Wednesday, October 27, 2010

World Series Preview

Like most baseball fans, I have no rooting interest in this years World Series. The Yankees have already been eliminated, leaving two underdog-type teams to fight for their first title in a long time (or ever). I suppose I'll cheer for the Rangers, since they're the ones who knocked off New York. Besides, I like when the American League asserts their dominance over an obnoxious NL team.

I thought about trying to attend at least one World Series game this year. It's pretty cheap to fly to the bay area, but you'd better pack a kayak - tickets to AT&T Park are ridiculous. It's actually less expensive to fly round-trip to San Fransisco than it is to get into any of the game. On StubHub, the cheapest you'll find for tonight's game is $515 bucks. On CraigsList, there are more people begging for tickets than actually selling them. And they're probably all serial killers.

I’ve bought and sold a few things on CraigsList, but the amount of transactions is relatively tiny compared to the amount of time I spend browsing the site. Holy cow wow I love browsing the site. It’s a slice, nay, a snapshot of humanity, in all it’s disgusting hypersexuality and materialism.

Every section has it's own quirks and humor. The job section can be overwhelming because there are so many different types of jobs in so many places. There are 31 different categories of jobs on CraigsList, not including a section just for part-time work. And I love that they included an et-cetera section, just in case a job listing doesn’t fit into any of the others. I can imagine someone asking, “So, what line uh work you in?” and I’d reply, “et-cetera.”

Basically, every single job listing is written in a way that makes that position sound absolutely wonderful. Like this one, under the vague heading Project Manager.

A fast growing wholesale business is looking for the right individual to make a huge impact and to help lead the company in growth. Specific responsibilities are: strategic sourcing and vendor relations, accurate fulfilling of custom orders and managing all operations. Other job duties could include margin analysis and pricing and special projects.

Grow with the company. Sounds so loving and collaborative. Also, these ads never tell you how hard the job will be. Sure, they list job responsibilities, but they always sound so simple and easy. Strategic sourcing? Great, combines two of my favorite activities. Vendor relations? Sure, whenever I see the guy refilling the coke machine, I say hello and ask him for a free coke. Managing all operations? Well how hard can that be?

The ad continues to the qualifications section.
Must have a strong project management background with excellent organization skills. Must love details, analysis, decision making and getting things done. Must have strong software skills and be a quick learner in all Microsoft products.

If they’re looking for someone who LOVES details, analysis, decision making and getting things done, they might as well just build a robot. Seriously, some poor sap who needs this job is going to walk in there babbling on and on about how he’s loved details and analysis since he was a little kid. Can you even imagine the kind of environment that values those lame characteristics so ridiculously high? The employees probably cut loose after work by rigidly cleaning their cubicles.

Oh right, World Series. I think the Rangers are really good at getting things done, even though San Fransisco manager Bruce Bochy is excellent at strategic sourcing and managing all operations. Cliff Lee loves details, analysis and decision making, so he'll definitely shut down the Giants offense.

Rangers in 6.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Nothing Really Matress - Fire Gardenhire?

Well, that was disappointing. It wasn't crushing, though. At least the Twins had the dignity to get dominated, rather than suffering heartbreaking late-inning losses. The home team also primed their fans for disappointment by losing a load of games at the end of the season, wiping out any momentum and fan excitement. Now it's time for fans to figure out what went wrong and then turn those quick solutions into hashtags. Let's see how deeply pointless we can get.

Some fans are blaming only The Magical Walrus for the pathetic postseason record. Others are saying that it's not his fault. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle.

A manager has two basic jobs. The first is game management - drawing lineups, managing the bullpen and making tactical moves. These decisions don't matter much unless the game is close, and they're usually not tough to make if the team is good. The second isn't really measurable or noticeable, so the stat people don't talk about it - leading. Managing all the personalities and motivations of 25 players isn't easy, especially over the course of 162 games in six months.

Did Gardy make so many tactical mistakes that it cost the Twins the series? I don't think so. Did he not get his players to play? It's up for debate, but basically impossible to know. Yet I strongly doubt that he needs to tell these guys how to win. These guys have all been there before.

But if you want Gardenhire gone, then you should also cast away Jason Kubel and everyone else who has been sub-par in the playoffs. (nearly everyone)

If you wanted to really solve the Twins postseason failures, from an organizational perspective, you should look at what wins games in October that might be different from winning a division. (power bullpen, ace pitcher, power and speed.) Those are problems worth discussing. The managerial situation is not.

Indeed, it was pointless for me to write this, and pointless for you to read it. Because the bottom line is this: Ron Gardenhire isn't going anywhere.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

2010 Playoffs - High Fashion

There are a lot of emotions heading into the Twins - Yankee division series. These feelings of fear, pride and hope can't be put into words, but they can be expressed with the help of The Family.