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February 24, 2004

Payroll Correction

David Pinto of Baseball Musings has some very interesting observations about the economics of baseball.

The free agent system worked for the players for so long because owners wanted to get rid of it and go back to the old days of the reserve clause. They spent so much time trying to figure out how to destroy it they never bothered to figure out how to work it to their advantage. Now they are seeing the light.

Then this followup:

Higher salaries don't drive ticket prices higher. Higher ticket prices drive salaries higher. And what drives ticket prices up? Higher demand. As long as the Yankees are drawing over 3 million fans a year, their ticket prices seem about right to me. If the Yankees were to cut the payroll to $100,000,000 and still have a winning team, they would not cut their ticket prices one bit.

Posted by jghiii at February 24, 2004 12:37 PM
Posted by: MGA on February 24, 2004 01:30 PM

Question: How much does a Fen weigh?

Jeez, I just crack me up.

Posted by: sherman on February 24, 2004 03:06 PM

This is what we get from a prep school education?

The point is to say "What's a henway" forcing the illusion that you are asking for a description/definition, rather than asking for the weight. Saying how much kinda ruins it in advance.

It reminds me of the time I worked with a bunch of athletes on some speeches they had to make to the incoming frosh jocks at orientation. One athlete, who went on to play NFL, had to give a speech about time management and to open the speech he used the old story of how "You are given a bank account with a balance of 86,400 in it, and at the end of each day, the balance is cleared and at the start of each day, the balance is set at 86,400 again so you can never carry over any leftover balance but must use the entire 86,400 in one day." It's an old story -- the trick is at the end of the story you reveal that you are talking about seconds, not money and how people assumed it was money since you said "account" and "bank" but you never really used the words "dollars" or "money".

Except when this kid told the story, he kept saying the word "seconds" right from the beginning. So when I critiqued him I suggested: "You know, you might try just saying the amount and not revealing you are talking about time or seconds, and it will be really cool when you reveal the secret at the end of the story." And the kid thought I was brilliant. I sat there and took the compliments, even tho it was more that he was stupid than it was that I was brilliant. And again, 12 months later he was getting a multi-million dollar paycheck, so being stupid didn't hurt him too much and brilliant me is earning much less than a million.

The guy was a cool guy, tho. When I was introduced to the group and they were told I was a debate coach, the Time Management guy asked me "Is it true if you think of your audience in their underwear (this is an old cliche) that you won't be nervous" and my reply was "Well, Nick -- it depends. If you think of a lot of hot chicks in their underwear, you might just get too excited." "I know!" said Nick, "I'll think about you in your underwear" and then every time before he would practice his speech he would repeat this mantra that he created to calm himself down and the mantra was fun during practice, but sure enough on the day of the orientation, in front of a crowded room of freshmen athletes and their parents and coaches, Nick gets up to do his speech and before he starts, in front of everyone, with a live mike, he starts chanting "Sherm in bikini underwear, Sherm in bikini underwear, Sherm in bikini undewear".

And no, Jack, as far as I can recall, no one vomited.

Posted by: Jack Hodgson on February 24, 2004 03:11 PM

Sherm wrote: "...he starts chanting "Sherm in bikini underwear, Sherm in bikini underwear, Sherm in bikini undewear". And no, Jack, as far as I can recall, no one vomited."

Maybe no one vomited THAT day. But TODAY's results are not yet in.

Posted by: beth on February 24, 2004 03:31 PM

He does go on doesnt he. Just kidding, you know I love to hear your stories.

Posted by: MGA on February 24, 2004 06:13 PM

Not bad, Sherm. I wrote two lines and you got an entire discourse out of it.

We should take this show on the road...

Posted by: Sherman on February 24, 2004 06:54 PM

Mark: There's money to be made from this skill for creating long somethings out of little somethings. You can teach it to debaters. In the world of competitive Parliamentary Debate, the "resolution" of the debate is released about 15 minutes prior to the start of the round, and the resolution is typically some quote or obscure (there's that word again) phrase. For instance -- Resolved: No Matter How You Slice It, It's Only Boloney. (Or Bolgogna for you purists.) The team that represents the affirmative has to transition that phrase/quote/whatever into case they want to talk about. For instance: "No matter how you slice it, it's only boloney. You can cut it side ways or length-wise or carve out the middle, and it's still just boloney. You can wrap it up in a pretty bow and include a $100 gift certificate, but it's still only boloney. You can write a song about it, like Martha and the Motels did in the 80s when they wrote 'Only boloney gets laid'. And President Bush is learning how true this statement is. He can slice and dice and dodge and shift his position, but the reality is that his justification for going to war against Iraq was boloney. It was fake. There are no weapons of mass destruction. He can slice and dice his reasons any way he wants, but no matter how you slice it, his reasons for war are bogus, no better than boloney.

And then they're off and debating the topic they want to talk about.

Which brings up (doesn't it always) another story. I was coaching Classical High debate in Rhode Island and when we held our monthly tournaments, I would be the one running things like scheduling and tabulating. And for each round, I had to announce whatever phrase/quote/whatever we were using. And of course, all the boring teacher/coaches always wanted some dumb-ass boring quote -- like something from Shakespear or a presidential inaugeration speech. I liked cool quotes like the balogna one. But I couldn't just blow off their suggestions of what topics to use. So for one round, some lame coach gave me some lame quote on a piece of paper and I stuck it (I thought) in my pocket and went to the lunch room where all the kids were waiting, and I stood on a chair in the middle of the lunch room and yelled out the pairings for the afternoon round and once done with that, I reached into my pocket for the slip of paper, and it's not there. And what I should have done was to call over the coach who gave me the boring quote, but instead I used the opportunity to go postal and yelled out my own resolution. It was 1992/1993 -- and Kurt's album had been out for a few months and the kids all loved it and I loved it even though that naked floating blue baby on the cover was a bit freaky -- so I yelled out: RESOLVED: Here We Are Now -- Entertain Us! And the kids are screaming and applauding and think it's so cool and there was not one coach who knew where the lyric was from. Not one.

But I gained about 40 points on the coolometer that day.

Posted by: MGA on February 27, 2004 07:28 AM

Whew! That's a relief. I thought you were going to the statement that only President Bush could get...

Well, nevermind.

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