Monthly Archives: July 2014

Jesse’s win

I was listening to the stream interview of Ventura’s lawyer yesterday, and you woulda thought his dog had died. Best grade trial lawyers comport themselves with greater control than normal people ya figure, but I do wonder if he was disappointed at the size of the award. $1.8 million is plenty only superficially. It has a way of not being all that if the contingency is a third and represents several thousand hours of unpaid law firm work over a few years.

But, I don’t know if its right to guess this would be contingency payable only in victory. Seems odd that it would be in some ways. I’m not a lawyer. But Jesse’s lawyer was like crestfallen.

Anywho, big thing is…. I wouldn’t have thought it likely the jury’s conclusion would be that nothing happened at that bar. Kyle was known to be a story teller, but for this ‘fight’ he has some middling corroboration. And what I figured was, something probably happened, but it was somewhat less dramatic than Kyle wrote. See, bar fights are usually absurd for their ex-post facto exaggeration. When someone says they socked someone in the nose, what that usually means is they almost landed a blow amid a lurching crowd. Occam’s razor suggests this may have been what amounted to this ‘fight’ between Kyle and Ventura.

But this is something that bears at least a passing resemblance to the truth, and I don’t think not expressing the details with 100% accuracy or rather even embellishing them ought make for a defamation loss. Ventura’s damage by that is minimal to the point of unquantifiability.

What seems to have happened with this jury…. And I almost hate talking this way, but here goes … bright people with keen insights understand that Jesse is … what’s the word…. Absurd. I think… ahem… ‘we’ … forget what a warm impression he makes on average people when he is a bit fresh and new to them.

Twins nab a Roy Hobbs type player

Baseball hasn’t seen high quality fiction over the years, not as much as other genres. Say westerns. There’s probably a baseball novel as good as Shane or True Grit. But there’s probably dozens of western novels as good as Shane or True Grit.

Still, baseball fiction has its established tropes. And one of them is the prospect who comes out of nowhere, and then maybe the old scout who pursuits these mythical prospects. And we are mostly talking the pursuit of hard throwing pitchers, the mythical ‘’hardest thrower any one has ever seen’.

So in our trope the old scout has to stop for gas in Nowheresville, USA, and he’s sees the local kid on the field across the street striking everyone out. Having been discovered, the kid is now obviously on a trajectory to the major leagues. Of course there are dramatically placed plot hurdles to overcome, and these are usually moral in nature.

As a practical matter prospecting and scouting stopped being like that a long time ago, probably the 60’s. No one is out in the sticks driving to random baseball games. To be an area scout or a canvasser, you know your various local high school and college conferences, and you read your local papers. You spot the kids who are excelling, and then go see a game to evaluate if they actually have elite physical tools. You spot the other kids you observe with elite physical tools who are maybe not making the papers, take down their name and addresses and where they will play next . You talk to coaches, to figure out who else locally is making some noise as an amateur. You attend youth instructional camps and watch. Or you run pro tryout camps, just as a cattle call to bring in a lot of boys and see if any are interesting.

And you put all this info on recipe cards, and keep collating and collating to refine what you think are the correct insights re who’s got professional ability. In the modern age, you put it on your laptop. And then in April and May each year you put it together against the data from the other scouts in your organization to figure out who your team is going to draft.

Out of this canvassing and sorting, there really are no unknown prospects that appear spontaneously. Certainly not in the era of the elite amateur athlete, who is typically on the god squad’s iron throne at his affluent suburban high school.

http://www.pressdemocrat.com/sports/2450445-181/empire-flame-thrower-takes-99-mph

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jspymd=20140729&content_id=86944938&vkey=news_min&c_id=min

Updated later to add:

http://sports.yahoo.com/news/the-100-mph-throwing-art-school-kid–an-incredible-story-of-a-twins–scouting-find-052923193.html

So, it happens still…. very occasionally. Usually by a kid who for one reason or another failed to become a big fish in his local amateur baseball ecosystem. A lot of times, these are kids who maybe have a substance abuse problem. Toe Nash is the name of one who was somewhat legendary 20 years ago, signed by the Tampa Bay Rays. The Twins have a guy in their system now, Mark Hamburger, who is a bit like this. And thing is, often times the original / latent behavior problem is insurmountable, and these kids don’t pan out as pros. Poulson is explained as a straight arrow and a late bloomer, so ya figure he’s got a good shot to stick.

