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Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Exiled by the Cubs, Sammy Sosa Is Enjoying the Life He Wants You to See

A bit late, I admit, but something that I think will be of interest in several regards.

Inside the cool, hushed second-floor lounge of Dubai’s grandest hotel, a waiter carefully prepares a shallow glass of 12-year Macallan. A familiar figure smiles, observing the meticulous way that his drink—nearly $100 for a double portion—is prepared. Three ice cubes, so symmetrical they could have been laser cut, gleam as they’re tongued into the scotch without a splash or even a clink.

He leans back, arms wide, into a plush sofa trimmed in blue leather. A crisp blue suit clings to his shoulders and chest, still broad from 500 push-ups each day, even as he’s set to turn 50 in November. His golden eyeglasses are stamped MAYBACH across each temple. A monogram peeks from under the left sleeve of his jacket: S.S. He gazes up into the majestic atrium of the 56-story Burj Al Arab Jumeriah, self-billed as “the Most Luxurious Hotel in the World” and famously shaped like a sail swelling above the azure waters of the Persian Gulf. “Now,” he says, “you see why it’s seven stars.”

Twenty summers after he and Mark McGwire chased the ghost of Roger Maris—and saved a sport, as they both contend—this is the life of Sammy Sosa. Or at least the one he wants you to see. His are the curated days of an Instagram influencer, even if Sosa isn’t much for social media. “I never watch Facebook, Instagram, some of that B.S. s—-,” he says. “I don’t have time for that.”

QLE Posted: July 10, 2018 at 08:59 AM | 100 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cubs, dubai, sammy sosa, where are they now

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   1. Zonk is a Doppleclapper Posted: July 10, 2018 at 10:14 AM (#5707587)
Some of the silliness aside - but then, that same sort of silliness was a Sosa hallmark when he was beloved - I'm glad he's enjoying life and wish him well.

I still have exceedingly fond memories of the late 90s Sosa heyday - they have been eclipsed by fonder memories of hoisting a title - but they're still fond memories.

If it were me, I'd probably have him back - the 20 year anniversary of the '98 chase would make for a good opportunity, but I don't care so much that I hold it against the team.

It kind of reminds me of two good friends who married, the marriage went sour, they divorced, and now socializing with either necessarily means the other can't be there. It's not knock-down, drag out hate. Both are being silly about it. Neither is wholly blameless, but the sins are both are pretty mild and venal in the grand scheme. Sad, but it's not something worth devoting much time to solving.... it is what it is. You just learn to recalibrate certain "Remember when..." stories in the presence of either.
   2. Rally Posted: July 10, 2018 at 10:19 AM (#5707590)
Sounds like he is well on his way to blowing the 124 million dollars he earned in MLB.
   3. PreservedFish Posted: July 10, 2018 at 10:25 AM (#5707594)
I'm no glamorous oligarch type - I spent the weekend car camping with the kids, roasting hot dogs and marshmallows - but I do find extreme wealth fascinating. There's a part of me that wants to be hanging with Sammy in the Buj Al Arab.
   4. Tin Angel Posted: July 10, 2018 at 11:24 AM (#5707641)
Sounds like he is well on his way to blowing the 124 million dollars he earned in MLB.


According to baseball reference he made that much, but what is the standard cut his agent and taxes would take out of that? 40 or 50%?

but I do find extreme wealth fascinating. There's a part of me that wants to be hanging with Sammy in the Buj Al Arab.


Have you ever seen the documentary The Queen of Versailles? The director has a new "updated" film coming out called Generation Wealth which sounds fascinating and/or horrifying.
   5. Hank Gillette Posted: July 10, 2018 at 11:35 AM (#5707652)
Sounds like he is well on his way to blowing the 124 million dollars he earned in MLB.


I think it is harder than you think to blow $124 million just by staying at super-premium hotels. As far as I can tell, he could stay there for a year for about $1 million. Meanwhile, if he had $100 million of his money invested in 10 year Treasuries, he would be earning $2.87 million a year.

Where people get into trouble is letting sketchy people like Bernard Madoff invest their money for them.
   6. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: July 10, 2018 at 11:36 AM (#5707653)

Sounds like he is well on his way to blowing the 124 million dollars he earned in MLB.


In his heyday, he was also making $10-13 million a year on endorsements.
   7. Hank Gillette Posted: July 10, 2018 at 11:37 AM (#5707655)
“A familiar figure”?

The Sammy Sosa I remember was a black man. I saw him recently on an interview program and though he was virtually unrecognizable.
   8. PreservedFish Posted: July 10, 2018 at 11:45 AM (#5707661)
Have you ever seen the documentary The Queen of Versailles?


Yes, interesting and terrifying.

Sounds like he is well on his way to blowing the 124 million dollars he earned in MLB.


According to the article he has business interests all over the world. I think it's probably likely that he's blowing his wealth, but let's acknowledge there's a chance that he's pretty clever (or at least has made the right connections) and now his money is working for him, profitably. The fact that he's established residence in the UAE for tax reasons shows that he at least has ambitions beyond the typical athlete, who loses money investing in his second cousin's car dealership or some buddy's snake oil scheme.
   9. Accent Shallow is probably a hologram Posted: July 10, 2018 at 11:47 AM (#5707665)
Inside the cool, hushed second-floor lounge of Dubai’s grandest hotel, a waiter carefully prepares a shallow glass of 12-year Macallan. A familiar figure smiles, observing the meticulous way that his drink—nearly $100 for a double portion—is prepared. Three ice cubes, so symmetrical they could have been laser cut, gleam as they’re tongued into the scotch without a splash or even a clink.


