September 19, 2017: Shots

I did a couple of shots last night for the first time in a while. I'll let you know how that went, since I'm writing this just minutes afterward.

Online celebration combined with real-life stresses. A dangerous cocktail, this.

63 thoughts on “September 19, 2017: Shots”

  1. Trivia from the LCS®* -- which team opened the season on the road for 60 consecutive seasons:

    Actual Spoiler SelectShow

    *the Local (baseball) Card Shop, where all things Baseball is discussed, including things that may or may not be true

    1. A guy at my HS (senior when I was a freshman) fouled a ball off his face on a bunt attempt at State. That messed up his face pretty good for a few weeks.

  2. I was thinkin' maybe ye'd be referencing' shots from a flintlock, seein' hows this here be International Talk Like A Pirate Day.

    1. I think my kids need to stay off of her lawn.

      (I do agree with your assessment that its nice to hear its not just my kids, but this feels a lot like something that every older generation has said about every younger generation since time began.)

      1. I agree with your parenthetical, but I've also seen enough reports that suggest the tethering effect of smart phones, etc., is causing significant changes, including increased depression.

        I've been thinking a lot about what we're going to do re: phones when the time comes. I'm trying to summon the cojones to reach out to the other parents in Aquinas' class, link to a few of the smart phone studies, and see if we can get them to all agree on just doing track phones or somesuch, instead of smart phones. Because I don't want Aquinas to miss out, but I don't want to feel like that desire forces me into something that is ultimately bad for him in a different way.

        1. CER is 14 and phoneless, though we have discussed getting track phone for her and HPR (11.75) to use should occasions arise.
          Such as when they've taken public transit alone this summer: schedules to downtown have been so far off.
          We've used walkie-talkies for HPR in years past when he's gone fishing down in the park, but he hasn't been into that as much this year*, he's been more into Minecraft (where he builds worlds for his little sisters).

          CER does have her own self-purchased tablet.

          *But, when I mentioned a money-making opportunity for him in lieu of selling scout popcorn, his first thought of where to put it was towards his lifetime fishing license.

        2. I am suspicious of the depression claims, mainly because depression is so under diagnosed and under treated already.

          1. Saw an age-specific studies in the past week or two, suggested very significant increase. Will see what I can dig up later.

            1. One of the things I recalled hearing was an NPR interview with the author of a new book. She definitely was citing studies in the interview. She was also fairly open about the topic - a "look it's not all bad, there are good things going on too" type of approach - but there was a lot of talk about the reality of the downsides.

              Article by same author (caveat, I haven't read all of it.).

                  1. But critics have also taken issue with her data. In 2008, Dr. Donnellan and Kali Trzesniewski, a psychologist at the University of California, Davis, responded to her analysis of Narcissistic Personality Inventory scores with an analysis of their own. They, too, looked at scores from 1979 to 2007, but broke the survey’s questions into subsets to tease out more nuanced results. They concluded that some indicators of narcissism had increased while others had decreased. Over all, they said, there was no significant change.

                    Dr. Twenge, who grows noticeably irritated at the mention of the paper, calls the analysis invalid because it takes its earliest scores from just two University of California campuses (Berkeley and Santa Cruz) and its most recent scores from a third (Davis). “These are very different college campuses with different cultures and student populations,” she said, adding, “It would be like taking height samples of men from the 1800s and comparing it to recent samples of women and saying, ‘Oh look, height doesn’t change.’ ”

                    that's a hilarious response from someone who is using time series cross-sectional data (i.e., successive waves of independent surveys) to draw population conclusions.

                  2. As someone part of the generation that is killing everything, I also find it strange that people like blaming the generation instead of the parents and culture the generation grew up with.

                    1. To their credit, the radio story I heard made this point (in a subtle but ruthless way) by interviewing some "expert" who decried smart phones generally but let their kid have one.

    2. Kids used to play outside, where, in unstructured natural environments, they learned and practiced their social skills.

      People try that now but are arrested for it. I get what she's complaining about but it feels like a shallow determination of the problem.

      1. The trinket plays outside all the time (we're slowly letting her expand her outdoor boundaries) and the only social skills she seems to be learning are that neighbor kids are assholes.

        1. CER learned that lesson when we moved into the new house seven years ago. One girl her age, two houses down.
          That girl and another girl who lives in the neighborhood and whose grandparents are our next-door neighbors chose each other to the exclusion of CER. Only "friend drama" I've had to deal with.

