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Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Sale of Baseball Prospectus

...it is our pleasure to announce that today marks the newest of the many eras of Baseball Prospectus. A group of the site’s senior staff has purchased Baseball Prospectus, effective immediately. For the first time in a long time, BP will be run by BP again. By the people who have worked to make the site what it is.

Over the coming months, we’ll be making general improvements to the site as we refocus our energies on making BP the best it can be. This is an exciting time for us, as we’ll be rolling out new projects that we’ve been working on for some time (hello, DRC!) and add some polish to make the tools we already provide more intuitive and user-friendly (goodbye, legacy stats pages!).

But while we have our own shopping list of improvements, we also want to hear from you, the subscribers and lapsed or prospective subscribers, to hear what you’d like to see us prioritize in the coming months and beyond. For that, we’d like to ask you to take the following survey, and tell us what you want BP to be, in both the short and long term.

Click through to access the survey and tell them what you want from them. Except don’t ask for forums. They’re a non-starter. All cost, no revenue.

villageidiom Posted: November 14, 2018 at 09:27 AM | 463 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: above-it-all mien, baseball prospectus, player evaluation, projection

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   201. Hysterical & Useless Posted: November 15, 2018 at 08:24 PM (#5788198)
Thank you
   202. McCoy Posted: November 15, 2018 at 08:47 PM (#5788201)
Well, something must have happened in the past month or two which convinced Jim that enough was enough.

Yes, the same stuff that had been happening for years and that you helped create. Just because you pull the pin, toss the grenade in the room and then run away doesn't leave you free of sin. OTP didn't go downhill because you left or after you left. It went downhill years before you or anyone left and several of you are now acting like your hands are clean and it was everyone else that was acting vile and nasty.
   203. McCoy Posted: November 15, 2018 at 08:52 PM (#5788203)
And guys for the record Dan basically told me to eff off. Let's not get carried away here. I'm not some guy on a cross. Dan didn't make it personal and he didn't throw insults at me. He made a mistake, one that I can certainly see why he made it, jumped to a conclusion, and told me to kiss off in more choicer words. If I had realized he was taking it harder than I thought he was I would have been more straightforward with my first reply. Me being not serious didn't realize when he made his follow up statement that he was still ticked off.
   204. Hysterical & Useless Posted: November 15, 2018 at 08:58 PM (#5788208)
Okay, so I went to the Forums for a bit to see the "new" OTP. Agree with those who've said they don't like the format--too much extraneous stuff on the page, so too little of actual comments (ie, both too few comments and too little comment text displayed), and no Hot Topics sidebar gives it a very isolated feeling. Maybe I'll adapt to it.

Oh, also wanted to say I really miss my kids. Darn them for growing up.

ETA: G'night all. Bedtime for this bonzo.
   205. Eric L Posted: November 15, 2018 at 09:05 PM (#5788210)
Hello all, I have been here since 2001. I have posted under 400 times, so I am pretty much a lurker. I come here for good discussions. We come from all over and many perspectives would be unavailable to me otherwise. Heck, I lurked OTP daily. I must like the punishment.

One of the reasons I mostly lurk is that have little patience for having my words twisted around or worse, having used a platform for someone else to prove they are the smartest person in the world. Yech!! Or worse still, having what is known about you thrown at you even if it's utterly irrelevant to the topic at end. You know each other way too well. I have a pretty good map of who are while I remain a cipher. It's in my nature to enjoy that. What I do not enjoy is the fact that, when I do indulge in a rare comment, it is mostly ignored because I haven't been officially welcomed into the club. Sometimes this place is a middle school lunchroom.

What the last few days have taught me is that my approach does nothing to contribute to the health of this site. I resolve to post more, even though I have strong inhibitions out posting "me too" comments. Being on the west coast, I'm usually late to the dance and my point of view has usually already been expressed.

Finally, I used to share a derisive attitude towards those who use the "ignore" option. Since 2016 I have used it with a heavy hand, and have never regretted it. If someone else wants to engage with SBB, have at it.

If this place lasts the year, you will here from me, even if I have to make it up!

   206. McCoy Posted: November 15, 2018 at 09:07 PM (#5788211)
Who is this clown?
   207. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: November 15, 2018 at 09:09 PM (#5788213)
Eh. If you're jonesin' for politics talk, go to a politics forum. OTP has been just a bunch of aging dudes shaking their canes at each other for years.

I'm on vacation in NOLA, or I'd have posted threads for the postseason awards. My fault.

HOW WILL AN ANGEL LOSE A POSTSEASON AWARD TODAY?!
   208. . Posted: November 15, 2018 at 09:14 PM (#5788218)
EDIT: The debate was actually about labor participation rate, not unemployment rate, FWIW.


Yeah, it was about participation rate and I said that the changes in participation rate aren't really the result of changes in the age makeup of the workforce. Any good faith engagement with the point would have seen that easily.

And the point is correct.

There's nothing "bad faith" about defending your point and thinking it's right. That's ridiculous. Nor is it "bad faith" to not back down when people holding a position you think is wrong high-five each other and tell each other how right they are based on some schoolyard "gotcha." The actual "bad faith" is the high-fiving.

Your "gotcha" is actually a textbook example of bad faith, and you never engaged the point I was making in anything resembling good faith and instead defaulted to a faux gotcha and high-fives. That reality isn't really a matter of participant votes.

Generally speaking, I enjoyed your posts and you're obviously a sharp guy, but if you want to reflect on what I just said, you might (or might not) see what I'm talking about. Up to you.
   209. PreservedFish Posted: November 15, 2018 at 09:18 PM (#5788220)
McCoy, loving your work in this thread.

Eric L, nice to see you. Hope you do hang around. What's your opinion on defensive shifts?
   210. . Posted: November 15, 2018 at 09:28 PM (#5788227)
Yes, the same stuff that had been happening for years and that you helped create. Just because you pull the pin, toss the grenade in the room and then run away doesn't leave you free of sin. OTP didn't go downhill because you left or after you left. It went downhill years before you or anyone left and several of you are now acting like your hands are clean and it was everyone else that was acting vile and nasty.


