Leaps of Faith

When I was 17 years old, for reasons that eluded me even then, I decided to jump from the hood of a moving car that a friend of mine was driving. The car wasn’t going fast — maybe 20 mph — and we were on a street with very little traffic. Still, the results were predictable. An object in motion tends to stay in motion, and my feet hit the asphalt at 20 mph. Then the rest of me hit the asphalt. I bounced and rolled several feet before coming to a stop in someone’s driveway. Nothing broke, but I had scrapes and bruises all over the place.

Not one of my finer moments.

My friend drove me home, where I cleaned myself up and a put on a shirt that didn’t have gravel embedded in it. Naturally, he wanted to know what the heck I’d been thinking when I jumped from the car. Naturally, I could offer no reasonable explanation for my actions. (The matter of why I was on the hood in the first place is best left alone altogether.)

Twenty years later the problem is obvious. Beyond poor execution of a plan, the plan itself had been deeply flawed. What had I hoped to accomplish by jumping from the hood of a moving car? Even if I’d succeeded, what was the upside?

Well, I suppose I could’ve bragged about it, although I’m not sure my story would’ve moved anyone to admiration so much as pity that I’d even felt the need to attempt such a stunt. Regardless, any resulting notoriety would be short lived. Or worse, it might linger for a lifetime.

Who wants to be known as the guy that jumped from the hood of a moving car?

. . .

I’ve been trying to balance working a full-time job, maintaining three blogs, writing a book, and spending time with my family. The 17-hour work days; the strain in my back, shoulders, neck, arms, and legs; and the shortness of temper that accompanies a general lack of time to “get things done” tell me that I’ve earned an “A” for effort but a significantly lower mark for everything else.

We are finite beings; much as I’d love to, I cannnot do everything.

With this in mind, I’ve decided to take another leap. I’ve quit my job — a very good job, with a very good company whose people have shown me that hard work and passion together form a devastating combination — to pursue my dreams. I will be writing full time for at least the next several months as I work to complete the Ducksnorts book. I’ve saved up some money and made an investment in myself.

I’m still developing a strategy to go with the idea and make this thing sustainable over the long haul. My ultimate goal is to earn a living by writing about baseball full time after the book has been published. I have no clue whether this is feasible — such details can be attended to later. For now, I’ll be writing like crazy. I will do everything within my power to make the Ducksnorts book worth your time and money. I will do whatever I can to make it — as Kathy Sierra would say — kick ass.

This is my commitment to you.

Okay, so what am I asking in return? Mainly, buy the book when it comes out (I’m shooting for late February 2007) and spread the word about it and the blog. This is my passion. After 37 years, I’ve finally figured out what I want to do in life. Help me do it.

Can I be more specific? Sure. Bust out the bullet points:

  • If you’re a Ducksnorts reader, keep reading.
  • If you’re a commenter, keep commenting.
  • If you’re not a commenter, give it a shot; the more voices we add to the conversation, the better.
  • If you’d like to support Ducksnorts, feel free to donate via the button to the right or buy some goodies at the store.
  • If you’re torn between donating to the cause and buying the Ducksnorts book, please save up for the book; my path is a conscious choice and I’m not starving — let’s spread ideas now and worry about the rest later.
  • If you can’t afford anything (or you’re cheap like me), that’s cool; just say hello or something; just let me know you’re out there.
  • If you’d like to advertise at Ducksnorts, drop me a line and let’s talk.
  • If you’re a publisher looking for a freelance writer, drop me a line and let’s talk; resume and references are available upon request.
  • If you’re anyone else looking for somebody who has ideas about baseball and the ability to write about them semi-intelligently, drop me a line and let’s talk.
  • If you’re my wife, thank you for indulging me.
  • If you’re tired of bullet points, you’re not alone; don’t worry, we’re done.

Okay, that’s the general plan. Thanks, as always, for your support of Ducksnorts. It goes without saying that I couldn’t do this without you.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a book to write. My hope is that we will rock the world, or at least some small portion of it. And if that doesn’t work, you can always remember me as the guy who jumped from the hood of a moving car.

