Tuesday, February 15, 2011

SB Ponzi Schemes

In the early 20th century a con man/hustler named Charles Ponzi invented a scheme that paid returns to separate investors, not from any profit earned, but from their own money or money paid by subsequent investors. In other words, he circulated money by borrowing from Peter to pay Paul, all the while taking a cut for himself.

His con preyed on trust, family, friendship, and good old fashion human natured greed. He enticed new investors by offering abnormally high or unusually consistent returns that other investment houses could not guarantee/match. To keep everyone happy and the money flowing a Ponzi scheme requires an ever-increasing flow of money from investors to keep it going. Eventually the party ends as the system is destined to collapse because the earnings, if any, are less than the payments to investors, and by then the architect of the fraud has fled dodge or been discovered.

By now almost everyone has heard of the longest/largest Ponzi scheme ever

so no need to get into that complicated mess. But the Madoff/Met situation got me to thinking about whether Ponzi's scheme's exist in softball? The Answer is a resounding Yes!!!!! You bet they do!!!! As softball is an investment of not only time and money, but also of your heart, soul, passion, and love of/for the game.So be on the lookout for these

Top Ten Softball Ponzi Scheme Warnings Signs

10. "Individual Player Tryout Day to form a team" - I went to one of these once and it's idiotville. AVOID AVOID AVOID - CONSUMER ALERT!!! If a league asks you to bring a check and attend a try out to form a team on that very same day, then I got news for you, that's a hustle and your their sucker mark that's born every minute. They are preying on your love for the game. MAJOR RED FLAG -Think about it, the odds of 10-20 perfect strangers forming a cohesive team that shows up to play competitively on a consistent basis is so improbable.

9. "First Come First Serve" - any league that advertises itself as "First Come First Serve" is greedy and ghetto. They are basically saying give us your money we don't care if your an alien trying to invade earth.

8. "Softball Raffles" - c'mon this is so grammar school and little league. You might as well take your money and throw it out the window. Rip-off!

7. "Trophies and Jackets" - any league that solely gives trophies and jackets is full of shit. No party? No prize money? No trip? - You greedy bastards. Fuck You

6. "Package Plan Ponzi" - This is a team/player hustle. You want the stud player, but are forced to take their friend who isn't as good. This can work out well, if their friend (and that has been me many a time) is dedicated, decent, humble, and a team player. But when the package player is an asshole you are in a bad spot. Kind of like when you hate your in-laws but can't say anything.

5. "Player Paid"/"Paid for the Team" Ponzi- certain guys on a team pay their league fee, certain guys don't. When crunch time come you know some guys that paid are gonna bitch about playing time. Same idea for when a horrible player pays for the team and you can't say a word no matter how many errors they make. These are no win situations.

4. "Paying Players Ponzi" - let's just get this out of the way. Certain guys are paid. It's the Truth. Let the Buyer beware though b/c word gets around and those compensated players usually end up bringing other players who also want to get paid. A cost-benefit analysis is wise in this scenario as you may be getting in over your head.
3. "Commissioner has a team in the League Ponzi" - Common sense they ain't gonna do anything that hurts their chances to win are they? This might work, but you have to keep on eye on them - always

2. "No Documentation" - If a league has no website, no rules written down anywhere, no paper trail, then you better start asking yourself if this is 2011?

and the number one Softball Ponzi Scheme Warnings Signs

1. "Post Dated Check"/ "Split the Money"
If you win a championship August 1st are rewarded on that day with a post-dated Nov 15th, 2011 check something is wrong. Terribly Wrong!!! This is so unprofessional, greedy, ghetto, and flat our crooked. Also, any league that cannot come up with one clear Champion at the end of the season and "splits the money" has serious internal control issues.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

SB Paradoxes.. the Return of the Top Ten

A Paradox is a Contradiction. By their very nature, paradoxes are intriguing, confusing, and contain many interesting truths. Some of my favorite real world paradoxes include:

"Which came first the chicken or the egg"
"Though this be madness, yet there is method in't"
"Nobody goes there anymore because it's too crowded.""
"I can resist anything except temptation"
"Don't go near the water 'til you have learned how to swim"
"If you get this message, call me, and if you don't get it, don't call"

The master of uncovering baseball paradoxes is
Yogi Berra

So with a lot of inspiration from Yogi (Yogisms), I've borrowed some of his famous quotes and added others that I've observed to generate:

Top Ten Softball Paradoxes

10. Yogi quote "Baseball is ninety percent mental. The other half is physical."
Softball Analysis: We are all more than the sum of our parts in softball and the missing variable in that equation is your mind. Sports and real world psychologist could make a lot of money in softball with all the head cases out there.

9. Yogi Quote "How can a you hit and think at the same time?"
Softball Analysis: Caveman mentality - keep it simple

8. Yogi Quote "It gets late early out there."
Softball Analysis: This is especially true in a seven inning softball game where the 4th inning is more than half way through the contest.

7. Yogi Quote "It's like deja vu all over again."
Softball Analysis #1: Same league, team, or umpire does something shiesty that causes you to lose.