Ew. I think I'll stick to handle having my ice handle with tongs, not tongues.
   10. Master of the Horse Posted: July 10, 2018 at 11:48 AM (#5707666)
I don't know why Sosa needs to apologize for anything. Cubs made a shitton of money with him an an employee so saying hey Sammy beg forgiveness and we will exploit you some more to make some more cash if I am Sosa I say whatever. And good for Sosa having the cash and living well even though Scotch sucks
   11. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: July 10, 2018 at 12:19 PM (#5707696)

Sounds like he is well on his way to blowing the 124 million dollars he earned in MLB.


Well, he's still married to his first wife, and if he's spending a lot of time in Dubai he's probably not gambling (although sports betting, particularly on horse racing, is legal there) or doing a lot of drugs. So he's avoided a lot of the pitfalls that get athletes into trouble. The article does mention a number of business ventures so that's probably his biggest risk, especially if there's a recession in the next couple of years. But the fact that he retired in 2007 and is still doing all right makes me think he hasn't been a complete idiot with his money.
   12. GordonShumway Posted: July 10, 2018 at 12:26 PM (#5707704)
12-year Macallan?


Really?

Sosa can surely afford paying a bit more to drink something better than that.
   13. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: July 10, 2018 at 12:27 PM (#5707705)
Agree with #10. Sammy gave the Cubs all the on-field production they hoped for and then some, and gave Cub fans someone to love and adore. That both the organization and many of its fans have since turned their back on him says nothing about Sosa, but it says volumes about everyone else.
   14. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: July 10, 2018 at 12:30 PM (#5707711)
Sosa can surely afford paying a bit more to drink something better than that.
If the $100 they're charging for a double is in US dollars, then the pricing there is much, much higher. That said, Sammy should shell out for at least aged 18, if not 25.
   15. PreservedFish Posted: July 10, 2018 at 12:34 PM (#5707716)
If the $100 they're charging for a double is in US dollars, then the pricing there is much, much higher.


No ####, it's like the world's most expensive big hotel.
   16. Davo and his Moose Tacos Posted: July 10, 2018 at 12:36 PM (#5707722)
Billionaire owners have no loyalty toward their workers, and will treat them like #### once they can no longer make money off of them. I don’t know why anyone is remotely surprised that Ricketts would force Sosa to grovel for “forgiveness” before tossing him a bone. It’s what they do. Aroldis Chapman ####### choked a #####, but his left arm made the Ricketts a ton of cash, so it was all fine.
   17. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 10, 2018 at 12:36 PM (#5707723)
a waiter carefully prepares a shallow glass of 12-year Macallan. A familiar figure smiles, observing the meticulous way that his drink—nearly $100 for a double portion—is prepared.

That stuff goes for 49.99 a bottle. What crooks.

WTF would anyone want to go to Dubai anyway?
   18. Tom Nawrocki Posted: July 10, 2018 at 12:42 PM (#5707730)
For the skiing.
   19. PreservedFish Posted: July 10, 2018 at 12:42 PM (#5707732)
When I was out of college I spent 4-5 months in Thailand, teaching English, exploring, relaxing, etc, like some kids do. My father came to visit me in Bangkok and he booked rooms at the Mandarin Oriental, which is one of the grand old Asian hotels that people like Kipling and Orwell all visited back in the day, fairly luxurious place, great history.

Because Thailand is so cheap, I had become accustomed to my own luxuries. For example, I would get new clothing tailored. I'm not talking about getting silk suits made, but just buying a pair of cheap pants or a shirt at the mall. It would cost a buck or two to get the length tailored perfectly. Everyone does it. I also paid a laundromat to do my laundry. It cost something like 50 cents extra to have them do it, and fold it all for you. 50 cents, right! I'd gladly pay that today for this service.

So when I met him at the Mandarin I had a backpack full of smelly clothes, and I put them in a bag and had them laundered. They came back clean and folded, done to the same apparent standard as my local laundromat. The bill was something like $114. You wanna talk about crooks!

You could also order room service Pad Thai for $20. On the street, outside the hotel, it would've cost 50 cents or a dollar, and tasted better too.

I find stories like this interesting. There's a good part of Absurdistan where the wealthy dope main character is trapped in a luxury hotel in a fictional Azerbaijan type country because there is a revolution. While people are dying on the streets he is really put out when the hotel circulates a note apologizing that due to conditions, sushi would no longer be available.

From what I understand, Angola is the country that really leads the world in wealth inequality. An apartment there costs more than one in Tokyo or NYC, and a watermelon might cost $100, and yet the poor of the country are living in Somali or Bangladeshi squalor.
   20. Blastin Posted: July 10, 2018 at 12:51 PM (#5707749)
Yeah some lists I've read have Luanda, Angola as the most expensive city around. Which is crazy.
   21. GordonShumway Posted: July 10, 2018 at 12:53 PM (#5707752)
While traveling in Asia a couple years ago, I went into a lounge of a Marriott hotel, which was close a bus station. A Budweiser was $25. The lounge was half full on a weekend afternoon.
   22. McCoy Posted: July 10, 2018 at 12:55 PM (#5707753)
I wonder what the tariffs are, if any, on Scotch in UAE. But like all things you aren't just paying for what is in the bottle. I mean I guess they can pour the Scotch into your hand as you walk along the sand as the 110 degree sun is beating down on you. I think that would lower the cost for you a bit.
   23. PreservedFish Posted: July 10, 2018 at 01:04 PM (#5707763)
Yeah some lists I've read have Luanda, Angola as the most expensive city around. Which is crazy.


