Meanwhile, lots of established players inhabit a more stressful universe. For Steve Finley, Steve Trachsel, Mark Redman, David Bell, Ronnie Belliard, Bernie Williams, Preston Wilson and others, life is all about calling their agent, reassuring the wife and kids that everything will be fine, and coping with the realization that their skills are no longer in demand.
It's not only players who feel the strain. Now that budgets are almost tapped out, 40-man rosters are nearly set and teams have turned their focus to salary arbitration cases, free agent shopping is less of a priority. Agents, in the quest to find jobs for their clients, walk a fine line between persistence and pestering front offices.
"Nothing is as hard as having a client that you believe has the ability to contribute, and not being able to find the right spot for him," said San Diego-based agent Barry Axelrod. "You find yourself in the position of calling and calling and calling again. It's very difficult and draining. It's hard on the client and hard on the client's family."
Substitute "actors" for "players" and "shows" for "teams" and you might as well be reading Daily Variety.