My Morning in Exile

So I’m trying to decide if, upon leaving the legal job, I’m going to keep the law license active or let it slip into inactive status. On the one hand, letting it go inactive saves me several hundred dollars and about 15 hours sitting in a classroom taking continuing legal education classes between now and the end of December. On the other hand, not actually having my license active will prevent me from filing all of those nuisance lawsuits I had always envisioned slapping on people once I left the legal job. I mean sure, I could reactivate the license by filing some paperwork and paying a small fee, but that takes a few days. What happens if I get really angry and need to sue them RIGHT NOW?!

  • He was a little poopy-pants the rest of the afternoon.” This, surprisingly, is not a story about George Brett.
  • Andrew Zimbalist makes the case that the Yankees did not buy their championship. This would be a more impressive claim if it was a decade ago and people still believed everything Andrew Zimbalist says.
  • The Blue Jays traded a third baseman to the Reds a few months ago and got a third baseman in return. Now they may try to get a third baseman from the Reds. No word yet if they’ll also try to get a third baseman from the Reds during spring training or at next summer’s deadline. I kind of hope they do, though, because eventually they’d have to get to Sabo, right?
  • The weirdest thing about all of this is that before this morning I had no idea that Mike Ilitch’s wife owned a casino. Remember back when Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle got banned from baseball for simply doing promotion crap with a casino long after they retired? The game, she is different now.
  • Rookies of the Year to be announced today. When are they gonna do the right thing and name the award after Bob Hamelin?
  • I wonder just how much GMs discount performances by NL players these days. Does everyone do this, or is it really like two or three actually running numbers? I have no clue. Anyone know how these conversations really go inside front offices?
  • Another career question: Starting in December, how am I supposed to answer when people ask me what I do for a living? It seems a little presumptuous of me to say “baseball writer.” Roger Angell is a baseball writer. Joe Posnanski is a baseball writer. I snark on headlines and argue with people all day. At the same time, if I say “baseball blogger,” about 97% of the people are going to respond with “that’s . . .that’s a job?” So many questions.

    UPDATE: Mrs. Shyster is too good to comment among you heathens, but she did just email me and suggest that I answer thusly in response to such questions. This is why I love Mrs. Shyster.

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    1. Jason @ IIATMS said...

      Tell them “pediatrician” and let it go.  Always a hit with the ladies.  Not that I’ve tried it in Vegas or anything.  As far as you know…

      Telling them you’re a blogger might be as exciting as hearing someone say “wanna hear how my fantasy team did this week?”.

    2. Craig Calcaterra said...

      Yeah, as far as career status goes, it’s gonna take a major hit at cocktail parties. The only people who will be remotely impressed are the lawyers who know better, but for most folks, “I’m an attorney” kind of ends the boring career talk, either because they’re sufficiently impressed or, more likely, because they don’t really feel like talking to an attorney about his job (I don’t truck socially with too many lawyers).

      This “blogger” business is just gonna make me have longer conversations with people I don’t much care for to begin with.

    3. Jason @ IIATMS said...

      Or, you can go with the Mel Brooks classic:

      Dole Office Clerk: Occupation?
      Comicus: Stand-up philosopher.
      Dole Office Clerk: What?
      Comicus: Stand-up philosopher. I coalesce the vapors of human experience into a viable and meaningful comprehension.
      Dole Office Clerk: Oh, a *bullshit* artist!
      Comicus: *Grumble*…
      Dole Office Clerk: Did you bullshit last week?
      Comicus: No.
      Dole Office Clerk: Did you *try* to bullshit last week?
      Comicus: Yes!

      Dole Office Clerk played by Bea Arthur.  ROCK ON!

    4. Simon DelMonte said...

      Craig, I don’t know if it will answer the question, but I suggest you read the feature on Bill Simmons in the NY Times today.  It points out that Simmons writes about basketball – that’s a game people play when there’s not Hot Stove League, or so I’m told – from the comfort of his living room.  I think that given he only writes online now, he and you are in the line of work.  Whatever that is.

    5. J. McCann said...

      You keep the law license, that will make you $$$ even if you don’t practice, as you will be NBC Sports legal expert.

      I was going to say “Web Content Generator” for a major network, but Stand-Up Philospher is much better.

    6. ChrisKoz said...

      Keep the license active. It can come in handy helping out in family matters (or at least it comes in handy with my family, I’m not quite sure what that says) or if there’s some charity you want to do pro bono work for.

      On a purely selfish angle, the CLE would be good for you. It’s always good to keep the mind active in many pursuits. If you stick with baseball blogging, you could get Joe Morgan syndrome (aka Brain Rot).

    7. John_Michael said...

      Attractive Lady: “So Craig, what do you do for a living?”

      Craig: “Well darling, I’m a professional disseminator” *wink*wink*

    8. Aarcraft said...

      You could simply go with “retired lawyer,” which might make people assume you were ridiculously successful as a hotshot class action Plaintiff’s attorney, and have no need to work anymore after one of your cases settled for 1.5 billion, and you got a cool 35%.

    9. The Common Man said...

      I like the retired lawyer idea, but you should tell them you “retired from the law.”  That just sounds impressive (though it may actually mean that you’ve stopped obeying the law as well, which wouldn’t be a good thing).  Questions indeed.

    10. MJ said...

      Craig, I don’t know if it will answer the question, but I suggest you read the feature on Bill Simmons in the NY Times today.  It points out that Simmons writes about basketball – that’s a game people play when there’s not Hot Stove League, or so I’m told – from the comfort of his living room.  I think that given he only writes online now, he and you are in the line of work.  Whatever that is.

      Simmons jumped the shark in ‘04 after the Sox won the WS, and he became just as insufferable as most arrogant Red Sox* fans.  He used to be funny when he’d write from his perspective as a hardcore fan, but then he moves out to LA, joins the Jimmie Kimmel show, and becomes just another writer who loses two years in a row to his wife in nfl picks when she, admittedly, picks based off team colors/logos/etc.

      Oh yeah, and CC is far funnier than Simmons has been in a long time.

      *not saying all Sox fans are arrogant, but you know the ones who are, and how much of a pita they are to deal with (same goes for NYY fans).

    11. YankeesfanLen said...

      “I have a special practice, I only have one client”Then return to your hotel room and await the call.
      BTW, are people now saying we didm’t even BUY the WS? That’s disappointing, I kind of figured it may have been the answer.

    12. Eric Cioe said...

      Charlie: I’m a full …. full-on …. full-on-rapist!
      Lady: Excuse me, did you just say you’re a full-on-rapist?
      Charlie: What?  No!  I’m a … you know, I give money … to people with AIDs … and kids …
      Lady: You’re a philanthropist?
      Charlie: Yeah, that’s it.

    13. YankeesfanLen said...

      Just so everyone knows- The Yankees have more wins in November than the NY Giants and Jets combined- and throw in the Nets.Have the Devils been bought by the Steinbrenners?

    14. APBA Guy said...

      I like Yankeesfan Len’s idea of saying you are a lawyer with one client. But I prefer the response, when asked, that your client is:

      Kaiser Sosze.

      The look of fear and anguish from all assembled will forestall any and all further questioning.

    15. MooseinOhio said...

      RE The Law License – I’d keep it active and set up a little practice by the ballpark representing all the folks who bought condos in the Buggy Works building who will be suing someone over the casino moving in next door.

      RE Your Title – Your writing about baseball for the readers over at NBC, I think Ring Master will suffice.

    16. Craig Calcaterra said...

      Good point on the casino thing. It’s also right next door to my wife’s office, so we’re all happy about that.

    17. G2 said...

      When I don’t want to talk to people, I tell them I’m a plumber.  No one wants to know the details of a plumbers job.

      Only one time did someone actually follow-up and say that they needed some help in their house and asked if I could stop by someday.  I sat their like a deer in the headlights for what felt like five minutes before confessing.

    18. The Rabbit said...

      “Retired lawyer” may not work everywhere. As a former Jersey resident, and at one time politically connected, I have been represented by two now “retired lawyers”. Read: Convicted of various felonies, did their time, lost their licenses.  (One of these guys faked his own death in an island scuba diving accident, disappeared with $10M of Teamster pension funds and was eventually found in the the Maldives about a decade later. He was also a State Legislator…and no, I’m not making this up.  Name upon request. Great story! Even the extradition was interesting.)

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