Friday, June 27, 2008

To Be a Collector

Are you a collector? I know I am. I love being able to say that I have all of something. For instance, when I was in little league I bought my baseball cards after games. I forgot how much they cost or where I got the money, but I was pretty diligent. And of course I traded with my friends or ones I didn't already have. Problem was, once baseball season ended, I stopped buying cards. But next season I started up again- with the next season series and just like the year prior, once the season ended, my collection stopped. By diligently using the "checklist" card (of which I had like 3 or 4), I figured that I was missing about 30 cards per season. Oh well.

Back it up a bit to when Star Wars first came out. I got all the action figures- Luke, Leia, 3PO, Vader, ObiWan, Solo, R2. I had the XWing, Death Star, Landspeeder. I had a LOT of Star Wars stuff. But I never had a Tie Fighter or Hammerhead or a Millineum Falcon. How could I not have had the Millineum Falcon of all things!!!. Well since I was 8, I could chalk it all up to the fact that I wasn't paying for this stuff. I assume there were budgetary constraints in my family.

Now lets fast forward to my adulthood. We'll skip some boring stuff, but how about a simple collection that doesn't cost much money. Those new state quarters were a novel idea. What was it, 4 new ones per year? Either way, I bought myself a commemorative case and got the first years worth of mint quarters. Then the next year rolled around and one or two were the right ones but they were ones that happened to find their way to my pocket. Then next year I missed one alltogether. Then we moved and the case got warped. Then I needed to do some laundry and had no quarters. So much for that collection.

I have a baseball bat signed by the entire 1994 Montreal Expos team... except for Pedro Martinez and John Wettland and Moises Alou and Felipe Alou. We have the 1997 and 1999 Swarovski Christmas ornaments. Action Sports came out with a NASCAR series with 4 drivers in pit crew format. I have 2 of them. When our daughter was born, we said we'd buy the annual Christmas Barbie. We have one of them. Our daughter now has 14 of 15 minature care bears. Shall I continue?

Well I won't. You get the point. Is it me? Is collecting really that hard? Or is more the process than the result? Is it a sign of not being a finisher? I mean I had the best intentions on all of these collections. I'd like to think that there are more people like me, but you never know.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Symbolic Sacrificial Lamb

Willie Randolph got fired today- very expected and he won't be the last this MLB season. After all, he was the manager of the NL club with the highest payroll and they're floundering at around .500.

As I count it, the Mets have at least $60MM in 2008 salary tied up in subpar producing players. We're talking Delgado, Pedro, Wagner, Alou and Hernandez- plus a few others who make less than $2MM per year. And did Randolph sign these guys? Is Randolph responsible for teaching these guys how to steal bases or hit a curve ball or not get injured, or be less than 35 years old? Is it his job to inspire these guys to play beyond their abilities? I mean isn't an $11MM salary enough to motivate a professional athlete? Or is their pay correlated with past glory? So Willie is the guy who gets the axe eh?

Now I know that the manager's job is to make decisions on lineups and when to pinch hit or bring in a situational lefty and we all have plenty of examples of good and bad managerial decisions in pretty much any sport, but is it really the manager's fault? OK, well we all know of other examples of where managers were fired mid year and their replacements turned things around. Jack McKeon and Phil Garner come to mind in recent years.

But how do you rectify sunk money by firing the manager in Willie's case? We'll see if it works.

Oh by the way, if his firing is based on a combination of team salary and record, then here's who else should be fired immediately- Jim Leyland, Bobby Cox, John McClaren, and Joe Torre. $100MM team salary and you're below .500? You are obviously bad managers- I mean who's ever even heard of Leyland, Cox and Torre?

Bottom line is that all too often, the wrong guy gets canned for someone else's folly. Don't get me started on the salary cap...

Monday, June 16, 2008


Lots of thoughts on blogging. I've attempted it before. I need one for my company. But just getting it done is the challenge. So I figured i'd start with a personal blog. See how that works out. I'll start off with a background on who I am and what I believe in.

Here's who I am:
I'm a self employeed real estate appraiser
I have a wife and two kids
I live in Queen Creek Arizona
I'm coming up on my 20 year high school reunion
I enjoy most sports from a spectator perspective but particularly enjoy baseball
I play golf at a manageable level but don't play it enough to really improve my game...
I live on a golf course (oh the irony)

Here's what I enjoy:
The Underdog
The benefit of the doubt
Home improvement

I guess I'll probably end up touching on some of these subjects through this blog, and of course more topics will come up as things evolve. But if you're reading this in 2009 and there are no subsequent posts, then you can guess where the Easton Blogging experiment of 2008 went.