It's obvious who the vile and nasty people were, and he wasn't one of them.
   211. Where have you gone Brady Anderson? Posted: November 15, 2018 at 09:31 PM (#5788230)
I scoff at your under 400 posts. This is my 103rd post, despite lurking since the early 2000’s. It’s a bit silly I guess, but I don’t know what I would do without this place. I’ve pretty much learned everything I know about sabermetrics from you guys.

I don’t really like the ignore feature, because even the most obtuse members here have interesting things to say sometimes. I’m also not the type to get really upset about most of the things people post, so it works for me. I do manually ignore comments.

I am pro defensive shift, anti mid-inning pitching change, and a recent convert to anti-replay, in case you care.
   212. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: November 15, 2018 at 09:45 PM (#5788237)
Holy crap, SSB has managed to turn this tread into the new OTP thread, since he obviously couldn't handle not being in OTP anymore. ####, if you're gonna leave, ####### leave. The desperate neediness of these posts are pathetic. And yes, I'll be utilizing the handy IGNORE function.
   213. PreservedFish Posted: November 15, 2018 at 09:47 PM (#5788239)
You lurkers better start piping up in the future. We need you.
   214. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: November 15, 2018 at 09:50 PM (#5788242)
SBB, I’m not really interested in relitigating the past, especially since the original thread (the Oct. 22 OTP) appears to have been nuked. But on the substantive point, whether the labor force participation rate decline since 2008 can be largely attributed to the aging population, I spent a fair bit of time looking at this a few months ago (it’s tangentially but not directly work-related), and concluded that about 80% of it can be. The remainder can probably be considered additional slack in the labor market that is not reflected in the unemployment rate (the number is probably lower now given that this was several months ago). But my conclusion was that we are very close to, if not at, “full employment” as that term is used by most economists. I am fairly confident in that conclusion and also that that is what I wrote in that thread at the time. If you remember differently, I think we’ll just have to agree to disagree.

FWIW, I think if we had a beer you would find we agree on more than you expect (not Jack Morris, though). Which is one reason that I find your style of debate frustrating — it is so counterproductive to the sometimes valid points you are making, or you take those points to unreasonable extremes.
   215. Zonk Can't Hide his Disdain or Disgust Posted: November 15, 2018 at 09:59 PM (#5788246)
I am pro defensive shift, anti mid-inning pitching change, and a recent convert to anti-replay, in case you care.


This one sounds like he could handle a mortar in the Elroy Face brigade.

Do you have any experience test firing rockets into the sun?
   216. McCoy Posted: November 15, 2018 at 10:00 PM (#5788247)
Well, if you're looking for the old thread copy and paste this: http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/newsstand/discussion/otp_2018_oct_22_meet_the_new_york_teenager_who_created_the_mets_are_a_good_/P1600/

and then check out the cache. Change the number after the P to go to different pages. You probably won't get all the posts this way but it is a start. Would the wayback machine help as well?
   217. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: November 15, 2018 at 10:10 PM (#5788251)
One person I have specifically in mind is Walt (and obviously, he's not the only one) -- about once a week or so, he'll weigh in on a particular player or roster move or whatever with a real magnum opus.


I'd feel a lot better about myself if it merely once a week ... it's bloody well once a day, at the very least.

I feel like I have 8 thumbs and only one hand when I think of all the typing he can manage ...

   218. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: November 15, 2018 at 10:14 PM (#5788252)
I scoff at your under 400 posts. This is my 103rd post, despite lurking since the early 2000’s.


Crap, I just checked, I've got 13,000+ ... I am ... surprised.
   219. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: November 15, 2018 at 10:21 PM (#5788255)
I've got over twenty-one thousand comments. I would wager that I'm active in more chatters (not counting the opening HOW WILL comment) than any other poster over the last five years. I invite everyone else to be more active in game chatters as well. OmniChatter really is a case where more makes merrier.
   220. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: November 15, 2018 at 10:28 PM (#5788261)
Ahem.

Look, I readily admit it was a team effort - such a feat cannot be accomplished by just one person.


Like Mantis, Dr Strange, Drax and Iron Man removing the gauntlet from Thanos until Star Lord ###### it up.
   221. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: November 15, 2018 at 10:29 PM (#5788262)
Actually, it wasn't the words at all -- it was Miserlou's bogus associations.


Yay me!
   222. PepTech, the Legendary Posted: November 15, 2018 at 10:31 PM (#5788265)
+1 on more lurkers posting; just jump in. Every starts somewhere. A bunch of folks will likely wander off without OTP, fill that void!

I was surprised to see I was around 5400 posts. I thought it would be more.

I'd say the grace period is up for caterwauling about who said what to whom. Talk about baseball or take it to the forums.

ETA: First you screw up MiNbari, now you leave out Spidey. It's like I don't even know you anymore.
   223. Eric L Posted: November 15, 2018 at 10:31 PM (#5788266)
PF. I am a believer in evolution and the law of competitive balance. So yes to shifts. If hitters have to adapt to meet challenge,
good. If they can't , they become dodo birds. Mid inning changes, it's a bit much, Busch solutions I see
here are heavy handed.

PITCH CLOCK PLEASE!!!

/TOLAXOR.
   224. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: November 15, 2018 at 10:37 PM (#5788268)
ETA: First you screw up MiNbari, now you leave out Spidey. It's like I don't even know you anymore.


a) I saw the movie only once
2) I was going from memory
c) Blow me
   225. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: November 15, 2018 at 10:40 PM (#5788269)
/TOLAXOR.


Behold!

Are you the biggest idiot ever?

Bring me a Bushmills ...
   226. nick swisher hygiene Posted: November 15, 2018 at 10:45 PM (#5788271)
over 3000 comments since 2006, and I still feel like a new guy here who nobody knows....

signed,
just some hybrid of an outfielder who couldn't hit for the postseason Yankees and a urinal cleaning company......
   227. Ray (CTL) Posted: November 15, 2018 at 10:49 PM (#5788274)
Please, SBB, get over yourself. You may not have wished death on anyone but your brand of childish trolling and bad faith debate contributed to the “cesspool” about as much as anyone else.


I don't agree but even so your view is not unreasonable. That said, obviously there's still a huge difference between being generally obnoxious (assuming arguendo SBB was) and wishing death and miscarriages on others for having different mainstream political and ideological views. I don't agree those can be lumped into the same category.

