Sad Saturday

Dixie Lewis, daughter of noted author Michael Lewis (whom I consider to be a friend), died in an automobile accident a couple of days ago. She was 19.

What can we say at a time like this? This passage from Saul Bellow might fit:


“We have a word for everything except for what we really think and feel.”


In more sad news, regular Disaffected Musings reader and commenter Dirty Dingus McGee is in the hospital. I will spare you the details although if you are a thorough reader of the comments you will know some of the particulars.

Get well soon, DDM!


On this day in 1946 the first production Kaiser and Frazer automobiles came off the Willow Run line. From this wonderful article on Ate Up With Motor:


“The first cars were shipped to dealers on June 22; all were registered as 1947 models. Despite Kaiser and Frazer’s earlier talk of inexpensive small cars, neither model was anything close to a low-priced economy car. The Kaiser Special started at $1,868, nearly $700 more than the cheapest 1947 Chevrolet. The Frazer, meanwhile, started at $2,053, over $100 more than an eight-cylinder Buick Special. Both Kaiser-Frazer products rode well, were reasonably economical, and had nicely trimmed interiors, but they were in no way exceptional.”


From Classic a picture of a 1947 Kaiser, I think:

Kaiser-Frazer had some success until the Big Three introduced new post-war cars for model years 1948 and 1949. In 1948, Kaiser-Frazer sold about 140,000 cars. By 1952, Kaiser sales (the Frazer make was discontinued after 1951) had declined to around 32,000.

The company ceased production of cars for the US market in the middle of the 1955 model year. Kaiser purchased Willys-Overland in 1953. Willys, of course, manufactured the Jeep. The company name was changed to Kaiser Jeep in 1963. American Motors Corporation bought that company in 1970. That company also included the General Products Division, which Kaiser had bought from Studebaker in 1964. (Still with me?) AMC renamed that division AM General, which built the original Hummer H1. Of course, all of AMC was sold to Chrysler Corporation in 1987.

I guess one could say that Kaiser “lives” on in Chrysler Corporation, but the latter is really just part of Stellantis and has an uncertain future. Don’t we all?









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It’s Tuesday

Baseball Hall of Famer Joe Morgan died on Sunday at the age of 77. My condolences to his family.

When I was a teenager and into my 20s, I was a huge fan of Morgan. Games like APBA and Strat-O-Matic taught me what a valuable player he was. However, when he became a broadcaster after he retired as a player I was not a fan of his at all.

When it came to analytics, Morgan was an antediluvian. He railed against “Moneyball” even though he never read the book and even kept insisting that Billy Beane had written it, although, of course, the book was written by Michael Lewis.



I was going to quote some of Morgan’s narrow-minded and bitter diatribes against the use of statistical analysis, about how only people who played the game can really know the game, but I decided that would be a waste of space. Besides, despite the widespread use of analytics now in everything from baseball to beer, I heard many of the same things from many people in my early days working in baseball.

One of the reasons for my bitterness is that, essentially, I was right and almost all of the rest of the world was wrong and yet I am the one forgotten today. Remember what that salutation from Michael Lewis says on my copy of Moneyball, “For [me], Who led the way.” Inspired by Bill James, but knowing the value of data long before I ever heard of Bill or read The Baseball Abstract, I was sure that data existed and could exist that would help baseball teams make better decisions.

As has been pointed out by others, a real irony exists in Morgan’s extreme “distaste” for analytics. It is from more modern analysis and understanding that “traditional” metrics didn’t tell the whole story that Morgan has vaulted to the top of the list of “modern era” second basemen.

Anyway…I have tried to be restrained in telling this story. From APBA Blog a picture of Joe Morgan’s APBA card representing his 1976 season, the second of his two consecutive MVP seasons with the Reds.


See the source image


While watching a show on Motor Trend with my wonderful wife (I think the show was Bitchin’ Rides) I wondered aloud about what my father would think of modern advances in automobiles, specifically 3-D printing. Of course, I will never know as he has been dead for more than a quarter century.

I think 3-D printing could revolutionize repair and restoration of cars. In fact, I think it already has. From a post on


Core applications of additive manufacturing (AM) in the automotive industry

Design and concept of communication High detail, smooth and accurate 3D printed scale models are very often used in the automotive industry to demonstrate designs and concepts of new vehicles. The reason is simple – using CAD models alone is not effective enough to define possible design problems. Such models are also used for the aerodynamic testing of new models.
Prototyping validation Like in many other industries, prototyping is a very important part of the manufacturing process in the automotive sector. 3D printing allows for rapid prototyping in the pre-manufacturing stage. Using AM now is one of the most popular ways to validate a prototype – from a small quickly printed detail to a high detail full-scale part suitable for performance validation and testing.
Preproduction sampling and tooling The specialists of 3D hubs regard this application as the most promising. 3D printing can be used to make molds and thermoforming tools, rapid manufacturing of grips, jigs, and fixtures. This allows automakers to produce samples and tools at low costs and to eliminate future losses in production when investing in high-cost tooling.
Customized parts Additive manufacturing is used by automotive enterprises to tailor the parts to specific vehicles (making them custom and lightweight) or even drivers (e.g. seats for racing cars). This is especially useful when the cost of such unique components is justified by a substantial improvement in vehicle performance.