It sounds like monopoly money. Oil men go there and get paid $500,000 stipends but the rent is $200,000 and a watermelon is $100 or some ####. The whole thing is insane. Here's the New Yorker article where I got most of my info. There's a more recent Paul Theroux travel book where he visits Angola on a trip up the west coast of southern Africa. Unusual for a travel book, he abandons the whole thing halfway through his itinerary because everything he saw was just so terrible and depressing.
   24. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 10, 2018 at 01:07 PM (#5707767)
a watermelon is $100 or some ####
Yeah, but I assume it gets really hot in Angola, and watermelon is delicious.
   25. PreservedFish Posted: July 10, 2018 at 01:07 PM (#5707768)
I wonder what the tariffs are, if any, on Scotch in UAE. But like all things you aren't just paying for what is in the bottle. I mean I guess they can pour the Scotch into your hand as you walk along the sand as the 110 degree sun is beating down on you. I think that would lower the cost for you a bit.


Right. There's a value to being in one of the most impressive, striking, and tallest buildings on earth, with (I presume) a hell of a view, with fine air conditioning, in a country that in pre-modern conditions would basically be death to anyone that doesn't know how to lead his camel to a known water source.
   26. PreservedFish Posted: July 10, 2018 at 01:12 PM (#5707771)
From the article on Angola:

I stopped at the Casa dos Frescos, a grocery store favored by expatriates, to buy some Scotch for my hosts, but a fifth of the Balvenie cost three hundred dollars, so I settled for a mediocre bottle of wine, for sixty-five. The woman in front of me, juggling an infant and a cell phone, unloaded her groceries on the checkout counter. She had a couple of steaks, a few pantry items, and two seventeen-dollar pints of Häagen-Dazs ice cream, along with juice and vegetables. The bill was eleven hundred and fifty dollars. She didn’t seem fazed, and I later learned that the store was famous for its prices. A few years ago, the Casa dos Frescos had been the site of what locals refer to as “the incident of the golden melon.’’ An enraged French customer, having paid a hundred and five dollars for a single melon, sued the store for profiteering. The case was thrown out of court, in part because the man not only bought the melon but also ate the evidence.
   27. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 10, 2018 at 01:12 PM (#5707772)
Right. There's a value to being in one of the most impressive, striking, and tallest buildings on earth, with (I presume) a hell of a view, with fine air conditioning, in a country that in pre-modern conditions would basically be death to anyone that doesn't know how to lead his camel to a known water source.

But, I can avoid needing that value simply by not going to a country whose climate approximates a blast furnace.

If you want tax shelters, go to Luxembourg. Or the Caymans.
   28. Master of the Horse Posted: July 10, 2018 at 01:13 PM (#5707776)
Wildly imprecise but I think still interesting survey of Cubs fans under the age of 35 on Sammy Sosa. Total number surveyed 17. NONE support official Cubs position which is called \"####### stupid" "pointless" "typical Cubs" "evil" "Ricketts trying to find a way to kiss Trump's ass"
   29. McCoy Posted: July 10, 2018 at 01:13 PM (#5707777)
In the Atlanta area Macallan 12yr wholesaled at $50.91 at the beginning of the year but for whatever reason it has since jumped to $63.99 here. You can currently buy it at Total Wine for 50.99 so I'm guessing they have a contract price based on a quantity deal.
   30. PreservedFish Posted: July 10, 2018 at 01:14 PM (#5707778)
But, I can avoid needing that value simply by not going to a country whose climate approximates a blast furnace.


Well, yeah, but you're not moving and shaking with the sheiks like Slammin' Sammy is.
   31. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 10, 2018 at 01:16 PM (#5707781)
Well, yeah, but you're not moving and shaking with the sheiks like Slammin' Sammy is.

I'm pretty sure the sheiks and I would not get along.
   32. McCoy Posted: July 10, 2018 at 01:16 PM (#5707782)

But, I can avoid needing that value simply by not going to a country whose climate approximates a blast furnace.

If you want tax shelters, go to Luxembourg. Or the Caymans.


Then don't go. Nobody forced Sammy Sosa or anyone else to travel to UAE and then to dine at a luxury hotel. Complaining about the price of voluntary luxury items that others choose to use is just about the silliest issue I can imagine being hung up on.
   33. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 10, 2018 at 01:16 PM (#5707783)
But, I can avoid needing that value simply by not going to a country whose climate approximates a blast furnace.
Sammy doesn't go outside - he might get a tan.
   34. Blastin Posted: July 10, 2018 at 01:18 PM (#5707787)
Snapper doesn't like things other people like. WOW

:)

I thought about teaching in Dubai after college. My dad pressured me to go there. So then I went to Korea instead. Like when he pressured me to go into finance and I became, well, a teacher.
   35. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 10, 2018 at 01:19 PM (#5707790)
Then don't go. Nobody forced Sammy Sosa or anyone else to travel to UAE and then to dine at a luxury hotel. Complaining about the price of voluntary luxury items that others choose to use is just about the silliest issue I can imagine being hung up on.

Calling stupidity stupid is always worthwhile. Lots of ordinary people waste their scarce resources chasing conspicuous consumption.
   36. Blastin Posted: July 10, 2018 at 01:22 PM (#5707794)
Snapper is better than all those who consume conspicuously!

All of you, dress plainly and live only in yurts, lest you offend the snapper!


(I don't even really disagree, though I've wasted many dollars on conspicuous consumption, like most people.)
   37. PreservedFish Posted: July 10, 2018 at 01:27 PM (#5707799)
Snapper's on record as saying he couldn't fathom ever going to somewhere like China or Japan, which to me is unfathomable.

