Craig Baltz's Blog

Craig's personal ramblings

Hodge Podge of Ramblings

Posted by craigbaltz on July 4, 2009


70 years ago today Loug Gehrig said goodbye to fans at Yankee stadium. He was diagnosed with what later would become known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. He died a very young man, two years later. I love sports, and have always been a big baseball fan. Would love to watch baseball as a sport played by people who truly love the game, as opposed to ego driven multi-millionaires. How great would it be to play a game for a living? Yes, there is stress and yes they are good, but there is no way you can convince me in the scope of life that hitting a ball or putting a ball in a hole is worth the absurd amounts of money these guys get paid. They should make a very good living and tickets should be $10. Not punters, who punt a ball three times a game making $2 million a year and tickets are $100.

Side topic for Giants fans: Why in the world are the Giants in discussions to trade for Nick Johnson? We need a power hitter or a 2B. Trading for Johnson does NOTHING. Travis Ishikawa has hit more home runs in his last 60ish AB’s (Six) than Johnson has all year (Five)! How does that help anything? Please don’t make a move just so you can say you did something. Aubrey Huff might be a good pickup. But I don’t want to see us lose a prospect or team chemistry for a first baseman who is good for 70 RBI. Here’s another Giants thought. Why will they stick with a proven bad player over the potential for someone to be good? Barry Zito has proven himself to be bad for 2 ½ years now. All are talking about how he has been better this year. He is 4-8 with an ERA close to 5. How is that better? Better than what? That’s not bad – it’s actually horrible. We saw what Sadowski can do; called up from AAA he is 2-0 and hasn’t given up a run. Kevin Pucetas is by all accounts better than Sadowski. Why not give Pucetas a chance and move Zito to the bullpen? The only thing worse than paying Zito $18 million a year, is paying him $18 million a year and having him hurt the team. If you bench him, yes you are out the $18 million, but at least you have a chance to win!

FYI, The governor of South Carolina should be impeached. How could the investigators say he did not misuse funds? He went to Argentina for a week to f%^k his girlfriend on taxpayer funds. He repaid them after he got caught, but he had no intention of doing so beforehand. So if I steal a car, and get arrested and then go back and pay for it – is that not a crime? He also abandoned his post, nobody knew where he was, he didn’t tell the lieutenant governor, his wife, ANYBODY where he was. What if something had happened while he was gone? This is the classic definition of dereliction of duty. Do I even need to touch on the hypocrisy of him cheating on his wife for a year while standing on the religious right podium of moral superiority? He cried for Clinton’s impeachment on moral grounds, and then when he gets found out has the audacity to quote the Bible to justify keeping his job. UNBELIEVABLE!!!!

The entire California political pool responsible for the State budget should be fired including Schwarzenneger. He is the leader and has proven to be completely incapable of getting anything done. The time for talk and political differences is over. California is on the brink of financial collapse. We are offering 90 day IOU’s for over $3 billion to vendors, and my question is how are they going to pay them back in 90 days??? They just missed a deadline for passing a budget that cost the state another $2 billion dollars. Kind of important don’t you think?

So I have been back in the lower 48, back in the land of normal human beings for a little more than half a year. How is the adjustment going? What are my observations and feelings? There are very few things I miss about Alaska. I miss the work and the challenges. I miss the pay… The work culture has changed in the States (not that Alaska isnt a State, but it is different). Gainful, stable employment is hard to find. Jobs that offered benefits for decades no longer do. Even government jobs (post office, IRS, etc) that used to offer stability in return for tedious nowhere jobs – are now replacing that stability with temporary positions that offer no benefits. The only way to get a job as a carrier with the post office is to serve six months to a year as a “rural on-call carrier” working whenever they call you with no benefits. Who can do that? How do you pay your bills if one week you are working 40 hours and the next you are working 10, and you have no benefits. The working class is much, much harder to survive in. I am 45 years old and finishing my Bachelors degree so I can get into teaching or similar field that still offers some form of stability, benefits, and retirement. I don’t know that I can survive otherwise. Among the many things I don’t miss about my island in Alaska are working with alcoholics and drug addicts every day, $7 a gallon milk, the weather, the dire shortage of attractive women, and having absolutely nothing to do except fish or hike (and not that many places to hike). One thing I do miss is not having bills. Rent, Gas and Electric, Gas, insurance and repairs on my car, etc. It is definitely not as easy to save money here as in Alaska.