   228. Zonk Can't Hide his Disdain or Disgust Posted: November 15, 2018 at 11:06 PM (#5788284)
Actually, it wasn't the words at all -- it was Miserlou's bogus associations.

Yay me!


Man... you're right. I looked it up and I didn't even get the claimed last bolt.

Dammit all. A better metaphor might be that I tossed up the alley-oop and you slammed it home.

Or you know... like that legendary Fontenot/Theriot double play combination.
   229. Ray (CTL) Posted: November 15, 2018 at 11:16 PM (#5788287)
No problem - it's here if anyone is interested.


I've tried reading the forum pages before and I have no interest in dealing with that formatting and interface.

OTP had long since become a cesspool with the wishes of death upon people and I again noted as much
a couple weeks ago.

That said, I thought OTP was the bottom of the barrel but it turns out with the move
down to the forums that if you lift up the barrel...

I don't plan to go down there. It takes up too much time anyway, and it's a difficult environment to
exist in when you're constantly swimming against 95% of the groupthink.

And without SBB and I to generate content that's not in the groupthink (and JE and TGF
and Snapper who had all departed some time ago) OTP will not be the same. I doubt David
and YC can keep it afloat.
   230. Stormy JE Posted: November 15, 2018 at 11:18 PM (#5788288)
Yes, the same stuff that had been happening for years and that you helped create. Just because you pull the pin, toss the grenade in the room and then run away doesn't leave you free of sin. OTP didn't go downhill because you left or after you left. It went downhill years before you or anyone left and several of you are now acting like your hands are clean and it was everyone else that was acting vile and nasty.
You have some set of stones lecturing others about etiquette.
   231. Stormy JE Posted: November 15, 2018 at 11:39 PM (#5788294)
To be sure, I wasn't planning to leave OTP for good but it just sort of turned out that way. Also, unlike prior breaks, this time I also went AWOL from the rest of BBTF.

Anyway, I will very much miss the OTP that existed up until maybe a year ago. Sure, sharp elbows were a dime a dozen for much of 2017 but not the venom.
   232. Stormy JE Posted: November 15, 2018 at 11:43 PM (#5788296)
I don't plan to go down there. It takes up too much time anyway, and it's a difficult environment to
exist in when you're constantly swimming against 95% of the groupthink.

And without SBB and I to generate content that's not in the groupthink (and JE and TGF
and Snapper who had all departed some time ago) OTP will not be the same. I doubt David
and YC can keep it afloat.
I agree that the Forum's formatting/interface is kinda scary, Ray. Have you tried the new OTP wannabe site? I plan on taking both out for test drives and see how they feel.
   233. Ray (CTL) Posted: November 15, 2018 at 11:50 PM (#5788299)
OTP wannabe site?
   234. Master of the Horse Posted: November 15, 2018 at 11:54 PM (#5788301)
You dudes talking about different chat room layouts like you may have to touch plutonium
   235. Stormy JE Posted: November 15, 2018 at 11:54 PM (#5788302)
OTP wannabe site?
I just texted you the link.
   236. Howie Menckel Posted: November 16, 2018 at 12:09 AM (#5788310)
"I agree that the Forum's formatting/interface is kinda scary, Ray. Have you tried the new OTP wannabe site? I plan on taking both out for test drives and see how they feel."

yeah, I am keeping an open mind. I waded through the muck until a couple of weeks ago, but it got to where even non-combatants were vulnerable to 'friendly fire.' so we'll see.
   237. base ball chick Posted: November 16, 2018 at 12:21 AM (#5788316)
jwhat OTP wannabe? it is here?
   238. McCoy Posted: November 16, 2018 at 07:24 AM (#5788332)
Re 230. How so? I'm not running around saying so and so happened after I left as if I'm free of sin.

I mean we can see it all happening right here all over again and all of the same actors are involved and acting the same way that created this so called cesspool. Well, Sam isn't here.
   239. Traderdave Posted: November 16, 2018 at 09:36 AM (#5788348)
Well, Sam isn't here.


Yeah, I hear he got stabbed in the neck.
   240. . Posted: November 16, 2018 at 09:45 AM (#5788350)
SBB, I’m not really interested in relitigating the past, especially since the original thread (the Oct. 22 OTP) appears to have been nuked. But on the substantive point, whether the labor force participation rate decline since 2008 can be largely attributed to the aging population, I spent a fair bit of time looking at this a few months ago (it’s tangentially but not directly work-related), and concluded that about 80% of it can be. The remainder can probably be considered additional slack in the labor market that is not reflected in the unemployment rate (the number is probably lower now given that this was several months ago). But my conclusion was that we are very close to, if not at, “full employment” as that term is used by most economists. I am fairly confident in that conclusion and also that that is what I wrote in that thread at the time. If you remember differently, I think we’ll just have to agree to disagree.


Yeah, it got nuked. I'm sure your numbers are solid gold; my fault here is that I'm probably overly focused on the male 25-54 demographic and the participation rate there -- both by the numbers and anecdotally -- has cratered pretty badly. I'd speculate, I think reasonably, that if you ran those numbers ex-coasts they'd be even worse. But overall, the numbers are as you say.

I focus arguably too much on that demo because it's my original home and I know what it was and what it is now. I get why they're essentially written off as deplorables -- I mean, I fled without equivocation at first opportunity -- but I can't go full-on that way. Most people in my actual demographic can and do. That struggle has become the primary one of modern Western politics.

FWIW, I think if we had a beer you would find we agree on more than you expect (not Jack Morris, though). Which is one reason that I find your style of debate frustrating — it is so counterproductive to the sometimes valid points you are making, or you take those points to unreasonable extremes.


I'm sure all of that is right and I'm sure I come off here as quite obnoxious, particularly upon continued exposure. I've never really doubted that.
   241. Traderdave Posted: November 16, 2018 at 10:07 AM (#5788356)
I'm sure all of that is right and I'm sure I come off here as quite obnoxious, particularly upon continued exposure. I've never really doubted that.


SBB: Self aware for first time since 1979!
   242. Greg Pope Posted: November 16, 2018 at 10:11 AM (#5788360)

I was surprised to see I was around 5400 posts. I thought it would be more.


