Short Cuts

Following up on Tuesday’s post, it seems that Cyber Monday isn’t quite as obsolete as I thought. According to Associated Press reports, it’s been the single largest online shopping day for the past six years, with online spending topping $3.1 billion this year.

There’s a bit of a chicken-and-egg thing going on here, of course. Retailers schedule big sales because they expect people to be shopping heavily that day, and people shop heavily because they get big sales–without sleeping in a parking lot–that day.

But my I stand behind my recommendation: let’s kill off Cyber Monday as a discrete entity. Fold that big sale into Black November: “The last sale of the Thanksgiving Season!” The income potential will be the same, and the rebranding will allow retailers to slide gracefully into Quiet Time. While we, the consumers, are catching our breaths and allowing our credit cards to cool off, you retailers can be fine-tuning your plans for the December sales and beefing up your server capacity to handle the expected onslaught. Win-win. Who’s with me?

Moving on.

On Thanksgiving, I suggested that Mariners’ GM Jerry Dipoto should take the day off. I’m pleased to see that he took my advice. Not even a hint of a trade on Turkey Day.

But you can’t keep a trader out of the market forever. Tuesday, the Mariners traded the Trumbone to Baltimore. Last June, I likened the usefulness of the Mariners’ acquisition of Mark Trumbo to repainting the Bay Bridge. I stand by that. The Ms needed base runners and relief pitchers, and what they got in Trumbone was a man who hits home runs and strikes out. And, unless your name is Nelson Cruz*, Safeco Field isn’t a good place to hit home runs.

* Mark Trumbo’s name isn’t Nelson Cruz.

That said, watching him bat was–once he got past the first month-plus of horrible performance–a lot of fun. Put him in a park more suited to his bat, don’t try to make him play the outfield, and he should do much better than the 0.8 WAR he put up for the Mariners last year.

Jackie, I know giving you guys the Trumbone doesn’t make up for grabbing Cruz last year, but I hope it helps a bit. Enjoy the show (now less than three months away, figuring to the first Spring Training games).

Moving on again.

For the past few days, I’ve been hearing a lot of complaints about how horrible the news is lately–terrorism, flooding in Chennai, rampant insanity among political candidates, etc., etc., ad nauseum. At least one radio station here has been asking listeners to send in suggestions for music to brighten people’s spirits.

Let’s not get carried away. There’s a lot of sucky news, yes. But no more so than any other time in the past. I suspect an epidemic of Post-Thanksgiving Syndrome. We’ve been focused on our blessings for a week or so, and now that we’re starting to look outward again, the same problems we had in mid-November look worse now than they did then, simply by contrast.

Don’t get me wrong. The bad news is bad. People are dying. But complaining that there’s more bad news than ever doesn’t help, especially when it’s not true. You know what does help? Contributing some time. Contributing some money. Being there for someone who needs a shoulder to lean on.

Then do something good for yourself. Pat a cat. Watch the rain take a tiny bit off the edge of the drought. Heck, go buy yourself something nice in a Cyber Week sale. Whatever it takes. Hang in there.

4 thoughts on “Short Cuts

  1. I try not to get too excited about players who are seen as being “primarily in the DH role.” For heavens sake, the Orioles need corner outfielders, someone (anyone!) on first with a glove, and an entire set of pitchers. Still, I appreciate the Orioles whipping out their checkbook to pay Trumbo a million more than they paid Cruz in 2014. It’s a sign that they are willing to throw money around. That doesn’t happen often around here.

    The main excitement over the trade was over the “player to be named later” that the O’s haggled for. I had this vision of some Mariner’s lawyer with the roster list up on his computer accidentally clicking King Felix as the PTBNL and hitting send before he recognized his mistake. Barring that, I hoped for Boog Powell, because, really, anyone named Boog Powell ought to play for the Orioles. Still, Riefenhauser … pitcher. So, that’s good.

    Take good care of Steve “Pigtown” Clevenger. He’s a gritty guy … I really like him. And, he deserves a chance … rather than being stuck behind the catching logjam in Baltimore. I hope sometime in the heat of summer you all are shaking your head thinking, “How in the world did we score this guy?” as you pack him off to his first All-Star game.


    • Trumbo isn’t a complete embarrassment at first. I don’t have numbers handy, but I’d rather see him there than in the outfield. You just may find him doing more than “primarily” DHing. But yeah, it’s always nice to see an open checkbook this time of year when you’ve got holes to fill.

      “Pigtown”? Srsly? I’ll keep an eye on Steve. Would be very nice if you’re right about him. Been a long time since we’ve had a catcher who can get the job done beside the plate and behind it.


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