Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year, and Farewell 2008 - You are a Tough Act to Follow

I realize that 2008 was a pretty crappy year for a lot of people, but for me, it was darn good. The highlights include the birth of my first child (a beautiful, happy daughter), getting into a handful of top business schools, moving to Boston, starting at HBS and making a ton of great new friends. And my old company is doing pretty well, even in this tough economic environment. I've been very lucky in 2008, and I hope 2009 will be just as good.

Happy New Year.

(Reposted from my new blog over at Tumblr)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Something Sinister?

On Thursday, David Pinto suggested that "...something sinister is going on in Oakland." I'm having a tough time seeing that. What does he think is going on? I suppose he's insinuating that the A's are intentionally putting players on the DL to make the team worse - and improve the team's draft position for the 2009 MLB draft. I guess I don't get it.

Maybe the complaint is that A's fans are getting a raw deal? That they're supporting a team that doesn't want to win? That doesn't jive with me. A's fans have already written this year off, so losing a few more games isn't going to be that painful to us. And the upside (better draft position) would be nice. As for attendance, it's been pretty crappy all season. Losing a few more games down the stretch isn't going to make the problem much worse - and the A's ownership isn't going to feel that much more pain in the wallet.

Maybe the complaint is that the A's alleged Operation Shutdown will have some major impact on the playoff races...? The problem with that argument is that the A's have 32 games left, and only four against a team (the Twins) that's still in any kind of a playoff race. Games against the Angels, Tigers, Royals, Orioles, Rangers and Mariners are essentially meaningless at this point, so how incensed can we really be? The A's can't affect the playoff races in any meaningful way.

I don't think there's anything sinister going on in Oakland, and even if the A's were conspiring to lose games, I wouldn't be terribly offended. Tanking one season to make the next year better worked out pretty well for the Celtics, didn't it?

Monday, August 18, 2008

Canon Powershot SD600 Lens Error

Normally, I'm a pretty prolific picture-taker. Last year, I spent a week in Japan and came home with about a thousand pictures. So, you can imagine my frustration when my camera crapped out this summer. I have the Canon Powershot SD600, and it shut down with the lens extended as I was about to snap my 18th straight "art shot" in the hills surrounding Cloverdale, CA. I tried powering the camera back on, only to get an error message: "lens error, restart camera." Sadly, there is no way to restart the camera. A quick search gave my this suggestion:

all u gotta do it turn on the camera n quickly try knock the lens back in the camera while it is on....dunt break the lens ....so dont knock it to hard. -MAMA


Brilliant in its simplicity, but ineffective. I pretty much wrote the camera off, sure that the error was fatal. But, being the cheap bastard that I am, I held onto the camera, hoping against hope that I could find some other solution.

Well, tonight the heavens opened up, and more diligent internetting provided another option: Total disassembly. I cracked the camera open like a salty oyster, spun some gears, slapped it back together and... voila! I have a working camera again, and it only cost me $3 for the precision screwdriver set I should have had all along.

While I don't generally post any of my pictures to this site, I'm sure the one person reading this post (my dad) will be happy to know that he can expect more pictures flowing into his inbox in the near future. Three cheers for the internet, solver of all life's problems!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Detroit Home on Sale for $1

There was (is?) a house for sale in Detroit, asking price... $1.00. Story here. (h/t Kedrosky)

It's highly unlikely that the original residents made $100k+, but you can see the bigger picture in TheLadders.com's Executive Job Market Trends. Check out the Regional Employment Interest. Detroit's score of 18 is horrible, and it means that everyone in the Detroit area is interested in jobs *outside* of Detroit while no one outside of Detroit is interested in working there. It's not a pretty situation.

Another Week Closer to 2009

As the 2008 season grinds toward it's merciful end, the A's had another poor week, going 2-4 against the Rays and White Sox. Sure, there were a couple bright spots, but there were too many low points.

Three blog posts caught my eye this week:

(1) F's for the A's from BaseballMusings.