I'm at about 4800, and I can't see how I made that many. I've been here since before registration, but I certainly don't get involved in long back and forth discussions. Mostly because I'm very interested in the conversations, but don't feel like I have much to contribute. I'll ask questions here or there, but I don't seem to be on long enough to have real conversations.
   243. McCoy Posted: November 16, 2018 at 10:21 AM (#5788367)
#11 all time in posts! Though this site is so wonky that it is hard to tell. You go to your account at the top and it takes you to the forum member list where it looks at forum posts. Click on someone's name and go to the member list that way and you get a different site and you get BTF lists, I think. But in that member list the totals are, I think, a combination of BTF and Forum posts but they don't rank members based on the number they display for post counts.
   244. Simpson Posted: November 16, 2018 at 10:57 AM (#5788394)
since everybody else is doing it...

44 total comments, lurker since pre-registration, visit the site almost daily for baseball news and hot takes. used to lurk heavily in otp for many years up until 2015 or so when I changed jobs. people could be obnoxious but none of it really bothered me. sad to see it off the mainland, but I understand. thanks jim for a great website.

I never subscribed to bpro, but I still purchase the annual, annually. I have no idea what their sales numbers are there, but I'd rather their site die than the annual.

also, I should contribute more I suppose. for the record, I'm pro-shift, pro-modern baseball, multiple relievers, pro-replay, etc. truly evil, I know. I'm fine with a pitch clock or lowering the mound, but that's about as drastic as I'd like to see. move the fences back.
   245. PepTech, the Legendary Posted: November 16, 2018 at 11:07 AM (#5788398)
I do not understand why people would be anti-shift. I have a feeling this is one of those arguments here that I've missed... I have heard a couple of neanderthal announcer types say it's ruining the game ("that rocket through the box would have been a hit when *I* played, it should be a hit now!"), but they're... neanderthals.
   246. . . . . . . Posted: November 16, 2018 at 11:08 AM (#5788399)
11578 comments. This is why I tell anyone who listens that posting on the internet turned me from a dogshit writer into a serviceable one. Reps always help.
   247. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: November 16, 2018 at 11:12 AM (#5788404)
3200 posts, plus a couple of hundred with an account I abandoned ages ago, plus a handful pre-registration. I'm just like Greg, I don't contribute more because sometimes I feel like I don't know enough and sometimes I'm not here long enough to get involved in the back and forth.

I don't like the shift but don't think we should legislate against it, rather try to tweak the game to make speed demons and Rod Carew wannabes more valuable than TTO pull hitters. Make the shift rare by making it less useful. I also don't like parade-of-anonymous-relievers baseball, and also am not sure I want to legislate against it. But the problem is I don't see any minor rule tweaks that make it more likely we'll starters who go 7+ and platoons at three positions.

I think the pitch clock needs to be implemented yesterday; it works great in the minors and does zero violence to the game.

No way in hell teams move the fences back, but when I become dictator for life I'm going to make those ####### do it anyway.
   248. GGC Posted: November 16, 2018 at 11:37 AM (#5788416)
I forget why, but a guy at work rants about the shift. My least favorite part of baseball in the teens is replay; but stretching the roster by shuttling relievers to AAA or the DL is a close second.
   249. Kiko Sakata Posted: November 16, 2018 at 11:53 AM (#5788422)
I do not understand why people would be anti-shift. I have a feeling this is one of those arguments here that I've missed... I have heard a couple of neanderthal announcer types say it's ruining the game ("that rocket through the box would have been a hit when *I* played, it should be a hit now!"), but they're... neanderthals.


I think your last sentence explains it. As a guy who has been watching Major League Baseball for just over 40 years now, I've gotten used to being able to judge hits off of the bat and there's something jarring about seeing a rocket hit into what used to be the hole between first and second and then remember, "Oh, yeah, that's right, they're playing a guy in short right field".

But being, I hope, not a neanderthal, I recognize that this is my issue and I just need to get used to the modern game. Well, except for the incessant time between pitches and the ever-increasing use of five pitchers to get out of a single half-inning. Those are affronts to human decency and should not be tolerated in civilized society!
   250. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: November 16, 2018 at 11:57 AM (#5788425)
72,976 posts, which is probably somewhere near the top, but so what? All it means is that I no longer have to work for anything but pocket money, and that I enjoy interacting with an interesting mix of smart people and bozos. It's too bad that a few snowflakes couldn't deal with their issues by simply ignoring the ones who offended them, and instead had to go crying to Mommy, but that's what snowflakes do.
   251. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: November 16, 2018 at 12:01 PM (#5788429)
I do not understand why people would be anti-shift. I have a feeling this is one of those arguments here that I've missed... I have heard a couple of neanderthal announcer types say it's ruining the game ("that rocket through the box would have been a hit when *I* played, it should be a hit now!"), but they're... neanderthals.

I think it's less that they're neanderthals, and more like they like the TTO version of baseball that rewards power hitting pull hitters and diminishes the value of all-around hitting skills. I love the shift to the extent that it frustrates one dimensional hitters like Chris Davis, and the sooner it helps speed their exit from the game, the better.
   252. Panik on the streets of London (Trout! Trout!) Posted: November 16, 2018 at 12:15 PM (#5788440)
I would like to see a list of members by quantity of BTF posts, but I can only get it to sort by forum posts. Maybe I will have to go through everyone and tabulate that list. Or maybe I have better things to do. Who knows?
   253. Ziggy's screen name Posted: November 16, 2018 at 12:18 PM (#5788441)
I don't know why anyone would venture into the OTP threads. You know they're terrible. If you want to talk about politics why would you do it with random people on a baseball message board? I didn't like them when they started because the cluttered up the hot topics, and unless they infect the baseball threads, I'm not going to miss them.

And yes, lurkers need to speak up. Maybe we should also do some recruitment.

Primer still has its shining moments. There was a good thread recently about error rates and how they should effect our evaluation of dead ball players. Complaining about people who recline their seats on airplanes may be fun (and those people are the worst), but Primer is at its best when we've got people doing serious work.
   254. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: November 16, 2018 at 12:26 PM (#5788442)
I don't know why anyone would venture into the OTP threads. You know they're terrible. If you want to talk about politics why would you do it with random people on a baseball message board?