      2. arrested
        Yeah, but not _that_ often.
        But both reinforce the problem:
        On one side smartphones and on-demand television* give kids lots of entertaining ways to pass their time indoors,
        and Air Conditioning keeps going outside a heat-shock in summer (while if your had no A/C, it might be relief),
        and over-scheduled "activities" removes a lot of the time in which to do things and many of the kids that would give a neighborhood a critical mass of children.

        *and before that cable vs the broadcast time-ghetto children's TV of my youth which pushed me to watch soap operas (Y&R) during summer lunchtimes.

        On the other sides, neighborly busybodyism with the force of law behind it reinforcing vulture helicopter parenting increases the potential costs to parents of their kids going outside by themselves.
        My top fear, when I let my kids go out unattended (even just to the far reaches of the yard), is someone calling the police and sending CPS to our door. They're not going to be abducted (or struck by lightning) and injuries are unavoidable.
        Further, my kids' injuries that have required medical treatment have not been from being outdoors or on their own: playing with a swiped pocketknife used indoors led to "liquid stitches", horsing around behind a couch led to "nanny elbow", stepping out of the side of the minivan led to a faceplant and facial scratches and concussion evaluation.
        Being homeschoolers, there's so much more risk from well-wishers second-guessing our choices to keep our kids "safe" than what they'd ostensibly be protecting them from.
        Not in the sense of injury or physical harm, but in disrupting our lives.
        I happily pay for membership to a homeschooling legal defense group as a way of insuring against that... I hope they'd help if it wasn't directly homeschool-related.
        Anyways, I try not to change our decisions too much due to busybody fear.

        CER was excited when we visited my parents' new home in the small town of Courtland at the beginning of this month because I let her walk to the convenience store and buy herself something. I really didn't think it was huge, but she did. Not really any opportunities for that around us without committing to a 2-mile distance. By her age, I had biked all over New Ulm, alone, or with friends. HPR got to take the bus by himself for the first time back in July.

        Sorry, I think that went offtrack.

      3. People try that now but are arrested for it.

        I know there have some very extreme public examples of this, but do people really worry about this?

        My worry is based on the fact that there is safety in numbers. If my kid is the only one at the park, on his bike, etc., it just seems riskier if there aren't other kids around.

        1. And everyone else thinks the same way and there will never be any kids at the park... Tragedy of the commons in reverse.

        2. I do worry about it. I've sat in on child protection team meetings. In my experience it is largely dependent on the personalities involved in the decision making, and not any black and white rules. That's a big part of what scares me.

  3. I'm shocked after that petulant column a few weeks ago that Top Jimmy is now carrying the water for the Mientkiewicz posse.

    1. There may be another side to this story other than the Twins firing Doug without good reason. But if there is, the Twins aren't providing it.

      Because that's a legal liability? I'm scratching my head about what could've precipitated firing Mientkiewicz given his proven performance, but I'm not deliberately dense about what room the Twins have for comment. What a shit-stirring ass.

      1. My completely speculative guess is that Falvey and Levine wanted things done in a certain way and that Mientkiewicz decided to do things a different way. I base that on nothing much, but Falvey and Levine seem to have definite ideas on things and so does Mientkiewicz, and in that sort of battle the boss is always going to win.

        1. In addition to that, from where we stand the only performance we know about regarding Mientkiewicz is that his teams have won games. But I doubt that is neither the only nor most important criteria for evaluating the performance of a minor league manager.

          1. Berardino had a piece the other day with comments from some of Mientkiewicz's former players, including Buxton & Granite (don't remember if there were others). Both had good things to say about him as a mentor & boss. This is more anecdotal than hard data, but presumably there are other players who have expressed positive experiences with Mientkiewicz to the front office or minor league staff.

              1. Buxton was moved from AA to MLB, where he was 7.5 years younger than the average MLB player, which was a questionable player development decision, particularly given it involved a top prospect who missed the majority of the previous season with an injury. If Buxton had been promoted to AAA in June and struggled, perhaps some of that could be laid at Mientkiewicz' feet. As it as, Mientkiewicz seems to have prepared Buxton well for success at AA when he was his A-ball manager. What happened after that is more on Mientkiewicz' bosses, I think.