Friends and love. It’s hard to stay in touch with friends as you get older. The world tends to lend itself to staying in touch, but at a shallower level. Things like cell phones, texting, MySpace, Facebook, etc – are great tools for staying in touch with people. But it’s a bad substitute for actually seeing somebody or hanging out with them. People seem to feel connected with somebody after texting or commenting on a Facebook post, but it just doesn’t do it for me. I need real friendships and real contact. But that takes real time and a commitment. It’s important that I take time for this. Girls…what can I say…this is an area I am really struggling with. Maybe it’s my age. Maybe it’s my baggage. I tried to date a little and have failed miserably at it. I hope I’m not jaded, I don’t think that’s the problem. Am I carrying a flame for somebody else?   Is it making it impossible to be serious about dating anybody else or have I just not met anybody to spark interest for me?   I’m not one of those people who just jumps from person to person. I don’t want to settle, and I don’t think it’s fair to anybody that I date to keep dating them if I’m not “feeling it.”  I sure wouldn’t want somebody to be dating me with lukewarm feelings, even if there was nothing else going on – I don’t like wasting time.  I don’t want to be anybody’s second choice.   I don’t want somebody who is mourning some other relationship.  I want love, or I will continue to be alone. For now, I guess I’ll just be alone. Dating isn’t working so I guess I’ll just plug along and achieve the personal goals I’ve set. Maybe things will work themselves out, maybe not. I don’t want to be alone, I certainly don’t want to die alone, but I just don’t have any answers right now. Well, I need to go for a run. Trying to stay in shape. Don’t want to get old before my time. I want to be one of those 60 or 70 year old men out playing tennis. It’s not time to be old and fat yet.

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2 Responses to “Hodge Podge of Ramblings”

  1. As the great Vin Scully says… channeling the BARD, “we have met the enemy and it is ourselves” (he was referring to Steve Sax’s fielding woes)

    Sports is a microcosm of what America is, what Capitalism is, and what a free market is. No quota system. Just the best athletes who can hit the ball, run faster, or catch a pass get paid the biggest dollars. True the union(as it does with all groups) inflates prices for the average but it also protects the talent from owner abuse, especially when your earning career is only 10, maybe 15 years in most sports.
    Reason I LOVE guarantee contracts. The cut is the cut. Think DAVID DUVAL number 1 to number 882, he was very close to not playing on the big tour until he showed up and placed 2nd at the US OPEN…and this may only get him one more year.

    WE(the fans) pay these ticket prices. WE(the fans) watch these games on TV, thus the leagues get big ad dollars for TV contracts.
    The Grizzlies get about 600 per night on average(so I’ve heard) I guess their ticket prices are too high…or maybe baseball has just lost it favor with America and their are SO MANY OTHER THINGS TO DO. My son has never seen a real baseball game(I guess I’m a bad dad) but he doesn’t feel he’s missed anything and he has done stuff I had never done at his age.

    I think these sports are in trouble…Women’s golf(LPGA), Hockey, and Baseball. The purses and salaries need to shrink for these sports to continue.

    • craigbaltz said

      I think a lot of sports are going to see trouble down the road. While it might be great for baseball, basketball, NASCAR, etc to cash in and get the most they can for tickets it may hurt the sport in the long run. Dads are taking their kids to a lot less games, and as such we have an entire generation of kids growing up not caring about sports. Seems to me we have a lot more kids that know how to play “Madden NFL” than could actually play football. THis has to hurt the sport down the road. What are the chances your son is going to teach his son anything about baseball? Can’t speak for golf too much – but don’t a lot of players get appearance fees and sponsorship. They aren’t entirely paying for performance, and if their wasn’t a Tiger, things would be a lot different.

      Another villain in the whole NFL/MLB/NBA, etc argument is the agent. I think Scott Boras would take a billion dollars for Barry Zito even if it meant ticket prices would go to $10,000 and only Jack Nicholson and corrupt politicians could afford to go to games. The business side of it has no conscience and greed will take it’s ugly toll.

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