Because it was one of the very few places where you'd run into people on all parts of the political spectrum, and where occasionally you'd find people who could discuss political issues intelligently. Of course it often wound up with less than ideal commentary, but compared to pretty much every non-heavily monitored forum, it was actually fairly civil.

I get that those who want to see nothing but baseball wouldn't like it, but Christ, it was all of 1 out of 15 Hot Topics listed, so it's not as if anyone was forced to view it. I understand the indifference, but I don't get the hatred.
   255. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: November 16, 2018 at 12:37 PM (#5788449)

Have been here since 2002 and I'm now at about 9,600 posts. About half of those were in the first few years of registration (I remember looking at this number in 2007 when I started a new job and swore of BBTF for a while). I became more of a lurker after that but another 4,000+ posts over the last decade shows that I still get drawn into enough discussions. And while I never posted much on OTP, I did follow the thread pretty regularly, especially when there's major national news going on. I skip most of the interpersonal grudges and name calling, but it's pretty pretty unique to find a group of voices across the political spectrum who still, despite all the invective, respect each other enough to keep coming back and engaging with each other over such a long period of time.
   256. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: November 16, 2018 at 12:39 PM (#5788451)
11578 comments. This is why I tell anyone who listens that posting on the internet turned me from a dogshit writer into a serviceable one. Reps always help.

13249

Consider this an opportunity for dialogue and education.
   257. McCoy Posted: November 16, 2018 at 12:40 PM (#5788452)
Re 252. You have to click on a name. It leads to a different list than the one at top.
   258. Stormy JE Posted: November 16, 2018 at 12:43 PM (#5788454)
Re 230. How so? I'm not running around saying so and so happened after I left as if I'm free of sin.
Maybe because I never said or even implied I was "free of sin," only that the site had become too toxic even for my taste.
   259. GGC Posted: November 16, 2018 at 12:51 PM (#5788456)
Consider this an opportunity for dialogue and education.


I dig this callback.
   260. Zonk Can't Hide his Disdain or Disgust Posted: November 16, 2018 at 12:55 PM (#5788460)
40431.

Now 40432.

27981 of them have been brilliant.

12099 have been witty.

327 of them have been caustic but necessary towards SBB.

22 of them were made while really drunk.

1 I regret.

1 I don't like to talk about.
   261. Panik on the streets of London (Trout! Trout!) Posted: November 16, 2018 at 12:56 PM (#5788461)
Re 252. You have to click on a name. It leads to a different list than the one at top.


I must be missing something because when I click on a name there doesn't seem to be any obvious way to get at that list. I can see how many comments the username has posted, but not any kind of rank.
   262. GGC Posted: November 16, 2018 at 01:10 PM (#5788467)
@ 20,000 here. @ 36,000 in the forums. I used to be underemployed.
   263. Lassus Posted: November 16, 2018 at 01:12 PM (#5788468)
59033

I too am interested where the ranking is, so I can see how pathetic I am compared to the rest of you losers.
   264. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: November 16, 2018 at 01:18 PM (#5788473)
( deleted counts of posts - I think we're talking comments, not posts.)

About 20K comments under my primary 2 accounts (I only use one now). I joined (under the other one) in 2004!? Time flies.
   265. Hysterical & Useless Posted: November 16, 2018 at 01:19 PM (#5788475)
Well, I've been here a long time, since pre-registration days, but have commented very infrequently. Fewer than 2600 posts. I have spent a lot of time lurking in OTP, my rare comments there most often being off-topic (should that be off-off-topic?). Have never found the Ignore feature necessary, because it's easy enough to skip comments that are tldr or too nasty or too [insert name of poster you never read]-ish. I'd guess the bulk of my comments are in the annual softball threads.

I have loved this site for a long time. I hope I'll continue loving it for at least as long again. I've met bunches of you IRL and liked every single one of you, which I guess just shows how incredibly tolerant I am. Or maybe just that not everyone puts their best foot forward on the interwebs.

Is it time to start planning next summer's softball game yet?
   266. McCoy Posted: November 16, 2018 at 01:41 PM (#5788488)
Re 261. Click on a name in the hot topics bar. From there you can click on member list.
   267. Lassus Posted: November 16, 2018 at 01:45 PM (#5788492)
That's a ranking of forum posts, not member comments.

EDIT: whoops, drop-downs. Holy christ, I'm 2nd only to Andy.
   268. Tom Nawrocki Posted: November 16, 2018 at 01:48 PM (#5788495)
I would like to see a list of members by quantity of BTF posts,


I would like to see a list of members by quality of BTF posts.
   269. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: November 16, 2018 at 01:49 PM (#5788497)
EDIT: whoops, drop-downs. Holy christ, I'm 2nd only to Andy.

Schon owners rule the world!

Oh, and I'm glad to see we're also ranked 1 and 2 in the Quality Comments sort. I would've thought Da Bear would've topped that list.
   270. GGC Posted: November 16, 2018 at 01:51 PM (#5788500)
I would like to see a list of members by quality of BTF posts.


So would Vince, our friend across the pond. Up the R's!!!
   271. PepTech, the Legendary Posted: November 16, 2018 at 01:55 PM (#5788503)
The page I see has a dropdown which gives me a choice of "Total Entries" or "Total Comments", but then shows me a list with a column that says "Total Posts", which upon examination is not in either Ascending or Descending order. Am I doing it wrong?
   272. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: November 16, 2018 at 01:59 PM (#5788505)
I focus arguably too much on that demo because it's my original home and I know what it was and what it is now. I get why they're essentially written off as deplorables -- I mean, I fled without equivocation at first opportunity -- but I can't go full-on that way. Most people in my actual demographic can and do. That struggle has become the primary one of modern Western politics.

SBB, at the risk of going off-topic here, your concern is misplaced because you're not right about the underlying numbers, either overall or in the male 25-54 demo. I pulled up my old spreadsheet during lunch and actually ran a quick update for June 2018. From June 2008-2018, we've seen about 8 million men "fall out" of the labor force (population has increased by 11.6 million while the labor force has only increased by 3.6 million). However, we've seen the male 65+ population increase by 6.4 million -- that's where I got my back-of-the-envelope figure that 80% was attributable to age, but that's probably understated because some men in the 55-64 age group will also have retired or become unable to work for whatever reason -- not just the 65+ men.