I'm a big a fan of Billy Beane as anyone, but he screwed up this year... He tore the heart out of the pitching staff, and the result is a team that obviously no longer cares and no longer even tries to win. The Athletics... trot out a lineup that can't get on base, can't hit for power, and can't score runs. It's a joke and an embarrassment... The A's may have a plan, but it's getting harder to see. Maybe keeping Haren and Harden and drafting players who can actually hit would have been a better strategy.


I agree with Pinto's observation that the team stinks and that they've essentially quit on the 2008 season. It's probably also true that Beane screwed up the 2008 season, but I'm not too bothered by it. We knew this was going to be a rebuilding year, and the A's have done a tremendous job stockpiling young talent. The ceiling for this year's squad just wasn't that high, and it would have been a bigger mistake to have sold prospects in order to make a run this year. I'm still willing to give Beane the benefit of the doubt.

(2) Gettin' Ziggy With It (Season 2, Vol. 6) on AthleticsNation

I want to take a quick second to thank everyone for the support I received as I approached and eventually surpassed the Major League record for consecutive scoreless innings to start a career. I honestly didn’t think the record would be that big of a deal…it’s such an obscure record, and it had been held for so long that I honestly didn’t know that it was something that would be kept track of... I got a lot more attention with it than I anticipated, and that really surprised me. My teammates have been very supportive, which has been really nice, since they’re the main reason the streak exists in the first place. It’s obvious I’m not a strikeout pitcher, so I rely on my defense so heavily night-in and night-out. And, from what I can recall, I think we’ve made 1 error in my 34 innings so far. And at any point, if there had been an unearned run that scored, the streak would’ve been over. But they keep making the plays, so I keep doing my best to get groundballs.


Ziegler seems like a pretty good, down-to-earth guy. He's easy to root for.

(3) Ziegler (Director's Cut) from Joe Posnanski. (h/t to Gregg)

Recaps Ziggy's journey: He's had his skull fractured twice, was released by the Phillies, played independent league ball, etc. Basically, he's Seabiscuit crossed with Cinderella Man, minus the Depression. In short, his is a a good tale to tell.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Is it 2009 yet?

Over on AthleticsNation: "I've lost the will to cheer". I'm pretty much there myself. I'm ready for the 2008 baseball season to be over. It's hard to believe the A's were only 6 games back a month ago and had the fourth best run differential in the AL. Since then, the A's have been craptastic. They've been outscored by 43 runs in the last month and are now 17.5 games behind the Angels.

By the way, my sister got me a great little thing from Brookstone this past Hanukah. It's called the Sportscast. It sits on my desk and reminds me every day that this year is a lost cause. It currently tells me that the A's have lost nine straight games to fall to 53-60. Of course, you can get this information anywhere, but the benefit here is that it's always on... always taunting me. Argh!

Monday, July 28, 2008

A's Playoff Odds (July 28)

Last week, the A's became even less likely to make the postseason, down 12% to only 9%. That is not good, folks. On the bright side, I decided that Carlos Gonzalez is my new favorite A's player. It seems like every time I watch him at bat, he gets a double. I've decided that I'm sticking with him, and I'm going to start watching him at bat more often. I must be some kind of good luck charm if he's getting all these doubles.

In fact, I'm going to Saturday's game against the Red Sox at Fenway, and I think our seats are near the A's dugout. I'll be sure to let Carlos know that I'm pulling for him.

Because the A's are pretty much officially out of the playoff hunt, I've decided to start taking a weekly look at our best performers. The average OPS in the AL is about .750, so I'll tip my hat this week to the five A's exceeding that threshold this past week (along with their OBP/SLG)::

(1) Jack Hannahan (.474/.778)
(2) Kurt Suzuki (.480/.652)
(3) Carlos Gonzalez (.480/.500)
(4) Jack Cust (.381/.438)
(5) Emil Brown (.235/.533)

Data via Baseball Musings.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Yahoo Features Piedmont A-11 Offense on Homepage

So back in November, I posted about the Piedmont A-11 Offense and this evening, Yahoo featured it on their homepage under the headline, "The Offense of the Future?"

