Judging the Value of a Low Anxiety Leader

Anxiety Girl
Anxiety Girl – Able to jump to the worst conclusion in a single bound. lol

We all get “anxiety,” right? Interview comes up, a promising second date, or maybe it’s the dentist’s office. Just like any other emotion it has a real purpose – anxiety’s being partially “You need to put your attention here now.” Just like how fear is motivating or laughing supresses the release of stress hormones.

And just like almost anything, too much of one emotion can get the best of you. Heartbreak? Exhaustion? Sorrow? Gluttony? Pride? Wrath?…

Seemingly unrelated, modern media has become a barbell mentality – Do you lean way left or do you lean way right. When was the last time CNN made a legitimate point on a potential benefit of a right-leaning theory? Fox News – to the left. The answer is always somewhere in the middle but we don’t want to admit that because it hurts our ego and we think it hurts our credibility.

No, it enhances it. A goal of TimeToSchein is to use contrarian thinking to limit our subconscious biases and help shift thought back toward a bell curve mentality.

Because fear drives the barbell and fear drives your attention.

And Fear:Anxiety::Peanut Butter:Jelly.

The cultural significance of Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World (live)” was amplified by the time of its release: 1967 – President’s assassination still fresh in America’s mind, Vietnam War internal strife, only a few years removed from the Cuban Missle Crisis.

It didn’t matter whether you were a hippie or a cop. There was a national overload of anxiety. Both sides would have agreed, “Yeah we can use a bit of a cease fire.”

What a wonderful world.

There are countless reasons why you can dislike Obama or still hate the ideologies either George Bush brought to the White House.

But I’m anti-anxiety. America’s levels are too high at least partially due to the immediate access we have to global information paired with the connection negativity and fear has to clicks and attention.

When I started this article, I intended to connect this to how Aaron Judge’s calm and stability is disproportionately more beneficial to the New York Yankees than it would to the average-market team. Even if he goes 0-9, 6K and the Yankees get swept, there’s a signal to the fact quiet leaders succeed at a higher rate in high-anxiety New York City. Derek Jeter, Joe Torre, and yes, Eli Manning. That was to be paralleled with how America would disproportionately benefit from, right now, a low-anxiety leader.

Personally, I struggle with the fresh baked fear and anxiety modern news and my President’s unpredictability tend to throw at me on a daily basis. The only thing that helps me is to talk it out.

Because what we have is a high-anxiety leader. And you can’t predict the waves, but you can learn how to surf.

So this article isn’t about how Aaron Judge will be fine. And how his misleading strikeouts in this ALCS have come on pitches gravely low considering his 6’7″ frame. Or how our President is X-adjective.

This article is instead my personal attempt to limit the anxiety my president tends to throw at me on a daily basis. And maybe conscious attempts to see a wonderful world can help. We still have hamburgers and ice cream, we don’t have to worry about polio, we have a GPS on our computer-phones, and we know the eclipse is not God’s attempt at punishment. As much as I’d love to connect our president to the hurricanes and wildfires, there’s science now.

So in 2017, the year of anxiety, what is the value of negating or limiting the overloaded emotions with which a person, team, or country are dealing?

To me, that’s for the leader to decide.

 

Yankees Fans Are Comfortable With Being Confident. Learn from Us.

aid61482-v4-728px-Be-a-New-York-Yankees-Fan-Step-1-Version-4#RKOI is a popular hashtag on instagram. It stands for “rich kids of instagram.” Cars, homes, jewels, bags, etc. Through no fault of their own, these children were born on third base, unbeknownst a genuine struggle some strive their lives to achieve. The Super Sweet 16s, disproportionate equilibrium of normalcy, and your feeling that if you’re going to wear the cost of my college tuition on your pinky, it is humanly impossible to comprehend the distance of our versions of “hard work.”

And that is jealousy.

And I was that kid.

The sports version.

Yes in 1996 I was six years old and finally able to comprehend sports. A third-generation New Yorker the Yankees were my favorite team because they were my father’s and grandfather’s as well.

When you’re six the adults let you win, you get A+’s, and you always get a trophy.

And the Yankees win the World Series. And again, and again, and again.

So in 2000 when the Mets played the Yankees in the world series. I was the #RKOI. I knew the Mercedes would be mine once I turned 16 and I knew Daddy could get me out of any major trouble should the situation arise.

And I knew the Yankees would win.

To my fifth grade Mets fan contemporaries I’d say “Of course you’re not going to beat the Yankees, but that’s not fair why should you expect to?” It was undertones of confusion, not narcissism, sympathy, not superiority.”

