Wannabe a Sucker?

On August 11, 2017 it was announced in the Miami Herald that owner Jeffrey Loria had agreed to sell the Miami Marlins for $1.2 billion, to a group led by New York businessman Bruce Sherman and former New York Yankees star Derek Jeter. Much exhalation ensued, as fans celebrated the exiting of one of the most hated owners in sports history. But like so many other major stories, when people think it’s over, it’s really only the beginning. For Marlins fans, how could anything be worse than the Loria-era?

The story of this MLB off-season, since the Shohei Ohtani affair (which of course never happened), has been the on-going fire sale of the Miami Marlins. Derek Jeter is now CEO of Marlins baseball operations. So far he has given away RF Giancarlo Stanton, CF Marcel Ozuna, and 2B Dee Gordon; each of them All-Stars and one the reigning MVP. Now Jeter is dangling LF Christian Yelich, and catcher JT Realmuto.

When you say you’ll only accept an “overpay,” yet put your team in a position where it MUST sell– then you won’t make a deal with grown-ups.

Notable Unsigned MLB Free Agents:

1B Eric Hosmer
RHP Yu Darvish
RF J.D. Martinez
RHP Jake Arrieta
CF Lorenzo Cain
3B Mike Moustakas
3B Todd Frazier

The reason the MLB free-agent market has been so slow the winter, is because everyone is waiting for the Marlins to complete their fire sale, now with Yelich & Realmuto on the block. Unfortunately, Jeter has once again over-valued his assets, and can’t pull either of them back, without losing even more value. Jeter is putting the Marlins franchise in a position to make another mistake, by insisting on too much, and thus freezing out the market which includes the Braves, White Sox, Padres, Phillies, Nationals & Diamondbacks among others.

One point on money & wins above replacement (WAR). It can’t be valued at anything higher than $5M/win on the free-agent market, without becoming distorted. Contract length should not exceed 5 years, as these players are all age 27 or older which means they are about to go into decline. Albert Pujols & A-Rod albatrosses not only cripple individual franchises who buy into them, but also irrationally set the market.

There are smart GM’s in play, and top prospects are gold, so you can’t steal top talent like you used to, even a few years back. This gap between Derek Jeter’s wannabe-GM expectations, and current market realities, is what’s holding up this off-season. As of now, no GM wants to make a big free-agent signing until Derek Jeter is done blowing up the Marlins. That’s why Eric Hosmer & JD Martinez are still unsigned, and haven’t drawn much interest as of yet.

Derek Jeter is way out of his league running a franchise, and the only reason he’s doing so, is because he’s 4% owner. The reason your hire a front office & GM is to separate money from brains, as much as possible– which is wise. Jeter is simply making decisions that benefit him as an owner, under the guise of being a qualified baseball executive. The baseball fans of Miami, who have been swindled over & over again, are seeing it happen once again right before their eyes, and they aren’t fooled.

If Jeter doesn’t like the prospect packages that are being offered, then why doesn’t he insist someone take LHP Wei-Yin Chen, to move some dead money? That’s what Jeter really wants, as we all saw in the Stanton dump/gift. Proof? Look at the three players the Marlins are apparently going to arbitration with, the difference in money is $1,175,000– total! It doesn’t get much cheaper than this:

MLB.com has confirmed JT Realmuto has filed for $3.5 million, while the Marlins’ offer is $2.9 million. Justin Bour’s figure is $3.4 million, with the team countering at $3 million. RHP Dan Straily is seeking $3.55 million, to the team’s $3.375 million. [1]

When you poison the mood of the franchise, by immediately coming in and putting the reigning NL MVP on the trade block, before ever consulting him and his teammates, then you are not respecting the players. When you disrespect longtime fans by summarily dismissing popular announcers & other organizational personnel, then business will suffer. If you then try to hire some of them back after the negative PR backlash, then you haven’t planned anything [2].

Jeter was “The Captain” in the Bronx at shortstop, and pretty much demanded he be given that title from ownership, which George Steinbrenner did– against manager Joe Torre’s advice. Management of the NY Yankees franchise suffered from that point on, as they became married to an expensive and aging SS (a poor defender from the start), who still demanded superstar pay & pampering. Now as Marlins GM & owner, Jeter skinflints three valuable young players in arbitration.

Alex Rodriguez was never allowed to play SS in the Bronx, because of Derek Jeter’s ego, and the Yankees suffered for it, winning only one World Series (2009) while the two were “teammates,” on a roster with annually the highest payroll in baseball. Of course, teammates in any real sense of the term implies support & love for one another, and clearly that was never their relationship. It was always Jeter’s call, since he was the prince of the town, with all his past World Series glory in the bank.

Instead, he chose to be selfish and flex his muscle as “The Captain,” making Alex Rodriguez move to 3B. The Yankees could never fill CF adequately, and still haven’t. A winning team positions it’s players carefully, where they are most valuable; not according to the whims of a star player or media clamoring. Instead of moving to centerfield, like the team needed, Derek Jeter stayed at shortstop and distanced himself from Arod at every turn. If you didn’t see this when it was happening, then you weren’t paying attention.

The Marlins did have a great CF, until Jeter gave him away to the Cardinals. Marcell Ozuna slashed .312/.376/.548 in 2017, worth 5.8 WAR. On December 14, 2017, Derek Jeter flipped two years of Marcell Ozuna under arbitration control for Daniel Castano (minors), Zac Gallen (minors), fringy righty-reliever Sandy Alcantara, and light-hitting lefty outfielder Magneuris Sierra. The two prospects (Castano & Gallen) are middling-to-fringy.

The week before, on December 7, 2017, Jeter traded 2B Dee Gordon along with international bonus slot money to the Seattle Mariners for Robert Dugger (minors), Nick Neidert (minors) and Christopher Torres (minors). Gordon hit .308/.341/.375 with good defense in 2017, good for 3.1 WAR. This was probably Derek Jeter’s best trade so far (not saying much), getting two pitchers and a switching-hitting middle infield prospect. Dee Gordon will be age 30 this April, and is a luxury the Marlins probably can’t afford for the next three seasons. Let’s see how the player development & farm rebuilding pans out for the Marlins.

Of course, a major MLB earthquake occurred on December 11, 2017, when the Marlins dumped RF Giancarlo Stanton to the New York Yankees, who took on $265M out of the $295M owed to him. The Stanton deal was a straight salary dump for the Marlins, and a poorly executed one at that. The Miami Marlins will pay $30M to New York Yankees when Stanton does not opt-out, following the 2020 season. The Marlins also took on $24M for 2B Starlin Castro over the next two seasons, including his buyout after 2019. Expect Jeter to dump Castro, after Yelich & Realmuto. The two “prospects” the Marlins received in the Stanton deal were:

1) RHP Jorge Guzman, about to turn age 22, a starter who never pitched above low-A, with only 162 IP in 3 professional seasons.

2) SS/2B prospect Jose Devers: 1 pro season .245/.336/.342.

This is what the Marlins got for the NL MVP! When Jeter couldn’t get a decent offer for Giancarlo Stanton, he should have taken him off the market and rolled through 2018 with him. Stanton has 10 years left on his deal, so why the rush to trade him? Derek Jeter got a 28-YO poor-fielding 2B with a career line of .282/.320/.413, who is owed $24M through the next 2 seasons in Starlin Castro. Giancarlo Stanton is worth much more than that, even with his backloaded contract. The Marlins desperately need prospects, and got junk. Jeter opted for cash savings, and the Marlins franchise got fleeced. Now Jeter insists anyone else who deals with the Marlins must “overpay.” That’s delusional. How about some solid work instead, Derek Jeter?

Ownership in Miami is short-stacked. Derek Jeter owns 4% non-controlling stake of the team, which means he kicked in ~$50M towards the $1.2B purchase-price for the Marlins. Bruce Sherman is the majority owner, and he put Jeter in charge of the baseball side, with a five year deal worth ~ $50M in salary. Convenient, huh? Jeter has no GM experience. It is clear that this new ownership group overpaid, and is now out of cash. That’s why they dumped the reigning NL MVP to the Yankees. Meanwhile the taxpayers of Miami continue to pay the $1.2B note on the bond to build the new Marlins stadium, which no one wanted– except their owner.  BTW, that stadium debt and the Marlins sale price being identical (at $1.2 billion), is just another coincidence.

While all this looks good for the Marlins bottom line, it hurts their ability to compete & their fan friendliness– immeasurably. Most of this is on Jeffery Loria, as he pumped & dumped the Marlins, but Sherman & Jeter are also at fault for overpaying, and putting themselves in this no-win situation. Under this existing plan, Marlins fans are looking at a 6-8 year rebuild– minimum. If you know anything about this franchise’s past, then you know there won’t be any Marlins fans left by then.

MLB.com Censorship:

Since the Ohtani Affair, everyone who posts on mlb.com lost their screen name, and reclaiming it has been a difficult process for most. I have reclaimed mine, and am no longer “commenter,” like many others– still.  Unfortunately, I am now unable to post a comment:

Even my “Likes” get ghosted!

Fans everywhere have noticed all this, and are starting to figure it out & direct their anger towards those responsible. This is the greatest fear of MLB owners, the corporate media, and the entire political-economic set-up. This is why everything on the Internet is being censored at this point.

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Jacking Around

Each part of this country has their own local color, or regional terminology. In the Midwest, jacking around & drinking beer are part of college life. Jacking around is defined as straight guys getting together and giving each other shit. It’s been going on for eons. Inebriation is a required part of the Midwest version of this primitive male ritual, the object of which is to thicken one’s skin, and weed out the pussies.

It involves getting really personal & obnoxiously in-your-face. It means disrespecting conventional social boundaries. Hence no gays ever last very long at this, as they have too many emotional issues. Feminine perspectives are also disregarded. This is the male equivalent of a bitch-fest.

If you wanna to jack, you gotta strap on a sack, and hang with the business & communications majors (and other rich kids taking easy college classes), who have too much time on their hands. It provides valuable real-world business skills, and is part of the full dormitory & campus experience. For what higher education costs today, you need to realize full value as a student.

Here’s how it goes, imagine a huge keg party with hundreds of underage college kids getting as drunk as possible for $2 or less, until the cops show up. Things are slow (meaning no babes in sight), so maybe you go up to someone in a group, and start jacking around.

After a few brief introductions & friendly toasts, you perhaps insinuate (to another in the group) that their manhood has just been impugned by the person standing next to you. It’s something you just made up on-the-spot, but it’s also based on observation of tendencies and mannerisms. It often gets something going, and you can then confide to the one you’ve implicated, who’s ear is right next to you…

Another party example: someone is pouring their heart out to a group over some horrible misfortune, and when he’s finished and everyone is tear-in-a-beer quiet & sympathetic, you loudly exclaim, “Really? I heard you liked that!”  Once the first bystander laughs, it’s over. Of course, it helps to be a comedian, and you need brass balls. You can get quite a reputation (in a hurry) doing this.

One more. A young girl is puking her guts out into the bushes, with her friend looking after her. Just as she finishes and picks up her head, with vomit hanging off her chin, you ‘help’ by reminding her, “Whatever you do, don’t think about eating greasy pork sandwiches with thick gobs of mayonnaise.” If there’s anything left in her stomach it will come up, and who’s to say you haven’t done her a favor?

When people get drunk, they lose track of what’s going on, as well as control of their inhibitions. A situation can escalate in seconds, and be re-ignited at will by a master jacker. Once both sides are on high-testosterone alert, he can drop in a jack– such as, “Hey, if you wanna let him show you up, and be a pussy, that’s cool with me,” and then back off while shaking your head.  As you drift towards another group, a muscle-headed argument will often erupt in your wake!  You can then offer the new group your version of events, as everyone is interested in first-hand gossip…

Believe me, I was an amateur when I was introduced. My college buddies were merciless on me, and anyone else that tried to compete with them. It is an effective way to manipulate impulsive people, but also very dangerous– which is why people get such a kick out of doing it. The jazz of it can be addicting, as well as fascinating to observe. I mostly went along, participating some, while seeing the dark humor in it, but always disdaining the mean-spirited destructiveness it spawned. The lesson being, you have to stop before it turns cruel, and becomes bad karma.