That's some great promotion, and it's having an indirect impact on this website. As of this writing, 18 of the last 20 visits to AndrewKoch.com have come from a search involving the A-11 offense. Very interesting. For those of you who haven't gotten the memo yet, the Yahoo homepage can drive some serious traffic.

Monday, July 21, 2008

A's Playoff Odds (July 21)

Well, that was a short and brutal week. After a long and entertaining All Star break, the A's were swept by the Yankees and the Angels swept the Red Sox. The end result was not pretty. Through Sunday, the A's had only a 21% chance of making the postseason (details here), down 19% in the last week. The Angels, of course, are now 19% more likely to make the postseason -- they're at 84%.

Ugh. I had been hoping that the A's could somehow stay in the hunt long enough to make it interesting and that the team could continue over-achieving while the Angels squandered their talent advantage. But that's looking more and more unlikely each week. After this last week's action, I think we can safely commit to this being just a rebuilding year and nothing else. That's what we should have been expecting all along, but it's disappointing all the same.

Of course, the punchless A's lost again tonight 4-0 to Scott Kazmir and the TB Rays. In their four games since the All-Star break, the A's have now scored a grand total of five runs. That's a recipe for losses - and the A's have certainly delivered. Fortunately, I suppose, I'm heading back to the east coast this weekend, where televised A's games a rarity. It's much easier to endure a rebuilding year when you don't have to suffer through the games live.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Blanton to Phildelphia

Comment #11 on Catfish Stew's post, Blanton Traded to Phillies for 3 Prospects:

"I, for one, welcome our new prospects and wish them good luck until they are inevitably flipped for more prospects."

That pretty much hits the nail on the head. It's tough to root for this team sometimes.

Monday, July 14, 2008

First A's Game of the Year

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I hadn't even seen the A's play a single game this year. Well, that's no more. I joined a crew of people from AthleticsNation for a tailgate and this past Saturday's A's-Angels game. Good company and good weather were not enough, however, as the A's fell 4-1. I guess what I took away from the game was a sense that I don't know these A's at all. They're a whole lot of AAAA players right now, and no one in the lineup inspires a whole lot of confidence or optimism. When the team falls behind early, as they did in Saturday's game, it's tough to feel like they're going to come back. They just don't have the power.

Makes one pine for the heady days of 2000, when the A's slugged .458 as a team, higher than Jack Cust's team-leading .442 SLG so far this year.

Selling Harden

Some coverage from my reading list:

BaseballMusings' Harden a Cub: Confused, but thinks "It looks like a great move for both clubs."

BaseballMusings' The Oakland View: "I don't think this trade takes the A's out of the race, but it doesn't make them a better contender, either."

BaseballCrank's Rich Harden to the Cubs: "I guess [the Cubs] were feeling nostalgic for the Mark Prior Era."

AthleticsNation's Nico's Official Spin On The Trade: "I do think the trade will wind up as a good one for Oakland"

CatfishStew's Harden and Gaudin Traded to Cubs: "They traded two flawed players, and got back four flawed players, none of whom are very easy to muster up any child-like giddiness about. Emotionally, this one really hurts."

CatfishStew's That's a Load of Beane: "[T]he A's are saving quite a bit of money in this trade over the next year and a half... if you think of the deal as including Inoa plus an extra year or two of Mark Ellis, the trade looks a lot better, doesn't it?"

Overall, some mixed feelings in there. Some folks are absorbing the reality of a rebuilding year, while others already miss the "child-like giddiness" Harden inspired when he was on. But I don't see much gnashing of teeth or rending of garments. A's fans and baseball fans seem to be giving Beane the benefit of the doubt here, while admitting that there is quite a bit of doubt. I guess we'll just have to stay tuned...