Sosa may well be a frivolous fop that's wasting his money, but I don't think it's fair to say that it's de facto stupid for him to sometimes go do stuff in Dubai.
   38. McCoy Posted: July 10, 2018 at 01:35 PM (#5707806)
Lots of ordinary people waste their scarce resources chasing conspicuous consumption.

I don't think lots of people waste their scarce resources. I think lots and lots of people allocate their resources to things and activities they either enjoy or think they will enjoy.
   39. dlf Posted: July 10, 2018 at 01:40 PM (#5707811)
I spent a few hours in the Dubai airport some years back, but never touched the ground there. All I remember was the main concourse was *really* long and there were stores selling bulk gold.
   40. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 10, 2018 at 01:45 PM (#5707817)
Snapper is better than all those who consume conspicuously!

All of you, dress plainly and live only in yurts, lest you offend the snapper!

(I don't even really disagree, though I've wasted many dollars on conspicuous consumption, like most people.)


:-)

I have no problem with spending on expensive things that are really nice. I pretty much only stay in luxury hotels, buy $250 Allen Edmonds shoes, etc.

What I can't stomach is spending a fortune for something that is no better than the cheap version. e.g. $1000 iPhones that are no different than a $150 phone, or $100 for a $10 scotch, just because the place is "hip" or "luxurious".
   41. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 10, 2018 at 01:47 PM (#5707819)
I don't think lots of people waste their scarce resources. I think lots and lots of people allocate their resources to things and activities they either enjoy or think they will enjoy.

Many, many people waste a tremendous amount of money. Studies on wealthy people in America (ordinary single digit millionaires not super-rich) show that it's usually not about how much they earn, but how much they spend.
   42. PreservedFish Posted: July 10, 2018 at 01:48 PM (#5707820)
Snapps, you do understand that some people might reasonably believe that shoes and hotels are the things that you should go cheap on, but whiskey and iPhones are worth the extra coin, right?

I mean, I like luxury hotels, but for me they are probably the single best example of the frivolity of luxury. The Motel 6 gives me a bed that I can get 8 hours' sleep on, and a hot shower in the morning. That's $60 for the essentials, and every other dollar I spend above that is for things that just make the experience comfier and more fun and more stylish and don't substantially improve the quality of those essentials.

Sure I love a fluffy towel, a robe, heck, I went to a hotel once where I rang a "Butler Call" button and chose a pillow from the pillow menu.
   43. GordonShumway Posted: July 10, 2018 at 01:50 PM (#5707823)
But, I can avoid needing that value simply by not going to a country whose climate approximates a blast furnace.

If you want tax shelters, go to Luxembourg. Or the Caymans.


Why not Bermuda then?

Shorter flight to/from NYC, better weather, nice beaches/nature, and most all first-world amenities/conveniences available to you.
   44. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: July 10, 2018 at 01:51 PM (#5707824)

I had to travel to Dubai for work a few years ago. It felt like Las Vegas--similarly artificial--but without the gambling and other less savory elements. But there were fancy hotels, nice restaurants, good shopping, and theater/concerts. When I lived in London, I knew people who vacationed there to get away for a few days. That sort of trip doesn't really appeal to me, especially not if I'm flying from the U.S.--I would rather go somewhere with real history or natural beauty--but I'm glad I got to visit once, and I can understand why people in Europe or the Middle East would go there.
   45. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 10, 2018 at 02:01 PM (#5707834)
Snapps, you do understand that some people might reasonably believe that shoes and hotels are the things that you should go cheap on, but whiskey and iPhones are worth the extra coin, right?

Sure. But here I'm talking about a $50 bottle of whiskey. If you want to pay $100 for a drink, get a great whiskey. Though, I'm skeptical many of us could taste the difference between a $100 bottle and a $1000 bottle.

The iPhone, I just can't see. The new model does exactly the same stuff as the old model, or the cheaper competitors, and costs 5X a much. The "value" is just in saying, "Oooh, look, I have the new iPhone", which is just absurd.

If the phone was a technological leap forward, like new models were in the 1990s, I could see the argument. But, the brand new iPhone I got from my company does nothing better than my 6 year old Motorola smart phone. It's the same thing.
   46. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: July 10, 2018 at 02:05 PM (#5707835)
Mrs. PRD spent some years as a university professor teaching ESL teachers in Kuwait and the UAE. Interesting stories about the caste systems in place there and the blatant (and not-so-blatant) sexism. Echoing [41], things seemed to be fairly cheap where she was. She's pretty frugal anyway and came back to the States with a very healthy bank account. But then it's not like she had a car of her own or a busy dating life or anything.
   47. McCoy Posted: July 10, 2018 at 02:06 PM (#5707837)
Sure. But here I'm talking about a $50 bottle of whiskey. If you want to pay $100 for a drink, get a great whiskey. Though, I'm skeptical many of us could taste the difference between a $100 bottle and a $1000 bottle.

And the great whiskey would cost a helluva lot more than $100 a drink. You aren't just paying for the liquor when you pay those prices.
   48. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 10, 2018 at 02:15 PM (#5707848)
And the great whiskey would cost a helluva lot more than $100 a drink. You aren't just paying for the liquor when you pay those prices.

Right. You're paying just to show other people you can. Which I will continue to insist is moronic.

I'm just saying, that if there were a really great whiskey, that you really enjoyed, and could afford paying the $100 per drink for, it might make rational sense. Paying $100 for the same drink I can get for $10-12 everywhere freaking else is just dumb.
   49. PreservedFish Posted: July 10, 2018 at 02:22 PM (#5707860)
Right. You're paying just to show other people you can. Which I will continue to insist is moronic.

