Brad Tinnon

Brad Tinnon

Blocking the Plate

Every once in a while, I like to blog about personal items that really have nothing to do with financial planning or investing.  With that said, read along for a personal story with a baseball and truck driving twist.

 

LUCKY TO BE ALIVE

Some time ago, my 3 ½ year old daughter and I were driving home from my mother-in-law’s farm.  It was dark out and an eighteen wheeler came roaring up behind me flashing its lights, essentially requesting that I move over to let it through.

That section of the highway was 3 lanes and I was in the middle lane.  Since I was doing the speed limit and was in the middle lane, I felt that the eighteen wheeler could go around me on the left.  Plus, for whatever reason, I just feel safer driving in the middle lane.  I suppose it’s because it gives me the option to swerve into the right or left lane should I need to avoid danger.

The driver continued to flash his lights, but I did not budge.  After all, the left lane is meant for passing.

Eventually, the driver decided to pass me on the right-hand side.  As he got about half way around me he came right into my lane.  I was forced to swerve into the left lane to avoid being hit by the tractor trailer.  I narrowly missed the vehicle that just passed by.

There is no doubt in my mind that this person was doing this to “send a message”.  I was inches away from not being able to share this article with you.

REVELATIONS

Since that day, a couple of things have occurred to me.

First, is that it probably would have been better for me to have gotten over so as to avoid the road rage of a person driving a lethal weapon and to avoid putting my daughter in such a position.  However, it never crossed my mind that this would be the intention of the truck driver.

Second, is that both the semi-truck driver and I have “equal” access to the road, which brings me to my soapbox moment regarding baseball.

ANY BASEBALL FANS OUT THERE?

In May of 2011, Buster Posey, catcher for the San Francisco Giants baseball team, had the ball thrown to him and was blocking home plate in an effort to prevent the runner from scoring.

The runner for the Florida Marlins rounded third base, setting up an inevitable collision at home plate.  The runner hit Buster Posey so hard that it caused him to fall backward and shatter his left leg.

During the 2012 National League Championship Series between the St. Louis Cardinals and the San Francisco Giants, announcer, Tim McCarver, made an unusual comment (in my opinion).

He said that the game of baseball needs to do a better job of protecting its catchers much like professional football has rules to protect its quarterbacks. Quarterbacks are often times defenseless, but in this situation, I personally believe that Buster Posey brought the pain and agony upon himself.

You see, just as the semi-truck driver and I have equal access to the road, the catcher and runner have equal access to the plate.  Buster did not have to block the plate, but he chose to do so.  If a rule is to be changed then it should be so that the plate cannot be blocked.  You can’t block first base, so why should you be able to block home plate?

(UPDATE: Major League Baseball plans to eliminate home plate collisions, possibly as soon as next season but no later than 2015.)

A VERY TERRIBLE SEGUE INTO FINANCIAL PLANNING

I’m lucky to have avoided a collision on the highway with a unscrupulous truck driver.  But, not all truck drivers are bad.  In fact, I would venture to say that the vast majority are honest, safety-abiding, hard working individuals. Unfortunately, it only takes a few bad ones to spoil the whole bunch.

The same is true for Financial Planners.  The Bernie Madhoffs of the world give us all a bad rap.  But, we aren’t all bad guys or gals!!!

For those of you who have had the wool pulled over their eyes, there is hope.  There are professionals out there who can help clean up the messes made by other so-called professionals.  Just ask contractor Mike Holmes from the popular DIY series, Holmes Makes It Right. If choosing a financial planner is on your to do list, then feel free to reach out to us.

I hope you all have a safe and happy holiday season!!!

Brad E.S. Tinnon
CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™

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2 thoughts on “Blocking the Plate”

  1. Hey Brad!

    Very interesting post, and interesting idea too (on whether a base should be allowed to be blocked.)

    I agree with your opinion that a base should be blocked.

    I think at least one potential challenge with implementing this is it could be very difficult to define.

    It seems to me a baseman should try to make it very difficult (bot still possible) for a base runner to make it to plate without being
    tagged out.

    Determining the allowed means to this end would be tricky. (yet could create a new element of excitement and controversy to the game..pros and cons there of course).

    For instance, a baseman would need to have one or more parts of his body in front of the base in order to tag, right (one part most likely being his hand with glove)?
    Which part(s) should be allowed?
    If a hand and arm is allowed, then the baseman could injure/break his hand/arm injured and/or broken in lieu of a leg, if he chose to extend it.

    I’m by no means an expert in intricate baseball rules and strategy (would like to learn more), and agree in general that reasonable means should be taken to help prevent players from injury.

    If/when one is working with computer software, sometimes the rules are very easy to determine. However, sometimes they are very difficult to evaluate.

    I’ll leave this here for now. Sorry – not my best writing, but I think I made my point.
    (Which I think is: even a rule change which many would agree is proper to make, often comes with its own new set of challenges)

    1. Thanks for the comments Jim. I suppose that no set of rules ever imposed would be fully perfect. There likely has to be some subjectivity in sports on part of the officials. For example, in football, I think it is totally inappropriate to use excessive force to block a player. If you recall, several years ago, Warren Sapp did this to Brett Favre who was clear across the field and not anywhere close to the play. The officials should have had the latitude to penalize for unnecessary roughness.

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