Is this latest haul of new players more like Barton/Haren/Calero or Danny Meyer, Juan Cruz and Charles Thomas? And is Harden going to end up more like Mulder or Hudson in his post-Oakland career? I guess that's what makes this deal so typical of Billy Beane lately - he's taking a risk to improve the future while making sacrifices in the here and now. It's tough to be a fan of a team that is pushing back the window of opportunity. It's much easier for fans to get excited about someone going all-in, pushing their chips into the center of the table and seeing what happens immediately. When will Beane make that move? Or will he never make a move that bold because failure (should it come) will be so apparent and so quick that he could be out of a job?

A's Playoff Odds (July 14)

In the last week, the A's chances of reaching the postseason dropped another 4% to 40%, according to BaseballProspectus. The A's won their four-game series with the Mariners 3-1 before losing their Angels series 2-1. While the A's were going 4-3, the Angels went 4-3 and increased their postseason odds to 65%. Just think, if Huston Street could have closed out the Sunday game, the tables would have been turned, and the A's would probably have closed the "odds" gap on the Angels.

All season long, the Angels have been recognized as the better team, but it's only been in the last four weeks or so that they've started showing it. The beginnings of that separation might have helped Billy Beane make the decision to sell...

So, selling. Let's cover that in another post.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Tidbits from Baseball Musings

I use Bloglines to read everything David Pinto writes over at Baseball Musings. Two of his posts on the A's last week caught my eye.

(1) Wolff on the Angels -- I disagree with Lew Wolff. I dislike everything about the Angels, starting with local color man Rex Hudler.

(2) Organizations Matter -- Nice to see the A's more involved in the international scouting market. And even better to see them recruiting effectively. Losing the bidding battle yet winning the war seems like a nice "moneyball" approach.

A's Playoff Odds (July 7)

So, last Monday the A's had a 50% chance of making the playoffs and had big series coming up against division leaders Angels and White Sox. How'd the A's do?

W 6-1 @ LAA
L 3-5 @ LAA
L 4-7 @ LAA
W 3-2 @ CWS
W 7-1 @ CWS
L 1-6 @ CWS
L 3-4 @ CWS

Going 3-4 against division leaders isn't horrible, but it's not going to help you make up any ground, especially while the Angels are going 4-2. In fact, Baseball Prospectus' Postseason Odds say the A's are 6% less likely to make the postseason now (44%) than they were a week ago (50%). The entire difference there is essentially transferred to the Angels, who are now a 57% bet to make the playoffs. It's a bit early to say that things are slipping away from the A's, but BP is liking their chances less and less each week.

The A's need to start turning this around. The Angels have four games at Texas before coming to Oakland this weekend for a three-game set. Hopefully Josh Hamliton and the Texas heat can wear down the Angel pitchers before they head north for the last pre-All Star series. Meanwhile, the A's have four games at home against the Mariners. These *should* be winnable games, and with some luck, this is the week the A's take a step in the right direction.

(Of course as I'm writing this, Richie Sexson hits a three-run HR off Eveland in the top of the first inning of tonight's game. Ugh.)

Asking for Input?

Paul DePodesta's asking Padres fans what they would do as GM: Buy, Sell or Stand Pat. The majority of the comments are saying: "sell."

Will DePodesta and the front office listen? Were they planning on selling anyway?

Baseball Prospectus' Playoff Odds think the Padres should sell too. They're giving the Padres only an 0.36% chance of making the playoffs. It's probably time for the Padres to sell.

Monday, June 30, 2008

A's Playoff Odds (June 30)

As of this morning, Baseball Prospectus has the A's at a 50.3% chance of making the postseason in the Playoff Odds. That's down about 6% in the last week while the Angels are down about 2%. How can the top two teams in the division both be down? Either someone else in the division had a good week or it became increasingly unlikely that the AL Wildcard will come from the West. Glancing across the league, it's hard to tell exactly what happened. The big gainers were the Rays (up nearly 13%) and the White Sox (up 6%), which perhaps suggests that the last week's games made the A's and Angels each less likely to win the Wildcard.