64 Responses »

  1. #49: Just got back. I can confirm what CM says in #48. We are getting two picks from Houston for Woody. Sweet…

  2. CM and GY, wish I had known you guys were there and I’d have looked for you. I thought SA’s perspective on not much happening yet was pretty telling when he spoke about how at the same time last year, of the 10 most popular players from last year, only 2 were even on the club at the same time of year. Gonzalez, Barfield, Chris Young, Piazza, Cla, all came after this time of year. Trevor and Giles were free agents and unsigned. They had only signed Cameron about 10 days before. Still lots of time to see how this year’s team shakes out.

    We should pick up a lot of picks out of the players being tendered arbitation. Did either of you recognize the guy who asked that question about arbitration? Best question of the night, I thought.

  3. Was the crazy money being spent this offseason discussed at all; specifically whether KT and Alderson believe the huge amount of money being spent on marginal players is a one year aberration or the new market equilibrium? Do you guys have thoughts on this?

  4. Stephen (#50), Kouzmanoff @ #4 doesn’t surprise me at all… First, they overrate upper-level minor leaguers, 2nd, he isn’t as bad as people say. He should be average/solid at 3B.

  5. Re:49…Yes, that was live…I have a hand held pocket PC and typed the names as fast as I could.

    A little surprised at Chan Ho…and even more surprised at what they thought Piazza would get at arbitration…they said they expected $8-$12mm per for him if they went that far…that was surprising b/c SA said on XX last night he thought the number would be under $8mm per.

    They did address the FA prices…talked about how having $30mm to spend and actually spending it are not necessarily linked. They feel like the flexibility it affords to add players during spring training and at the deadline can be very valuable.

    Got very tired of everyone booing about Barfield, crying to bring Lorretta back, and screaming for Doc. Thought the Doc comment by KT was an interesting choice of words…KT said something to the effect of “Dave is not signed with anyone YET.” Seemed like he left that door open.

  6. CM,

    It makes no sense to me that they would offer arbitration to Chan Ho Park, considering his salary last year and how relatively little they are allowed to slash it (20%/30?) under the arbitration rules. Perhaps the guidelines have changed?

    Also, I thought that once they bought out Klesko’s option there is no arbitration offering process. Again, I may not know the rules here so any help on that would be appreciated.

    I like the slight risk they are taking to offer Roberts arbitration – i.e. he could accept and sign a one year deal even though they don’t really want him if they can get a power bat for LF.

    I’m not sure about why they are offering it to Walker. I guess if he accepts, he is the Padres 2b in 2007, which might not be a bad stopgap.

  7. I think that a combination of Graffanino and Walker would give us really good production from 2B.

  8. I agree, I think Walker/Graffanino is the perfect 2B combo. Plus, Graffanino can play the other IF positions in a pinch.

  9. I like the Walker option at 2B…The Todd Walker Experience…now there is a T-Shirt.

    I don’t know enough about arbitration rules to know how far a salary can drop. I am pretty sure that the new CBA has a new rule that says after salary figures are exchanged, a player can be released. So, I would assume that if the Pads felt that they would be on the hook for a huge sum to Chan Ho, they would just release him.

  10. 59 – wow, that’s a huge blow to the player’s leverage if that’s true.

  11. 59– Wouldn’t you automatically offer everyone arbitration then?

  12. CM, I think you are right about the release part. I just read about that.

    I also read elsewhere that 6+ year free agents are not subject to the salary reduction rules. Can anyone verify that?

    BTW, Richard, I would agree with you that almost every call in to XX about the Padres is awful, and it seems to have become worse as the team has become more popular. The sad thing is that most of the hosts are brutal as well when it comes to discussing the team.

  13. 62: Josh Rosenberg comes in first on that list.

  14. Dang. My post didn’t hit yesterday. Geoff, just wanted to let you know you have my continuing support in your efforts, and although I’m as cheap as you, I will go ahead and buy the book. In fact, I’m very much looking forward to it.