Jul 30, 2013, 5:10 PM PDT
This is the true story of three minor league baseball teammates, picked to live in a house and have their lives taped, to find out what happens when they stop being polite and start getting real.
The Real World: Sacramento.
Oakland Athletics prospects Michael Choice, Michael Taylor and Bruce Billings all share a three-bedroom apartment in North Natomas, a neighborhood in Sacramento. The three ballplayers all play for the triple-A River Cats.
Billings, a pitcher, hails from San Diego and shares the place with two outfielders. Taylor is from Florida. And Choice is from Texas. Taylor shares the master bedroom with his fiancé, Addie.
While this premise sounds like an interesting reality TV show, it is a relatively drama-free environment — as long as you don’t ask who the house video game champion is.
The roomies spend most of their time relaxing and taking their minds off the grind of the minor league baseball season and the stresses of getting called up to “The Show.” Their free time is spent grilling on the patio, hosting family game nights, or battling it out on the Playstation 3.
The apartment serves as an excellent distraction and a positive environment. Choice’s wife Jade-Marie, and their one-year-old son, Blair, often come to visit, as does Billings’ fiancé, Caitlyn. The living arrangement is somewhat unique for minor league players and allows them to avoid the many perils that can come with the off-the-field baseball lifestyle.
Taylor and Billings are each 27, and have spent some time in the big leagues. Choice, 23, was the A’s first round pick in 2010, and is listed as the A’s top outfield prospect. His prospect status means little in the apartment. He is often jokingly put in place by his elder roommates and has the smallest bedroom.
Nothing is permanent in baseball. On any given day, one of these guys could be called up by the A’s, or even traded to another organization. Taylor and Billings, for example, have already been involved in trades. Taylor was part of the trade that sent Roy Halladay to the Phillies, then was quickly involved in another swap sending him to the A’s in exchange for Brett Wallace. Billings was traded from the Rockies to the A’s in exchange for Mark Ellis.
In the meantime, the dollar-saving living arrangement sets these three ballplayers up for whatever the future may holds in the real, real world.
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