Go to @RKOIofficial, their account says “we’re young, we’re beautiful, and dirty rich.” As a blue collar worker or someone else in the 99% it’s hard to see the (interior) “beautiful” of those fortunate enough to don the #.

But if you’re in the club, you can. This is why Selena Gomez and Biebs give it a shot and why in general the rich and fortunate marry each other. It’s a rich+confidence factor. And if you want to know what that feels like, get comfortable with it.

Because there are some really nice rich people, some really smart assholes, and some very human <insert race> people. And you should learn how to be friends with all three and its accompanying etc. You’ll learn a lot.

Their team is down 2-0 in a best of five series and it’s probably their manager’s fault. In the previous inning they finally got a leadoff runner on but was promptly erased by an Aaron Hicks double play. Now their one shot at keeping this game scoreless is Masahi-oooook that’s now a triple with 1 out.

What does your fanbase do?

Through a lifetime of disappointment and venom towards the successful, Mets fans, Utley just knocked a triple off the wall. Don’t the groans start immediately? Phillies fans, it’s the first inning and Chipper Jones just put the Braves up 3-0. Here…we gooooo….again….

I was at the Wild Card game when the Yanks went down 3-0. It got louder.

Don’t mistake arrogance for confidence.

Last night after Kipnis’ one-out triple, on a ball that could have been caught, the fans got louder. The collectively smart Yankees fan base knows success requires support. Because they’re comfortable with it.

The Yankees didn’t win last night because Tanaka ended up getting out of that inning. Tanaka didn’t get out of that inning because the crowd was positive. But maybe in the duration of time after Dozier’s triple and Tanaka’s next pitch, a mental ability to stay positive and focused was facilitated by a smart, confident, and professional fan base. The Yankees won 1-0 yesterday and are going into a series down 2-1 with more confidence than I’ve seen from a team in a similar situation.

Still, baseball’s inherent volatility based strongly in the randomness of the day-to-day starting pitcher, the Yankees have less than a 50% chance to advance. But over the course of a season, decade, and franchise, is a fan base going to have a tangible, yet unknown effect on their team. You’re damn right.

Embrace confidence. Mets fans, we root for you. Yes, we’re the #RKOI, and you’ll want your kids to be one, too.

The 2001 Yankees is Sports’ Greatest Tragedy Story

On November 4th 2001, I was lying in bed listening to game 7 of the 2001 World Series on radio. My father wouldn’t let me watch past a certain time because I had school the next day. I forget when, but at some point he came into my room and invited me into his to watch. I’ll never forget that.

My team was coming off three consecutive World Series wins and on the verge of number four. As an 11 year old, I  had only seen success. Four World Series championships watered down by my spoiled subconscious telling me, “Of course the Yankees will win.” I had never seen anything different.

And then this happened.

In that moment, shock, confusion, and disbelief showed me sports are never scripted. It’s the ultimate reality television. My team is mortal.

But wasn’t it supposed to be the perfect storm?

The Capital of the World, ravaged by arguably the worst terrorist attack in recordable history, overcomes all odds to win the championship of America’s Pastime, odds that included:

– A month earlier: Derek Jeter’s game-saving flip to Jorge Posada against the Athletics helped the Yankees rally from two games down to win the ALDS
– Four days prior: A ninth-inning, two-run, game-tying home run preceded an extra-inning walk-off win at Yankee Stadium
– Three days prior: The same thing, off the same pitcher

(According to baseball reference, entering the ninth inning, the Yankees had a 10% chance to win those games. One in 100 to win both)

It’s tough to paint the Yankees as the victim in sports’ greatest tragedy, but that’s what gives this story the added dimension – everyone hates the Yankees. September 11th temporarily changed that, and never again will the Evil Empire have more likeability than they did that postseason.

My thesis statement here is the headline of this article. The pieces were in place for a perfect story.

Until the last chapter, it was.

The goat of that last chapter, Mariano Rivera will retire at the end of the 2013 season. The greatest closer of all time will no longer throw his golden pitch. The number 42 will never again make the red carpet jog from the Yankee Stadium bullpen to its mound. Enter Sandman will be retired.

Yes, players of all sports post tangible numbers, but different fans assign different weight to different stats, thus rarely is one player unanimously rendered “The Greatest”.

Can you make the argument why Mariano Rivera isn’t the greatest closer of all time?

*Arguing a “closer” needs to throw more than an inning, ala Goose Gossage or Dennis Eckersley, is the sole sound argument I’ve heard against Rivera, but I think that argument is lame when stacked up against Rivera’s consistent numbers.*

His career’s only beauty mark  came November 4th, 2001.