                Granite has hit .338/.392/.475 in AAA this year after hitting .295/.347/.382 in AA last year. If he hasn't been as successful in Minnesota as he has in Rochester, I don't think that's a huge surprise. I'm also not sure how much responsibility to put on the AA manager for a guy's first 90 PA in the majors the next season.

                1. My point was more along the lines of what DPWY said: their anecdotes don't convince me of his performance.

                  That said, he seems like a guy who knows the game well and who communicates it effectively. I kind of chafe at the "professionalism" of terminating someone in this way, because it's always incredibly personal for the person being fired, and professionalism by the employer feels like a giant invalidation, when what you really want is validation.

                  So I don't know how I come down on this. I wish I could know more. I'm sure Dougie does too.

                  1. I'm in the same boat, too; if he's decidedly at odds with the approach the organization wants to take, then it shouldn't have come as a suprise to him. He might feel like he's owed something when it comes to getting this news given his longstanding relationship with the team, and I might agree (and it certainly looks bad in any case), but there could well be more we don't know about that isn't being shared with Poultry Man by either party.

                    As for the anecdotes, I suppose that's where a "No comment." would suffice. So I guess I take it as genuinely offered praise rather than a young player feeling cornered and needing to say something nice about his organization's former employee.

                  2. I suspect Mientkiewicz does know more. He simply either doesn't want to hear it or doesn't accept it. But again, this is simply speculation.

                  1. Right, but he was also his manager at Ft. Myers the season before. What I'm saying is that Buxton was successful at both levels immediately above the one where he was managed by Mientkiewicz, but when he was skipped a level it didn't work out well. Not really something that can be blamed on either Mientkiewicz or Buxton.

                    1. I was simply clarifying. I really don't have an opinion on whether this was a good move. There are simply too many things we don't know and maybe shouldn't know.

              1. What young player is going to reach the majors and then say his minor league manager didn't help him?

                Exactly. Anyone that wasn't on board would simply offer a "no comment."

        2. I have read quite a bit on the Mientkiewicz firing. Let me preface my thoughts with the fact that he was one of my very favorite players on the Twins at one time. I did totally agree with trading him to make room for Justin Morneau. Yes, some former players have come to his defense saying they loved playing for him. But, there is quite a few tidbits over the past 10+ years of him being a pretty headstrong player and manager who struggled with management. There has been concerns over not following organizational policy on pitch counts. He is laser focused on winning at all costs. That is a good thing in some ways, but not necessarily the #1 priority of a minor league manager. Sure, some players loved playing for a manager who was so intent on winning. Athletes all want to win. However, I would assume there are players who didn't respond well to his style who are choosing not to throw him under the bus. I think the organization is choosing to take the high road by not throwing out all the dirty laundry to the press. They don't want to ruin his career, and now he can go interview for other jobs and frame his firing on his own terms. He will get a really good gig, and he will be fine. He has always struck me as an old school manager who can be very volatile. I don't think this fits with the current organizational leadership. He is very motivated to manage at the major league level, and if Falvey does not see him managing the MLB club, then it is the right move to let him go. I do suspect that Falvey and co. will eventually replace Molitor. They would not want Mientkiewicz sitting in the wings as a candidate. They are slowly bringing people into the organization who share their philosophy on development and how to win ballgames. Anytime there is a change in management in any organization, lower level employees have the choice of getting on board with the philosophies of new management, or moving on. I get the sense that Doug did not get on board, and consequentially was let go. He will be ok, we will be ok without him.

            1. Thanks. I am not surprised at the vitriol being spewed by Souhan and strib commenters. But both strike me as emotional reactions versus taking the "seek first to understand" rule of communication.

      2. Mientkiewicz was never one to mince words with authority. From Sid Hartman after Mientkiewicz was traded to Boston:

        Twins General Manager Terry Ryan didn't want to trade Mientkiewicz. But he felt that the relationship between the first baseman and manager Ron Gardenhire was so bad that he didn't have any choice, even though he received little in value.

    2. It's also interesting that absolutely no one seems to be upset at the firing of Eric Rasmussen, who was let go at the same time Mientkiewicz was. I get that Rasmussen doesn't have the fan connection that Mientkiewicz does, but he's been with the Twins since 1996 and was actually the interim pitching coach last year when Neil Allen was suspended because of his DUI.

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