With that said, there is a perverse (but also healthy) pleasure in making hysterical & self-absorbed people breakdown. They deserve it. Being intelligent, direct & relentless is how to jack. It helps to be resourceful, along with knowing when to stop. It’s usually just after yet another head-case is about to lose it, and you ask them “What’s wrong, you can’t take a jack?”

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Internet Censorship

Once people are made aware of an idea, it can’t be taken back or erased. It’s already out there, as part of collective human knowledge. Censors never understand this elementary fact of social life.

The thing with censorship is, people instinctively are drawn towards what’s blacklisted, therefore it always backfires– in the long run. In politics today, there is no more “long run,” as everything is now measured in milli-second gains & losses. The political game is to keep everyone permanently distracted, until the reaction is ready to strike when the final economic collapse hits.

Therefore breaking through this political blacklist becomes a revolutionary task. There are definite interests, with specific names, who are behind this nefarious campaign. It began as Russian interference & fake news, and has now morphed into a right-wing feminist witch-hunt in the form of #MeToo.

The interest behind every one of these campaigns is the same: to stifle, intimidate & marginalize political dissent. Here’s the latest: Fakebook just announced it will favor cute & cuddly posts, over hard political content. Family values and all that…

Everything flows in the same direction, and it’s no accident. The media is owned by a handful of corporations, and the world is controlled by a few thousand wealthy people & families. That level of inequality is not justifiable, much less sustainable, yet everyone must keep dancing in denial until the music ends.

This time around expect massive wildcat strike action, as the unions can no longer claim to represent the rank-and-file. Everyone one of them has sold out in the name of “corporate partnership.” On campuses around the world there will be unprecedented protest & revolutionary action from dissatisfied students who largely see no future.

These stories are never broadcast or analyzed in the mainstream news. There is virtually no labor coverage in mass media. Workers and their jobs are discussed only abstractly by Wall Street analysts & talking heads, all of whom have no understanding, much less sympathy for the conditions of the great majority. The economy is only measured by the DJIA & NASDAQ.

As one who has been censored for a long time now, let me describe how the process typically unfolds. I publish an idea that is controversial & adversarial to major interests. Most people don’t respond to it, for one of two reasons: 1) They disagree, or 2) They are stunned, and now unsure. This latter group wrestles with it and then carries the idea, so censoring the source won’t contain this new concept. As more people rationalize the idea, the more it shows up in social media, and (eventually) has to be acknowledged in the mass media.

You can’t kill an idea. If you could, Marxism & Trotskyism would have perished decades ago. They live because of their power, in that they reveal social & economic truths which we must grasp and use, otherwise we are a doomed species. Fascism is preparing it’s coup d’état, and the deep state has it’s own designs on power– in the form of removing Donald Trump from office on the 25th amendment, citing mental incompetence.

Once again, no one denies Donald Trump is an imbecilic, racist sociopath. The point is, the two-party system, the banks & corporate America allowed him to win the Electoral College. Any system that does that is bankrupt. They only admit it now, because they realize what a disaster Trump is. The ruling establishment wants the public to forget their own dirty roles in aiding his electoral victory.

These ideas are out there, and the sentiment for them is only growing stronger. Hollywood’s hold on the population is also slipping, and the #MeToo campaign has revealed its hypocrisy. While claiming to represent the ideals of women everywhere, they only represent themselves. The problem for them is that people can now get on social media, and call them out in forums and on their Fakebook & Twitter pages. Other fans see this, and are thus influenced. The same is true for sports and the rest.

You can’t really censor the Internet, without shutting it down completely, and no one wants that. There’s too much sharing, which is happening very quickly. These fresh ideas and innovations are what keep us alive, and excited about living. The censors are always a step or two behind, but when their hammer comes down, it hurts.

The people controlling the Internet are those who own the social media platforms & online distribution: Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates & Jeff Bezos are among the richest people in the world. They work with the NSA, FBI, CIA and any other government agencies, to give them whatever they demand. At this point, that means near-total blacklisting of any voices of dissent.

People stopped watching the evening news and buying newspapers long ago, and the reason is– they don’t believe in it anymore. The more any idea is blacklisted, the more exotic & alluring it becomes– especially when truth is no longer allowed in the official media. Once the revolutionary rubber meets the road, and the working class organizes against this treachery, the possibilities become limitless, as this is the last defense of a dying capitalist system. There are no more ideological barriers, once this blacklist is exposed. At that point it becomes an open fight to the death– socialism vs annihilation.

The job of socialists is to be as active as possible in learning, teaching and organizing. Once again the Internet provides many vehicles for this purpose, and is only limited by your imagination & time. Censorship can and will be defeated, by active & relentless exposure. This means tracing it all the way back to its sources, and holding everyone accountable to the end. That’s what is known as a socialist revolution, and the dialectics of censorship.

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Power Couples & Brain Drain

Danica Patrick & Aaron Rodgers (QB– Green Bay Packers), are dating. Have you heard?  It keeps showing up in my online news feeds, so I suppose I must comment. For the record, I am a fan of both of them. I don’t like the NFL, just as I despise NASCAR, as both are fronts for capitalist hypocrisy– like the rest of sports & entertainment. As a socialist, I always support the workers who create the actual value. Sports are entertainment, and athletes are the performers we pay to watch. When our needs are met, we all like to be entertained.

Fact: Both of these world-class athletes have had numerous concussions in their careers.  “Why Does Danica Patrick Wreck So Often in NASCAR?” is the most-read piece on this site. Published in the spring of 2016, a few YouTube videos I used as evidence, have since been taken down by their owners. I’ve left everything alone, as everything stands up, while illustrating the progression of reaction [1].

Danica Patrick has been wrecked so often, and so violently, that she surely has a level of CTE. Her behavior at the end of the 2017 season betrayed an inability to process reality, namely that her career was ending [2]. The word around the track was that she often exploded with a torrent of expletives.  Many blow-it-off as her being a superstar, and snapping under the pressure. But it’s on top of the repeated concussions she received, that puts everything into context. The point is, she was never intentionally wrecked in Indycar, compared to the way she has been viciously taken out of races in NASCAR. She’s likely suffered brain damage from this, but no one will admit it– or even comment on it. Except me [3].

Keep in mind that Daytona & Talladega Superspeedways are the two most dangerous race tracks in the world [4]. Danica Patrick rarely even finishes those races anymore. Her last run in NASCAR is to be this year’s Daytona 500, their signature event. This mass insanity is the Super Bowl kick-off to NASCAR’s premier series, which is losing sponsorship by the second. In this sense, NASCAR is grateful to have Danica one last time, until the race actually starts that is. Then NASCAR wants her out– ASAP. Nothing shrivels up NASCAR faster than Danica running up front.

In 2017, corporate sponsors insisted on a staged-race format, which allowed more TV timeouts for advertisers & the networks [5]. It’s so interesting to hear them talk, while the race is stopped, just for them. Of course, fans universally hated it, but have been told they have no choice but to agree, as television money is the only thing keeping NASCAR from bankrupting itself [6].

Owned & run by the France family since its inception, NASCAR prospered during the post-war boom, and became a trademark of pride in the South. Since the mid-1990’s, it has been forced to expand into other US markets, in order to find the money. NASCAR die-hards don’t get excited about races in Chicago, Kansas, Las Vegas & California; but that’s where NASCAR’s owners built the new tracks for its premier series.

I don’t write much about the NFL, because I feel I covered it already in two pieces I published in 2015, just before the Ray Rice incident hit the media [7]. Nothing has changed, in terms of the NFL (or the NFLPA) in getting better, so the final score on that piece remains: Ric Size– 256,  NFL– 3  [8].  Jan Stenerud (and too many others) were just too great, otherwise I had a shut-out. I tip my helmet to all the players, for their toughness, while being sympathetic to the pain & injustices they’ve had to endure from their owners and the league.

As I mentioned in that piece, Aaron Rodgers is a HoF QB. As of this publication, he is still recovering from a gruesome collar bone injury he sustained during the 2017 NFL season. I recall him appearing on a late-night talk show soon after he had surgery, claiming he had 13 screws in his shoulder, and was narced up on opioid painkillers [9]. That’s life in the NFL, boys & girls. Whatever he gets paid, it’s probably not enough, as 80+% of NFL players are broke 5 years after they retire [10].

As for brand Danica, she always finds a way to hustle the money. That largely defines her, and it’s why she manages her image so carefully. Her retirement campaign slogan is “1000 Miles,” in that she plans to run Daytona in February, which will cap her NASCAR career, and then run the Indianapolis 500— one last time. The rumor is she will do this with Chip-Gnassi Racing, but nothing has been made official yet. Therefore it may, or may not happen– we still don’t really know?

Here it is on her site [11]:

02.18.18 Daytona 500 Daytona Intl. Speedway FOX – 2:30 PM

05.27.18 Indianapolis 500 Indianapolis Motor Speedway ABC – 12:00 PM

I hope it happens, but I don’t expect her to get to 1000 miles. She always seems to get wrecked at the Daytona 500, just check the records & review the video. She’s been wrecked in qualifying & practice there, mostly by Denny Hamlin. Joe Gibbs Racing targets her, and she no longer has the protection of Stewart Haas Racing, or her “boyfriend” Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. I put that intimate term in quotation marks here, because I never saw anything but a relationship of convenience between those two. Many NASCAR fans will be interested to hear what Stenhouse has to say at Daytona. Honestly, I’ve seen & heard enough already.

Personally, I hope Danica Patrick sponsors herself at Daytona, as she has plenty of product in her clothing line, winery, etc… If it’s your last run, do it for yourself– I say. She can surely afford it. Aspen Dental was her primary sponsor in 2017, and they are a criminal corporate enterprise, which is starting to negatively impact her brand [12]. That’s when things get serious for her. These are the most-interesting storylines, for me.

Mostly I only hope she doesn’t get wrecked. At least it’s not Talladega, which is the most dangerous track in the world [13].  My final thoughts on safety at both those tracks is for all their races to become road course design. You can run part of the lap on the fast track, then divert to road course to spill the drivers out somewhere else up the track. This would eliminate the all-dangerous draft, which happens when cars build up speed lap-after-lap on a super-speedway, especially as they run together. These death tracks becomes two long lines of cars separated by mere inches going ~200 MPH, while surging forwards & backwards. Mayhem ensues when someone (inevitably) bumps someone or goes three-wide at the wrong time, usually in a corner. This road course innovation would also eliminate the hated restrictor plate.

I’m more excited to see Patrick finish (for real) at the Indianapolis 500. For those who don’t know, this happens every Memorial Day weekend, as it’s a big event in racing– worldwide. The Indianapolis 500 is much bigger than anything NASCAR puts on, as they run their Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte on the same day. Their goal is to claim superiority at their new home track, on mileage, if not in quality of the race. Note that when NASCAR last ran at Indianapolis, they ended up cutting the race short– due to reckless incompetence & impending darkness [14].

Danica Patrick will go down as one of the all-time great drivers, simply for surviving her career. Her skills behind the wheel are elite, and can’t be measured by her finishes– especially in NASCAR. She faced obstacles no other competitor ever had to face. Perhaps her greatest contribution will be her part in exposing the hypocrisy that is NASCAR, and it’s broadcast partners in the media. Her fans were shell-shocked for the longest time, until something [?] woke them up.

Danica Patrick was never (& still isn’t) allowed to say how she really feels about everything that’s happened to her, as the sponsors have her under contract. When she wrecks, they make more money. Parading across the finish line in 23rd place doesn’t have the same effect. You understand, pardner?  Her fans now understand all this much better.

In many ways, Danica Patrick & Aaron Rodgers are trading in their brains for all the money they can get now. This is only natural, as they both are still smart enough to know they are probably going to need the money. But what about their brains? Note that these are the winners, whom everyone admires. No one sees anything else, because no one actually cares about them as people. Few of us think outside ourselves, in the context of the greater hypocrisy that is capitalism. This new couple is simply presented as the best of capitalism, personified.

They are only admired & coveted because they are beautiful & rich. Too many people still want this for themselves, not realizing that the existing economic set-up is unsustainable. I hope Patrick & Rodgers stay together and take care of each other, even if they become afflicted & poor. They are going to need each other. Others need to realize that, and what all this means.