What if the people are billionaire investors that might well be put off by your plebian tastes?
   50. Tin Angel Posted: July 10, 2018 at 02:25 PM (#5707867)
Right. You're paying just to show other people you can. Which I will continue to insist is moronic.


You seem to not understand a very basic fact- most people, from birth, are inundated with messages that wealth = status = self-confidence/feeling "good" about oneself. Which is wrong, but...a huge subset of the population never has the opportunity or education to break out of this way of thinking. It doesn't mean they are "dumb" and "morons." They grow up poor which only reinforces those messages more intensely. Sosa grew up dirt poor and is enjoying the good life and you are spending your day on an internet message board calling him a moron for doing so...I know which sounds more fulfilling to me.
   51. McCoy Posted: July 10, 2018 at 02:26 PM (#5707870)
Right. You're paying just to show other people you can. Which I will continue to insist is moronic.

No you're not. You're paying for location, for service, for the experience. The point is you can't get that drink for 10 to 12 dollars and have a similar total experience. I mean you can get spaghetti at the buffet line of Sizzlers for 4.99 that doesn't mean it is stupid to pay 32.99 to get spaghetti in a gondola while floating down the canals of Venice.
   52. Blastin Posted: July 10, 2018 at 02:27 PM (#5707872)

Shorter flight to/from NYC, better weather, nice beaches/nature, and most all first-world amenities/conveniences available to you.


It barely has any hotels, and the weather is only "better" in the summer because it's not that hot in the winter. Also holy lord is everything there super expensive.

I liked Bermuda, to be clear. But the once an hour busses are more expensive than the subway here at home.
   53. PreservedFish Posted: July 10, 2018 at 02:31 PM (#5707875)
Do they eat really spaghetti in gondolas? That's weird.
   54. McCoy Posted: July 10, 2018 at 02:36 PM (#5707882)
Do they eat really spaghetti in gondolas? That's weird.

If you want you can substitute a $6 glass of Prosecco at Olive Garden vs a $15 glass of Prosecco on a gondola in Venice.
   55. PreservedFish Posted: July 10, 2018 at 02:53 PM (#5707898)
Yes, I get your point and agree with it. Just didn't understand the example you used.
   56. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: July 10, 2018 at 03:22 PM (#5707923)
If the phone was a technological leap forward, like new models were in the 1990s, I could see the argument. But, the brand new iPhone I got from my company does nothing better than my 6 year old Motorola smart phone. It's the same thing.


Agreed with your general point about not needing a new phone every year and especially not the shiny glitzy models or special colors, but there is a large technological difference between a new phone and a 6 year old one. Processor speed, wireless capability, display, camera, speakers, they are all unarguably better.
   57. Golfing Great Mitch Cumstein Posted: July 10, 2018 at 03:23 PM (#5707925)
Another interesting bit from the article:

he says he has interests in his home country, the Dominican Republic (oil);


Oil in the DR

   58. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: July 10, 2018 at 04:03 PM (#5707980)

You seem to not understand a very basic fact- most people, from birth, are inundated with messages that wealth = status = self-confidence/feeling "good" about oneself. Which is wrong, but...a huge subset of the population never has the opportunity or education to break out of this way of thinking. It doesn't mean they are "dumb" and "morons." They grow up poor which only reinforces those messages more intensely. Sosa grew up dirt poor and is enjoying the good life and you are spending your day on an internet message board calling him a moron for doing so...I know which sounds more fulfilling to me.

I know what you mean, but you become wealthy by making and saving money, not by spending it. Doing the latter doesn't necessarily make people "dumb" or "morons" but it is inadvisable to spend money on things you can't afford, especially when there are much less expensive options out there. I don't judge others because I'm sure there are people who would criticize my spending habits as well, but there is a lot of poor money management out there.

Agreed with your general point about not needing a new phone every year and especially not the shiny glitzy models or special colors, but there is a large technological difference between a new phone and a 6 year old one. Processor speed, wireless capability, display, camera, speakers, they are all unarguably better.

Agreed. And it really depends on what you use the phone for. I eventually found that I needed to upgrade phones because certain apps no longer worked properly or I didn't have enough room for them. That being said, I saved a few hundred bucks by getting the prior year's model instead of the latest iPhone.
   59. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: July 10, 2018 at 05:28 PM (#5708016)
I liked Bermuda, to be clear. But the once an hour busses are more expensive than the subway here at home.


I had some fun times with he PR bus system. The first time I tried to get it I waited about an hour and then saw the bus but it didn't stop. In halting Spanish I asked why it didn't stop and was told I had to physically get up and start waving, couldn't just be standing there like a dumbass gringo.

Ok.

Well I got on the bus no problem after that but twice on the way from San Juan to Isla Verde it broke down and I just ended up walking the rest of the way. It was very cheap though when I was there, like 50 cents a ride.

The "marine tropical" climate of the Caribbean is pretty nice IMO. Yea the ####### sun is at 70 degree above your head from like 8am to 5pm but it's not very humid and it rarely gets above 90. That said, I sweated like a mofo in PR and by the time I left after 5 weeks I was so tan some of the natives assumed I was one of them as they'd start talking to me in rapid fire spanish that I couldn't mostly catch.

As for the article, Sammy is a weird guy clearly living a sad, unfulfilling life.
   60. Ziggy's screen name Posted: July 10, 2018 at 06:07 PM (#5708020)
I just assumed that he was paying for the laser cut ice cubes.

