alas, has taught me more than I wish.
Roughly 300 former teammates. But contact Raul Ibanez, former Kansas City teammate, who also has never won a World Series. He knows what I'm talking about.
Major league first baseman/catcher/DH and World Series champion who has reached the postseason six times in seven seasons with three different teams -- and two of those same teams missed the postseason immediately after they let me go. Coincidence? I think not.
• First baseman, Boston Red Sox, 2013
Helped lead Red Sox from last-place finish to world championship by hitting 23 home runs and 38 doubles, driving in 92 runs, playing superb defense and balancing team budget by significantly cutting electric bills by inspiring teammates to not shave all season.
• Catcher, Texas Rangers, 2011-12
Helped Rangers to within one strike of 2011 world championship by batting .320 with 30 home runs and a 1.046 OPS. Earned spot on 2012 All-Star team and reached postseason again. Also made rival Anaheim Angels look very, very stupid for trading me for Vernon Wells and the $84 million remaining on his contract.
• Catcher, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, 2006-10
Averaged nearly 20 home runs per season and helped Angels reach the postseason three times (oh, and by the way, the Angels haven't played in the postseason since they traded me, while I have since helped two other teams to the World Series. Just saying.)
Charles W. Flanagan High School, Pembroke Pines, Fla.
Helped turn around program that went on to win three state championships.
• Oh, just about 15 million citizens of Red Sox Nation. Go ahead. Call one.
• American Beard and Mustache Institute
Fifteen-year major league veteran with considerable skills pitching out of a bullpen and living out of a suitcase.
• Detroit Tigers, 2012-13
• St. Louis Cardinals, 2011
• Toronto Blue Jays, 2011
• Colorado Rockies, 2010
• Los Angeles Dodgers, 2010
• Pittsburgh Pirates, 2010
• Chicago White Sox, 2008-09
• Atlanta Braves, 2007
• Kansas City Royals, 2007
• New York Yankees, 2006
Wait, do I have to list ALL of my former employers? If so, I'm going to need two pages, possibly three or four. Speaking of which, don't you already have my résumé on file from when I worked for you earlier?
Liceo Eansino Afuera High School, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
They say travel is the greatest education of all. If so, I also have a PhD.
• Jim Leyland, former manager Detroit Tigers
• Tony La Russa, former manager St. Louis Cardinals
• Victoria Plummer, executive VP of operations, Extended Stay America hotel chain
Three-time All-Star closer (2008, 2010, 2011), Cy Young award finalist and Most Valuable Player vote-getter (2010). Two-time Beard of the Year Award winner, Men's Style magazine (2010, 2011). Four-time ZZ Top look-alike finalist (2009-2011, 2013). More than 641,000 followers on Twitter.
• Reliever, Los Angeles Dodgers, 2013
Had 0.66 ERA and 0.88 WHIP to help Dodgers to NLCS. Runner-up (to Mike Napoli) for Mr. October Facial Hair.
• Closer, San Francisco Giants, 2006-2012
Led National League in saves with 48 and closed out final game of World Series to seal San Francisco's first world championship. Saved six postseason games overall (2010). Although on disabled list and left off postseason roster, led team in pregame interviews and dugout TV shots during World Series (2012).
• Reliever, Augusta Green Jackets, 2005
Went 5-1 with 0.82 ERA. Sneaked onto Augusta National Golf Club after one game and shot an 82.
Louisiana State University, 2001-03
Majored in hair design with minor in cosmetology.
• Bruce Bochy, manager, San Francisco Giants
• Dave Righetti, pitching coach, San Francisco Giants
• Charlie Sheen, pitcher, 1989-90 Cleveland Indians, 1919 Chicago White Sox
I am one the game's best @#$-ing closers! @#$%, now that Mariano @#$-ing Rivera is retired, I am the game's best @#$ing closer!
• Closer, Oakland Athletics, 2011-13
Saved 38 mother-@#$%-ing games, made @#$%-ing All-Star team and shoved it up the *#$@% of those @#$%-ing Tigers in the division @#$%-ing series.
• Reliever, Tampa Bay Rays, 2007-10
Had a @#$%-ing 1.54 @#$%-ing ERA in 2008 and we would have won the @#$%-ing World Series if Joe @#$%-ing Maddon had the sense to make me the @#$-ing closer!
• Reliever, Milwaukee Brewers, 2007
@#$&, yeah. My @#$%-ing ERA was 20.25. But @#$&! My @#$%-ing elbow and my @#$%-ing shoulder still hurt like a mother-@#$%!
• Reliever, Cincinnati Reds, 2005-06
Spent both @#$%-ing seasons on the DL because of @#$%-ing surgery on my @#$%-ing elobw and @#$%-ing shoulder!
• Reliever, Minnesota Twins, 2001-04
Went @#$%-ing 4-1 for the @#$%-ing Twins before my @#$%-ing arm started hurting like a mother-@#$%.
Glenwood School, Glenwood, Australia
My @#$%-ing GPA would have been higher but I spent a lot of @#$%-ing time in @#$%-ing detention because I couldn't keep my @#$%-ing mouth shut.
WHY YOU SHOULD HIRE ME
@#%*! Do you want to @#$%-ing win or not?
Erik Bedard is a 10-year major league starting pitcher looking for sponsors to help him get his career on track. Bedard is 34 years old with a 4.00-plus ERA and a losing record with four teams in the past three seasons, but he is also left-handed and once finished fifth in the Cy Young voting.
You will get Erik on your 2014 spring training roster.
You will get Erik on your 2014 Opening Day roster. He also will pitch at least 10 games and 85 innings for your team next season.
Erik will pitch at least 24 games and 160 innings for your team over the next three seasons. Or maybe not. But if not, you still will have room in the rotation for other starters when he is on the 60-day disabled list.