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Dragons & Dialectics

Since I left dental school, I’ve made an intense study of martial arts. I started in tae kwon do, then moved into mixed-martial arts, and finally kung fu & tai chi. It’s all the same, just a different form, and each must be trained with focus & diligence to get any kind of worthwhile results. All gains are measured internally. The ultimate purpose is mastery so you don’t have to use them.

One teacher of mine, who is no longer with us, was Cliff Black. At the time I knew him he was around age 60, but looked much older– as he’d lived a hard life. First as an outlaw & drug addict, then rehabilitated & a drug-addiction councilor; he taught tai chi as a passion. He also was a professional bouncer as some of the roughest redneck bars in central Florida. He worked alone, and had plenty.

I’ve had some bad-ass instructors, which is what you want if you are serious here. Martial arts isn’t a game. It’s about defeating your enemy. Cliff Black knew this well, and had plenty of stories, which he loved to share before, during, AND after class– which could go on for awhile. It was always worthwhile, I remember.

He used to describe his strategy against hyper-aggressive patrons, who wanted to test their karate-kicking skills under the influence-of-alcohol. He’d say softly but with glee, “I LOVE those high-flying dragons. I just wait to get underneath them, and then take out their leg. It’s over after that. I’m a low-flying dragon.”

THE END

Post-script:

 

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Flipping a Bitcoin

Heads– I win, tails- you lose     —  Anonymous

Bitcoins are a useless (superfluous) product, since money already exists. Basically, supercomputers use (say) $100 worth of electricity to produce $1 in bitcoin. Since this data-mining activity uses so much energy (resources), the number of bitcoins is capped. This creates a tangible market for trading & speculation– in a useless commodity. This is a classic Ponzi scheme, and it defines contemporary capitalism. It is of importance to understand, because it may be (?) the bubble that bursts everything.

Blockchain technology is “secure by design,” providing a rolling ledger of activity that can’t be altered, without altering all the other blocks after it. Thus tampering is difficult, while also easy to detect. This new technology in the market has all the financial speculators in a frenzy for obvious reasons, as those who use blockchain are more efficient & protected.

The history of Bitcoin is very similar to Napster in many respects. Both appear to have been developed by computer geniuses who had ambitions of bypassing governments, banks, and established industries in their direct (peer-to-peer) delivery of money (bitcoins) or music (mp3’s) through the internet.

On August 18, 2008, the domain name “bitcoin.org” was registered, and in November that year, a link to a paper authored by Satoshi Nakamoto titled Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System was posted to a cryptography mailing list. Nakamoto implemented the bitcoin software as open source code and released it in January 2009.

The identity of Nakamoto remained unknown until a high-profile article in Newsweek in March of 2014, by investigative journalist Leah McGrath Goodman identified Dorian Prentice Satoshi Nakamoto, a Japanese American man living in California, whose birth name is Satoshi Nakamoto, as the Nakamoto in question. [1]

Satoshi Nakamoto has a murky past with many stints working in aerospace and other sophisticated computer related projects for the US government, most of which remain classified. Hence his unwillingness to admit he’s the creator of bitcoin, as it will bring unwanted media attention to him.

The purpose of blockchain technology is to maintain anonymity & privacy, the intent of its creator. The irony is, the creator became infamous in the process. Nakamoto is sitting on 400 million bitcoins at the height of the financial frenzy, and he refuses to cash them in– on principle.  Consider that, as you look at Satoshi Nakamoto’s picture– as published in Newsweek:

Bitcoin has been owned by Gavin Andresen since 2010, when Nakamoto handed over the keys to him. Apparently Andresen was one of Nakamoto’s colleagues in writing the computer code for blockchain. Everything was done online & anonymously, according to all sources.  Andresen stated he then sought to decentralize control, saying: “As soon as Satoshi stepped back and threw the project onto my shoulders, one of the first things I did was try to decentralize that. So, if I get hit by a bus, it would be clear that the project would go on.”

Andresen (above) established the Bitcoin Foundation, an American nonprofit corporation in 2012, with the stated mission to “standardize, protect and promote the use of bitcoin cryptographic money for the benefit of users worldwide.”  This organization is connected to the Cato Institute, the CIA, and other murky deep state entities.

Here are some other revealing quotes form the 2014 Newsweek expose:

He {Nakamoto} doesn’t like the system we have today and wanted a different one that would be more equal. He did not like the notion of banks and bankers getting wealthy just because they hold the keys,” says Andresen.

Andresen says. “Overall, I’ve made about $800 per penny I’ve invested. It’s insane.”

Gavin Andresen & Satoshi Nakamoto email exchange, April 26, 2011:

“I wish you wouldn’t keep talking about me as a mysterious shadowy figure,” Nakamoto wrote to Andresen. “The press just turns that into a pirate currency angle. Maybe instead make it about the open source project and give more credit to your development contributors; it helps motivate them.”

Andresen responded: “Yeah, I’m not happy with the ‘wacky pirate money’ tone, either.”

Then he told Nakamoto he’d accepted an invitation to speak at the Central Intelligence Agency headquarters. “I hope that by talking directly to them and, more importantly, listening to their questions/concerns, they will think of Bitcoin the way I do – as a just-plain-better, more efficient, less-subject-to-political-whims money,” he said. “Not as an all-powerful black-market tool that will be used by anarchists to overthrow the System.”

From that moment, Satoshi Nakamoto stopped responding to emails and dropped off the map.

Bitcoin is pseudonymous, meaning that funds are not tied to real-world entities but rather bitcoin addresses. People who want to remain anonymous and hide their transactions are attracted to this form of currency. These groups include intelligence agencies, the mafia, drug dealers and their money laundering operations, as well as other financial swindlers wanting to avoid paying taxes. The popularity of bitcoins is its ability to purchase illegal goods anonymously.

Bitcoin uses an obscene amount of electricity in its data mining. As of November 2017, the global bitcoin mining activity was estimated to consume 3.4 gigawatts [!] per year.
Bitcoin miners have set up in places like Iceland (below), where geothermal energy is cheap and cooling Arctic air is free. All this produces more global warming, and no useful commodity. In every sense, bitcoin is fake money.

By using a blockchain, bitcoin became the first digital currency to solve the double spending problem without requiring a trusted administrator. Double-spending is a potential flaw in a digital cash scheme, in which the same single digital token can be spent more than once. [2]

The use of blockchains promises to bring significant efficiencies to global supply chains, financial transactions, asset ledgers and decentralized social networking. The disadvantage is that a private blockchain (most likely) already controls 100% of all block creation resources. If a hacker attacks or damages the blockchain creation tools on a private corporate server, they could effectively control 100% of that network and alter transactions however they wished. That has profound implications during a financial or debt crisis, like 2007–08 where politically powerful actors make decisions that favor some groups– at the expense of others. Just like a Ponzi scheme.

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#MeToo: Heartaches & Headaches

Liberalism is dead, so feminism is now a right-wing Democrat vehicle. And what a splendid jalopy she is, afflicted with a deep sexual psychosis in its collective fear of strong working class men. Obviously this messes with healthy sex, so when this political tendency metastasizes it gets ugly– fast. America’s two-party system is in deep crisis, as a raging internecine war is being fought non-stop by all sides, ever since Donald Trump’s election last November. Even before that, really…

Trump has brought generals & fascists (above) into the White House, with barely a peep of protest from the Democratic party. Trump threatens to start a nuclear war with North Korea, and the Democrats criticize him for being “too soft on Russia.” All this is madness, and the role of the Democrats is to throw poison in everybody’s eyes. The Republicans are whipping up the most backwards elements based on appeals to religion, racism & authoritarianism.

And what is the response from the Democrats since Trump’s election night win? 1) “Russian interference” accusations to push Trump even further to the right; 2) fake news (propaganda) and its flip-side– this hidden deep state campaign to censor the internet. Net neutrality is now no more, and the Democrats barely said a word. Instead it’s been this incessant #MeToo campaign, which kicked off with Harvey Weinstein and gained momentum when it took down Kevin Spacey.

Of course, the rights of working women (or women being bombed in other parts of the world) aren’t being discussed here, instead it’s the vengeance of the rich bitches. If you’re a girl or young American woman, maybe you can aspire to this someday? That’s the message, so we’re told. How many people are buying it, is another matter entirely. It appears this feminist pogrom has backfired spectacularly, as by my approximate count, 100% of men are smashing this weak stuff in social media forums, chatrooms, and other commenting boards.

As for the other half [!], women are being split, with their numbers definitely moving in a left-wing direction– especially among the youth. Surprisingly (to some, at least), young girls don’t look at Hillary Clinton as much of a role model. And since Hillary is a war criminal, they are correct, so their opinions aren’t changing, and will only grow stronger and gain more support over time.

These are the sands that are running through the hourglass of the Democratic party, which is on its collective deathbed. They are putting everything they have into this final campaign, as Black Lives Matter, LBGT-activism, and all the rest have been used up. Only sex stimulates these people anymore, and most involved in this campaign (it appears) aren’t getting any, or if they are– it is of poor quality. Hence the hostility, especially towards “womanizers.” Any word from these liberated feminists about US-backed oil monarchies in the Middle East, which violently suppress women’s rights?

Hollywood actor Matt Damon tweeted this last week:

“There’s a difference between, you know, patting someone on the butt and rape or child molestation, right? That’s criminal behavior, and it needs to be dealt with that way. The other stuff is just kind of shameful and gross.”

That seemed a reasonable departure for an open discussion concerning healthy boundaries for sexual harassment, but the reaction from feminism is anything but reasonable & healthy. Instead its full-blown hysterics, self-pity, man-hating and bad analogies. Just read this tripe!

Alyssa Milano tweets to Matt Damon on December 15-16:

“I have been a victim of each component of the sexual assault spectrum of which you speak. They all hurt. And they are all connected to a patriarchy intertwined with normalized, accepted — even welcomed — misogyny. We are not outraged because someone grabbed our asses in a picture. We are outraged because we were made to feel this was normal. We are outraged because we have been gaslighted. We are outraged because we were silenced for so long.”

followed by…

“There are different stages of cancer. Some more treatable than others. But it’s still cancer. Sexual harassment, misconduct, assault and violence is a systemic disease. The tumor is being cut out right now with no anesthesia. Please send flowers. #MeToo”

As far as Hollywood starlets throwing around accusations of sexual harassment & abuse– it rings like a cheap telephone. Many actresses got their “big break” by going down on a Hollywood producer, director and/or actor. Example (?), at age twelve Alyssa Milano co-starred in Commando (1985) as Jenny Matrix, the daughter of John Matrix– played by age-38 Arnold Schwarzenegger. Lots of inappropriate touching between the two of them in the first ten minutes of this action blockbuster. Their “ice cream sequence” is truly disgusting, in retrospect. Any shame there, Alyssa?  Is Arnold a sexual predator…?

Sex is a weapon, because it is so emotional. Since everyone is interested, anyone can attach whatever agenda they want to sex, and turn it into propaganda which has an effect. The deal with the Democrats is that they are shooting in the dark, with no clue how working people feel about any of this. They keep trying to lead with their neo-McCarthyist narratives, which are being exposed and attacked daily as propaganda, by thousands & thousands of young (& jobless) social media commenters.

In many ways you can see the noose starting to tighten around the two-party system. Hence the threats from Donald Trump & his fascist advisors to start a nuclear war at any moment. The Democratic party & traditional conservative Republicans are all in this together, with deep state complicity. Everything ties into the banks, Wall Street, the mass media & police. These sociopaths prefer nuclear holocaust, to any form of democratic accountability or equality. That’s why all these criminal elements must be exposed, beaten down, and ruthlessly removed from power by the working masses.

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Releasing the Pain

As first discussed in “Undiagnosed Hip Injuries & Stubborn Fat,” there are two types of fat which are of concern. The first is visceral fat, which surrounds the internal organs. When you see someone with a huge gut (50+ lbs. overweight), that’s mostly visceral fat. [1]

The second type is subcutaneous fat, which is the ‘stubborn fat.’  This stays, even through dieting & regular exercise, and becomes more difficult to remove after the human athletic peak ~ age 27.

