You know the stereotype, all the number crunchers are geeks that live in their parent’s basement. And I admit, in a lot of respects, I fit the mold pretty well. Wear glasses? Check. Heavy set? Check. Live in parent’s basement? Well, not quite.
It has been an interesting couple of years for your humble pundit. As some of you know, I have spent a goodly portion of the past couple of years serving as caregiver for my Dad who passed away last fall due to complications from Alzheimer’s disease. I had been living with him since 1997 when I moved back into the house in which I grew up for what was supposed to be a six month stay, following his triple bypass. As fate would have it, not long thereafter, I got a job about 20 minutes away, so six months became permanent. Heck, the food was pretty good, the rent was reasonable and the company was not bad either.
Fast forward to September 2010 and my family and I settled Dad into an assisted living facility. The plan was to spend the winter getting the house ready for sale, as the proceeds were going to cover the expenses at the facility. Selling a house in New England over the winter is a bit difficult. I believe it was sometime in December I was going through some papers when I happened upon a quote to have the underground oil tank removed. We had done some major renovations five years previous and I was under the impression this was already done, but since we were required by law to have it done before selling, I thought it would be best to check. Lo and behold, it was never done.
Because I am even writing this, you know what is coming next. The excavator starts digging and the Geologist looks at me and says “uh oh, smell that?” Yup, the tank has been leaking – for years and years. By the time all was said and done, just about the entire front yard and a decent portion of the side yard was either cleaned of the contaminated soil or bioremediated. The job began in May and the new lawn and driveway were put in the last week of October. The good news, if there is such a thing in an instance like this, is that it was covered by insurance. But for practical purposes, the sale of the house was delayed, not to mention it was costing me a whole lot more to live there than it would have if I could have moved out.
Intertwined in all this is the fact I have been unemployed the whole time. A couple of weeks ago, my family and I talked with the Realtor and he told us he would be able to sell the house faster if it were completely empty. So my sister, brother-in-law and their family extended me the invitation to move into their basement. Well, the food is pretty good, the rent is reasonable and the company is not bad either, so I am now the geek that lives in my sister’s basement.
I thought I would take just a little time now to outline what I will be doing for the site this season. While I will still be writing twice a week, I have decided to alternate between my two regular features, Under the Microscope and Chance Favors the Prepared Mind on Tuesday while adding a feature I have long wanted to do and have in fact started and stopped on a few occasions, and that is this stream of conscious effort I call Organized Chaos.
The site is thrilled to have extended our relationship with KFFL, which means you will continue to have access to their wonderful news feed directly from here. Lawr has re-upped his entertaining Tumbling Dice column while I am trying something new this year. Instead of the Mailbag, I am going to write Lord Zola’s Fantasy Baseball Roundtable. My knights will consist of the entire Mastersball staff plus our friends Tim Heaney and Nick Minnix from KFFL as well as some invited guests.
In addition, I have been contacted to do some freelance work for ESPN, in part to backfill the responsibilities of the Tampa Bay Rays newest scout, none other than original Mastersball founder Jason Grey.
Finally, I have been hard at work preparing the content for the Platinum subscribers. New to the service this season are a series of Excel based tools that really aid in your player analysis as well as improvements to our draft software, MastersDraft.