Of course, this is all mostly useless. What really matters is the games on the field. And as of this moment, the A's are beating the Angels 2-1 in the top of the sixth. This week's games should tell us a lot about the A's chances. They've got three games at LAnaheim and then four at the White Sox. That's seven straight games against division leaders.

Let's Go A's!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Andrew Koch, Spokesman?

My first "media appearance" back in mid-March came in a Modesto Bee article about finding a job during slow economic times. Today, I made my second appearance - this time in Crain's New York Business: High-tech firms a local bright spot

The process is interesting. In both cases, I've spoken with the reporter for about 15-20 minutes, and they've ended up using just a sentence or two of what I said. I suppose that's how they do their job, but it's not quite how I think. If I'm going to do more interviews in the future (and I would like to), I may have to think more about the reporter's perspective. Being quotable or un-quotable (intentionally or otherwise) can certainly impact how you come across, regardless of the newspaper, the topic or your best intentions.

Oakland A's Postseason Odds (June 23)

Baseball Prospectus maintains three different sets of Postseason Odds. The methodologies are slightly different, but the output always answers the same questionWhat are the chances that a particular team will win it's division or the wildcard?

The three sets of data:

(1) Standard Version (based on teams' current winning percentage and their remaining schedule)
(2) PECOTA Adjusted (like the standard version but adjusted for beginning-of-the-year winning % projection)
(3) ELO Version (based on the ELO methodology)

What do they say about the A's chances?
(1) 56% chance of making the postseason (down 11% in the last seven days)
(2) 52% chance of making the postseason
(3) 37% chance of making the postseason

In each of those cases, the A's best bet is winning the division. (All three systems expect the AL Wildcard to come out of the East: TB/BOS/NYY) So, what do we think about a roughly 50% chance at the postseason? I feel pretty good about it.

If you told any A's fan at the beginning of the season that the A's would have a 50-50 shot at the postseason when June 23rd rolled, they would have taken that in a second. It's been said before over and over again, and hopefully we'll have occasion to continue repeating it much later in the season - The A's are far exceeding our expectations in this so-called rebuilding year.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Congrats to Cousin Paul

My cousin's wedding was covered by the LA Times, which is kind of cool. Even cooler, he and his now husband were finally able to get married in California.

Article: A gay couple's countdown to marriage (The article is kind of confusing because it's written like a live blog. You have to start at the end and read it backwards, I think.)
Pics: Couple prepares for big day (My favorite is #16)

To be honest, I'm not even entirely sure how we're related. I think his mom and my grandmother are first cousins. If I've remembered that correctly, he would be my second cousin once removed, right? However we're related, I'm so happy for him. Congrats Paul!

Monday, June 16, 2008

A's Update

To start off with, I have a confession to make. I haven't seen a single A's game all season. I haven't been to a game, watched one on TV or caught one on MLB.tv. This is the first time in a few years that I haven't gotten the MLB Extra Innings package, and without that, it's awful tough to get A's games in New York. I think that lack of exposure has really cut down on my A's blogging.

With that said, I'd like to take a look at what I've been missing by poking around in Win Shares. Through 6/5, the A's had won 33 games (standings available on ESPN.com). By definition, the A's then have 99 win shares to distribute amongst themsleves. Here's how it breaks down:

Batting - 45 win shares (46%)
Pitching - 39 (39%)
Defense - 15 (15%)

For the sake of comparison, here's what the Angels look like for that same time period:

Batting - 47 (43%)
Pitching - 44 (40%)
Defense - 20 (18%)

What does that tell us? Well, it means that the Angel's and the A's have been about even offensively, but that the Angels are getting more from their pitching and defense. At first blush, that's a bit of a surprise. I've felt like Billy Beane has built this A's team lately on pitching and defense, while the Angels have suffered from early-season injuries to John Lackey and Kelvim Escobar, two of their top pitchers. Let's dig a little deeper, looking at how players who have played compared to a "baseline", given their playing time.

