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Looking to avoid stepping on toes as a newbie here, but I have to take issue with the distinction between semi-pro and pro as being linked to affiliated versus independent. The only thing many lower-level affiliated baseball (rookie, Class A) players have over their independent brethren is that their paychecks are drawn from big league bank accounts. Low minor baseball players are paid less than $2,000 per month, and only during the season. Such a salary puts them below the poverty line, and likely forces them to get another job in the offseason. (Oftentimes it's lessons and clinics--still in baseball, but nevertheless a second job.) In contrast, I've known independent players who make a living just from their playing contract. Of course affiliated players are closer to the payday of a big league job, and the biggest bonus an indy player might expect is a second turn at the postgame meal trough, but that in and of itself doesn't make the former more "professional" and the latter more "semi-pro". (Injecting the fact that the SPHL and other indy leagues may provide housing as evidence to being more semi-pro is kind of funny, too. Many affiliated ballplayers are left to pay for their own housing, and I've seen players live four and six to an apartment to cut costs. Considering the relative paychecks, it could be argued in many cases of the low minors that the so-called "semi-pro" indy players with host family arrangements are doing better for themselves than the "pro" players who cover their own housing.) Perhaps a better distinction of a pro versus a semi-pro is to be made by the players themselves. If they consider their primary vocation to be as an athlete, then they're pros. If they make a living elsewhere and the sport isn't their career focus, then they are semi-pros. (In the case of a former Major League Lacrosse player I knew of, this might not work too well; he was an MLL player on weekends and a successful stockbroker during the week.) Now of course, that definition isn't convenient because we as fans don't get to make the distinction ourselves, but it still might be more accurate. Or perhaps we should just go with the idea that if you get paid to play a sport, you're a professional. I find the term semi-pro is usually used to just make a team or league seem less important than its players and fans prefer. Sorry to distract from the expansion discussion, I can be a little sensitive to this topic.