Baseball plagued by lack of free will

The recent kerfuffle about free will has had an unintended result: the whole concept of free agency in baseball is now in question.  This piece details the the conundrum of player Prince Fielder:

“Free agency suggests I am able to make a choice void of any constraint, but right from the get-go, that premise is problematic,” said Fielder, adding that it isn’t as if he can just get a job as an acoustical engineer, or even as a professional athlete in another sport. “In the end, I am not an autonomous entity who can choose a path based on multiple options. Instead, I am one link in a causal chain, so my actions are merely the inevitable product of lawful causes stemming from prior events. What I’m saying is, I’m essentially limited to the 30 baseball organizations in North America; realistic, long-term socioeconomic factors have already decided which cities can support a team that pays the kind of salary I demand; and roster decisions dating all the way back to the invention of the game have determined which teams are in need of a first baseman today—so there are only a few clubs that could logically take me. And human nature will compel me to pick the one that offers the best, highest salary.”

h/t: Alric


  1. Posted January 22, 2012 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    See? He is already using it to evade responsibility.

    And human nature will compel me
    Nu, uh. Personal greed will.

    Anyways, let’s just say he’s going to the Yankees

    • aspidoscelis
      Posted January 22, 2012 at 10:04 am | Permalink

      And human nature will compel me

      “Nu, uh. Personal greed will.”

      Yeah, like he said, human nature. 🙂

    • Posted January 22, 2012 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

      The Yankees already have a first baseman, and more prospective designated hitters than they know what to do with.

  2. newyorktom
    Posted January 22, 2012 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    Umm…this article is from The Onion. Somehow I’m doubting its veracity.

    • jay
      Posted January 22, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

      There is more truth in the Onion than in the Times.

    • Diane G.
      Posted January 23, 2012 at 12:16 am | Permalink

      I’d have thought this was too obvious to need to be labeled “humor…”


  3. donald
    Posted January 22, 2012 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    Why not play in Japan? His dad did.


    P.S. He’s not going to the Yankees. He’s going to the Pirates right after they discover the hidden bag of gold under 2nd base left by Honus Wagner.

    • Kharamatha
      Posted January 23, 2012 at 7:33 am | Permalink

      Baseball is a big, damn deal in Japan, if I recall correctly.

  4. Posted January 22, 2012 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    That is the dilemma of most professional athletes. Professional sports, like any profession is not a lifetime guarantee of job and salary. I wish we all had guarantees. But at least most players make a fair salary for a while, which if invested wisely should be a great nest egg for second career. Unless, of course, the athlete squandered or neglected to get an education. Its never too late to go back to school and look at old scrapbooks of past glory.

  5. Posted January 22, 2012 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    So say no free Willie, tell Ty Cobb and Joe Dimaggio…

  6. Posted January 22, 2012 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    Is it just me; am I being cynical, or does Fielder’s statement sound scripted?

    • Posted January 22, 2012 at 8:45 am | Permalink

      You ‘might’ ‘want’ to look at the name of the publication in the link…

      • Posted January 22, 2012 at 9:02 am | Permalink

        Thanks, I see from Wiki “The Onion is an American news satire organization.” However, there is a bi-weekly Canadian scandal or satirical magazine called _Frank (magazine) Sometimes, just sometimes, what the magazine reports is accurate.

        • abb3w
          Posted January 22, 2012 at 10:45 am | Permalink

          While the Onion occasionally becomes accurate, it is only due to the degree that the Onion is also prescient. Satire has become harder and harder to keep ahead of reality ever since Henry Kissinger was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for failing to end the Vietnam War.

    • Diane G.
      Posted January 23, 2012 at 12:18 am | Permalink

      Oh, no, practically all our professional athletes speak like that…

  7. Posted January 22, 2012 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    This explains my disagreement with Jerry over free will.

    Jerry is still chained and bound to the “publish or perish” system of academia. I gained free will when I retired.

    • Posted January 22, 2012 at 8:50 am | Permalink

      Excuse my ignorance: Is publishing in _USA Today_ considered academic publishing?

  8. Barry McGuire
    Posted January 22, 2012 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    Since when did personal greed stop being a major component of human nature?

  9. Jim Thomerson
    Posted January 22, 2012 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    A rather clear example of constrained free will.

  10. Kevin O'Neill
    Posted January 22, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    Now we understand the pitcher’s deepest thoughts when he’s lining up a throw. The whole causality of the universe converging to speed the ball to its target. And I thought it was just a ball game. Not at all like cricket!

  11. Gregory Kusnick
    Posted January 22, 2012 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    Next up: The Supreme Court invalidates the First Amendment on grounds that science has shown free speech and freedom of religion to be nonexistent.

  12. Kiwi Dave
    Posted January 22, 2012 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

    It would seem that Mr Fielder agrees with that great western philosopher John Wayne when he said, reputedly, ‘A man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do.’

  13. Jon Morgan
    Posted January 23, 2012 at 5:50 am | Permalink

    Great last line from the artice:
    “he added that he is a determinist, but loves hitting baseballs.”

%d bloggers like this: