Today at THT

The holidays dipped me in scotch, shook me around in a bowl of Chex mix, sprinkled me liberally over a bunch of college football games, and have now spit me out into 2009 with no direction, no mooring, and no frame of reference. It’s Monday, I guess, but because of the vicissitudes of this godforsaken economy, I find myself without a day job, so it may as well be May 16, 1979. Though part of me — the part that doesn’t think much about eating and making ends meet — hopes this state of affairs will go on forever, a handful of purpose-driven phone calls, lunches, and emails gives me a strong reason to believe that it is temporary.

The upshot of all of this is a career hiccup large enough to cause me to feel anxiety and smell freedom, but not large enough to allow that anxiety to mellow into reason and reflection and that smell of freedom to mature to an actual taste. The worst of both worlds, really. On the bright side, I’m not shaving this morning no matter what you say. And I’m taking extra time to read this stuff:

  • Chris Jaffe (and Repoz and, until this year, Keith Law) go through an awful lot of trouble to predict that which will become manifest a week from now. They’re pretty good at it, though, so who am I to criticize?
  • You may have been drunk for the past week, but baseball execs weren’t, and Evan Brunell has the rundown of what they’ve been up to. My favorite observation: that Mark DeRosa is the Indians’ new Casey Blake. I’m guessing this doesn’t make Blake all that happy.
  • Finally, over at Fantasy Focus, Derek Carty reminds us that the level of a competition a player faces makes a big difference in that player’s value. He explores how we might adjust for that, and calls the new stat measuring it “CAPS” for “Context Adjusted Pitching Statistics.” I’m assuming this is because it was too hard to come up with a title that lent itself to the acronym “CLIFF LEE.” Also, Victor Wang checks out some cheap power options. Think of these players as the kerosene heaters in your aging, smoke detector-free, rundown duplex of a fantasy team.
  • Things may be slightly weird around here until my employment situation works itself out, as I’m going to be Mr. Mom for a while. On the one hand, watching and playing with my kids takes less time than legal work does, so you may think that I’ll be increasing posting frequency. On the other hand, hanging out with my kids is far more enjoyable than the legal work, so there’s reason to believe that my productivity may suffer as well. Ultimately, however, I think it’s going to be a wash in terms of volume and insight while the schedule itself changes a tad. With the luxury of the post-lunch office lull no longer at my disposal, I may post more in the evenings. Then again, maybe not.

    All I can say for certain is that if I’m not immediately on top of the story about Joe Shlabotnik signing a multi-year deal with the Mudville Nine the minute it happens, well, that’s just how the world is going to work for a bit. The kids have to get dropped off at preschool and they have to eat their lunch, and I’m the one doing the dropping and spreading the peanut butter. Probably doesn’t matter, though, because from what I understand, all of you young hipsters are reading the feeds these days as opposed to constantly hitting “refresh” while waiting for me to update, thus rendering the time of a given post meaningless.

    This will conclude the meta-content of today’s broadcast.

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    1. The Common Man said...

      My condolences, Craig.  Wish you and your fam all the best and hope everything gets sorted out soon.  In the meantime, enjoy your family.

    2. Craig Calcaterra said...

      Thanks, TCM, but condolences aren’t necessary. To be honest, leaving the place I was at is something of a relief at this point.  I’m sure life will straighten out shortly, and even if it doesn’t, my kids > a law firm in every single way by a factor of about a billion.

    3. Pete Toms said...

      I thought the DeRosa deal was interesting in a handful of ways.

      1.  What positions will Peralta, Cabrera and DeRosa play?

      2.  DeRosa came so cheap.  The Indians really only had to agree to take on all the money.  The opinion was unanimous on the internet that none of the players the Cubs acquired are projected to become frontline players.  ( one guy, Stevens? is thought to maybe become a middle reliever )….Anyway, another example this offseason of how easy it is to acquire veteran players if you’ll take on money ( see Vazquez also ).  I digress but by osmosis I think there is a trend of mid market teams being more active ( obviously, minus the Yankees ) in signing players than larger market teams….is this the effects of the changes to the marginal tax rates on revenue sharing trickling down?

      3.  It was a salary dump for the Cubs.  Are they freeing up that money to sign somebody ( widely rumored to be Bradley ) or are the Cubs gonna pocket it?

    4. APBA Guy said...


      Good luck on the job front. As a sales guy, we’re used to the instability in employment. But your attitude is the right one. Time off is a blessing to be thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated, and spending it connecting to the family is perfect use of this opportunity.

      Revel in your time.

    5. Utpal Sandesara said...

      Craig, all the best to you for this new year. Here’s hoping that it will bring the actual sweet taste of freedom.

    6. dlf said...

      As a refuge from the practice of law, let me wish you the best as you search for something sufficiently fulfilling.  Even in a down economy, there are hundreds or thousands of opportunities in every city for bright creative people.

    7. Jake said...

      sorry about the loss of job!  I lost mine a few days ago too… know any openings for an electrical engineer? wink

    8. Dr Paisley said...

      Sue the bastards! I hear there’s guys on tv late at night who can help with that.

      I’m sure it will work out for the best for you. Enjoy the time off, and remember, KC is still looking for a middle infielder.

    9. Chris said...

      Best of luck to you in the job search.  And nice Peanuts reference (Joe Schlabotnik, Charlie Brown’s favorite player).  As a career counselor, I’m curious: do you put Shysterball on your resume?

    10. Craig Calcaterra said...

      Thanks, Chris.  I do have ShysterBall on the resume and I’ll discuss it with employers in interviews.  I pretty much have to be out front with it (1) because I’m totally Googleable; (2) because the Columbus Dispatch (hometown newspaper) did a feature on me/it last summer; and (3) because unless I’m told to at the outset, I don’t plan to give it up, even if I do have to scale back.  Indeed, if a potential employer told me to give it up, I’d have to think long and hard about whether I wanted that job.

      All that said, I don’t oversell it.  It’s in the “other interests” section of my resume and I (accurately I think) list it as a hobbyish sort of thing like someone who likes to write romance novels might do.

    11. truck accident lawyer said...

      Craig, all the best to you for this new year. Here’s hoping that it will bring the freedom.

    12. Melody said...

      Hey Craig, hope things get straightened out on the job front in whatever way is best for you, and I’m sure you’ll enjoy the time with your kids.

      And even if no one else does, I still refresh the browser smile

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