Also, I am so so SO happy that pillow menus are a thing.
   61. Walt Davis Posted: July 10, 2018 at 06:43 PM (#5708032)
a sad, unfulfilling life

Based on what evidence? He's still married to the same woman, there's no rumors of drugs, there's no rumors of mistresses, he's not in seclusion to avoid human contact, he has enough pride not to grovel to the Cubs for access to a sliver of former glory and adulation. If you read the article it sounds like his playing days were more "sad, unfulfilling" -- his some talks about how he didn't have time then to spend with them (he probably did) but since then he's been re-connecting with his children. The son interviewed in the article is involved in his life.

And what does a happy, fulfilled life look like? What does it look like for a former celebrity who probably has no education beyond high school -- and let's say I have my doubts about the educational standards of DR high schools, especially when it comes to their athletes. Would he be fulfilled if he was reading poetry? Working on a PhD? In DR politics?

He's a guy with a lot of money and an apparently stable family life who's apparently enjoying his money and his stable family life. What else should he be doing to become "fulfilled" by your standards.

And if all that money goes away, how does that make him any different than the other 25% of retired athletes, washed-up formerly successful actors, lottery winners, one-app tech millionaires who end up losing it all?

He ain't MC Hammer yet, maybe you should wait before you start your sad, unfulfilling gloating at his fall.
   62. Tin Angel Posted: July 10, 2018 at 06:53 PM (#5708035)
And what does a happy, fulfilled life look like?


Obviously that's subjective, though I think we can all agree it starts with symmetrical ice cubes.
   63. dlf Posted: July 10, 2018 at 07:06 PM (#5708040)
And what does a happy, fulfilled life look like?


I'm thinking it requires at least 14 hours a day spent at BBTF.org.
   64. PreservedFish Posted: July 10, 2018 at 08:09 PM (#5708063)
And what does a happy, fulfilled life look like?


Definitely involves having the right pillow.
   65. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 10, 2018 at 08:20 PM (#5708072)
Has Ron Coomer told you about MyPillow yet?
   66. McCoy Posted: July 10, 2018 at 09:28 PM (#5708101)
Hotel pillows have got to be the worst pillows in the world. I would love a pillow menu.
   67. PreservedFish Posted: July 10, 2018 at 09:42 PM (#5708113)
Next time you're in Malaysia, which I'm sure will be soon, hit up the Eastern & Oriental Hotel. That's where I had my pillow menu. Probably my favorite hotel I've ever been to ... faded but still resplendent colonial glory.
   68. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 10, 2018 at 09:53 PM (#5708116)
Can you do a tasting menu, where they bring you each pillow in sequence with a wine pairing?
   69. GordonShumway Posted: July 11, 2018 at 08:52 AM (#5708218)
I wish hotels also had options where you can pick softer or firmer mattresses. I prefer an extra- firm mattress, and always have find hotel mattresses to be too soft and have a lot of trouble sleeping.
   70. The Good Face Posted: July 11, 2018 at 10:39 AM (#5708261)
12-year Macallan?

Really?

Sosa can surely afford paying a bit more to drink something better than that.


Yeah, that jumped out to me. But maybe he's happy drinking Macallan 12. It's a perfectly nice scotch that's available almost anywhere. Some people really value consistency in their drink of choice. I know a finance guy on Wall Street that prefers to drink Budweiser. It's not like he couldn't afford whatever he wanted, but that's what he likes; he knows that wherever he goes he'll be able to find it and it'll always taste the same.

Though, I'm skeptical many of us could taste the difference between a $100 bottle and a $1000 bottle.


Ahem.
   71. Swoboda is freedom Posted: July 11, 2018 at 11:17 AM (#5708291)
Some people really value consistency in their drink of choice. I know a finance guy on Wall Street that prefers to drink Budweiser. It's not like he couldn't afford whatever he wanted, but that's what he likes; he knows that wherever he goes he'll be able to find it and it'll always taste the same.


That is so wrong. Bud is truly awful. There are a lot of beers out there that are consistent, ubiquitous, and are not an acquired taste. I hadn't had it in a few years, but I went to a ball game last year and my friend bought 2 Buds. I drank it and hated it. Bud is soap water.
   72. bunyon Posted: July 11, 2018 at 11:31 AM (#5708302)
And what does a happy, fulfilled life look like?

42.

Doesn't work.
   73. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 11, 2018 at 11:49 AM (#5708314)
I went to a ball game last year and my friend bought 2 Buds.
That man is not your friend.
   74. The Good Face Posted: July 11, 2018 at 11:52 AM (#5708319)
That is so wrong. Bud is truly awful. There are a lot of beers out there that are consistent, ubiquitous, and are not an acquired taste. I hadn't had it in a few years, but I went to a ball game last year and my friend bought 2 Buds. I drank it and hated it. Bud is soap water.


Bud Light is a cromulent lawnmower beer. Also works for serious day drinking in the hot sun.
   75. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: July 11, 2018 at 11:54 AM (#5708320)
I've found the best, most consistently good scotch distillery is Bruichladdich. I've liked everything I've had of theirs from their most affordable to some of the higher end stuff. Unfortunately, restaurants and bars rarely offer it though it's easy enough to find at decent liquor stores.


   76. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: July 11, 2018 at 11:59 AM (#5708324)
I can still drink terrible beer, but it has to be ICE cold. If I let it warm up at all it just tastes gross. If I'm sipping on something with more body I find a drop in temperature doesn't bother so I can take my time with it.
   77. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: July 11, 2018 at 12:26 PM (#5708335)
Bud Light is a cromulent lawnmower beer. Also works for serious day drinking in the hot sun.