As teams, the A's are 36 win shares above baseline, while the Angels are 51 shares above baseline. That roughly accounts for the 3.5 game differential in the standings. Here's how it looks at an individual level:

Biggest Outliers (Win Shares Above Baseline - Oakland)
-Justin Duchscherer and Jack Cust have 4 WSAB
-Frank Thomas and Rich Harden have 3 WSAB
-Donnie Murphy, Rajai Davis, Travis Buck, Lenny Dinardo and Fernando Hernandez each have (-1) WSAB

Biggest Outliers (Win Shares Above Baseline - Anaheim/LA)
-Joe Saunders has 8 WSAB
-Ervin Santana has 7 WSAB
-Casey Kotchman, Torii Hunter and Chone Figgins each have 5 WSAB
-Juan Rivera, Chris Bootcheck and Dustin Mosely have (-2) and Brandon Wood has (-3) WSAB

The Angels have gotten great, unexpected performances from some young pitchers, while the A's have gotten merely good performances from those expected to do so. And for the A's to make up the (still) 3.5 game margin they face on June 16th, they'll need continued healthy performances from Harden, Thomas and Eric Chavez (who is off to a good start back from the DL). And they need the Angels to not improve, a risky bet -- Vlad Guerero has contributed about as much as you'd expect from a replacement player, and John Lackey has only started six games (compared to 14 for the Angels' other starters). With just those two players, the Angels have a lot of upside. The A's have an uphill battle ahead of them.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Billy Beane on Athletics Nation

Billy Beane Visits Athletics Nation:
-Part I
-Part II
-Part III

I always get a kick out of these. They're definitely worth flipping through.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Ken Griffey Jr, Trickster

"Reds outfielder Ken Griffey Jr owed teammate Josh Fogg $1500 -- I'm guessing Fogg sold him a tendon -- so Junior paid him back in pennies."

KEN GRIFFEY JUNIOR IS, LIKE, TWELVE - With Leather

Brilliant!

Gladwell on Inventions

At dinner last night, my wife's second cousin's husband mentioned a Malcolm Gladwell article in the latest issue of the New Yorker. It's an interesting read about genius, invention and the creative process.

Annals of Innovation: In the Air

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Dave Carvajal, Blogger

I'd like to extend a hearty "welcome" to long-time colleague and start-up blogger Dave Carvajal. His first post on In the Arena includes one of my favorite quotes: It is not the critic who counts...

Dave was a co-founder at HotJobs and hired me as a summer intern in June of 1999. We've been working together since, and I can attest to Dave's greatness. He is a fantastic judge of people and talent, and his infectious energy has helped both HotJobs and TheLadders grow into the companies they are today. Best of luck on the blog, Dave!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Good Advice for College Students

Good advice from Charlie O'Donnell over at Path 101: 10 Things Every New College Graduate Should Do to Find a Job

The one thing I would add is that you shouldn't wait until the end of your senior year to start doing the things he suggests. You should start doing this towards the end of each year of college, so that you can get summer internships as well. Whether summer internships turn into full-time employment after school or not, they can be a fantastic way to learn what you like and don't like about different types of jobs.

I worked at HotJobs in the summers of '99 and '00 before joining full time in the fall of 2001. Those small summer tastes of internet startup whetted my appetite - and here I am nine years later, proudly looking back on four and a half years of startup success at TheLadders.com.

So, new college grads - and college students of all ages - take heed of Charlie's advice.

Friday, May 9, 2008

I'm Not Alone

"Dear Billy: You've done it again. Turned the A's into winners. Sure it's only May, but every month counts. Congratulations. Just one more thing. Sign Barry Bonds." -Art Spander

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Thomas + Bonds?

