“Let’s Play Two”

Very sadly Ernie Banks — the baseball player for you foreigners out there — has passed away.

Oddly, I have taken to quoting him lately.  If you are going out to eat with a small group, I recommend two stops.  No, don’t eat any more food than usual, but distribute your meal across two restaurants.  Have a few appetizers in one, and then leave and move on to another.  (This is easiest to do in Eden Center, with its wide selection of small-dish Vietnamese eateries, but other methods will work.)  Of course you must sequence your meals properly, the Greek eggplant must become before the Sichuan noodles, not vice versa.

This approach will improve the conversation at your table, if only by breaking up the original seating plan.  It also makes you more aware and more appreciative of what you are eating.

If you are going out to a movie, see two.  There is a fixed cost of attending, whether in terms of the traffic, the babysitter, or simply the will to spend time away from Facebook.  “Let’s Play Two.”

I have the impression that consumers “do fewer doubleheaders” than when I was growing up, I am not sure why.  Perhaps we have grown too impatient.

Banks’s obituary described him as “an unconquerable optimist whose sunny disposition never dimmed in 19 seasons with the perennially stumbling Chicago Cubs…”

Here are other quotations from Ernie Banks.  He said “The only way to prove you are a good sport is to lose.”


Charter jet travel and owner revenue maximization have made traditional baseball doubleheaders quite rare.

But given the lengthening of games and the non-stop sonic assault between innings, hell, between batters, six hours of sensory assault would be the opposite of fun.


But Yogi Berra is still alive! Amazing, like R. Coase, until he died a few years ago. Don Zimmer passed but Yogi still lives.

Trivia: baseball is an inferior good, though due to the non-contact, cerebral nature of the game, at least when it's not fueled by steroids, I don't know why that should be.

The NYT obit: "Ernie Banks, the greatest power-hitting shortstop of the 20th century " - is that true? Maybe for the 'non-steroid' era, but I recall back in Ernie's days guys like M. Belander (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Belanger) were considered outstanding because of defense, which was considered a 'must' for the shortstop position. Then came guys like D. Jeter who made it into a power hitting position. So I doubt E. Banks was the 'greatest' power-hitting shortstop of the 20th century, just for his era of the 50s and 60s (0.274 batting average is not bad for a shortstop, better than Belanger's 0.228, but short of Jeter's .310)

BTW I have never actually been to a ballgame as a spectator. Never been to a NFL/EU football game either, except preseason, been to three NHL games (with friends), and one NBA game (Id). Watching other people exercise is not my forte. But watching chess? That's exciting. Check out the action on Chessbomb. com! W. So is losing now but what's amazing, see Aronian's 31st move vs MVL today--a simple move order inversion, 31...Nxe1+ rather than 31...h5 first was the difference between Aronian drawing rather than maintaining a huge -2.0 pawn advantage! It's not easy to see why, even with an engine! Exciting!? You bet!!

Jeter was not a power hitter. Banks hit 512 homers- granted, many of these came after he moved to first base, but 92 of them came in his back-to-back MVP years of 1958-59.

But you probably know more about baseball than monetary economics, and you remain, as always, entertaining. Which is important.

Keep up the good work.

@Brian - I had assumed (perhaps incorrectly) Ray was thinking of A-Rod, because who ever thought of Jeter as a power hitter?

Yes, Ray can be elliptical and/or muddled sometimes; a kind-of 'Strauss on acid' as it were.

Of course, A-Rod* is now compulsorily spelled with the asterisk, like many of his generation.

Banks' best years were mostly kind of 'dead' years for home run hitters. His contemporary, the great slugger Henry Aaron, never hit 50 in a season.

5'10", 170 lbs. All in the wrists.

@Ray - you misunderstand "power hitting."

Power hitting does not refer to batting average, but to home runs and, to a lesser extent, RBI. During the 20th Century, Banks exceeded 40 HR five times over 1955-60, once reaching 47. Rodriguez' superior power hitting years came during the 21st Century.

You're right that Ray is wrong, but partly wrong that ARod's superior power hitting days came during the 21st century. His highest total HR seasons came later, but he was a great power hitter from the start--he hit nearly 150 HRs by the turn of the century, and was at or near the top of the all-time list of home runs by age, pretty much at every point of his career.

RIP Mr. Cub. We shan't see the likes of him again.

Maybe the Cubs will come alive in two oh one five.

Don't bet on it.

Cubs are my sleeper wild card contender this year...every year in MLB some team makes a surprising run.

The Cubs need some things to go their way, but they're an extremely talented team. Just young and inexperienced.

Not bad, Brian. Here's some past predictions from Mr. Cub (found in the Trib this morning):

"The Cubs are due in '62."

"The Cubs will come alive in '65"

"The Cubs will be heavenly in '67-ly."

"The Cubs will shine in '69."

"The Cubs will glow in '7-0."

"The Cubs will be illuminated in '88. That's a little weak. I'll have to do better."

When I used to eat dessert more consistently, I never ordered it at the same restaurant as dinner; I always took a walk with my husband to some other, dessert stop. A bit of exercise after the main meal, and a change of venue - it spreads the evening out. And dessert is enjoyed much more. Get it at the restaurant immediately after eating, and it's just one more thing to fit in, and quickly, as they want the table free.

Yes, plus if there's a good gelato place it's likely to be better, cheaper, and not as caloric as many restaurant desserts.

Movies have fixed costs? Is TC sneaking into the second movie without paying? Movues are like twelve bucks today.

other costs :....whether in terms of the traffic, the babysitter, or simply the will to spend time away from Facebook.

Babysitter will also cost more for a second movie

I remember seeing him play when bleacher seats were $1.50 and my little brother got in free because he was short enough to walk under the turnstile. And the weren't lousy during his whole career -- the teams I watched as a kid were actually full of hall-of-famers (Banks, Billy Williams, Fergie Jenkins, Ron Santo). But they could never get over the hump, and will be remembered mostly for the epic end-of-the-season meltdown in 1969.

“The only way to prove you are a good sport is to lose.”

That just proves you're a LOSER. The US economy needs winners not losers, being a Good Sport is the virtue of Losers.

But the Cubs continue to be a profitable outfit $$$$!!!

Forget Bitcoin, climb aboard, and hold on to your hat, my frent. Because this thing is going to the moon in 2015!!! On the strength of a potent mixture of white and black, native and immigrant; bursting youth salted with a cagey veteran or two!

@Brian Donohue - just to set the record straight, Henry Aaron, in his prime, was not the best home run hitter on his own team.

I used to see a lot of double features at a second-run theater back in the 90s. Most of them even had a thematic connection - Virtuosity and Johnny Mnemonic, for example. Sadly, the days of movie theaters showing double features are long gone, except for stuff like all of the Lord of the Rings movies in a row. Does the concept still exist for normal people?

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