Ahead Of My Time

As I have written before, I was using statistical analysis, or analytics, to help a major league baseball team make decisions in a full-time job 15 years before Moneyball was published. No one had heard of Michael Lewis and Billy Beane was just another first-round bust.

In the late 1990s, while I was Director of Baseball Operations for a major league team, I proposed that position players (non-pitchers) without enough service time to be eligible for salary arbitration be compensated on the basis of OPS, On-Base Percentage Plus Slugging Percentage, adjusted for position and weighted for playing time. The data that allowed for solid, objective evaluation of defense was just over the horizon at that point. I also proposed a similar scheme for pitchers, but obviously one that was based on pitching metrics.

Someone recently sent me this link to an ESPN article that reported on the first bonus pool for players not yet eligible for salary arbitration. The top 100 players in WAR–Wins Above Replacement, a “modern” metric for evaluating performance–among those who do not have enough service time for arbitration received bonuses. Such bonuses were also paid for players in this group who finished first or second in Rookie of the Year voting, in the top five for MVP and Cy Young as well as first and second-team All-MLB. A good percentage of these players will earn more in bonuses than their salary.

Can you understand my continuing bitterness towards major league baseball? Maybe they are simply being kind, but the very few people still in the game with whom I still have any communication tell me that the “kids” being hired today by teams don’t know as much about the game as I did. Yet, they are in and I am out.

One thing that aggravates me to no end is people who believe that everyone gets what they deserve. That to me is SUB: Sheer Unadulterated Bullshit. NO ONE even knows what anyone else deserves.


Here are links to two stories about Tesla cars:


A Tesla Owner Says He Was Locked Out Of His Car After The Battery Died

Tesla Magically Ignites While Sitting In Junkyard


My wonderful wife sent me these stories. Philip Maynard sent me this link to a story about automakers are now charging subscription fees, which is made much easier with electric cars, for features like heated seats.

The EV lemmings/zealots refuse to acknowledge that electric cars have drawbacks. NOTHING made by human beings is perfect because NO human being is perfect. #DeathBeforeEV


This recent Hagerty article is about their “Bull Market” list for 2023, the hottest collector vehicles. One point they make is that more than half of the list–6 of 11–was built after 2000. I was pleasantly surprised that most of the vehicles were actually cars and not SUVs or pickup trucks. My wonderful wife is a big fan of this car that made the list; me, not so much.


AMC AMX side pan high angle


I have always thought that the C-pillar (some would call it the B-pillar) for the original AMC AMX is simply too large for the car. Here is the Hagerty “Intelligence” on the AMX that led it to making this list:


“The AMX is the other two-seat American performance car of the 1960s, and though its appreciation lags behind other muscle cars, younger enthusiasts are increasingly shopping for it. Appreciation since 2019 for the AMX was 28.8 percent, which is behind the ’67–69 Camaro (up 40.5 percent). However, interest from next-generation enthusiasts has nearly tripled since 2019, from a share of 13 percent to 38, suggesting further appreciation is likely.”


My idiosyncratic “appreciation” of small cars has manifested itself in strange ways, including a like of this car that made the list:


Suzuki Cappuccino rear three-quarter driving action


This is a Suzuki Cappuccino. I have written about this car before, here and here. Here is the Hagerty summary for the Cappuccino.


“The Cappuccino never got the same attention as its fellow ABC kei cars, the Autozam AZ-1 and Honda Beat. However, demand for this more “practical” kei car is increasing. Imports have outpaced the Beat in recent years and average protected values are increasing at twice the rate of those for the Beat. Millennial and Gen Z enthusiasts submit over 80 percent of insurance quotes, which assures there will be a dedicated following in the future. It’s nearly impossible to find a more interesting car for under $10,000, assuming you can fit in one.”


Was my interest in this car ahead of its time (the first time I wrote about it was in 2018)? I’ll let you decide.











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2 thoughts on “Ahead Of My Time

  1. Lot to think/comment about

    Re: subscription service, And people wonder why I like older vehicles. OEM’s can pound sand, especially on the REQUIRED subscriptions. I’ll walk first.

    Re: electric vehicles. Saw this article. Sounds great doesn’t it?


    Re: AMX

    I really like the AMX, and even the Javelin. Had a neighbor, who started my love of gassers, and his brother had an AMX. 1969 (IIRC) Big Bad Blue with the 390. Seriously non stock engine, and used to do these great long smoky burnouts with it. 13/14 year old me thought that was the best thing since sliced bread. I’m glad to see they are finally starting to get some recognition.


    1. Thanks, DDM. The article about Switzerland is, of course, reminiscent of California enacting a ban on new ICE-powered vehicles beginning in 2035 and six days after announcing the ban the state asking EV owners not to charge their cars every day because the grid couldn’t handle it during the summer.


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