My goto lawnmower/boat beer is either Rolling Rock or Modelo Especial, although I have been gravitating more to cider.
   78. stig-tossled, hornswoggled gef the typing mongoose Posted: July 11, 2018 at 12:35 PM (#5708341)
although I have been gravitating more to cider.


Good man. Have a few dozen -- OK, hundred -- for me, since I can't drink anymore.
   79. Golfing Great Mitch Cumstein Posted: July 11, 2018 at 12:44 PM (#5708353)
I can still drink terrible beer, but it has to be ICE cold. If I let it warm up at all it just tastes gross. If I'm sipping on something with more body I find a drop in temperature doesn't bother so I can take my time with it.

'Increase in temperature' I think you mean. Taste on the tongue goes up with increases in temperature. It is why craft brewers emphasize temp when serving beer.
   80. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: July 11, 2018 at 12:48 PM (#5708362)
'Increase in temperature' I think you mean.

D'oh. Yep.
   81. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 11, 2018 at 12:48 PM (#5708363)
A cold cider on a hot summer day is a thing of beauty - as long as it's a dry, tart cider rather than the sticky sweet kind (Magner's, Angry Orchard, etc.).
   82. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: July 11, 2018 at 01:06 PM (#5708381)
Though, I'm skeptical many of us could taste the difference between a $100 bottle and a $1000 bottle.
I used to think that, and I fancy myself as something of an amateur wine enthusiast. Like, right now, I have about five bottles chilling that range between $5 and $225. Last winter, I got a chance to take a sip — just a sip — of a 2003 Lafite. There's definitely a difference.

My favorite bottle that I've been able to enjoy full is a 2014 Caymus Cab. You can get it for $75, and it'll be the best bottle you've ever had. No need to go past that unless you're Sammy Sosa Hanging In Dubai rich.
   83. stig-tossled, hornswoggled gef the typing mongoose Posted: July 11, 2018 at 01:08 PM (#5708383)
A cold cider on a hot summer day is a thing of beauty - as long as it's a dry, tart cider rather than the sticky sweet kind (Magner's, Angry Orchard, etc.).


Meanwhile, the closest I can come is store-brand artificially sweetened lemonade mix. FML.

ETA: Then again, if I could drink carbonated beverages, I'd probably be perfectly round.
   84. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 11, 2018 at 01:10 PM (#5708384)
I fancy myself as something of an amateur wine enthusiast. Like, right now, I have about five bottles chilling that range between $5 and $225. Last winter, I got a chance to take a sip — just a sip — of a 2003 Lafite
Likewise, and I kind of hate you right now.
   85. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: July 11, 2018 at 01:20 PM (#5708386)
Likewise, and I kind of hate you right now.
HOW WILL I LOSE TODAY?!

My brother-in-law is the serious wine guy, an almost sommelier-level taster with his own giant wine fridge. (He's actually planning on buying a plot of land in Pasos Robles and growing his own grapes, so he's that kind of serious.) I got to go to a tasting through him, and it was really amazing. The Lafite was the big feature, but the main event was a dinner that paired spicy Indian food with sweet German wines. It was FAN. FREAKING. TASTIC. All the food was slightly higher end but not exactly fancy, and none of the bottles cost more than $25. The whole thing was a showcase for a new wine store opening up near Seattle, and was to highlight how anyone can afford a great dinner without having to throw down hundreds of bucks for wine.

He's right, too. There's a bunch of legitimately wonderful wine at your Trader Joe's. For $10 and some advice from the wine person there, you can buy a bottle that elevates any weeknight dinner.
   86. PreservedFish Posted: July 11, 2018 at 01:28 PM (#5708389)
A generation ago and you didn't need to be a Russian oligarch to taste one of the great old burgundies. A few generations ago and they were within reach of many. I have no doubt that the greatest wines in the world are a special experience, but the cost has obviously gotten out of hand.
   87. PreservedFish Posted: July 11, 2018 at 01:31 PM (#5708391)
When I was on a vacation in France I walked in the hills of the Northern Rhone, where a mere handful of producers make AOC Hermitage wines, wines that would sell for many hundreds of dollars per bottle, and I ate a grape off the vine. I wonder how much revenue I stole from the producer in that moment.
   88. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: July 11, 2018 at 01:45 PM (#5708404)
Of all the #### tier macros High Life is my go to. There's something a little better about the adjunct fueled corn and soap flavors of High Life that doesn't bother me as much as Bud or Bud Light or Coors.
   89. dlf Posted: July 11, 2018 at 02:05 PM (#5708427)
Some time back, the company I was working for was in the midst of negotiating a deal to buy a small vendor to create a captured entity. One of the co-owners of the vendor also owned a boutique high end wine shop. The company I was working for was closely held by a family, the patriarch of which was nouveau riche and fancied himself a wine connoisseur. We had a dinner meeting for about 8 of us where the two of them kept trying to top the other by ordering multiple bottles of Screaming Eagle, Opus One and Ghost Horse. The waitstaff's 15% tip was mid four figures. I don't remember thinking that there were any that were sooooo good that they were worth the price.

Prior to going in-house, I had a very satisfied client who gave me a bottle of Louis XIII. I'm not a cognac drinker, but having a $3,500 bottle in my collection is nice. We bring it out every once in a while and, once empty, the beautiful Baccarat decanter will be refilled with a much cheaper Remy.
   90. perros Posted: July 11, 2018 at 02:27 PM (#5708466)
Threads like these convince me that BTF is filled with bourgeoisie. Maybe you don't have Sammy bucks, or have the modern day slaves of Dubai waiting on you hand and foot, but the global economic system works for you just fine.