Almost every Americans today has a stubborn fat problem— due to hip & back injuries. Most chose to ignore their pain by limiting their mobility, as canes, walking sticks, back braces and electric wheelchairs are now all-too-common crutches among the crowd.  Youth with back injuries, are often reluctant to participate in strenuous physical activity. These people, young & old, all share a common suffering which they don’t understand, causing their lives to be filled with unnecessary pain.

Stubborn fat is a protective mechanism. When a severe deep muscle injury occurs, a layer of fat is deposited to protect that area from further injury. If the injury isn’t properly diagnosed, treated and rehabilitated; then the injured muscle will atrophy over time, leaving only skin & stubborn fat for protection. This is a biological reflex mechanism, to ensure the internal organs always have an adequate layer of protection. What it isn’t, is healthy healing.

The problem with stubborn fat is that it’s not healthy. It slows the individual down, as “dead weight.” It leads to diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and a host of other unhealthy diseases & conditions. Plus it looks ugly, because it is.

So what is fat really? It’s stored energy from over-consumption of food & drink. In the injury-affected area, stubborn fat surrounds thin bands of atrophied muscle & their nerve fibers. The idea is to activate these “dead zones,” to stimulate muscle activity & growth. This will immediately use up the surrounding stubborn fat, and make the area stronger with muscle.

The pooch gut, love handles & back fat are all symptoms of an injury in the lumbar-sacral region. When these vertebrae are injured, the individual loses mobility in their waist, hips, & back. Their butt starts to sag, and incontinence/constipation issues can arise, as sacral nerves downstream are cut off due to the injury directly superior. Remember all voluntary impulses emanating from the spine, start from the brain. The only way to lose the flabby butt, is to heal the back completely, so energy (nerve stimulus) can flow from C-1 through S-5 (and the coccyx), with no glitches.

As much as 80% of the US adult population is likely suffering from an undiagnosed apophyseal avulsion fracture, or some similar type of injury. The apophysis is the projection on the spine that links the brain & central nervous system to every skeletal muscle. Every woman who gives birth, whatever method they decide, suffers deep tearing of her hip, groin & back muscles. If those muscles aren’t rehabilitated, that woman will never regain her youthful figure.

Those individuals that have suffered apophyseal avulsion fractures, should be able to recall a specific event that triggered the pain. It was a traumatic injury somewhere, often during sports activity. In adolescents & teenagers, these injuries occur frequently and are seemingly ‘minor tweaks,’ so they often remain undiagnosed. The young injury victim may recover (some), but they will never be the same. Their explosiveness & quickness erodes due to deep groin & back injuries, which limit certain directional movements. Over time (years/decades), these injuries become disabling for those who don’t deal with them directly.

As an untreated condition, the pain is most severe during activity, and improves with rest. Tenderness can be observed by palpation, and the athlete may actively guard against contraction of the musculature attached to the injured apophysis. Passive stretch of these muscles will reproduce the pain. Into adulthood, a limp often presents itself, and there is a noticeable atrophy in the muscle group attached to the avulsed apophysis, compared to the contralateral side.

The lower back, where the legs meet the torso is an evolutionary weak point, a relic of our common quadrupedal ancestry. In the injury-recovery process, it is helpful to imagine the anterior torso wrapping in-between & under the legs. The trunk & legs fuse in the butt. Sending flexion in that direction, under control, is the key to recovery.

This is accomplished through repetitive waves of focused & painful exertion. Many people can’t even visualize what’s being described here, because they are so dead (atrophied) from their belly button to their thighs– anteriorly, and their lower back to the butt– posteriorly. Atrophied abdominal regions in old age are full of fat, infection, tumors, and other nasty surprises. The nerves can barely sense what’s going on here, and not-coincidentally that’s where the cancer starts. That’s why fat is a killer, medically speaking.

Once the injury victim fixes all the torn muscles in their back & hips– the abdominals & buttocks will be tight. With a properly maintained diet, all the stubborn fat will melt away– and stay gone. This is the best weight-loss program, as it’s based on science. I have recommended marijuana for the pain, and will continue to do so, as the rehabilitating patient needs something to deal with this intense pain-releasing process. It’s the most organic choice, and easiest to cease when finished. Use only the good stuff, by whatever delivery method you prefer.

You must maintain a caloric deficit to lose weight. Eat a sensible whole food diet, high in fresh vegetables (juicing) and lean protein. Going vegan gets you there quicker. Most of the metabolic fat should come from visceral & stubborn fat burn-off. Carbohydrates should be mostly organic, and as needed for energy boost & craving relief. This is a healthy diet. Simply adjust the portions until all the extra fat is lost, and then find a new “normal” that is actually healthy.

Pain is stored energy, and the proper method is to release it while immediately putting it to good use. Tai Chi & yoga principles are helpful in rehabilitation of hip & back injuries. This means creating energy with small inward & outward spiraling movements, then flowing it through the body to release pent-up pain. This will create ‘popping’ sensations all along the nerve/muscle chains, activating atrophied muscle all down the line.

Energy will ‘pop’ at the downstream insertion and often flow to the next insertion point for more popping. This quickly activates long-line muscle tissue, which will stabilize & strengthen the body. The hips & back are the most critical area, as they are devastated by atrophy.  It is wise to apply engineering principles to muscular-skeletal development, by creating triangles of muscle bands. Triangles are strong, and allow a framework to  be ‘filled in,’ similar to a road worker grading in a pothole with asphalt. Once a band of muscle has been lashed together triangularly, that area can be flexed. Muscle groups can be quickly rebuilt in this manner, with maximum efficiency & minimum pain. This especially helps with superficial sheathe muscles that have been herniated.

A couch, mattress & beanbag can be useful tools, as an injured back needs stabilization & flexible support. This bracing is needed to go after deeper injuries. Nothing really heals until the deepest injury is resolved. Use your imagination to flex your hips & back into every uncomfortable position imaginable. This needs to be done over & over, for weeks, months, even years in some cases– to fully recover and release all the pain. The best method is to slowly build the muscles using isometrics, then work standing up– using a kettlebell. “Handcuff yourself,” with the kettlebell held by both hands behind your back, letting it hang. This helps hip stabilizers, legs, butt, abdominals & grip strength, while not exhausting you with too much cardio. Keep going back & forth, using all the ideas (and whatever else you can imagine), until the injury is resolved.

Do this rehabilitation at climate. That means no A/C or heat. Make your body one with nature, and it will be better. If you have 15 pounds (typical) of stubborn fat to lose, you will add ~ 3 pounds of muscle, for a net weight-loss of ~12 pounds. Muscle is heavier than fat, but takes up much less volume.

Since all movements start with the hip & back, the flash-release of the stored pain energy will reveal other injuries downstream. The injury victim will soon realize that most of these tweaks were caused by the original hip/back issue. A breakdown of the central hub (hips & back), causes later breakdowns all along the kinetic chain.

Further benefits of fixing your spine will be: improved hearing, clearer eyesight, deeper sleep, healthier skin/hair, better coordination, more energy, and sharper mental awareness. How could it be otherwise?  These back injuries also affect the sympathetic nervous system, which controls the function of all the internal organs.

Also note, this is probably the definitive cure for hiccups, which I postulate is caused by the disruption of nerve impulses through the spine in the region of the diaphragm. This creates that irregular & uncontrolled waves of spasms known as the hiccups. As an individual case study, I have suffered them much less frequently as my rehabilitation has progressed, and haven’t had an episode in a LONG time.

All book images taken from Gray’s Anatomy– 22nd edition, edited by Warren H. Lewis

In conclusion, I rank this thesis on hip & back injuries affecting stubborn fat loss, to be among my greatest professional & artistic achievements. It is a human triumph to synthesize the process of pain release & rehabilitation for the world, using valid science to form a concrete & rational program that people can apply for themselves.

Pain is a very real & complicated phenomenon. There is a physical component to pain, which is the body telling the brain there is an injury that needs attention. There is also an emotional component of pain, which runs both ways. This allows some people to ignore pain & press on, while others are hypersensitive to pain. In dealing with deep spinal & hip injuries, there are significant levels of both mechanisms going on simultaneously. It is by learning the anatomy & science underneath, that allows the individual to endure & master the emotional elements of pain. I have chosen neurology as the scientific basis in this discussion, because all muscles are connected by nerves.

Deep groin injuries, limit sexual prowess– a primal instinct. These untreated injuries are a source of sexual frustration, jealously & anger for too many. Luckily one of the best ways to rehabilitate the hips is to have straight sex. It turns out that a man’s & woman’s body were meant for each other. There are many delusional fanatics in morality & identity politics that would argue otherwise [!], but that doesn’t change the fact that sex is healthy– provided it is consensual & safe. My take-home message is for more people to boink, simply for the enjoyment & healthy results!

There’s obviously ego & emotions with all this. The best way to motivate people is by building a program which corresponds to their material interests and emotional needs. Fact: every adult wants better sex, and more of it. Everyone also wants to be without pain, as much as possible. The relevance of these discoveries discussed above is that anyone can apply this knowledge, and begin to achieve immediate (and lasting) pain-relieving results. While there has been never been a shortage of people willing to do the work to achieve their personal fitness & pain-relief goals, there has never been a worked-out method with corresponding scientific validity that anyone can safely apply– until now.

Previous writings in this series:

The Ambidextrous Athlete

Hip & Back Rehabilitation Protocol

Hard Lessons from the Other Side

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The Shohei Ohtani Pitch

This piece was originally written as a baseball free-agent signing analysis– but became much, much more. It now reads as a serial, dating November 29 – December 8.

 

The biggest news of this MLB off-season is the soon-to-happen posting of Japanese two-way pitching & hitting star Shohei Ohtani. It will cost one MLB team a $20 million fee, but the winner will likely be getting an ace pitcher, who can also hit like a regular player– at a bargain salary & signing bonus. That has every organization and their fans’ attention. Every team in MLB is waiting to see where he signs before making a significant move.

Where he goes apparently depends on the terms of use & marketability, as all 30 teams get to make their pitch in writing to his agent, per his request. That’s poise & presence, and Shohei Ohtani is a generational talent– age 23. These are the teams that can offer Ohtani the most bonus money according to the new international draft rules:

Rangers ($3,535,000)
Yankees ($3,500,000)
Twins ($3,070,000)
Pirates ($2,266,750)
Giants ($1,835,000) *
Mariners ($1,557,500)
Royals ($1,505,000) *
Marlins ($1,490,000)
Cardinals ($1,247,500) *
Braves ($1,210,000) *
* Teams that exceeded their bonus pool under previous CBA and cannot sign a player for more than $300K [1]

As shown above, the difference in bonus money for Shohei Ohtani ranges from a minimum of $300,000, up to $3.5 million for a few teams. He’ll make many times more than this difference in endorsements, so bonus money isn’t a deciding issue, which certainly irks some big-market behemoths. This is limited form of free agency, and Ohtani is handling it with a maturity that has obviously caught a few franchises off-guard. That makes him even more attractive to those who correctly judge & value talent.

Here is Shohei Ohtani’s summarized questionnaire to all 30 MLB organizations:

An evaluation of Shohei’s talent as a pitcher and/or a hitter;
• Player development, medical, training and player performance philosophies and capabilities;
• Major League, Minor League, and Spring Training facilities;
• Resources for Shohei’s cultural assimilation;
• A detailed plan for integrating Shohei into the organization;
• Why the city and franchise are a desirable place to play;
• Relevant marketplace characteristics.

Facts: an ace pitcher makes an entire rotation & bullpen better. It makes a manager’s job infinitely easier. There are only a few true aces in all of MLB at any given time. This is probably one, who can also hit [!], so he fits best in the NL. Why?

Assuming Shohei Ohtani gets 35 starts for an NL team and he pitches well enough to get 3.5 AB’s per start, this translates into ~125 AB’s over a season. Furthermore, these AB’s come with much less pressure to produce, as compared to DH-ing in the AL. He doesn’t need the extra pressure to produce at the plate, when he’s already considered an ace pitcher. In the NL, his plate production is “bonus,” which makes his job easier, and exponentially increases his value to those teams.