As we see, 3D printing can be a key to car model evaluation and cost-saving for automakers.


Many restorations are hampered by lack of parts for older cars. It seems as though 3-D printing could fill much of that void. I guess some “purists,” people whose views are similar about cars to what Joe Morgan’s were about baseball, would argue that using a 3-D printed part ruins an original car. I would ask that if a restoration of a classic car is being held up by the unavailability of five parts, parts that can be created using 3-D printing, should the restoration never be completed? Below is a picture of a car where this question could be relevant, a 1935 Duesenberg Model SJ convertible.


See the source image



So, what do you think? Would it be OK to finish a restoration of a car like this using 3-D printed parts?









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Frugal Friday, Entropy Edition


No amount of planning could get me to that exact number of steps. Does it matter, anyway?


Entropy (noun): in Physics, a thermodynamic quantity representing the unavailability of a system’s thermal energy for conversion into mechanical work, often interpreted as the degree of disorder or randomness in the system. Alternatively, a lack of order or predictability; gradual decline into disorder.

All systems are supposed to have an increase in entropy over time, which is why nothing lasts forever. The innate human trait to find a cause for every effect often leads to excessive extrapolation and ignores entropy.


Explain again why I cannot find an interesting and fulfilling work situation:

Thirty years of experience in research, evaluation, and management within high-visibility business environments, including professional sports organizations. Analytics-based contributions have impacted decisions affecting millions of dollars in contract negotiations, laid the foundation for highly successful business operations, and provided the type and quality of analysis that gave a third dimension to traditional management thinking. Applied proven statistical concepts to improve management decisions. I am looking for a part-time or consulting role where a company can use my combination of analytical and communication skills for our mutual benefit.


“[     ]’s analytical skills are surely in the top one percent of the population.”

  • Bill James, noted author and “Father” of modern baseball analysis

“[      ] was one of the leaders of the movement that I described in Moneyball. He was an original thinker before original thinking became fashionable.”

  • Michael Lewis, author of “Moneyball,” “The Blind Side,” “Liar’s Poker”


That’s the summary section of my resume with my name omitted. How many people do you know who have recommendations from Bill James and Michael Lewis on their resume?

Poor Bill James…I sort of unloaded on him yesterday in an email (sorry once again, Bill). I did apologize in the email, but what’s done is done. Anyway, here is some of that email, which was to thank Bill for giving me a shout-out in a tweet long before I established a Twitter account:


Yes, no one seems to remember anything I’ve done. I’m reasonably sure that after I die everything I’ve done will be attributed to baseball’s golden boy. I wrote a book that the Wall Street Journal called, “Without a doubt the best book on pro football analysis ever written.” Yes, that was a long time ago, but that review is what it is. In the third edition of Total Baseball I was described as the analyst who “has risen the highest and had the most influence.” That was before I was named Director of Baseball Operations for the Padres. Speaking of baseball’s golden boy, when he was first named as GM of a major league team (which was only because Billy Beane changed his mind) he gave an interview in which he named Kevin Towers (RIP, KT) and me as the two people who had most influenced the way he thought about baseball.

I think I come by my bitterness honestly. In the blink of an eye I went from being an integral part in the decision-making process of multiple teams to being cast aside as obsolete.

Of course, you have zero culpability in any of this and without your work and guidance I would have had no career in baseball. As you know, though, people don’t judge events by objective reality, but by expectations and against the status quo.

Sorry for the rant; I don’t think time heals all wounds.


I’m only human. From Shakespeare, “If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that.”


From this Hemmings listing a picture of a 1964 AMC Rambler American:



I don’t think it was actually an AMC because I don’t think they put that make on cars until 1966, but it was manufactured by American Motors Corporation. It’s not a performance car as it’s powered by a 6-cylinder engine (the ad doesn’t say which engine). I think it’s a fetching design and would be proud to drive it. The dealer is asking $6,500. Yes, my insane obsession with defunct American makes plays a role in my interest in this car. I believe this is the 440 and not the 440H, which means AMC made 19,495 of them in 1964.



From this Hemmings listing a picture of a 1963 Chrysler Newport convertible offered at $9,850. Yes, the wheels are not stock and I’m sure the paint isn’t, either, although you know I really like orange cars. The standard engine on this car was a 361 cubic-inch V8 rated at 265 HP/380 LB-FT of torque. Only 2,176 were made in 1963.

Both of these cars are listed at less than $10,000. C’mon, do you want to spend $30,000 for a Toyota RAV4 or do you want to have some fun for a lot less money?

I’ve rambled (see what I did there) on long enough. Have a great weekend.












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