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December 25, 2006

My Favorite Typo

When trying to write have, I quite enjoy mistakenly typing hae, instead. It doesn't change my meaning at all, and I come off sounding Scottish! A win-win situation.

December 23, 2006

Find Your NFL Bandwagon Team

In general, the amount of multi-axis, ten-question "which Brady Bunch family member are you?" quizzes out there on the Internet drives me crazy. But this one from nfl.com is very well done. And for me--at least the first time--it worked, telling me that the Jets are my second favorite team. Of course, the second time it gave me the Saints. Go figure.

The questions are different each time you take it. Who do you end up with?


It's been a while since I've blogged here. So what better to blog about than the British woman who gave birth to three babies.... from two wombs!

From: "Triplets for woman with two wombs"

December 6, 2006

The Red Soxees?

A couple of years ago, the Red Sox offered Pedro a three-year contract and refused to go to four years citing injury concerns and an overall feeling that the contract was too long for the risk to match the value. Last year, the Red Sox let the Yankees sign Johnny Damon, again citing their belief that Damon's value did not match the money they'd need to offer to match the Yankees contract.

This offseason, it seems that all considerations of value have flown out the window. Julio Lugo for $8 million ($9 million? I've seen conflicting reports) per year at shortstop. He's an upgrade over Alex Gonzalez, but probably not for the value difference. The oft-injured JD Drew for $15 million per year for four years? Again, not a value signing. And $50+ million just to talk to an unproven Japanese pitcher? That smacks of competition rather than value.

All this is to say that when Mets fans or Red Sox fans or Dodgers fans or whoever talks to Yankees fans and chides their team for their runaway-train spending trends, the Yankees fans invariably respond with something along the lines of "Well, your team spends over $100 million and could spend as much as the Yankees." The difference here is that the other teams pay attention to value when making trades and signing players. They do have the money to spend, but they choose to spend it in a pennywise fashion (at least, as best as they can judge) rather than throwing arbitrary sums of money at the best players on the market. The Red Sox, it seems, are beginning to eschew value signings in favor of target signings: target a player and then sign them, regardless of the relative value of the contract's finances.

I fear that this is a watershed change for the Red Sox, and that it is only a small step away from the most insidious of the Yankees' practices. The dominance of the Yankees' spending habits doesn't lie so much in being able to sign players between seasons. Instead, their real power is that their reckless spending and huge payroll allows them to give up on failing-but-expensive players without a second thought (usually during a season) and pursue expensive replacements. Two years ago, the Mets stuck with Kaz Matsui despite his poor performance. They had invested in him, and to bench him at that point would decrease his effective value to zero. While that would have been a good baseball decision, the Mets were (and are) playing within a budget—and within this budget decisions needs to be made based on financial value. The Yankees are at a point where they can and do ignore financial value, and this allows them to abandon failed projects at a whim and pursue new opportunities. The Red Sox seem to be moving in this direction, and I think that that's a bad thing for competition in baseball.

Just some rambling thoughts during this week of MLB winter meetings...