Furthermore, he could pinch hit (left-handed hitter) in every non-start game where a pitcher is removed, allowing the creative manger to maximize his value in versatility. That could be another 100 NL AB’s– at least. If he doesn’t produce at the plate, there’s limited downside in the NL. In the AL, he must produce on the mound and at the plate (at the DH standard) to be perceived as valuable.

Plus the fact he wouldn’t have to face the DH on the mound regularly in the NL. Which would you prefer for career longevity. and better numbers as a pitcher? Shohei Ohtani fits best in the NL and from a senior-circuit fan perspective, it would be nice to see the AL get hurt by their DH (artificial offense) rule once in awhile. They get too many advantages from it already.

There’s been only one Babe Ruth for a reason, baseball is the hardest sport. Even Ruth didn’t do both full-time simultaneously, and that was in the pre-integration era. Being a two-way player is a tough enough task in the easier baseball league, which is the NL. Shohei Ohtani is worth an extra 2-3 WAR per year in the NL because of this.

Everyone is just guessing where he lands, as no one knows the content the any of the teams’ questionnaire responses, or what’s in his heart. But undeniably, this is a brilliant approach for a man in Ohtani’s position.

He’ll likely choose a creative new-school manager & innovative organization. Maximum money is mostly out of the equation, to the dismay of the Yankees, Red Sox, and other big spenders. Any narrative that suggests the American League is Shohei Ohtani’s preferred destination is media propaganda & east coast bias, which favors AL power teams, but ignores inherent baseball logic & statistical analysis.

I’ll list my four National League favorites to land Shohei Ohtani. 1) Cubs have a championship roster and are in desperate need of an ace. They probably can’t win it again without one in their current window. Joe Maddon is a progressive manger, and so is their front office. Lots of media exposure and potential marketing deals in Chicago. One of the favorites, for sure. 2) Cardinals are another smart organization with qualification & need. They desperately need an ace to solidify their young starters, or else they face a rebuild. 3) Brewers need an ace to give them innings so their young starters can keep their arms attached. Their line-up is solid, and front office above average. Milwaukee is a tough blue-collar city.  4) Padres are a dark, dark horse in the media, but a serious contender in this sweepstakes. GM AJ Preller has been aggressive in the international draft, establishing baseball academies in the Pacific rim for just this reason. Ownership will now spend the posting fee, and they have plenty of young talent, as well as an ace manager & pitching coach. Ohtani could play LF for them if he’s serious (and qualified) at being a two-way player. They can only offer a $300,000 bonus.

The rest of the NL teams already have an ace (Dodgers, Nats), or are moving in the wrong direction in the win curve (Mets, Pirates, Marlins, Phillies, Reds), with behind-the-times front offices.  The Diamondbacks, Rockies & Giants have significant payroll issues affecting their rosters, making their attractiveness fleeting at best. The Braves just were sanctioned by MLB over previous improprieties, so that probably eliminates them.

If Shohei Ohtani goes to the AL, it’s the Yankees. The questionnaire sent by Shohei Ohtani to all the clubs asks specifically about game usage. The Yankees can’t really answer that question, because they haven’t hired a new manager as of this publication. [2] Ohtani will be posted in a few days, so the Yankees front office & ownership better decide on the correct skipper (& soon), so they can properly finish their homework assignment. Otherwise, they will surely lose the Ohtani sweepstakes.

So let’s summarize. This is potentially the biggest impact player to come into MLB since CF Mike Trout. That means 8-10 WAR per season, for 6-8 seasons before regression. That is inner circle HoF talent, which smart teams want for a career to be a superstar for their organization. Signing him will require more than the usual maximum money, as it will also entail a mutual agreement; first proof-of-goods by the player, then a career extension deal from the organization when it’s time. Every team has evaluated what he’s worth to them. Shohei Ohtani is methodically doing his evaluation of each organization, to find a best career fit.  I can’t wait to see him go to work on the mound.  Evey MLB fan wants him for their team, but the best fans really only wish him well in his decision….

Update: December 4, 2017– noon

It’s now Monday morning and the Padres are still the name everyone is mentioning on Shohei Ohtani. Or not mentioning actually, as “small market west coast team” is the buzz phrase, providing a fig-leaf of anonymity. Anyways– that eliminates the Dodgers, Angels & Giants. The Oakland A’s are also reportedly out. That leaves the Mariners as an AL team (disadvantage here), who are also a mess organizationally (HUGE problem). The media keeps clinging the the ghost of Ichiro-past, as if that will summon this Japanese baseball prodigy to the northwest. Anywhere but San Diego!! In reality, it is the Padres who will be getting RHP Shohei Ohtani. I know that still sounds impossible to some, but get used to it.

All the other possible-team names keep changing, and are getting no traction, but the Padres stubbornly remain on Ohtani’s list. It’s a mystery? These meetings he’s holding with the other teams are (probably) a formality, which he’s scheduled and will go through, but it’s clear (to those who see) that he’s already decided. This is also a play for time at this point by AJ Preller, with roster crunches and the Rule 5 Draft next week. That’s why the Yankees and the rest of the ESPN-led media are so upset, as they’ve been played by the maestro. It’s been beautiful to behold!

AJ Preller won this prize by out-thinking & out-hustling his opponent GM’s. He’s been the best GM in the game for awhile now, recognized by a few who notice & care. Now a few more will notice this baseball genius. Preller has a long-standing relationship with Shohei Ohtani. Preller even speaks fluent Japanese, as well as Spanish. How’s that for presentation?! Other teams are cry-babying over how they didn’t get a real chance to make their pitch, or they didn’t know what he wanted; while Preller has worked to know this kid personally for years. It’s over: Shohei Ohtani is going to San Diego, and that is why AJP just got a 3-year extension– yesterday. How upset is ESPN & the east coast media? They know all this, but don’t mention it in their write-ups or on TV. They can’t, they’re too enraged, self-interested & bitter…

AJP went into shutdown mode on Shohei Ohtani. There was zero media in the Padres forums concerning contending for Shohei Ohtani, which is what both sides (that mattered) wanted. The only flak or mentions in their forums came from this inquisitive independent baseball writer with too much time on his hands. When posting time came (Friday), AJ Preller flew in under-the-radar, and is about to land the pitching prodigy everyone coveted– for the minimum signing bonus & the $20 million posting fee.

It takes a genius to see the inconceivable and then pull it off. Preller has now won the last two international drafts by a wide margin, seeing how the Braves were recently stripped for their 2016-17 improprieties. Preller did it by spending more than anyone ever thought possible that time around. It was an ingenious strategy that caused great consternation & envy, leading to changes in the CBA rules last winter, with caps now set on international spending. This time around, with the Padres supposedly sitting in the $300,00 penalty box, Preller cashes in a longterm relationship for his organization, landing the biggest prize of them all. That’s magic [!], and Padres fans love it!!

A few points on usage with Padres manager Andy Green, and their ace pitching coach Darren Balsley. Shohei Ohtani is a pitcher first. Pitchers are typically at the mercy of their manager & organization, when it comes to game usage & medical brains. See RHP Mark Prior, who incidentally is now with the Padres front office. The best way for a stud pitcher to avoid a blowout, is to pick an organization that takes medical science seriously and values their players as more than just a piece of meat. An organization needs to take a pitcher’s opinions & philosophy into account on a human interaction level. The Padres now do this. Honestly they are the only team that checks all these boxes, so this choice is perfectly rational for Shohei Ohtani– despite what conventional-wisdom pundits may blather.

Too many old school managers push for too many innings from their young pitchers, while not expecting enough out of their veterans. The new school (correct) thinking is just the reverse, as young arms need extra protection from fatigue, until their arm strength builds up. Veteran starters need to pitch effectively through 6 innings minimum, and better yet into the 7th & 8th, to have much value. Veterans should 1) win games for good teams; and 2) have lower bullpen usage during their starts– as compared to younger starters. The same concept also applies to relievers on their usage scale.

Shohei Ohtani is probably a right handed ace (and no less than a #2), who hits left-handed. Reportedly as a hitter he strikes out a lot, but has good power. Possibly a left-handed Hunter Renfroe [?], meaning he could hit as high as 7th or 6th– on a good team. In any instance it gives him (and his team) an edge on the mound and makes his manager’s job much easier– if used properly. He’ll be giving his team more wins per start in the NL due to this. Baseball is much more interesting & real this way, don’t you think?

The San Diego Padres now jump two steps ahead in their winning curve, and every plan towards winning a World Series just got accelerated. This ship had already been moving faster than the rest in it’s building, and now they have signed the equivalent of LeBron James. In the NL West, Shohei Ohtani will be featured in LA, SF, Denver & Phoenix regularly as they play each other 18 times/season. I imagine the Yankees & Red Sox will now want the Padres to visit their ballparks when Interleague play rotates back around, instead of playing every game at Petco. The Padres are also about to sell 20,000+ new season tickets. How does that grab you?

Monday 6:00 PM

The Padres plan when Ohtani signs with them will be to sign a veteran pitcher to perform well and eat innings. I said it already: RHP Hu Darvish for 4 years for a rotation of #3 Clayton Richard, #4 Luis Perdomo & #5 Dinelson Lamet. LHP Robbie Erlin & RHP Colin Rea sent to AAA as TJ rehabs, waiting if someone falters or goes down, or a 6-man rotation becomes necessary. Plenty of young pitching depth with upside at AA on down, so it only gets better moving forward. No more talk anymore about reuniting with RHP Jhoulys Chacin, which is a nice upgrade.

LHP Brad Hand is the Padres closer, and everyone else will regret not getting him when they had their chance(s). Preller would have dealt him if someone had made a fair offer, but everyone low-balled him. That has a way of motivating players & organizations. A few effective bullpen pieces are also returning, with AJP likely finding the rest at a discount– as usual. RHP Carter Capps is the wild card in the 2018 bullpen mix.

C Hedges, 1B Myers, 2B Asuaje/Urias, SS stopgap FA/Tatis Jr, 3B Solarte/Spangenberg, RF Renfroe, CF- Margot, LF Pirela. In LF the Padres could make a trade for Christian Yelich or Ryan Braun to fill a huge need.  JD Martinez in free agency?  With Ohtani, Darvish & LF; the Padres are a wild card team in the NL West.

Padres will have improved OBP & defense, with a rotation to now match up with the big boys. AJ Preller needs to carefully manage payroll because Ohtani, Margot, Tatis and the rest need to be locked up for this plan to work. Note that neither Hu Darvish nor JD Martinez cost a compensation pick, because they were traded in 2017. In the NL, the Padres will have leap-frogged the Braves, Pirates, Marlins, Cardinals, Brewers & Rockies to be about even with the Diamondbacks, but with more upside. They were already better than the Reds, Phillies, Giants & Mets.

MLB Winter Meetings run December 10-14, and end with the Rule 5 Draft, which Preller takes seriously. I don’t know what the lag time is between signing Ohtani and having to add him to the roster, but it matters, if indeed the Padres are about to close this deal, which I believe they are. As far as the rest of MLB goes, everyone will be sour grapes and hate on the Padres for this. People publicly wish Shohei Ohtani the best, but really want him only for themselves. It’s human nature, but I agree it gets ugly too often in sports (and everywhere else) these days.

Here’s a lesson in cyber-warfare. During spring training 2017, I published an article on the possibility of the Padres acquiring Ryan Braun. It was a theoretical trade piece I wrote, because I had a strong notion that deal was being quietly discussed. Evidently was on the mark, and it exploded that trade possibility. Since then I have had a much-more difficult time posting in all MLB forums. It has required finding and removing an encryption code, which holds-up posts from publication. I was also never allowed to edit in the 5-minute window anymore. It had to be perfect when it was posted, or else I had to delete & repost, or just leave it. Responding to others was limited or impossible. Ghosting & playing with the window in-your-face, are other nasty tactics.

Since about a week ago, I’ve magically been allowed to do everything normally again.

Anyone seen this beauty before?

img {-moz-force-broken-image-icon: 1;}

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Fangraphs published an Ohtani piece yesterday that mentioned the Padres, then immediately dismissed them as a serious option. And this is called “serious” sports journalism? The Hardball Times and the rest are all the same, meaning they’re in denial.