When you look at the male 25-54 population that you're concerned about, the population has only increased by 1.5 million (2.3%) in the past decade, which is quite remarkable itself. Meanwhile, the male labor force age 20+ has increased by 4.2 million and the number of employed men age 20+ has increased by 5.0 million! In other words, almost all of the growth in the population is coming in the 55+ demographic, the labor force has actually kept up with that growth, and job growth has even exceeded labor force growth. So either everyone in the age 55-64 demographic is staying in the workforce, or labor force participation amongst 25-54 year-olds has actually increased over the past 10 years.
   273. DJS Holiday-Related Pun Posted: November 16, 2018 at 02:02 PM (#5788506)
So would Vince, our friend across the pond. Up the R's!!!

I forgot that meme!
   274. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: November 16, 2018 at 02:03 PM (#5788507)
32,000 posts (rounded down). That is .... many posts.
   275. KB JBAR (trhn) Posted: November 16, 2018 at 02:04 PM (#5788509)
#253 is right. Primer WAS at its best when it was about people doing serious work. Voros and Tango and MGL and Dial and Rally and probably a lot more I'm forgetting. There are still high quality baseball comments, but it's no longer a destination for publishing high quality research.

That said, it has a lot going for it. Right now bbtf contains the best basketball forum on the internet, thoughtful Cubs content, and entertaining playoff game chatter.

And really, because of the user base, the OTP thread was about as good as an unmoderated politics forum could be. I don't think it was a cesspool anymore than the Game Chatters were a cesspool when Joey B was trolling them. It just had a few jackass posters. Reading smart people opine and argue occasionally changed how I think about some stuff. And there's research that suggests that it's primarily through hobbyist internet fora that folks interact with people of different political beliefs. And it taught me about Omineca and being a professor and Jack Keefe. The same way the Cheers threads taught me about how to remove anal beads and Game of Thrones. And the 2004 playoffs IRC taught me about real-time WPA and root beer.
   276. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: November 16, 2018 at 02:09 PM (#5788511)
#271, I think you can rank the list by Total Comments, but it doesn't actually show the number of Comments--only the number of Posts. That's why it looks out-of-order. You have to then click on the individual names to see the actual number of Comments.

Hence, we know that Andy is the biggest loser and Lassus is #2, but without clicking on the names individually you can't see how many Comments they've made.
   277. Tom Nawrocki Posted: November 16, 2018 at 02:16 PM (#5788517)
The easiest way to do it is just click on your own name after you've posted here, and your profile lists your number of comments. I'm at 11,188, a good 40 or 50 of which were probably useful.
   278. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: November 16, 2018 at 02:18 PM (#5788519)
To add to my #272, anecdotally, I am currently working with manufacturing clients in Arkansas and Missouri and they say the labor market is tight. Not so tight that they are seeing wages rise materially, but they are spending more on things like training because there aren't enough skilled welders, etc. out there to fill the available jobs. I hear similar things from my wife, whose company has plants in Wisconsin. Job growth is not just coming from the coasts or the service and white collar sectors.
   279. Zonk Can't Hide his Disdain or Disgust Posted: November 16, 2018 at 02:22 PM (#5788520)


I would like to see a list of members by quality of BTF posts.


To see who is second to me?

Meh... mildly interesting I suppose.
   280. GGC Posted: November 16, 2018 at 02:27 PM (#5788524)
Primer WAS at its best when it was about people doing serious work. Voros and Tango and MGL and Dial and Rally and probably a lot more I'm forgetting. There are still high quality baseball comments, but it's no longer a destination for publishing high quality research.


And posters could interact with folks like Rob Neyer, Tango, and the Scorebard (Man, I miss Baseball Toaster.) I'm not sure why those folks left. Heck, I'm not sure why Repoz left, but if that's on a need to know basis, I understand.
   281. . Posted: November 16, 2018 at 02:32 PM (#5788525)
SBB, at the risk of going off-topic here, your concern is misplaced because you're not right about the underlying numbers, either overall or in the male 25-54 demo. I pulled up my old spreadsheet during lunch and actually ran a quick update for June 2018. From June 2008-2018, we've seen about 8 million men "fall out" of the labor force (population has increased by 11.6 million while the labor force has only increased by 3.6 million). However, we've seen the male 65+ population increase by 6.4 million -- that's where I got my back-of-the-envelope figure that 80% was attributable to age, but that's probably understated because some men in the 55-64 age group will also have retired or become unable to work for whatever reason -- not just the 65+ men.


Fair enough, and you're right that the trends have stabilized since 2008. I'm looking, though, at a longer trend.

St Louis Fed Numbers:

25-54 Activity Rate (which I assume is the same as labor force participation rate, but am willing to be corrected):

Civilizational Peak (/sm), March 1979: 94.7 percent
August 2018: 88.8 percent

It's been an essentially unbroken descent, though as your numbers show, it's leveled off and even improved since around 2015.

Link

BLS statistics, 1996-2016:

25-54 Men -- 91.8 to 88.5
Men overall -- 74.9 to 69.2

Looks like most of the uptick action for men is at older ages:

16-24 -- 66.8 to 56.5 (ugh)
55 and older -- 38.3 to 46.2
65 and older -- 16.9 to 24
75 and older -- 4.7 to 8.4

My general thesis is that conditions have become significantly worse for middle-aged men in the US, especially those in the heartland. Suicide and life-expectancy numbers tend to also confirm this thesis.

Link
   282. Howie Menckel Posted: November 16, 2018 at 02:46 PM (#5788533)
"The easiest way to do it is just click on your own name after you've posted here, and your profile lists your number of comments."

oh.
16,772 - at least six of which were clearly controversial
   283. Lassus Posted: November 16, 2018 at 02:51 PM (#5788535)
And posters could interact with folks like Rob Neyer

In fairness, I don't remember him being that prolific here, but perhaps I missed his heyday.


(Man, I miss Baseball Toaster.)

Yes.
   284. GGC Posted: November 16, 2018 at 02:53 PM (#5788538)
My general thesis is that conditions have become significantly worse for middle-aged men in the US, especially those in the heartland. Suicide and life-expectancy numbers tend to also confirm this thesis.