On baseball’s biggest stage, in the world’s biggest city, facing the world’s worst terroist attack in recent memory, a country came together as the tattered American flag from the North Tower waved bravely above Yankee Stadium, where 13 miles away the fire still burned. Instead, a small market team from Arizona celebrated.

What sports tragedy compares? For argument’s sake, I don’t count stories like the Marshall University tragedy or similar others that transcend sports. If you can think of others, I want to hear. I don’t want my bias as a Yankees fan to influence my opinion. I simply couldn’t think of another sports tragedy equal.

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A Horrific Season is What the Yankees Need to Return to Greatness

Hiroki Kuroda I was talking to my friend a few days ago about the Yankees Red Sox opener. We started joking how the the rivals are fighting for fourth place in the AL East this year.

Isn’t it incredible how you can make that comment only half-kidding?

For the first time in about 16 years, Boston and New York fans must succumb to the three “other” teams in the AL East. As a Yankees fan, Toronto, Tampa, and Baltimore have been just thorns in our sides, would-be tacklers failing perennially to prevent my Bombers from reaching the endzone.

Not this year.

And I’m okay with it.

I’m a little excited in an abstract way. Injuries and payroll dump may result in a Yankees team of homegrown talent, not multi-million-dollar synthetic puzzle pieces. Maybe my team can relax and bond over watered down expectations instead of folding under the postseason pressure to quench a near-insatiable thirst of “World Series or bust”.

Perpetual greatness allows for occasional mediocrity.

Look at the 2011 Indianapolis Colts. Just like the Yankees, Peyton Manning & Co. were a perennial powerhouse, spoon fed VIP entrance to the playoffs from week one. Eventually, age settled in and the Colts needed to start fresh. Incredibly they only needed one year and a #1 pick to bounce right back to Super Bowl contention, but they played their cards right and inquired from within, just like the Yankees dynasty from the late 90s.

Here’s the payroll (money…rank in league) of the last ten World Series Champions:

San Francisco Giants: $118M……8
St. Louis Cardinals: $105M………11
San Francisco Giants: $98……….10
New York Yankees: $201………….1
Philadelphia Phillies: $98………..12
Boston Red Sox $143……………….2
St. Louis Cardinals $89……………11
Chicago White Sox $75…………….13
Boston Red Sox $125……………….2
Florida Marlins $49…………………25

The theory is sound: better players = higher chance of winning, better players = more money, more money = higher chance of winning. Ya spend more, ya win more.

It just doesn’t work like that.

If you told me the Yankees will go 72-90 but will give their home-grown talent reps and experience, I’d take it. *On second thought, I’d rather that season come next year. I want to see Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte get one last chance at a title.*

Unfortunately, for a team that has lead the league in payroll every single year since 2001 (numbers here), they have but one World Series to boast during that time.

Yankees “big” free agent contracts since 2004:
Disaster deal, Okay deal, Good deal, Great deal (in my opinion)

Alex Rodriguez – 10/252, 10/275
Carl Pavano – 4/40
Johnny Damon – 4/52
Kei Igawa – 5/20
A.J. Burnett – 5/82.5

CC Sabathia – 7/161
Mark Teixeria – 8/180

Maybe I’m a little harsh, but has any contract since Mike Mussina’s 6/88.5 deal  been a great sign?

Dr EvilMaybe these large contracts in a big market are disguises for failure. A-Rod said it himself. He used steroids with Texas to help reach near unrealistic expectations. When presented with a salary many fans will never see in their lifetime, it’s a lot of pressure.

Chemistry wins championships. Not paychecks.

The $200M mindset is a great, aggressive strategy, but it’s not how you win World Series. Plus, there’s more excitement rooting for Brett Gardner or a young Robinson Cano as opposed to a free agent filling the Yankees laundry.

So what if Hiroki Kuroda is injured. So what if we throw a minor league team out there until late May. But I want to see what we have in our farm system. I just don’t feel like Lyle Overbay, Travis Hafner, and Ben Francisco are more than temporary patch jobs. Let’s go Yankees. It’s been 13 years. We’re due for a dynasty.

NBA, Change the Jump Ball Rule

I’m not talking about the opening tip – just in-game jumps.

A few months ago I argued shots beyond half court should not count as field goals attempted as a way to straighten curbed statistics. My only other qualm with NBA rules is the situation asked of players in mid-game jump ball situations.

