What is Fair?

By Lloyd Graff

The Los Angeles Dodgers’ nearly over-the-hill starter Clayton Kershaw makes more money in a year than the entire Tampa Bay Rays team that battled them in the World Series. So does their star outfielder Mookie Betts.

It isn’t fair, but neither is life.

Tampa Bay’s unknown star Randy Arozarena, who arrived in Tampa in August from the St Louis Cardinals’ minor league system, makes approximately 1% of what Betts makes, but he outplayed him in the series and set records in the preceding playoffs.

Prior to October, the highlight of Randy’s life had been jumping off his fake boat along the Mexican Coast four years earlier, grateful to be alive after fleeing Cuba. Being captive in Cuba wasn’t fair.

On Monday night, I watched the movie version of Michael Lewis’s masterpiece, Moneyball, with Brad Pitt possibly making his greatest performance as Oakland Athletics GM Billy Beane. Beane had the guts and smarts to defy baseball convention by rebuilding a Major League Baseball team on the cheap, with players he felt had been valued unfairly.

Arozarena, the lowest paid Tampa Bay Rays player

Beane bought into a thesis that veteran baseball people rejected, almost out of desperation. He sought after players who the scouts and talent evaluators overlooked, using a statistical analysis most people were ignorant of at the time. He signed players if they had the ability to produce runs and get on base with walks. His success changed the game, yet still today star players like Bryce Harper sign 13-year contracts for incredible sums and lead their teams nowhere.

I think business is a lot like baseball. It is a team game, and one elite star cannot make a team into a winner even if they are great year after year like Mike Trout of the Angels, a perennial losing team.

In the machining business, a company may invest in state-of-the-art CNC equipment, paint the floors, install perfect lighting, put in a million-dollar washer and chip disposal system, yet continually lose business to a resourceful newcomer who has 1998 CNC lathes and cam screw machines.

Billy Beane loved players who had funny batting stances or threw submarine style. The bottom line was finding hitters who scored more than the opposition and finding pitchers who could get outs. If they looked funny doing it, all the better; they would be undervalued.

A machinery dealer is taught from puberty to look for dirty, unloved equipment. Cleaning is cheap.

Tampa Bay lost to the Dodgers this year, but they did knock off the Yankees, who have the highest payroll in Major League Baseball.

The Steinbrenner family certainly thought that wasn’t fair.

Question: Do you think this election will be fair?

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11 thoughts on “What is Fair?

  1. William

    Yes the election will be fair. And in the end the data will prove it to be fair, just as all available data to date indicates our elections have been technically fair. Now if you want to talk about historical techniques for voter suppression, that is another matter.

  2. Jeff Zvolanek

    The media has made it unfair from even before the last election. Our main stream media is the laughing stock of the world right now. They have earned it.

  3. Joey

    Yes, the election will be fair. The thing that concerns me most will be if Donald Trump accepts the results should he lose. If he doesn’t that will throw the country into a mess that hasn’t been seen here since the civil war. I would hope he would be a gracious loser if he does indeed lose, but from everything he has done and said the last four years I worry that he won’t.

  4. Gordy

    Probably as fair as the dueling town hall. Stephanpolis allows Biden to speak relatively unchecked, and Savannah Guthrie ripped into Trump and talked over pretty much every thing he said. Or the extra 1/2 hour awarded to Biden.
    Probably as fair as Trump backing Judge Barrett and Biden countering with “Ill just change the number of justices from 9 to 12 and appoint 3 of my own choices.”
    And my personal favorite: Biden talking about how he would handle the coronavirus 9 months after it happened, and not really having anything new anyway. Much like hindsight engineering, theoretically always right. What about the guy who was staring at a blank chalkboard and had to make a decision about the future? And how is it that all the manufacturing of ventilators, masks, and other PPE was moved to China years before his presidency yet Trump is held accountable because nothing was on hand or readily available?
    Yup, the press has always been fair when comparing the USA number of cases and deaths to various different European countries individually, when the US population is so much larger. Comparing to the entire Eurozone would possible make sense, but that’s not what we see.
    Do I think the election will be fair? About as fair as everything that has gone on to date.
    But, as Bill Gates said, “Life isn’t fair, get over it.”
    Do your best and it will be more than anyone ever expect of you 99% of the time. The other 1% doesn’t even matter.

  5. Bill Badura

    There isn’t much right about any of it. The dem vice-president candidate got to debate
    with the rest of her parties candidates for President. She was unimpressive and was called out on her past, which she really can’t defend. She left the field with a whimper and a very small percentage in the polls.
    Now, I wont be surprised if she becomes our first female president. Go figure!
    My question is; How do we get the control of the debates away from the duopoly.
    Third parties and independents have been excluded since Ross Perot’s first time running.
    Is it fair that the American people are having their choices limited by this?
    Any ideas?

  6. Willis Lee

    No, the election will not be fair. We could very well wind up with a situation like the 1876 election. After the storm, the demo’s and the repub’s reached a compromise that allowed the country to move forward.
    Concerning this election, Biden’s running mate, Ms. Harris, a dedicated socialist, and the leading anti-gun advocate, is the greatest danger in my opinion.
    For that reason alone, I have to make another choice, whether it is repub, libr, const, or some other group.

  7. Lloyd Graff

    The question of “fairness”in this election was deliberately ambiguous To elicit provocative responses.
    What we need is a Billy Beane to come in and change the way we look at elections. As Bill and Willis shrewdly pointed out, the current political duopoly has failed us. Both candidates are utterly flawed and it is almost tragic for America that they are essentially the options. Personally, I opted to vote for neither the Narcissist or the Bbumbler. Voting Libertarian in Illinois was my personal protest against the political system that dumped these two creaking clowns upon us.
    As far as “fairness” both Azarena and Betts’ homers yesterday, clearly were. On November 2nd, it will all be foul.

    1. Bill Badura

      Thanks for throwing your vote our way, Lloyd.
      You voted for someone with a better education than the mentioned “two creaking clowns”
      You voted for someone that nobody has accused of sexual assault.
      And you voted for a V.P. named Spike, how cool is that.

      Be Well


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