I did not expect to be as debt-ridden as I am now at 50. I'm not sure if I'll ever be able to retire or, a more frightening prospect, I'll have to retired unprepared for health reasons.
   285. McCoy Posted: November 16, 2018 at 02:55 PM (#5788539)

In fairness, I don't remember him being that prolific here, but perhaps I missed his heyday.


It was never a lot. He has 401 posts and his last one was surprisingly from March of 2017.
   286. Lassus Posted: November 16, 2018 at 02:56 PM (#5788541)
I did not expect to be as debt-ridden as I am now at 50. I'm not sure if I'll ever be able to retire or, a more frightening prospect, I'll have to retired unprepared for health reasons.

I'm 48, and while I'm slightly petrified about the fact that even thinking about retirement brings nothing but guffaws, I'm slightly emboldened against a post-apocalyptic THE ROAD scenario by the fact that many millions of us are all in the same boat, probably a greater percentage than any generation previously.
   287. GGC Posted: November 16, 2018 at 03:14 PM (#5788549)
^ Definitely, Lassus. Life expectancy was lower prior to Social Security. My m-i-l finally stopped driving a schoolbus at 85. I thought that I could supplement my income writing about baseball on the side, but that didn't help. I have a halfway decent job now; likely not as good as the typical Primate, but I think that I still have some advancement potential. I tell myself that my fifties might be my peak earning years; despite some contrary voices I've heard.
   288. Howie Menckel Posted: November 16, 2018 at 03:18 PM (#5788551)
I'm slightly emboldened against a post-apocalyptic THE ROAD scenario by the fact that many millions of us are all in the same boat, probably a greater percentage than any generation previously.

yes, the increasingly small number of pensions and lack of savings as part of a cultural change in personal priorities ensures an increased role for government; there's no way around it at this point. now, WHY that happened and what should be done in the future - take it to the forums, I suppose.
   289. stig-tossled, hornswoggled gef the typing mongoose Posted: November 16, 2018 at 03:21 PM (#5788553)
I tell myself that my fifties might be my peak earning years;


I've noted before that after losing my job as metro editor at the paper here in Montgomery at age 43, back in 11/02, it took some 15 1/2 years for my salary to climb back to what it was when the termination occurred. For most of that period I was making from 0-50ish percent of the earlier figure.

Now, if I'd considered myself mobile as regards the job market, no doubt I'd have regrouped financially a lot quicker. As I'm fond of saying, though, at a certain age & socioeconomic level, home is where the mortgage is, period.
   290. Pete Posted: November 16, 2018 at 03:22 PM (#5788555)
This is my first post ever, I believe, even though I've been a lurker ever since we first learned that his father is the district attorney. Will it be my last post ever, too? Who can say? For now, back to the shadows!
   291. Lassus Posted: November 16, 2018 at 03:24 PM (#5788560)
I tell myself that my fifties might be my peak earning years; despite some contrary voices I've heard.

Oh, they'll definitely be mine, I doubt I'm much above you, if at all. I specifically took a job in a company that's run terribly and full of old people. I was hired by a guy in order to take his place in a couple of years. I still doubt I'll have a cent of retirement unless one of my future rescues turns into Grumpy Cat.
   292. base ball chick Posted: November 16, 2018 at 03:32 PM (#5788564)
i'm at 14K posts

good lord - and this is considering that i haven't posted real too much over the past 3-4 years or so

GGC Posted: November 16, 2018 at 02:53 PM (#5788538)

My general thesis is that conditions have become significantly worse for middle-aged men in the US, especially those in the heartland. Suicide and life-expectancy numbers tend to also confirm this thesis.

I did not expect to be as debt-ridden as I am now at 50. I'm not sure if I'll ever be able to retire or, a more frightening prospect, I'll have to retired unprepared for health reasons


- i would be interested in those numbers for Black people

i can't see any way either of us will ever be able to stop working although it will be a lot easier when the kidz are grown and gone

everyone talks about savcing money etc, but this assumes that the saving means more than - the emergency fund for use for fixing cars/anything else not too expensive

and this does not really include any sort of safety net for medical neither

   293. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: November 16, 2018 at 03:57 PM (#5788577)
It's been an essentially unbroken descent, though as your numbers show, it's leveled off and even improved since around 2015.

I think the longer-term trend you're describing started earlier than 1979 and is basically a result of women entering the workforce -- while the male 25-54 activity rate has declined by eight percentage points since 1960 (from 97% to 89%), the female 25-54 rate has increased by 33 percentage points (from 42% to 75%) over the same time period. Not saying that the cultural/social problems that accompany that decline for males is something we should ignore, but we should be honest about the trade-offs and the overall benefits to society.
   294. Zonk Can't Hide his Disdain or Disgust Posted: November 16, 2018 at 04:02 PM (#5788582)
This is my first post ever, I believe, even though I've been a lurker ever since we first learned that his father is the district attorney. Will it be my last post ever, too? Who can say? For now, back to the shadows!


-1 for not using it to say how awesome zonk is.
   295. PepTech, the Legendary Posted: November 16, 2018 at 04:18 PM (#5788589)
This is my first post ever, I believe, even though I've been a lurker ever since we first learned that his father is the district attorney. Will it be my last post ever, too? Who can say? For now, back to the shadows!
We anxiously await the Re-Pete.
   296. Hysterical & Useless Posted: November 16, 2018 at 04:29 PM (#5788593)
My wife and I never made huge piles of money--she was in education, I never had a real (ie, non-temp) job until I was in my 50s. But we had the good fortune to stumble into a really cheap apartment, never had financially catastrophic medical issues, and never felt the need for huge amounts of "stuff." So we found it relatively easy to follow the most important financial planning rule, PAY YOURSELF FIRST. We contributed to IRAs, we set up the group annuity plan at the school she ran (so that we could save more!), once I got an actual job in 2005 I ALWAYS maxed out my 401k, and when the Mrs went to the NYC public schools in 2002 we put 15% of her pay into a tax-deferred annuity plan. We're not hanging out with Bill Gates or Warren Buffett, but I don't foresee a future of sleeping on subway grates for us either.

