How to Become an MLB Relief Pitcher

September 22, 2012; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants injured pitcher Brian Wilson (38) celebrates with mascot Lou Seal after the Giants defeated the San Diego Padres to win the National League west division at AT

Ben Liebman is a writer for FanSided partner BroJackson.com. For more great content, head on over to Bro Jackson and check out Ben’s work.

Today’s job market is tougher than ever. Employers are looking to hire from the cream of the crop, and there are fewer positions to fill than ever before. One job however constantly has openings is actively searching for competent workers. They offer guaranteed contracts, tons of down time, and the ability to travel. We are of course talking about the easy life of a major league baseball relief pitcher. There isn’t a better job than being a nondescript role player in a successful bullpen, but what can someone sitting on their couch waiting on their Hot Pocket to finish cooking do to earn one of these spots? Follow these steps and in no time you could find yourself making six million a year with access to an infinite supply of sunflower seeds.

Step 1. Acquire a pear shaped body

The first thing every relief pitcher realizes is the game of baseball is a marathon and not a sprint. Relief pitchers should be shaped like half sucked milk duds. Their jerseys need to display a belly that juts out further than your chest. You want to look like a guy at Hooters we just grabbed off the street and threw a uniform on. Now some so called experts might try to convince you about the benefits of being an in shape professional athlete, but guys serious about staying in the majors do better by modeling their bodies after Dame Judy Dench.

Step 2. Hunting is fundamental

Don’t even think about trying out for the job of relief pitcher without an enthusiasm for hunting. It can be bow, rifle, or throwing dynamite into a lake, but just make sure everyone knows you can’t wait to kill a pheasant. While the reasoning behind it is hard to explain, participation in hunting has been a tenet of relief pitching since the inception of the game. What else is there to do during the offseason except track down elusive quail in West Virginia? If for some reason you can’t bring yourself to hunt then a scratch golf game will be acceptable.

Step 3. Let’s go necklace shopping

A real relief pitcher only looks the part when he’s wearing some sort of over-the-top necklace. There isn’t much room on the uniform for self-expression so it becomes very important what you put around your neck. You can rock the simple gold cross or the giant neon balance beads, but just wear something. No one will take a naked neck relief pitcher seriously. It would be like an airline pilot without his all important wing pins. Once you’ve mastered the one necklace you begin adding more of them at different lengths for that veteran look.

Step 4. Embracing the facial hair arts

As a run of the mill relief pitcher you can expect to deal with substantial down time. Throwing the rosin bag into a bucket and seeing who can make the biggest wad of gum are two examples of the activities we expect to see from relievers. The pitchers who last the longest in the league always have a firm grasp on the facial hair arts. You can grow a beard, goatee, neckbeard, soul patch, pork chops, pencil moustache, porn stache, or sideburns, but you have to grow something. A reliever who risks heading to the mound without facial hair is only a few pitches away from giving up the lead.

Step 5. Thin skin is in

Just because a relief pitcher is making over a million dollars a year, and at the height of his profession doesn’t mean he can’t act like a complete baby. A real relief pitcher should be bothered by anything other than the swinging of the bat. A player takes too long exiting the box after a walk then you stare them down like they punched your mother in the face. Everything is a sign of disrespect to a reliever. If you are the type of person who is mentally healthy and well-adjusted then you are going to have a hard time mouthing a plethora of obscenities toward the opposing team’s dugout while you walk off the field.

All of you arm chair wannabe relief pitchers can no longer plead ignorance as to making it in the majors. If you follow these five easy steps (and possess a fastball in the early 90s) then you’re destined for a call up to the majors. There might not be fame in your future, but at least you’ll have millions of dollars, necklaces, mounted kills, and memories. And if all else fails you can always transfer these skills into the go-go world of used car sales.

Topics: MLB

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