"No, what I'm rooting for is the unconventional, a general manager who doesn't give a hoot about disapproving scrutiny as long as Bonds can help his team win." -Childs Walker, Baltimore Sun (h/t BaseballMusings)

I know the A's have Frank Thomas back on board as DH, but couldn't we find a spot for Barry Bonds too? Imagine Bonds, Thomas and Jack Cust playing in a round-robin platoon of sorts for LF/DH:

- Bonds in LF, Thomas at DH
- Cust in LF, Thomas at DH
- Cust in LF, Bonds at DH

Surely Bonds could be signed today to a small base, big incentive contract. When your agent is accusing baseball of colluding against you, you're getting desperate - and desperate baseball players will sign cheaper contracts, right? We know Barry can still hit, and while he's a liability in LF, it's not like Jack Cust is in danger of winning a Gold Glove out there either. And under my plan, Bonds is only in LF twice a week. That's not so bad, is it?

Just as a reminder, the A's are slugging .363 as a team right now, and Bonds slugged .565 last year. So, Billy Beane... what say you?

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Man-Crushing on Bill James

Question: What statistical software do you use?
Bill James: Just Excel.


Bill James Answers All Your Baseball Questions - Freakonomics - Opinion - New York Times Blog

Thursday, March 20, 2008

More EWSL

Baseball Crank published the 2008 AL West EWSL Report on Tuesday and the 2008 AL East EWSL Report today. Lots of interesting stuff in both of those.

Just to pull out a few nuggets, Crank is more realistic about the A's chances than I am, and his data suggests the Rays will have a really tough time living up to the Baseball Prospectus projections that have them winning 88-89 games.

Friday, March 14, 2008

It's EWSL Time

BaseballCrank has been publishing his EWSL series for each of the last few years, and he unveiled his first division projection of 2008 this week - AL Central.

There's a lot of good thought in the method and great analysis surrounding the output. I'm officially excited for the 2008 season, regardless of the A's bleak outlook - which I'm sure the Crank will document in excrutiating detail over the coming weeks.

My First Interview

I was recently interviewed by the Modesto Bee about finding a job. You can read the full article here: Landing a job is hard in tough economic times, but persistence is the key

Stay focused on your area of expertise and the geographic area where you want to live, advised Andrew Koch, co-founder of TheLadders.com, a job search site that specializes in high-paying positions.

"If you start applying for jobs that are not a fit, you will get less response and that can be frustrating," Koch said.

Use industry "buzzwords" in your résumé so it pops up in résumé database searches online, he said, and choose a slightly different, but professional, font on a printed résumé so it stands out from the others.

Looking for a job should be treated as a job, he said.

"The people who are consistent and are actively looking for jobs each week and each month, or however long it takes, those are the people who get jobs," Koch said.


I'll admit that the grammar in that last quote is questionable, but I'm certainly happy about my newfound "celebrity".

Monday, February 25, 2008

Reason for Optimism?

In his post, Adjusting PECOTA to Make the A's Win, Catfish Stew's Ken Arneson provides "a little balloon of hope to lift you through spring training, before reality comes along to stick a pin in it."

It's a smart analysis of the A's chances (not good) and what has to happen for them to catch the Angels (lots of stuff). It's worth a read, and it does provide a sparkle of hope for A's fans expecting an unbearable 2008 season. But that's all there is - a sparkle of hope.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Martz to the Niners

Niners hire Martz to turn offense around - Yahoo! News

"Mike Martz claims he can put together a fantastic offense with mostly the same San Francisco 49ers who made up the NFL's worst unit in 2007."

I've never been a big Mike Martz fan, but this is both encouraging and discouraging news for the Niners. They desperately need some offense next year, and Martz should be able to help. The bad news is that their new coach may be delusional. I have a hard time picturing Alex Smith leading a "fantastic" offense next season. Maybe Martz just has a more generous definition of "fantastic" than I do.