BUSINESS

Atlanta Braves GM Thinks Being Poor Is Fine

John Coppolella should chill on offering life advice

BUSINESS
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Dec 15, 2016 at 5:10 PM ET

The Atlanta Braves’ general manager, John Coppolella, hopped on Mr. Twitterium’s Wonder Emporium Thursday afternoon to answer questions from the huddled masses using the team’s verified account. He offered some nice, banal pap about trades he wanted to make and free agents that went unsigned during the Winter Meetings, hoping to assuage any lingering dissatisfaction on the part of the fan base over the team’s failure to nab Chris Sale.

Coppolella wanted his new passel of online buds to know that the team’s process (not to be confused with The Process©) is a good one. But the point of these sorts of social media free-for-alls isn’t really provide inside info. Rather, it’s an attempt to sell a kind of false familiarity and market a baseball exec as a regular dude, so he threw in a a few cutesy homilies and quippy answers to rando questions.

Of course, an attempt to “humanize” a heretofore off-limits, relatively famous individual can go terribly, horribly wrong. It certainly did for Coppolella when a young gent with an analytics background asked how he might be able to get a gig – and who clearly was hoping to be told “Sure, kid. Shoot me a resume” – received this response:

His menchies kind of exploded, prompting Coppolella to say this:

Go on…

You see, the Braves’ GM turned down a well-paying gig at Intel way back when in favor of an $18,000 per year “internship” with the New York Yankees. He worked insane, inject-Red-Bull-directly-into-your-veins hours, including many a night where he crashed for a few hours on a fraying couch in some well-rested superior’s office rather than returning home, and it all paid off.

But there’s a great deal of privilege in being able to refuse a steady income and pursue your dreams. It’s not clear whether Coppolella received a full ride at Notre Dame or has some wealthy parents, but many youngsters with just as much gumption and as killer a work ethic as Coppolella could never afford to spend 15 years working for peanuts while a massive pile of student loan debt continued to grow. And he just ignores that.

The advice in and of itself is fine, sure. But it’s kind of galling to talk about “doing what you love” and “forgetting about the money” in a booming industry powered in no small part by maximizing those selfsame emotional connections and starry-eyed love. Especially when you consider Major League Baseball’s ongoing attempts to suppress minor league wages, and a commissioner that has said, “These are more like apprenticeship programs or artistic pursuits,” in his and his league’s defense.

Or, you could realize that you’re never going to learn much from a Twitter AMA dubbed #AskPoppy and forget all this ever happened.