So I guess the lesson is be lucky, be cheap, and be lucky.
   297. Zonk Can't Hide his Disdain or Disgust Posted: November 16, 2018 at 05:02 PM (#5788609)
everyone talks about savcing money etc, but this assumes that the saving means more than - the emergency fund for use for fixing cars/anything else not too expensive

and this does not really include any sort of safety net for medical neither


I'm blessed - now and I sincerely mean that I feel blessed - that I am in a far better place in my 40s than I was in my 30s, to say nothing of my 20s. Yeah, I feel for anyone with kids - I dug my holes, I lived in 'em, it still sucked, but at least I didn't have the added responsibility of a family to take care of. Honestly thinking back? I don't know if I'd have been able to do it... maybe having the responsibility of children gives folks an added reserve of strength, IDK, but my hat is off to parents.

Much as I disagree with Yankee Clapper on baseball rooting interests and politics - I am in 100% agreement with him on personal finance and the #1 rule is "pay yourself first" (edit: advice I see Hysterical & Useless also knows well).

Knowing very well the life of whack-a-mole utility disconnections and the importance of learning which ones give more cushion, borrowing a couple hundred bucks from a friend because the landlord couldn't give me another week, etc... one thing I would have done differently?

Just push that retirement contribution to 1%. I completely get it - and got that advice, responded with the "1%?!?! I can't make it work on the 100% I now bleed".

But here is what the me now would tell the younger me (who eventually did take it, but wish I'd have done it the first time I heard it):

1. 1% is not going to REALLY make a difference. You're ######. Sucks to be ######. You gotta dig yourself out of this somehow, but that 1%, which was probably like 200 bucks a year maybe 4 bucks a week, wasn't going to change anything in a real way.

2. It's YOURS. Like, all yours. No creditor (other than the IRS) can get to it (yada yada legal, it takes a fairly exotic situation and actually, depends on having enough in it that someone gives you a line of credit on it as collateral). Of course, you can't - easily or without reducing its value by a big factor - either, but that's also the point because even when it's so small it won't fund a month of retirement, it's still a special kind of "you not actually at zero". Psychologically, the worst part of being up finance #### creek is that feeling of zero... hell, less than zero. This is something outside that equation that means you really start to feel a sense of "I'm NOT at zero. There is this 'something'."

3. Blah blah make a budget. It's great advice. But even if - especially WHEN - doing so just depresses you looking at the red ink, start somewhere. One easy step with easy math is just take 1% off the top. Voila. If nothing else, you've started budgeting. Build on it, don't build on it - doesn't matter. You can't do math until learn numbers and you can't make words till you learn your letters. Gotta start somewhere.

Honestly, forget the 'good financial advice' aspect of it -- my most lingering memory of being up $hit ¢reek is just how mentally draining it is. That feeling of being so low... I don't wish that on anyone - and that's unqualified anyone. 1% BITD would have meant actually a hella lot more than even the actual (now compounded, etc) money.... and even just 1% 20some years ago using the most conservative of averages is actually a pretty nice little chunk.
   298. Dread Pirate Dave Roberts Posted: November 16, 2018 at 06:03 PM (#5788628)
282 posts here prior to this one. Also a lurker who showed up in 2002, shortly after the Giambi/Mabry trade. Sadly I haven't been lurking as much for many years simply due to my decline in interest in MLB. I'm one of those who was driven away in the 2010 timeframe by pace of game issues, plus other changes in my personal life offering me less time to spend on baseball. It's a shame because I really still have a complete love of the game of baseball itself, and I loved the community feel of this website back during the last decade. Unfortunately I also felt the site (community portion of the site anyhow) has been dying a slow death over the last decade too; every time I logged in, the top 5 hot topics were always OT something - politics, soccer, etc. and the actual baseball articles themselves had few comments, which is rather depressing to me. I suppose my lack of contribution also didn't help. The lack of a major layout change since 2004 also gives the impression of a dying site which can't help in attracting new members.

If having a community discussion site isn't Jim's vision then it is what it is; it's his site and he's footing the bill. But I for one would welcome a community turnaround as I always thought that was what made this place so special.

yes, the increasingly small number of pensions and lack of savings as part of a cultural change in personal priorities ensures an increased role for government; there's no way around it at this point. now, WHY that happened and what should be done in the future - take it to the forums, I suppose


Ha, you've run into a pension actuary. Lots of reason why they've gone away, but don't think that employee perception isn't one of them. Pensions just haven't been valued by employees until very recently; 401(k)s had a much stronger tangible appreciation by the employees and it fit better with corporate goals of minimizing risks. Take away someone's pension and replace with a 401(k) and you got very few complaints, and in fact some kudos. Take away/reduce someone's 401(k), and there was a lot stronger negative reaction. Anyway, the "increased role for government" isn't necessarily true unless you think just enacting any sort of law is an increased role of government. For example, mandating employers of a certain size offer a pension of a certain % (or offer annuities in a DC plan of a certain %) doesn't involve a huge new government program but could be an approach to solving the question (obviously the appeal of this particular option of course depends on your political leanings).
   299. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: November 16, 2018 at 06:24 PM (#5788634)
I work for an insurer and people there were generally NOT HAPPY when it switch from pensions to a 401k.
Decidedly not a standard pop, obv.

Increased role for gov’t: nothing is assured, even if it’s perceived as much more of a need by the populace than it is now.

“Lucky and cheap and lucky”: I’d like to add another pillar, an easier said than done one — want any much. At least in terms of costly things. That’s distinct from, though related to, being cheap.
   300. GregD Posted: November 16, 2018 at 06:54 PM (#5788643)
Just push that retirement contribution to 1%. I completely get it - and got that advice, responded with the "1%?!?! I can't make it work on the 100% I now bleed".
Thirding or fourthing.

Sometimes it isn't possible, and I'm not critiquing people who cannot. But if it is possible, I got this advice early on, which I took a couple years after I should have but have since followed.

Whenever you get a raise of any sort, put half of it, if you can, in your retirement by upping your contribution. Since you're putting the money in pre-tax, it looks and feels bigger, and if you're in a period of market growth, you see gains, and that motivates you to save more, etc.

If I am able to do one thing for my kids, it will be to give them a personal match on their retirement contributions (legally through gift, not putting money into their accounts) so they establish the habit but also get real money in there as soon as they have an income. (Middle school now.) The magic of compounding is truly magic for people who put money in during their early twenties and don't take it out.
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