As current rules dictate, if Player A gets tied up with Player B (both have “possession”), the whistle is blown and both players tip off at the circle nearest where the whistle blew. The ref throws the ball up and both try to tip it to their team.

But if I’m 5’10 and induce a jump ball with 7’1″ Dikembe Mutombo, I get to try and out jump this guy:

Might as well not have even played defense. Mutombo wouldn’t have to even jump against most players under ~6’3″~.

Us vertically challenged people want fair rights! This is an outrage!

If you’re not going to use college basketball’s possession arrow, let teams choose their tallest player on the court for mid-game jump balls. If I get tied up with Shaquille O’Neal, let my buddy Yao Ming try to win the tip – this way most accurately rewards a good defensive play.

One more issue: When a jump ball is called with less than five seconds on the shot clock, the clock resets to five seconds. If I’m playing great defense and induce a jump ball with one second on the shot clock – when if I didn’t play defense it would most likely result in a bad shot or shot clock violation – the offensive team has now a 50:50 chance (on the jump ball) to get off a clean shot, as I feel five seconds is enough time to do so.

This rare, but possible situation puts defenders in the awkward position of “Should I play my best defense right now,” a thought that, morally, should never to enter a player’s head in any sport.

Instead of resetting the shot clock to five seconds, add two seconds to whatever the shot clock read at the whistle. Give the ball those seconds to find its possesser and go from there.

In summary:
Let teams choose which player jumps for possession
Abandon the five-second rule and replace it with a +2 second rule

A month ago I voiced my displeasure on how many players refuse to throw up prayers in the final seconds of quarters as a way to strengthen statistics. Commissioner Stern, don’t be so stern. Adjust for changes that positively affect the game. Tweak the jump ball rule and don’t count shots beyond half court as field goals attempted.

House, Dubstep, EDM – Why Krewella is Ready to Explode

Of the eight house artists that performed at last September’s Glowfest in West Virginia, Krewella took my personal first prize. Consisting of two girls and a fella, the girl and guy mix on the table while the final female brings a strong, appropriate voice coupled with her high-energy stage presence.

Out of Chicago, Krewella’s most popular single is Alive (listen here) off their debut EP Play Hard. I can best describe their style as comfortable house music with a nice kick of energy. As for Alive, I ask you to listen from 1:00-2:15. If you can get through the drop without at least bobbing your head, dismiss this post and enjoy the rest of your day.

Krewella has the “it” factor. For those familiar with this blog, you’ll know music isn’t my area of expertise, so unfortunately this band review will come chock full of subjectives and take-my-word-for-its, but something about this trio gets me more pumped than any other artist the genre. In my life there are four bands/artists who, no matter how rainy the day, that can temporarily make me forget about anything – Eminem, Blink-182, Incubus, and Krewella.

Any other Incubus fans out there? I’m drawn to them in part due to their unique versatility. Compare their ’99 hit single Drive (listen here) to their ’97 hard, distorted song A Certain Shade of Green (listen here).

To a lesser extent, that’s what Krewella offers with the extremes of dubstep and house. Compare Alive with Krewella’s dubstep song Fire Hive with Knife Party (listen here). If Alive is a martini double, Fire Hive is a whiskey triple. So *WARNING*, Fire Hive is hard, but it will wake you up.

Again, I don’t know why, but something tells me Krewella is set to explode. They come at a perfect transitional period where the moral-lacking, shallow world of Hip-Hop music is dying out of the mainstream replaced with this modern techno headed by those like Swedish House Mafia, David Guetta, Avicii, and others.

*I’m not hating on hip-hop. A lot of people are quick to criticize the genre but there is talent in hip-hop, I just feel it has been poorly represented since the turn of the millennium*

So get ready to hear the Chicago natives on radio stations. If they do get get big, we can all say we were there first.

Krewella will be playing at The Pool at Harrah’s in Atlantic City this Wednesday, the 20th.  Tickets are only $15 as the $10 ones have sold out. Damn right I’ll be there. Love ya to join me. It’s gonna be crazy.

Sporcle of the Week: Active Hit Leaders By Team

It’s nice to see spring training back in gear. I can finally sense a shade of optimism scattered through the depressing 40 degree, cloudy days New Jersey Februarys are so well known for.

At this point I’m almost excited for allergy season.

I came across a great Sporcle. Challenging but fun – Name every MLB team’s active hits leader. The Easter egg in this is you can name any active player in the team’s top 150 (I think) all time and it’ll give you credit for it.

I got 16 out of 30. The average score is 22-25.

Welcome back to baseball!!

SPORCLE OF THE WEEK: ACTIVE HIT LEADERS BY TEAM