Today it’s a concession piece, that reads as if it’s been wrung out of them, as Fangraphs HATES this, but acceptance is slowly coming as we can see. It feels like outsiders are listening in here (sorta call & response like), don’t you think?  We’re all being played, Black Hand interests lurk everywhere with AJP conducting. Shohei Ohtani the subject, and I the artist narrating.

What is real & fake news? One dialectical discovery I’ve made in this process is the east coast bias is a specific political tendency, with serious reach & power. The puppet masters remain hidden, but their masks are being exposed, layer by layer. They fear & hate this above all.

Tuesday–  December 5, 2017:   ~10:00 AM

“Stability” has become the new Padres buzz word in their media releases. AJP will likely soon get back to scouting for next June’s amateur draft, where the Padres pick 7th. The international draft can be won even when sitting in the $300K penalty box, that is this year’s lesson. AJP is already planning his strategy for the next round, in which the Padres will again be limited to $300,000 max signing bonus. AJP is a baseball savant who outworks everyone else by miles.

BTW, “stability” is another signal for an Ohtani signing, as it means you have an ace, so you can settle down in the acquisition market. Stability in MLB means filling in needs, without making big trades– and then going with it. We’ll see if he actually means this, or if this is just another balloon being floated. Their current 2018 payroll commitments are well-under $40 million. Padres 2018 could be anything from another tough learning year, to a magical one. Certainly it will be more exciting.

The Padres dead money is: Matt Kemp (Hector Olivera), James Shields, Jedd Gyorko; minus KCR money for LHP Travis Wood, and LAD money for Matt Kemp– all of which balances to $6 million in 2018. Another $2M for the Padres in 2019, and that’s it.

AJP got compensation picks for J Upton & I Kennedy; traded Kimbrel for a bounty; then dumped the rest in 2016 including: Shields, Rodney, Pomeranz, M Upton, Kemp, Cashner & Norris; while keeping his best players: Myers, Solarte & Hand. Longtime prospects Renfroe, Hedges & Margot have filled in much better, with more to come. Soon it will be time to step up and fill in some needs, possibly in free agency, since they are acquiring an ace in Ohtani.

When Shohei Ohtani signs in San Diego, the Padres have the money to get a top-tier free-agent starter (ie– Darvish, Arrieta) and a LF bat (JD Martinez), without breaking their budget. This allows them to not have to trade any of their best prospects from their top-rated system. The Padres are about to become “instant contenders,” although knowledgeable fans know this took a lot of hard work. This team will have competitive staying power & upside, which is the last thing Dodgers & Giants want. That’s why this narrative is being dismissed by the biased media.

More reports of the Padres as leading contenders for Ohtani are starting to filter into MLB & ESPN news feeds. They’re going to have to report it, when it happens, after all this hype. Most aren’t thrilled, and certainly don’t understand. Anyone who has read this piece, knows more on this story & the Padres than all the mass media writers contributions– combined!

One week ago, I was the only person in the world (outside of those few who secretly already knew), who considered this deal a possibility for the Padres. I have written this story as it has developed, dissecting every relevant aspect. Normally a writer could expect to sell this story to a major media outlet (when it actually breaks), as this is the authentic account, and people would love to know how it actually happened. The only mainstream “analysis” will be clips, snippets & watered down versions from what I’ve written here. I will receive no references, nor acknowledgment that I was correct all along.

When you are blacklisted, you have to set your expectations differently. There will be no Sports Illustrated or Yahoo for me, only the satisfaction that I unfolded this story in inimitable artistic style in real time, and it will stand over everything else here for posterity. I did it when everyone else either: 1) didn’t have a clue, or 2) was lying.

Tuesday ~12:30 PM

Here’s my comment on this MLB piece concerning Shohei Ohtani’s meeting with the San Francisco Giants bandwagon delegation today.

Reality check for Giants fans: No Ohtani. No Stanton. Still old, contract-laden, and a last-place team. Time to rebuild.

This is fun.  Who’s next?  Working on a haiku for the Dodgers [!].  Seventy (70) people listening in that Giants MLB forum right now. This is how I have to market, promote & distribute myself as a blacklisted artist & journalist. Making money and getting ‘hits’ for others…

Tuesday ~2:00 PM

Source: Angels agree with prospect Maitan

Plan A: Ohtani, not happening

Plan B: top SS-prospect Kevin Maitan

A+ grade GM work getting that money from the Braves, to steal their stripped prospect!  I respect that, in this line of work.

Padres fan cheatsheet for Red Sox haters on the 2016 “AJP Suspension” by MLB

1) The suspension was officially for “undisclosed anti-inflammatories” used by LHP Drew Pomeranz. Pitchers take ibuprofen regularly, so figure that weak stuff out.
2) AJP offered Anderson Espinoza back, and the Red Sox (Dave Dombrowski) refused. They whine either way.
3) Red Sox used ESPN and their media mouthpieces (Buster Olney) to slant national coverage in their interest.
4) Red Sox have a notorious history of whining when they don’t win.
5) Red Sox are the most ungracious winners in MLB, their fan’s conduct is insufferable and that is why they’re hated even more than the Yankees these days.
6) RHP Anderson Espinoza is recovering from Tommy-John surgery, he’ll be back in 2019.

Tuesday 3:00 PM

I’ll publish my haiku titled “Sunday Match-up” now, since it’s unlikely to be seen or appreciated in the Dodgers MLB  forum– which moves at 10-12+ comments/minute, and ejects non-Dodgers fans quickly. Their television market is largely blacked-out, as ~60% of the LA residents can’t watch a Dodgers game on TV.  Thus the intense social media activity, which has more volume than the Yankees, by far. I wonder if the Dodgers brass even considered this to be a negative when they began in this “sweepstakes”?

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A haiku is a Japanese poem, 3 lines in length, with a 5-7-5 syllable structure.

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Sunday Match-up

Kershaw — Ohtani

Padres baseball thus springs forth

It’s best– don’t you think?

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Tuesday, ~5:30 PM

Fangraphs prospect chat today:

Gavin: Where would Shohei Ohtani the pitcher and Shohei Ohtani the hitter fall in MLB Prospect Rankings, respectively?

Eric A Longenhagen: #1/In the 125-200 range

Eric Longenhagen is one of the few baseball analysts in the media I actually respect. He takes prospects seriously, and uses a sound method in his analysis. He has quite an online following. The chat begins with a barrage of questions on Ohtani going to the Padres, which he really can’t answer.

Tuesday, 6:30 PM

Seattle Mariners record in 2017: 74-88

Seattle Mariners payroll obligations– no options 2018-23:

$151.5M $131.7M $108.3M $120.9M $129.2M $108.1M

So where do the Mariners fit in the Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes? They have an important role as the ever-hopeful dupes. The “west coast small market” label is Seattle, but comparable to the real winner– San Diego. This throws enough people off the scent for AJP, who needs until the end-of-the-week or so, to clear the Rule 5 Draft– as previously discussed. Hard to believe that a fringy minor-leaguer Preller is unwilling to part with, and a prospect arm from another organization whom he likes (?), are what’s holding everything up on Ohtani– but there you are.

Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto declined to comment on the current situation, he spoke openly of his team’s plans to pursue Ohtani on his Wheelhouse Podcast two weeks ago.

“We’re not joking around,” Dipoto said on the podcast. “We’re bringing the big guns. We’re bringing the ‘A’ team. When we sit down, we’ll be sitting down with very notable faces, and that is a part of what we want to sell. We want to sell the Seattle experience and what it means to Japanese-Americans, our culture and how this organization has trended so positively when we have the star Japanese player. And make no mistake, this is a star Japanese player. He’s gifted. He’s going to make some team a lot better.”

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Think of the Mariners as the dopey guy who thinks he is about to meet (and possibly win) the most beautiful woman anyone has ever seen, but in reality is being played– as she’s already taken. Even if Dipoto feels he being used (which he is), he still can’t resist, because the prize is too beautiful.

Tuesday 9:00 PM

The Rule 5 Draft is where many GM’s make mistakes that cost their organization, without anyone knowing until much later. AJP got right-handed starter Luis Perdomo from the Cardinals in the 2015 Rule 5 Draft. The Cards sure could use that extra starter now. Last year Preller traded to corner the top three picks [!] in the Rule 5 Draft, and every selection is still with the organization & protected.

Catcher Luis Torrens is an illustrative example of sloppy management leading to opportunistic vulturing. Preller knew the Padres weren’t going to win in 2017, so he gambled on talent acquisition and came up huge. NY Yankees GM Brian Cashman had four prospects Rule 5 drafted a year ago, and three were returned– all are now gone, either washing out or traded away. The fourth guy was Torrens, who now is safely tucked away in the Padres system. Luis Torrens will start in AA or AAA, and be ready for a call-up, as he saw quite a bit of MLB action in 2017. Padres kept three Rule 5 players, and went 71-91, as Andy Green & Brad Hand got them 12 wins above their Pythagorean.

The real reason the Yankees lost this valuable catching prospect is because Cashman was too hasty in signing free agent DH Matt Holliday. There wasn’t even a hot market for him, but Cashman inked him on December 7, 2016. and had to had him to their 40-man roster for the Rule 5 Draft on December 8, 2016, leaving Torrens exposed. If Brian Cashman had waited another day or two on Holliday, he could have avoided this loss. Holliday was worth 0.0 WAR in 2017, and is now a free agent again.

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The Rangers keep being mentioned in the Ohtani mix, but really were a shaky bet (at best) from the start, even when no one knew. When they dumped RHP Hu Darvish at the 7/31  deadline, that killed any chance they could ever have. Darvish was reportedly upset that he was even offered, then ultimately traded to the Dodgers for a prospect haul.  He wasn’t consulted, or asked how he felt about it. The Rangers have 0% chance of re-signing Darvish now, and the only “Ohtani connections” the Texas Rangers ever had, were when AJ Preller was their director of scouting before he came to be GM of the Padres. Those stale ‘connections’ won’t help Texas in this case.

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After the Yankees, the Cubs were the toughest competitor for the Padres in this hunt– in my earlier estimations.  Still a heavyweight but look closely, as this organization is already starting to crumble after its magical 2016 World Series season. RHP Jake Arrieta is gone, and not worth resigning– due to over-usage. Ace closer Aroldis Chapman even voiced his feelings over being abused my Maddon in the World Series after he signed with the Yankees.  Joe Maddon has slipped quite a bit in the eyes of those who seriously evaluate MLB managers, especially after a few Anthony Rizzo dirty slides, which he defended adamantly. Pitching coach Jim Hickey has been a big part of Maddon’s success, and that gets overlooked too much. Cubbies have the resources, but are not as progressive as some would have you believe.

That covers all the candidates, as of today the field has supposedly been reduced to seven (7) teams: Angels, Cubs, Dodgers, Giants, Mariners, Padres and Rangers. I’ve outlined the facts with all the reasoning. Now you decide: fake news or the truth?

Tuesday ~ 10:30 PM (Last post for today)

As typhoon Ohtani starts to zero in on San Diego, AJ Preller is doing what he’s done a few times already, to the irritation of more than a few rival GM’s. AJP is controlling the market, as he’s held the winning lottery ticket from the start, with the 29 other GM’s (more-or-less) in the dark. Recall that AJP managed the 2016 trading window up to the 8/1 deadline in that campaign in the same fashion; dumping junk and grabbing whatever he could get. He glutted the market with mediocrity, thus devaluing everything in its wake. It was a tsunami, and 15-20 teams got washed up in it.

As far as this Rule 5 Draft goes, which is to be held on  December 14th from 9-11 AM in Orlando, FL: there is no way AJP is scrapping any long-held plans for acquiring young talent on the cheap. The east coast media will surely pressure him to get this Ohtani deal done faster, when they figure out what’s been going on here. Leadership means hold fast, when others advise you to yield. All this is why AJ Preller is the best GM in MLB.

