(Must be Posted in a Conspicuous Place In Every Eligible Place of Employment)

In American higher education, only one-third of professors are tenure track, down from two-thirds forty years ago. The majority of courses are now taught by adjunct faculty with little job security and low compensation. Major League Baseball (MLB) has determined that this labor model is ideal for its revised pitching rotation policy. All current starting pitchers will immediately receive tenure. (1)

Statement of Policy

MLB places a premium on recruiting, hiring, and retaining highly qualified pitchers. Teams increasingly depend on starters for a smaller share of outs. In respect of the growing responsibilities of relief pitchers, MLB has identified the need to form scalable relationships with pitchers who are dedicated to success.

  • Although relief pitchers are doing more work, starting pitchers have higher name recognition.
  • Accordingly, MLB recognizes the special importance of the well-being of starting pitchers.

MLB will now place a necessary limit on the number of innings a starting pitcher may pitch for his team within a calendar week. The maximum pitching load for starting pitchers is as follows:

  • Four innings per game.
  • One start, every six days.
  • While enduring a reduced workload, tenured pitchers will continue with other mandatory media and public relations activities.

All other innings will be pitched by relief pitchers. To prevent even the perception that MLB is taking advantage of its relief pitchers, all relievers will be immediately promoted to the position of adjunct starting pitcher.

  • Adjunct starting pitchers will not be eligible for tenured starting roles.
  • Adjunct starting pitchers will meet expectations for substantial and productive accumulation of outs.

In recognition of their contribution to the game of baseball, MLB will host an annual Adjunct Starting Pitcher of the Year Award and Family Barbecue. Beverages will be available for purchase.

(1) Tenured starting pitchers will remain tenured with their organization until such time as their position is eliminated.

Is it the upper class, gathering in the stadium’s prime seating to shake hands and discuss business? Is it the season ticket holders, annexing small chunks of real estate and feeling a right to the baseballs that land within them? Is it those who have snuck down to the lower levels, maneuvering past overwhelmed or uncaring ushers, believing that their souvenirs have been earned through courage and guile?

Is it the children? Is it those with the shortest arms and runniest noses who don’t even fully understand why they want the ball? Whose raw baseball instincts tell them to throw it back, shaming their family for generations?

The splintering crack of a bat arrives on a baseball, and society disintegrates along with the sound. Thoughtful consideration gives way to arms and elbows; all eyes skyward, the people below banished from existence. A ball is on its way to the stands.

Like pet store mice we scramble for them, climbing over each other, feet in each other’s eyes, beers on each other’s shirts. Neighbors with whom we were moments ago peacefully conversing become meaty obstacles between us and our wildest dreams; pupils dilate, spittle flies, tongues hang loose, corpse-like, out of our mouths. It’s time to bring the fantasy to life: The one-handed grab, the wave to the adoring crowd, the underhanded toss to the nearest, most precocious child, the thankful nod from their parents, the carefree wink in return. And the next thing you know the roving ballpark reporter appears beside you with a microphone, two free tickets to tomorrow’s matinee, and a goodie bag with the evening’s promotional giveaway in it, once only handed to children 15 and under, but now legally in your clutches.

What power the home run ball holds. This isn’t one of those filthy peasants’ balls from deep within the batting practice bucket, never knowing daylight and craving the callused touch of the assistant hitting instructor’s palm. He probably has one of those filthy, low-level coaching names like “Steve Tucker” or “Wayne Ross” or something; whose hiring was announced in a single, three-paragraph blog post with six other new coaches.

But no Steves or Waynes have tarnished these baseballs with their touch. These baseballs have been touched only by the sky. They have ventured into that space between the earth and the heavens and now journey home to us, as we throw our arms up in delight and elbow our neighbor’s ribcage for the chance to be a part of their celestial migration.

And then, it is over. The home run ball has landed, and those divinely chosen among us have claimed it as a possession. The player that sent it to us rounds the bases, the music dies down, the smoke clears, the mascot finishes its dance routine to last year’s song of the summer, and life returns to normal in the outfield seats. We all must live with the choices we’ve made in that instant: Guilt. Shame. Bloodlust. Cowardice. Whatever our actions, we live on as seatmates, our feelings unsaid, our choices irreversible.

A fastball on the outside corner starts the next hitter off 0-1. What’s that? Sure; we can get an ice cream helmet.

March 29
And so another baseball season begins. The Jays are playing the Yankees for the first four games of the season — that doesn’t bode well. Oh, god, they really just made an error on the first ball in play of the season. Maybe I should flip to a different game, see what some other team is doing. Maybe I’ll watch the Mariners. They seem to be faring better.

Oh god, Mike Zunino is injured already? That sucks. Good thing I’m not a Mariners fan, and have no emotional investment in this.

March 31
Watching the Mariners again for some reason. Paxton started. He got lit up. Good thing I have no reason to care about whether or not Paxton gets lit up.

April 9
I feel this weird ache that I can’t describe — like an absence, a lack of something that was never there to begin with. The Mariners are losing 10-0 to the Royals in the eighth, and I feel the ache even more acutely. But I continue to watch. Why?

April 13
I am incapable of doing anything. So I’m watching the Mariners again. They’ve won three games in a row. They seem to be having a good time.

April 16
Found myself at the Mariners game, almost by accident. Took off my Jays hat because I didn’t want to alienate anyone, then realized I was already wearing a Mariners-colored jacket. The Mariners won. I wished I could have stayed longer, even though it was freezing cold. We bought one of those fleece blankets and slept in it on the bus home. It was very cozy.

April 27
Earnestly considered buying a Mariners hat while I was watching the game today. As if to advise against it, they lost.

May 15
Fell asleep in the middle of the day again. Having those random knife-like chest pains again. Had a weird dream that Safeco Field was alive and swallowed me whole. Was weirdly okay with it. When I woke up Robinson Cano had been suspended. But the Mariners won anyway. They came back like four times in one game, and I could almost feel something other than the stabbing in my ribcage.

May 22
Gordon injured. Haniger injured. Segura injured. The Mariners won, even though the game sucked. It’s over now. I have nowhere to look anymore, so I’m looking out the window. The sky is dark, strangely so for how bright it had been during the day. There’s nothing to do, nowhere to go. I wish the Mariners were still playing.

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