We love our work here at Benicia Plumbing, but when it comes to our time away from the job, plumbing is not #1 on all of our lists for leisure and relaxation. That’s why we were amused by this news story that we found on the sports page about a MLB pitcher who enjoys plumbing to unwind in the very stressful world of professional baseball.
Last year’s American League rookie of the year spent part of his off-season looking for sewage leaks. Not because he had to. Because he enjoyed it.
Really, Michael Fulmer?
“It’s a good way to take my mind off baseball,” said the Tigers’ right-hander.
Imagine making a half-million dollars a year and rooting around that stench in your spare time … as a way to relax. Well, Fulmer does. Not that he’s fond of the smell. He just loves working as a plumber. And he doesn’t cherry pick. It can’t all be about installing new water lines and replacing faucets.
Besides, he likes the problem-solving that comes with the work. He likes the physical aspect of it, too.
“I will do it a lot before I actually start baseball workouts again,” Fulmer said. “We are on our feet for 8-9 hours a day for three days a week. Only time we sit down is either driving from house to house or going to get lunch. It’s good for a lot of squats and random (exercising).”
Couldn’t he go to a gym? Like, say, Justin Verlander, his teammate and a fellow pitcher?
Well, he does that, too. But the rigors of crawling around an attic laying pipe or reaching under a sink while lying on your back is a different kind of escape.
First, he’s learning. Second, he’s not going to have to hire a plumber when his hot water heater breaks.
“I always tell my wife, if it breaks, I know how to replace it,” he said. “We could save some labor money. It’s another good tool to have in your knowledge.”
As Fulmer sees it, the key to moving forward is hoarding knowledge and, thus, understanding how things work. He always has been like that. A right-brain kind of guy, if you will, a math guy, a process guy.
Learning to manipulate water pressure is, in this sense, similar to learning how to get batters out. His ability to adjust under pressure is, of course, partly why he’s in the big leagues and why he will start this season’s home opener Friday at Comerica Park.
Maybe when Michael retires from baseball, we can hire him at Benicia Plumbing? He sure would be a star on the softball team!
Sources: Detroit Tigers, Detroit Free Press