Wednesday  December 6, 2017:  ~11:00 AM

When Shohei Ohtani declares his intention to sign with the Padres, the other 29 teams can finally get back to business. The actual signing process involves the Padres paying the $20 million posting fee to MLB, which is then transferred to Ohtani’s former Japanese professional club. When the paperwork is finished & returned on that, then Ohtani is officially released from his Japanese-league contract, and can sign with the Padres. I’m estimating the whole process will take about a week or so. Just as long as Ohtani is officially inked with the Padres by next Friday (December 15), or later. This is so AJ Preller can do his Rule 5 Draft magic, and then make the necessary roster adjustments afterwards, so he doesn’t lose any assets. AJP dosen’t want to pull a Brian Cashman/Luis Torrens boner here.

Of course, the Padres brass will need to appear surprised & completely tickled over this unexpected turn-of-events, when the Ohtani decision is announced. They could never dream of being the recipients of such good fortune [!], but nonetheless it’s true. At that point, everybody in the Padres organization will have to screw on a straight face for the media, in the final act of this affair. By now, astute baseball readers should understand this whole ordeal to be the “Ohtani Affair,” as opposed to “sweepstakes.” There was never any ‘open’ competition, once it was agreed-to by MLB to post Ohtani– allowing him a 21-day free-agency window. When that owners’ agreement was unanimously ratified, the Padres had just won– although no else knew it. That’s the definition of under-the-radar.

More & more, the truth is start to filter into the major media sports news, and especially into the comments section of MLB forums. Most baseball fans are actually ahead of many of the MLB writers and “experts” in their assessments & conclusions. Many eager fans have been digging for days & weeks, trying to find some relevant facts & analysis they can hang their hats on– mostly to no avail. Slowing, but surely the facts & broad outline of events are seeping onto the Internet, somehow [?].

I expect Friday to be the Ohtani announcement day. After that, everyone in MLB packs up & flies to Orlando, for the Winter Meetings, which start on Monday, December 11. Not much left for me to discuss until then. I’ve covered it all, and once again have gotten ahead of the story. This happens to me a lot. I get my hooks into something compelling, just as it’s developing, and then find myself ahead of the curve during my research and writing. This has happened again, so now I will patiently wait for the predicted & inevitable result…

I also feel we are near the end, because this whole affair reminisces my Hurricane Irma Diary. In both situations, I place myself within the actual story, and consciously direct the action– while narrating it to the world. I feel this good-time movie is about to end, as it feels like Midnight Run (1988), in which I am Jonathan “The Duke” Mardukas (Charles Grodin); trapped, compelled, and carried along in a mad adventure that drives everyone crazy. It’s running time is 126 minutes, so it goes on somewhat longer than your typical movie, but you’re never bored; just exhausted, satisfied and relieved when it’s over. If anyone asks for my credentials: Special Agent Alonzo Mosely– FBI.

Wednesday ~2:30 PM

The Padres will end this charade with Seattle & themselves being the finalists. I forecast this list will go from 7 to 2– suddenly. Seattle’s GM Jerry Dipoto is comparable to Midnight Run-character Marvin Dorfler (John Ashton), a useful but greedy tool whom everyone keeps around when needed, but is cut-out when the pie is sliced at the end. Both see success in visions before their eyes, and both are always thinking– just before they crash their planes into a mountain. Dipoto too will be flying home, unfulfilled. All flights are non-smoking now, so I still wonder on that one a bit…

AJ Preller has to repair all this collateral damage which has occurred during this bloody campaign. This whole process was considered “going to war” by all 30 MLB teams. That’s how high the stakes are. Simply understanding AJP’s rationale (as I’ve shown) goes a long ways towards healing for many. Honestly, a lot of teams & their fans behaved very badly during this whole Ohtani-affair. The should be ashamed of themselves and look within, but instead heap derision & scorn at the victors and the prize. These haters all need to be exposed as frauds and shouted-down, permanently. The Ohtani campaign by the Padres since his posting, has been a coming-out party for this organization. Call it a surprise party, if you will.

This franchise is now officially a heavyweight, for the next 6-8 years. No other franchise outside the Yankees & Dodgers can own that statement. Can you imagine Clayton Kershaw facing Shohei Ohtani on the mound, AND in the Padres line-up? It’s happening, as it’s already a haiku. That’s going to be an AL-type batting order 1-9, when he pitches & hits for the Padres. No one in the NL wants to face that, and most in the AL doesn’t either.

Wednesday ~3:30 PM

I’ll admit I’ve had a roaring fun time crashing this Padres private party. I figure that after I get done bringing in Ohtani’s ass, I’ll call up AJP & get my cut of that $300,000, and then open up a nice coffee shop. For all you aspiring bloggers, let me just say that doing what I’ve done requires talent & dedication, as it’s a very tricky business. Over half of new blogs go under within a year. I’m not saying that as your advisor, I’m just saying that if I was your advisor, I’d have to strongly advise you against it, because it’s a very tricky business.

Wednesday  ~5:00 PM

A final significant parallel to this 1988 cinema classic are the surveillance teams. “Are they good or bad guys?” is the question that runs throughout the film. You can now figure out your own scorecard on any covert media activity in the Ohtani affair.

As far as the inner loop for the Padres goes, it starts with AJP & majority-owner Ron Fowler. AJP has been given complete control of baseball operations, so this was his baby all the way. His core group is manager: Andy Green, farm director: Sam Geaney, and scouting director: Mark Conner. They were undoubtedly in on this, early. Their media has been perfectly in-sync, indicating a long-planned & well-executed PR campaign, which went under-the-radar. That means the Padres media was in on it too. Preller unplugged the east coast immediately, particularly when the Yankees (and such) tried to bring out their brass bandwagons. That reduces buzz factor, and that was what the primary interested parties wanted.

The midwest big boys (Cubs & Rangers) have been left on low heat all along. Just being “alive” is consider awesome by some still. The west coast has been split between big & small market size. This put the Padres, Mariners & A’s in one camp; and the Dodgers, Giants & Angels in the other. The A’s were immediately eliminated. The big-market angle has been played as a negative, while small-market as positive. This keeps the west coast on a medium simmer overall. Nice hot stove cooking by AJP.

Wednesday  ~6:00 PM

In poker, it’s how you play em’ that counts. In this game AJP held a straight flush all along, even before the cards were supposedly dealt. The Angels adapted quickly, shifting to the top international prospects which the Atlanta Braves had just lost. That makes the Halos big secondary winners here. Meanwhile, the Yankees, Rangers, etc have all sat on their thumbs waiting for Ohtani to change his mind.

The Angels even used next year’s bonus pool money to make these valuable talent acquisitions. This year’s international talent is going… going… gone [!], and the east coast big boys are still at the table with the biggest piles of unused chips. Who do you spend those millions on now, if you are Brian Cashman or Jon Daniels? It’s only usable until early-July, 2018. Then everyone replenishes & resets, as the next wave of young exploitable intentional talent gets this form limited free agency. All the cream has been signed.

Look at the list I copied & pasted from MLB.com at the beginning of this piece, which showed top remaining international money to spend, by team & amount. Those teams that wished instead of worked, lost all around. You gotta admit it, AJ Preller played this one beautifully.

Shohei Ohtani has handled his interests impeccably, as he was obviously asked to work with the Padres organization concerning the exact date of his signing. His Japanese club the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters of Nippon Professional Baseball’s Pacific League, and all his support staff have surely aided in this. Shohei Ohtani is already proving he’s an accommodating team player, even in making his American star debut.

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I have to keep reminding myself that I need to report the mass media activity, as an accurate representation of what’s happened. Because as soon as this real story breaks, everyone changes their narrative and claims “I knew it was the Padres all along.”  I posted the earlier “Kershaw vs Ohtani AL-lineup,” snippet as a comment in the MLB Ohtani piece this afternoon. At the time, the Ohtani story was positioned second, below Aaron Boon as new Yankees manager, but above yet-another Giancarlo Stanton trade-talk piece. An hour later in the MLB main feed, the Ohtani story was dropped to 5th. Impressive, no?

Wednesday  ~8:15 PM

Bonzai!  I just checked the Padres MLB site and there’s this new article.

Preller expects to be busy at Winter Meetings

From talkin’ trade to the Rule 5 Draft, GM has full to-do list

Preller said. “I get the sense that things are going to start to open up, and you’ll start to see some activity.”

Padres beat writer AJ Cassavell & AJ Preller are just precious together, don’t you think?

I’m sitting in my underwear & t-shirt in central Florida, on the edge of my seat with anticipation…

Actually I’m grateful, as I interpret this as tomorrow. That’s nice, I can finally sign-off for the day. Sayonara.

Thursday  December 7, 2017  ~ 10:00 AM

As expected this morning, nothing new on MLB.com or the Padres MLB site, so I check back with Fangraphs. Fangraphs is baseball analytics site is run by Dave Cameron, who held an online fan Q & A chat yesterday. Here are some relevant questions he fielded on Shohei Ohtani, along with his replies…

12:05 PM
Jack: What team would benefit the most from acquiring Ohtani?

Dave Cameron: Probably the Giants or Mariners, both of whom have questionable futures once their core ages out of contention in the not too distant future.

12:14 PM
Hae-Lo Dee: You’re handed a thousand dollars with the stipulation that it has to be placed on a bet for what team Ohtani signs for. Which team do you put it on?

Dave Cameron: Probably the Mariners.

12:18 PM
Hae-Lo Dee: What do you think the chances are that Ohtani has decided already, but is playing out the decision for no reason other than due diligence?

Dave Cameron: I’d guess he probably had a preference going into this thing, but is open to a team changing his mind.

12:25 PM
Bob: Rank the 7 teams still in on Ohtani in order of probability of landing him (in your opinion).

Dave Cameron: SEA-SF-big gap-LAD-ANA-SD-TEX-CHC

12:33 PM
Matt H: What would a moderately optimistic estimate of Ohtani’s 2018 WAR be?

Dave Cameron: +6

12:59 PM
Dave Cameron: Alright, have to go meet with a lawyer for a bit. Thanks for hanging out everyone.

Fangraphs also published an Ohtani article, making a case for him going to the Cubs. I wrote-up that angle a few days ago, and today it’s dead; but here’s Fangraphs covering it now. Almost every time I go to their site, I get a pop-up window asking me for money. No thanks.

Thursday ~ noon

Why do I keep punishing Fansgraphs, ESPN and the shills at MLB? It’s not just because they are liars. AJ’s Cassavell & Preller lie too, but when I bust them in the comments section of their forums, they’ve learned to notice & react appropriately. They acknowledge my power & influence, and know they can’t fool me– so we’re cool. A lie only hurts, if you believe it.

With Fangraphs and the rest of those fucks, they simply refuse to admit they’ve been busted down to their underwear, and continue to lie as before. This is the same as Trump, Clinton, Bush, Sanders and all the rest of politics, personified and refracted through the lens of media manipulation– known as east coast bias.

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Today is Pearl Harbor Day. On this day in 1941, Japanese imperialism launched a surprise attack on the US naval base in Hawaii, thus bringing the United States & Japan into conflict. World War II ended with two atomic bombs being dropped on the civilian cities of Hiroshima & Nagasaki. Most Japanese people still consider this horrible act to be a war crime. Most Americans view it differently.

San Diego maintains the largest naval fleet & marine base in the world, so any of this “small market” stereotyping that’s been going on during the Ohtani affair, is completely ridiculous. I often wonder how foreign players feel when the “Star-Spangled Banner” is being played, while they are surrounded by full military trappings & jet fly-overs? Sometimes, I feel like I’m the only one who thinks these thoughts.

I’ve gone back and edited everything from start to finish, correcting all typos and other mistakes, added links, etc. This running summary of events is around  7500 words, spanning a week-and-a-half in time.  The irony of this Ohtani story is that when it “breaks,” this authentic account will be completed, while everyone else scrambles to get their version of the truth published & noticed. That’s how blacklists and fake news interact.

Thursday  ~1:30 PM

This is new, (but listed 3rd) on the Padres MLB homepage:

Report: Padres met with Ohtani on Tuesday
By AJ Cassavell / MLB.com | @AJCassavell

SAN DIEGO — The Padres were the last of the seven teams to meet with two-way Japanese phenom Shohei Ohtani, doing so on Tuesday night in Los Angeles, according to Yahoo! Sports’ Jeff Passan…

It appears that Yahoo! Sports’ Jeff Passan is about to “break the story,” Shohei Ohtani is going to the San Diego Padres! Soon will be “official.” Ain’t that something? I know I’ll be relieved, because if it had been the Mariners or Dodgers, I was going to have a lot of re-editing to do.