Softball Analysis #2: Same guy on your team fucks up over and over again. To make matters worse, he's too stupid to learn from his mistakes

6. Yogi Quote "You can observe a lot just by watching."
Softball Analysis : Pay attention

5. Common Hitting Paradoxes
"Be Patiently Aggressive as a hitter"
"Take pitches"
"Work the Count"
"Wait for your pitch"
"Relaxed Intensity"

Softball Analysis: OVERLOAD!!!!! OVERLOAD!!!!!!! OVERLOAD!!!!!!!!OVERLOAD!!!!!!!!OVERLOAD!!!!!!!!

4. Common Pitching Paradoxes

"Throw strikes, but don't give him anything to hit"
"Work ahead"
"Let them hit it"

Softball Analysis : To borrow a quote from HOF Bob Gibson "the only thing the asshole who said this knows about pitching is that he can't hit it"

3. "Recruiting Philosophy Paradox"

"If You want to recruit a player don't call him"

Softball Analysis :
Sometimes have to treat a player you want like that hot girl you want to fuck .. IGNORE!!! IGNORE!!! IGNORE!! as the shortest distance between two points is a circle. Patience and going through long indirect channels helps prevent scarring that stud player away. The trick is striking at the right time. When all else fails dumb luck also helps.

2. Managing/Player Development Paradox

"You have to let players fail"

Softball Analysis: It sounds weird to "let players fail" but it makes sense. You want guys to just go out there and play without looking over their shoulder and at the same time you can evaluate their strengths, weaknesses, and ability to deal with the adversity. Everyone deserves a chance.

and the number One Softball Paradox

1. Yogi Quote "it Ain't Over till it's Over"

Softball Analysis: This one has to be number one even though it's not an exact contradiction. It's a statement of determination, perseverance, and perhaps more importantly, the unpredictability of the sport. You can't run out the clock in this game. You have to make plays.

In every game their are key plays, calls, and decisions that determine the outcome. In many games you know way before the last out that "It's Over", but special players keep the very spirit of it Ain't Over till it's Over" alive

Rule #2 is the Key is for a Major

Major Modified Tournament #1
March MARCH 19&20 , 2011
Location: Red Hook, Brooklyn
Entry Fee: $325
Rules :
Rule #2 If you believe otherwise read rule number one.

There is a second "tone down" Modified Tournament that takes place on:
March 26th & 27th (2).
Location: : Red hook, Brooklyn
Entry Fee: $325

Please contact Ramesh at rameshsamuel@hotmail.com

Good Luck

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Kill All the SB Lawyers

Most people have heard the famous line from Shakespeare that says

"The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers"

I'm married to a lawyer, but one can't help but smile/laugh at the genius behind this statement. It's more than just a joke, as it expresses the ordinary person's frustration with the complexity of the legal system. In democracy, lawyers are supposed to be objective, brilliant, the guardians of independent thinking and justice, but far too often they are manipulative and create more chaos rather than restore order.

Lawyers may be a necessary evil in the real world, but they just don't belong in softball. Leagues that employee committees, councils, consensus management styles, pyramid structures, and elaborate hierarchies all have too many softball lawyers in them. Softball lawyers come in the form of people who whine about, argue, control, manipulate, and determine key playing rules and decisions to their advantage rather for the betterment of the league. On field success and power is their aphrodisiac and objective, not competitive balance.

Systems that allow SB lawyers are flawed and only really continue b/c of tradition, permit monopoly power, and loyal suckers. The Best softball government is the rare "Benevolent" Dictatorship
where power is in the hands of someone who does the best for his people on all fronts that really SB matter like good fair competition, prizes, field quality, game times, and objective rulings. These leagues are hard to come by and far from perfect but they work the best because there are no hidden agendas. SB lawyers are killed on site in this environment as they belong in the court room not the ball field.

P.S. If you know a good lawyer please send one to the Mets to clean up this Madoff mess.

Stay on the Stage if Your Open to be Open

Sometimes in life no matter how pretty you are you asked to Get Off the Stage if your not open

Welcome to America Kim
In softball if your open to playing in a league with Open (A Modified) pitching, then Redhook Sundays is for you.

This "Winner Take All" league offers a very attractive prize with tough competition and great games.

Pitchers in the league that you may know include:

John Brown
Robert Rocker
Bobby Torres
Mike Cuevas
Ramesh Samuel
Dave Levine
John Miranda

If you have any question please call Butch at 646-431-0133.
Welcome to America

Monday, February 7, 2011

Sweet Child of Mine

After a useless bye week, an awkward halftime show,

Football season is finally over.

Even though eye candy Fergie was kind of wack in her rendition of "Sweet Child of Mine" (good idea/try but where was Axel?), for some reason the beginning lyrics of that awesome Guns and Roses song:

"She's got a smile that it seems to me
Reminds me of childhood memories
Where everything was as fresh as the bright blue sky
Now and then when I see her face
She takes me away to that special place
And if I stare too long, I'd probably break down and cry"

remind me that baseball/softball season is almost here. Pitchers and Catchers just around the corner now - Our first sports version of Sweet Child of Mine - true 1st love.

P.S. Yeah I now this blog was "weird/awkward" but I needed a transition to SB.