Today at THT

Yesterday was kind of a surreal day for me. I had a meeting with an executive placement kind of person in a suburban office park at 8AM. I probably wouldn’t have gone on my own, but the business is run by a friend of a friend, and the two of them either (a) wanted to use me as a connection point with which to further solidify their network; or (b) were genuinely psyched to want to help find something productive for me to do with my life. I felt like I couldn’t let them down, so I went. Waiting in the conference room, I started perusing the titles on a bookshelf. It was filled with Stephen Covey books (for those of you keeping score at home, I think there are now 124 habits of highly effective people) and all number of titles that compare management styles and career tracks to the lives of pirates and samurais and other fanciful archetypes who would never allow themselves to be caught dead in an office building. I wasn’t sure how any of those books would help me find a job, but I’m pretty sure that my parachute is a faded puce, and that despite all of my habits, I’m not that highly effective of a person.

One book did stick out, however: Moneyball, by Michael Lewis. When my would-be executive placer came into the room I asked her about it, feigning ignorance. She said that she hadn’t read it, but she was of the impression that it was a managerial self-help book with baseball as the central metaphor. I nodded and said “ah.”

I made it home after an afternoon of various errands and tasks. By then five inches of snow had fallen on central Ohio, more was on the way, and the temperature was headed towards the single digits. I cracked a beer and turned on local news. A reporter was standing out in blowing snow, holding a pair of jeans which he had soaked with water and then allowed to freeze rigid in the winter air. I’m not sure what he was trying to prove, but just so you know: wet jeans freeze when it’s 9 degrees outside.

The takeaway from my weird Wednesday: it’s a scary world out there, babies, and we’d all be better off if we never left our homes and never turned on our televisions unless a ballgame is on. Read the Internet instead. It will never steer you wrong.

  • Dave Studeman has spent the last month diligently creating new stats and now has another on called “postseason probability added.” Dave’s dirty little secret: he’s not really interested in anything these stats measure. He’s simply tired of hack writers using VORP and OPS when they’re trying to make fun of sabermetrics and felt that a couple of new acronyms would help mix things up a bit.
  • For those of you who want to see the Cubs win a World Series simply so that the whole snakebit, tortured fan rhetoric will finally end forever, Brandon Isleib has some bad news for you. At least those of you who are going to live another 100 year or so.
  • Finally, over at Fantasy Focus, Jonathan Halket gives us a lesson on value. To illustrate a microeconomic theory, he uses the example of beer and corn. I wish he would have added in some macroeconomics too, because guns and butter would have gone really well the beer and the corn, don’t you think?
  • Record cold temperatures here this morning. Can’t wait to see what the news guy freezes today.

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    1. Craig Calcaterra said...

      TLA: as Springsteen once sang: if you can take a mans life for the thoughts thats in his head . . .

    2. Mike said...


      It’s great that we can leave you comments here, directly in your stories.  I don’t like that for other stories here we have to leave comments at BallHype.  Do you have any sense if your commenting feature will eventually come to the other stories here?


    3. Mark said...

      I was only half watching TV here last night in Boston when suddenly I noticed the news was on and some reporter was out on the streets of Boston banging a frozen sock onto the sidewalk.  I’m really not sure what they were trying to prove and who the heck thought it would be a great idea to take a sock and freeze it anyway?  Do you really go dipping your socks into a tub of water before you go outside just to see if your feet might freeze?

    4. Grant said...

      I was waiting for the bus at 3 AM last night. I can assure you that, yes, it was cold. Even with longjohns on I was shivering quite robustly.

      I like the Moneyball story. It’s nice to see the book as just another management book, which is really what Michael Lewis was writing. The book both is and isn’t worth all the vitriol surrounding it.

    5. Pete Toms said...

      Ok Yankees, now some Canadian chauvinism.  As I sit here in my Ottawa basement with the space heater turned on, the Environment Canada website tells me that it is -22 celsius and -30 celsius with the windchill.  Plus I roll the dice every time I back out of our driveway because the snowbank is so friggin high I can’t see any oncoming traffic. 

      On the topic of “stupid weatherperson tricks”, last evening I saw one of these folks throw some water from a cup into the air ( warm water IIRC ) so we could watch it vaporize before it hit the ground. 

      On the bright side, even though I am either unemployed or retired ( I haven’t decided ) my working wife ( bless her ) tells me we can afford to go on a beach holiday. 

      Funny #### about Covey.  I read his name yesterday in some piece about the dying guy who became famous on YouTube with his lecture about what’s important in life.  I was already peripherally aware of him.  Anyway, I dismissed him as intellectually lame when the piece noted that he was a Covey convert.  On the same theme, I recall Craig ripping some days ( was it Sundays? ) with Maury, the sentimental Alboim tripe.  Well, I assume it is such, haven’t read it.

    6. Craig Calcaterra said...

      Mike—sorry for the delay in responding:

      Fantasy Focus articles (see tab at the top of the page) have comments like these now.  There has been some talk of adding comments to everything else, but I’m not sure if it’s going to happen.  Some authors like it, some don’t, and there is some reason to each side’s argument (one reason: unlike me, the other authors all have lives and jobs and stuff and aren’t able to police the spam the way I do).

    7. blaze said...

      That, my friend, is the definition of optimism: you still greet the day with anticipation, looking forward to the low man on the weather totem pole freezing something in the ungodly cold that is our home.

    8. TLA said...


      Please don’t take this the wrong way, but the thought of you in an executive placement office with a wall of managerial self help books is hilarious.  Rest assured, the thought isn’t hilarious because I don’t think of you as the executive type.  It has more to do with the person that I have imagined based on your “voice.”  Plus, the blog is a testament to your entrepreneurial spirit and its hard to think of an entrepreneur in an executive placement office.

      Back to my original thought . . . what I would do for a full transcript of your internal monologue from the moment you headed off to this meeting to the moment you sunk into the couch with a cold one.  I’m thinking something along the lines of a Simmons playoff game diary.  Oh well, I guess it’s just one opportunity lost.

    9. Chris Simonds said...

      If it’s his own blue jeans he displays today, I can tell you what the news guy will be freezing. Then it’s a matter of (a) whether the camera man will show it and (b) do we really want to watch.

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