Also in the news during this 10-day span: Trump ready to go to war with North Korea; Wildfires burning out of control in California; Massive tax cuts for rich approved by both houses of Congress; Conflicts within US ruling class intensify following Flynn guilty plea; Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israeli capital sparks anger & protests; etc…

Over & Out

Friday, December 8, 2017 ~1:00 PM

There’s an old expression is baseball that goes; it ain’t over until it’s over.

It looks like there are a few clowns who want to go extra innings, when the score is 128-0. I’ve already introduced this Charlie Brown caricature, take a look at his latest weak stuff.

Despite scrutiny, officials expect MLB probe after Shohei Ohtani decision

11:55 AM ET Buster Olney ESPN Senior Writer

This will surely backfire into kamikazee, anti-east coast bias feedback– from fans who know the source.  But that doesn’t mean they won’t try their worst! These rabid dog pack-journalists never will learn, and therefore they must be beaten into submission. That is a valuable lesson. I’m thinking possibly an “undisclosed Rule 5 Draft agenda…”

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Still no “official” announcement Shohei Ohtani has chosen the Padres. Likely later this afternoon (IMO), west coast time. The posting & transfer process will then begin. Of course, it’s late on the east coast and already Saturday in Japan, so they’ll get back to it on Monday there, which will be Sunday here. Crazy timing, huh?

Here’s another little coincidence for you. When I went to check the MLB site(s) on Friday morning– December 8, their page format which they have used for the last 5+ years has been completely changed. This is for the main site and ALL the teams; COMPLETELY reformatted, with everything repositioned and jumbled around. People are obviously confused, as the number of comments is way down. Maybe this is due to the fact that many comments’ sections that don’t even load. I try to post something on the latest Stanton piece— forget-about-it!  This gets me thinking…

I click on a few of my links above, and they all load, but only the article [!]– no comments that others & I posted are to be seen. It’s a good thing I saved & published everything I posted, otherwise MLB, it’s writers, and fans wouldn’t have access to what happened during the Ohtani affair. Hey, I’m always thinking.

Friday,  2:18 PM

It would be wise & brave for the Padres war room to agree to whole-heartedly take on this unfair east coast bias, while the iron is hottest. The east coast powers-that-be will never respect the Padres, until they kick a little ass in this area.  Also, what about the kid’s feelings? Speak from your heart when you declare Shohei Ohtani!  This is a watershed franchise moment for the Padres, and a crossroads for MLB.

I can interfere no longer, you must use the force wisely AJP.

Friday,  3:40 PM

If A.J. Preller is a genius (and he is), then what am I?

Wile E. Coyote, super-genius, and it’s just like that Mel Blanc cartoon character, as we both have guile & ingenuity, but ACME keeps sending us defects, so everything always blows up in our faces. We’re both funnier & easier to understand when our voices are heard. It may be hilarious to watch on television, but how many times can you be sent off a cliff, plunging a thousand feet below into a ‘poof’ of smoke, and then dust yourself off still dazed & hungry, trying to figure out another brilliant plan while the brainless roadrunner zooms by again?

Proof: MLB reports Shohei Ohtani signs with the Angels.

Friday, December 8  6:11 PM

I had waited to see if this was a zig-zag by AJP, to short-circuit a potential MLB investigation, but it isn’t. He may still be investigated, even though he lost.  I leave what I’ve published above untouched, as this article is a character study more than anything else, and I have no issue admitting I was wrong about where RHP Shohei Ohtani would land in the end. It appears the Black Hand has stepped in, and there’s nothing anyone can do about that at this time.

The official Padres narrative is now that they lost Ohtani because they didn’t have enough money, and he wanted to DH. That’s just the opposite of what everybody claimed & indicated for weeks & weeks, but now it’s suddenly peddled as the truth.  In a nutshell, the Red Sox were never players here, so their strategy was to foil the apparent victors– the Padres (whom they HATE), forcing Preller to kick Ohtani to his buddy Billy Eppler, or else MLB (Red Sox) would have eventually stripped and sanctioned the Padres. When ESPN media ran out Buster Olney, that was the signal. AJP complied.

The Black Hand message: move along everybody– move along; nothing to see here. This blog has done major damage to MLB, ESPN, many others’ credibility– even the Padres. No apologies to any of them.

That was my ultimate purpose from the start, as I am a revolutionary socialist, against this form of capitalist exploitation. Shohei Ohtani is worth many times more than what he’s getting, and so are all the others. As a Padres fans I would have loved to have him, but wish him well with the Angels. In sum, AJP may have  overplayed his hand [?], and probably should have closed the deal with Ohtani as soon as he could of, instead of concerning himself too much with the Rule 5 Draft. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose, and sometimes something greater things matters more.

Wile E Coyote is at his wits end, a bit scathed, and “officially” Over & Out in this blog episode.

[Final editing completed 9:52 AM Saturday, December 9. No one is smart enough to figure all THAT out– instantly.]

Buster Busted:

Final image uploaded at 12:13 PM, Sunday December 10, 2017

Final score in extra, EXTRA innings: Angels— 150, as they got Ohtani, Maitan and a few others for being Johnny-on-the-spot, combined with good hustling by GM Billy Eppler. That earns him a promotion to Taipan; Padres-– 50, (for merit in wisely avoiding a bigger trap (set by the Red Sox); MLB & the rest— 0. Ric Size— infinity.

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Sexual Politics: Witch Hunts & Blacklists

What is currently going on in the US media is nothing less than a witch hunt against male celebrities. Today, a celebrity is broadly defined as anyone on TV: athlete, actor, musician, politician, etc. The first question that must be asked is: Who is directing this? This has clearly been a planned-out & coordinated campaign, with political orders being carried out by media interests & their minions.

It began with Harvey Weinstein, a despicable Hollywood figure, which is significant. Witch hunts are roving moral blacklists, that descend upon their prey in an ordered & calculating manner. Since no one cares for Harvey Weinstein, he’s an easy first target. Everyone who personally hates him, or is with the current political agenda, gets their cut. Once established as legitimate, witch hunts takes on a life of their own. There are very few who defend fundamental democratic principles such as: presumptive innocence before definitive proof, the accuser facing the accused with their claims, or the right to privacy.

Instead we get yellow journalism, muck-raking and lies; 24/7/365 from CNN & the New York Times. The “Russian interference” campaign has worn too thin for too long, so here’s the change-up.  The analogy in baseball is when the smart hitter ignores this garbage as well, and takes ball four– again.

Barry Bonds was the greatest baseball player of his generation, and most-likely– ever. The video below is proof of this, as well as a quick slide into the sports side of blacklisting; namely Barry Bonds’ MLB Hall-of-Fame candidacy. Why are all these pitchers & pundits so afraid to throw a strike, or face the truth? [1]

Little boys, pretending to be men, to all the guys / Hysterical girls, posing as women, for all the gals    — Ric Size “Unsung”

In the mass media, there is no truth, just a non-stop side-show of distractions. When was the last time you (as a viewer) saw any serious labor coverage in the news? Strikes, work stoppages, deaths on the job; do you ever see, read, or hear about this in any depth from a rank-and-file, real-world perspective?

The answer is “No.” It’s exclusively NYSE-analysis of the labor markets in the corporate media. In a class society driven with inequality, how could it be otherwise?  What passes for “official news” today is nothing more than sports, celebrity gossip, talking head opinions, and Trump tweets.

Do you know what’s going on with the US wars being waged in Africa, Asia & Latin America? Tens-of thousands of troops have been deployed to these faraway battlefields, for reasons unknown to most of the American population. Isn’t the government of a democratic nation supposed to declare a good reason, and prove it to the people, before sending their children off to war?  What is democracy?

Soldiers being killed, maimed, and/or psychologically scarred doesn’t make the news. Neither does an analysis of what they are fighting for. The unspeakable truth is– it’s always economic (power) interests, with China & Russia being the opponents. Do you personally feel any animosity towards the people of these nations? Most Americans don’t, but the media always tells us we should, because they are the enemy. Therefore all their allies are our enemies too, and so North Korea, Syria & Iran are “existential threats” to our way of life, and must be annihilated. That is the logic of US imperialism, refracted through a corporate/intelligence media lens.

It’s still the same set-up as the Cold War, and all the old methods of red-baiting leftists & artists are being brought out again. History proved when this blacklist barrier was smashed in the 1960’s by social forces and artists like Bob Dylan & the Beatles, it became a revolutionary situation. Political figures began to be assassinated (JFK, MLK, Malcolm X, RFK), always under murky circumstances. Most remain unsolved in many ways. This was the deep state in action, snuffing out revolutionary impulses by beheading liberalism & black radicalism in the 1960’s.

Today the political enemy of the deep state are the class-conscious workers armed with socialism. The only political tendency that represents genuine socialism are the Trotskyists of the Fourth International. Every other political tendency on Earth falls within imperialism’s grasp.

The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) is the US branch of the Fourth International. In ruling circles, the SEP is equated with “Russian terrorism.” The political program of the SEP is world socialist revolution, which puts it into the most bitter life-or-death struggle against the US deep state. Hence the propaganda & Internet censorship campaigns from Google, Facebook, and the rest of corporate social media. [2]

The deep state is composed of elite political power brokers who dominate finance, Wall Street, Madison Avenue (PR), and Langley (CIA/ intelligence services). The Bush & Clinton (& now Obama!) families are part of this nexus, which pulls-the-strings on Donald Trump & the rest of the political figures you see & hear in the news.

This is the origin of this ongoing witch hunt against “sexual predators” in Hollywood, NYC & Washington. The hypocrisy of all this is astounding, as everyone knows these places are infamous for being fleshpots for the rich, glamorous & powerful. This can’t even be described as an open secret, it’s just a fact every adult knows today.

Their level of depravity is seemingly infinite, and for many common people (sadly), that’s the allure. Too many ordinary hedonists wish they could join in this depraved orgy. This is how people have been trained to be, as education & civility has been degraded. There aren’t many good jobs anymore either, even if you are a college graduate– deep in debt. So what’s there to hope for, still living with your parents at age 25?  Opioids & other prescription painkillers are readily available to soothe all types of pain…

Most Americans still aren’t ready to face the need for conscious & continuous work in political education, to prepare themselves for the necessary socialist revolution– to come. Most are too busy with day-to-day living (survival), and have been taught to take care of themselves first & always. This isn’t compatible with species survival, but don’t ever try to explain that to a liberal, as their knowledge in arts & science ends where class interests begin. In fact. these attacks are coming specifically from deep state liberal identity-politics ruling circles.

Therefore the impulse to defend celebrities, artists & left-wing politicians will not come from Democratic party supporters; it will come from the working people & youth who have dumped both parties. The truth of the two-party system is that it works together to exploit youth & workers. They appear to act in the interests of the common man/woman, from both sides of the aisle, but in earnest always defend capital– in all its forms. The Democrats use the unions & pseudo-intellectual liberalism, to blind workers and educated youth. The Republicans use religion, racism & nationalism to rally its rural working-class base. The former party is for philistines, the latter is for fascists.

The battle against blacklisting & media sex-scandal pogroms is but one front in the greater war for socialist equality, which can only be achieved by revolution. Those who are enlightened & educated are the ones who care the most about art & human culture. What is happening now is a desecration of human society, as fascists have taken the White House, and the supposed opposition (Democrat) party has done nothing to warn the people, because they are it’s most hostile enemy.

Until this fact is absorbed into the marrow of enough politically conscious workers & students, this witch hunting & Internet censorship will continue, and things will generally continue to get worse for most everybody. Once this reaction is beaten back, a revolutionary window will open, as this witch hunt campaign signals a final ideological arrow. Once you get past sex scandals & censorship, there’s nothing else to titillate & distract. Politics is then exposed for what it is, corrupt & bankrupt.

That’s when all the nonsense lies end, and revolutionary action starts. The battle lines in this upcoming civil war are already being drawn, so it’s important figure out which side is which. and what it means.  It can save a life, and the life you save may be you own, as well as those you love.

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