But generally, undrafted free agents are viewed more as organizational players. Roster fillers for the low minors. The real prospects need players to play with and against eh? It wasn’t long ago when these undrafted players signed for a decent running ’78 Monte Carlo and $1500 so they could drive down to rookie ball in the Appalachian League.  That may have actually been generous, as the expectation is these guys will be released and replaced within a year or two.

Poulson ostensibly got real money because he’s got an actual elitest of the elite physical skill set. I still think he came cheap at $250k. But he hadn’t had any real success as a pitcher in collegiate or high school baseball, and hadn’t come into much contact with the advisor / agent industry.

He’ll make it up if he makes the big leagues, and I bet he will.

You look at this kid Poulson’s stats, and in his amateur league he was striking out just about everyone. I think it was 31 strikeouts in 12 innings. Seems to me even great amateurs who throw in the low nineties don’t achieve that. They might strike out 2 an inning, but still regularly encounter a batter who could at least nub a ground ball into the infield off them. At 100, this kid Poulson was not finding those guys very often.

New Army pistol demonstrates the need for something, or something

Atlantic article was yesterday, and I was of a mind to resist the topic. I’m multi-faceted, I don’t want to be a gun blog. But now with the Yahoo piece, ya figure there’s a coordinated message that these journalists are responding to. My expert interest is piqued!

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2014/07/how-military-guns-make-the-civilian-market/375123/

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/army-handgun-weapon-criminals-162100885.html

Yahoo piece: There’s a new semi-automatic handgun on the horizon for the Army that U.S. consumers may have access to almost immediately. When that happens, America’s emergency rooms better be prepared for the carnage that’s likely to follow.

Zingy: The premise is ostensibly that with the army’s new gun, civilians will have access to greater firepower, the manifestation of that showing up as more carnage in ERs. But the reality is they’re replacing a 15 round semi-automatic handgun with a 13, 15 or 17 round semi-automatic handgun

So no, the new gun isn’t an upward departure from the status quo, and doesn’t introduce new concepts of military small arms firepower into the civilian market. The premise and whatever alarm these articles are supposed to engender is rejectable by virtue of the math. No new carnage. Science and empiricism is not on the side of the abolitionists claim there.

Given the curious timing of the contemporaneous articles ya figure this is probably the work of a single mind, that being a policy fellow at one of the abolitionist think tanks. In one of these campaigns he/she comes up with a message and tries to feed it through multiple journalists for maximum effect.

If it’s not actually as obtuse as it seems, then I’m not actually sure what that message is. Expressing dismay that military functionality ends up built into civilian small arms is to be surprised that the sun comes up in the east. It’s always been thus. You know when Colt’s 1860 Army sidearm became available to the public? 1860. Colt’s 1873? 1873. Colt’s 1911? Now you guess. It’s as easy as it seems.

All arms and then no arms are explicitly ‘military’. If extra utility, ergonomics, and ease of manufacturing come out of a military spec process then those features will get adopted on the consumer side. The opposite is true also actually. Big thing is, this isn’t so much a rebuttal that’s tied pedantically to gun facts. I’m trying to not be that guy. It’s an argument tied pedantically to principles of design, innovation, and adoption.

Silly articles.

Gullible is when….

…your BS detector should go off and it doesn’t. But we probably need a better word than merely ‘gullible’, ie something that also alludes to the confirmation bias in action here.

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/383882/anatomy-hoax-kevin-d-williamson

Now I get it, by the way. I get that Bachmann is a hysterical absurd caricature in perhaps several ways. But fair to say it’s mostly got to do with her and her husband’s homophobia.

However I can’t think of any instance where her behavior has confirmed a tag of patronizing racist or bigot.  I think that just gets assumed… unfairly.  Ya know, cuz she’s an evangelical or the modern rendition of Phyllis Schlafly.  Who I don’t think is a racist either, but it’s all trope so it being unfair is something of a pedantic point.

I voted for Bachmann several times and I have no regrets. Who the hell else was I to vote for?