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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Sunday Substance

I have been meaning to share this for quite some time, but it has slipped through the cracks until now. Regular readers of this blog know of my extreme distaste for the new editor that WordPress (the platform that hosts this blog and many, many others) is trying to force on its users. Recently, they announced they would extend support for the Classic Editor (not the new Block[head] editor) at least through the end of next year.

What I have been meaning to share are the results of a recent survey conducted by WordPress itself, primarily to gather information about professional users; that is, people who use WordPress to design and to maintain websites for customers. More than half of professional users are still using the Classic Editor. I suspect that is the reason WordPress is supporting it through the end of next year.

To me, that is very damning evidence about the new editor. The people for whom this new system has allegedly been devised are not adopting it anywhere near as quickly or completely as WordPress thought. The “new” editor is actually not that new, anymore, as it has been available and pushed by WordPress for years.

The lesson and message should be obvious, but I’ll state it, anyway: WordPress, Keep The Classic Editor!


The title of this piece is Einstein Wins Again. Here is the beginning:


“An international team of researchers from ten countries led by Michael Kramer from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has conducted a 16-year long experiment to challenge Einstein’s theory of general relativity with some of the most rigorous tests yet. Their study of a unique pair of extreme stars, so called pulsars, involved seven radio telescopes across the globe and revealed new relativistic effects that were expected and have now been observed for the first time. Einstein’s theory, which was conceived when neither these types of extreme stars nor the techniques used to study them could be imagined, agrees with the observation at a level of at least 99.99%.” [emphasis mine]


Not only is it difficult for most people to understand Einstein’s genius, it is difficult to attempt to describe it in words. I fear we have reached a point where people like him are suppressed in the interest of “equality.” People may have equal rights under the law, but all people are not created equally. Einstein was sui generis, which is just a fancy way of saying unique, or one of a kind.


See the source image

See the source image



This recent piece from Hagerty reveals their Bull Market list for 2022. Imagine my delight when this car was listed:


1966 Pontiac GTO front action


Although the specifics are about the 1966 Pontiac GTO, the heading reads 1966-67 Pontiac GTO. Of course, and for the nth plus nth time, my first car was a 1967 Pontiac GTO:


Maybe I shouldn’t be so delighted to see the car included in the list since I haven’t owned it for 40 years. The Hagerty piece lists Highs and Lows for each of the ten cars. The last “High” for the GTO is quite humorous:


Highs: The definitive ’60s muscle car; paperwork available from Pontiac Historic Services makes documentation easy; several body styles and drivetrains; only slightly less rugged than an anvil.


I recommend that those of you with an interest in cars, which is most of you reading this, should read the Hagerty piece.









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Monday Musings 61

Today is supposed to be the first day that US residents will begin receiving a COVID-19 vaccine outside of a clinical trial. Almost 3 million first doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech formulation have been shipped. Their vaccine is given in two doses over a three-week period.

I have written about my bewilderment that a large percentage of the US population apparently has no intention of ever receiving the vaccine. I really can’t comprehend the obtuseness of those who feel that way.

I blame “social media” almost exclusively for this phenomenon. (Fack Fucebook!) Most of the “news” on social media is not vetted, not credible. Your “friend” posting on Fack Fucebook about hearing that her friend’s husband had a bad reaction to a shot is not news and is certainly not meaningful data.

My wonderful wife and I will get vaccinated as soon as possible. I weep for the future.


Maybe my fascination with mountains in general and the mountains around here in particular stems from having been raised in a part of the country that didn’t really have mountains. The state in which I was born and raised does have the Appalachians running through its extreme western counties, but that was not accessible without a car from where we lived and we never traveled there, at least not that I can remember. The state from which we just moved has hills, but the highest elevation there is only about 450 feet above sea level.

Anyway, much to the chagrin of some of you, below are some pictures of the mountain views around here. I realize that those of you living near the Rockies will probably dismiss these as being of big hills, not real mountains.



That bottom shot looked much more impressive in person than it does in this photo. When distilling the three-dimensional world into a two-dimensional picture, much can be lost in the translation.


I receive regular emails from Hagerty, the specialty auto insurance company. They consider themselves to be an automobile “lifestyle” company, a view to which they are certainly entitled.

The most recent email featured their “2021 Bull Market List.” Here is a picture from that story:



One would have to acknowledge that’s an eclectic mix of vehicles. Here is the intro to the piece:


“Hagerty ardently upholds the philosophy of “buy what you love.” When that love intersects with cars that are appreciating, so much the better—you might just be able to buy what you love and also drive it for free, which is surely proof of a well-lived life.

Over the past four years, that’s what Hagerty’s Bull Market list has been all about: highlighting fun cars, across a variety of budgets and tastes, that we believe are poised to rise in value over the next 12 months. This isn’t a get-rich-quick list for flippers; it’s a tipsheet to help enthusiasts get their cake and maybe eat it, too. And it’s informed by our analysis of all the market data Hagerty has at its disposal.”


I very much agree with the first sentence. Some people are obsessed with outsmarting or outdoing the world. Most of the time for most of them they just outsmart themselves.

Some people have a knack, often after years of experience, of being able to unearth items that will appreciate in value, whether that’s cars or art or the stock price of certain companies. Most people, though, don’t have the time and/or the acumen to be consistently right about such things.

I consider myself to be fairly knowledgeable about cars, but I would never think I could consistently buy cars that will appreciate. Frankly, I don’t care. I buy cars that I really want to own and to drive, no matter how idiosyncratic those cars might seem to many.

In general, I am usually not concerned with how others view my interests. I like to think that is because I am not an insecure person who needs the approval of others in order to validate my choices. I like what I like and if you don’t like it, I really don’t care.

Still, making decisions can be just as difficult for me as it is for many people. I will not discuss “the car purchase” again except to say regular readers know how much I/we have struggled with the choice. However, what other people might think has never and will never enter the decision-making process. I/we will buy something because I/we like it and it suits our needs. Whether or not that car could appreciate in value will also not be a factor.

I think you will enjoy reading the article about Hagerty’s 2021 Bull Market. I hope you have enjoyed today’s post.









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