   91. PreservedFish Posted: July 11, 2018 at 02:38 PM (#5708487)
Was that in doubt?
   92. Zonk is a Doppleclapper Posted: July 11, 2018 at 02:48 PM (#5708505)
Of all the #### tier macros High Life is my go to. There's something a little better about the adjunct fueled corn and soap flavors of High Life that doesn't bother me as much as Bud or Bud Light or Coors.


Concur, well - call it a separate concurrence. I like Miller Lite just fine. I wouldn't choose it if there were other options, but if it's gotta be a macro - make it Miller.

I will admit - thanks to a special lady friend - I have, for the first time, found an AB product I can stand... they've got these 'spiked seltzer' things that are not entirely undrinkable. I do not drink pop (or soda or whatever your region calls it) - but I do very much enjoy La Croix and my fridge always has at least a few cans in it. The spiked version are a clear attempt to hone in on that market. Don't mistake me - I wouldn't call them good... they're still too sweet, but I could see a better version perhaps rising to the level of 'good'.
   93. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: July 11, 2018 at 02:50 PM (#5708506)
...but the global economic system works for you just fine.
The 21st century economy. The people whose jobs are caught in the transition from the 20th to the 21st centuries aren't posting about wine during a work day.
   94. PreservedFish Posted: July 11, 2018 at 03:18 PM (#5708538)
BTF seems to be mostly white, well-educated men in their 40s. Many work with computers, and have enough freedom in their jobs to be able to waste huge numbers of hours on this site without repercussion. The nerdy focus on statistics probably attracts more folks that are rigorous, organized thinkers, and more likely to work STEM careers. You don't need money to be a baseball fan, but everything points to it being a fairly affluent group.
   95. perros Posted: July 11, 2018 at 04:00 PM (#5708638)
I supppose I'm asking if we recognize how it affects our perspective, that multimillionaires can live a high life, we can sometimes enjoy the same luxuries (and enjoy thee more famous enjoying them) while other skip meals or work all the time (if they're lucky) not to miss a meal?

The UAE sparked my comment, but in the good ol' USA, the combined wealth of Gates, Bezos, and Buffett is equal to the bottom 50 percent of the population.

The 21st century economy. The people whose jobs are caught in the transition from the 20th to the 21st centuries aren't posting about wine during a work day.


Have you noted the upcoming Presidential run of Edward Yang? UBI is hardly a cure-all, but it'd be a good stopgap as the 21st century economy starts shedding STEM jobs as well.

I won't turn this into yet another politics thread, but I couldn't resist the spectacle of Sosa in Dubai.
   96. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: July 11, 2018 at 04:32 PM (#5708704)
The UAE sparked my comment, but in the good ol' USA, the combined wealth of Gates, Bezos, and Buffett is equal to the bottom 50 percent of the population.
Considering who got elected president last time out, people seem just fine with that sort of economics.
Have you noted the upcoming Presidential run of Edward Yang?
Andrew Yang, and yes. Anyone familiar with my old posts in OTP knows I'm all about Asian Americans running for office. I still need convincing on UBI, but he's exactly right about what's coming. Unfortunately, his diagnosis — the jobs are gone and they're not coming back — isn't what red state voters want to believe. And if you think people were bad about the legitimacy of Obama's birth citizenship, it wouldn't hold a candle to what Yang would be in store for.
   97. perros Posted: July 11, 2018 at 04:41 PM (#5708722)
I've always got movies on the brain.
   98. perros Posted: July 11, 2018 at 04:43 PM (#5708727)
And yeah, the xenophobic reaction would dwarf Obama's. But I assume he's running just to push UBI into the DP discussion.
   99. RMc Has Bizarre Ideas to Fix Baseball Posted: July 11, 2018 at 05:02 PM (#5708737)
12-year Macallan

I read this as "12-year-old Macmillan" and thought, "Aren't the old Baseball Encyclopedias older than that?"
   100. perros Posted: July 11, 2018 at 05:03 PM (#5708738)
When he was two years old, Edward Yang’s family moved from Shanghai, the place of his birth, to Taiwan. The year was 1949, immediately after the communist victory over Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalists in mainland China. Yang spent his childhood in Taipei, and studied engineering in Taiwan before enrolling in the United States, at the University of Florida. Yang studied electrical engineering at Florida, while enrolled in the Center for Infomatics Research, one of the first information technology programs in the United States. After receiving a Master’s degree from Florida, Yang turned down the opportunity to pursue a Ph.D., and enrolled in the University of Southern California’s well-regarded film school. Yang only lasted one semester at USC before discovering, in his own words, that “I realized I didn’t have any talent at all. I didn’t have what it takes to get into the film business, so I dropped out. I recognized that I better not dream this dream because I didn’t have what it takes.” Instead, Yang chose to follow his parents, who had left Taiwan, to Seattle, where he worked in a research laboratory dedicated to defense work involving microcomputers. While he was successful in this line of work, he was also dissatisfied, and increasingly desirous to return to his experiment with filmmaking. A chance encounter, in a Seattle repertory theater, with Werner Herzog’s Aguirre, Wrath of God (1972), gave Yang the distinct sensation that where film school had failed to teach him much, self-instruction in world cinema classics would provide him with the necessary groundwork for a future in filmmaking. Yang’s interest in film was renewed, but it would be three years before he got his first opportunity, when asked by a friend to write a script for him, which eventually became The Winter of 1905 (1981). He went back to Taiwan to work on the script, and later assisted in its production as well. Following the completion of this film, Yang was offered a chance to write and direct a made-for-television film in Taiwan, Desires (1982). He jumped at the offer, and has stayed in Taiwan since, not returning to the U.S.

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