Ranting Andy - Inspiration and Perserverance

Type:  Andy  

Ranting Andy - When fighting for your family's financial survival - and that of future generations - the conflict often feels insurmountable.  Not just the daily battles in rigged financial markets - particularly PAPER PMs - but life in general.  We all know times are tough - and getting tougher - characterized by spiraling unemployment, declining home values, and strained personal relationships.  Everyone knows what I speak of, although shifting one's savings to PHYSICAL PMs relieves an incredible amount of stress.  Trust me, I know of the stress, and the "PM relief" as well.
 
As "RANTING ANDY," I seek to educate of the REAL happenings in a world clouded by fraud, obfuscation, and propaganda - and empower you to PROTECT YOURSELF from what's coming.  Part of this important task involves presenting and interpreting financial data; but equally import, inspiring you to persevere through the difficulties you encounter.  ALL of us are up against it - and thus, we must believe we can WIN the war.
 
I am fascinated by "great people" such as Jim Sinclair, Gerald Celente, and Ron Paul - and from a personal standpoint, Miles Franklin's own David Schectman.  These people have selflessly given decades of their time helping others, to which many have heeded their sage advice.  But again, not everyone conveying wisdom is a financial professional, as many of our greatest role models have nothing to do with markets and finance.  In fact, entertainers have more impact on the general populace than any other profession, which is why it is so fortuitous when one is as genuine as that of the roles they play on the stage or playing field.  This is why I seek not just financial topics to discuss, but those depicting the human struggle to succeed.
 
As many of you know, I am a lifelong New York Mets fan - a chronic disappointment, given their poor management and inability to compete with the Yankees, known by some as the "Evil Empire."  Mets fans haven't had much to cheer for in recent years, but we do now.  Not so much the team - although at 36-32, they're hanging tough - but their star pitcher, R.A. Dickey, who threw his second straight complete game one-hitter last night, and has gone nearly 43 innings without surrendering an earned run!
 
Dickey Ks 13 in latest 1-hitter, Mets beat O's 5-0
 
(Robert Allen) Dickey is leading the Major Leagues in nearly every pitching statistic, including innings pitched, wins, ERA, and strikeouts, putting up numbers that are not only blowing the league away, but putting his prior decade of work to shame.  As you can see by the beige shaded line below, in less than a half season, he has essentially posted CAREER HIGHS across-the-board - quite the accomplishment for a so-called "washed up 37-year old"...

Year
Team
W
L
CG
K
BB
K/BB
ERA
BAA
 2001
TEX
0
1
0
4
7
0.6
6.75
0.283
 2003
TEX
9
8
1
94
38
2.5
5.09
0.292
 2004
TEX
6
7
0
57
33
1.7
5.61
0.311
 2005
TEX
1
2
0
15
17
0.9
6.67
0.254
 2006
TEX
0
1
0
1
1
1.0
18.9
0.471
 2008
SEA
5
8
0
58
51
1.1
5.21
0.284
 2009
MIN
1
1
0
42
30
1.4
4.62
0.29
 2010
NYM
11
9
2
104
42
2.5
2.84
0.251
 2011
NYM
8
13
1
134
54
2.5
3.28
0.256
 2012 (YTD)
NYM
11
1
3
103
21
4.9
2.00
0.194
 Career
 
52
51
7
612
294
2.1
4.09
0.268

However, I'm not trying to inspire you with his pitching statistics; but instead, what he has gone through to get here.   You see, R.A. Dickey is no ordinary pitcher, in that he was born without an ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching elbow.  He was selected in the first round of the 1996 draft by the Texas Rangers, but when - by pure chance - they realized Dickey's "handicap," they cut his signing bonus from $810,000 to $75,000, saying he was an 'injury waiting to happen'...
 
R.A. Dickey - Wikipedia
 
Ten years later, with his career all but over due to ineffectiveness, the Rangers told him his "forkball" resembled a knuckleball, and that perhaps he should give up all he had ever known - a fastball and breaking ball - and "re-invent" himself as a knuckleballer.  Only a handful of knuckleballers have survived in the Majors, as the pitch is typically too unpredictable to control.  In R.A. Dickey's case, four years later he was still toiling in the minor leagues, working hard and praying he would be rewarded with one more shot.
 
In a last ditch effort to add cheap arms to a pathetic pitching staff, my hapless Mets purchased his contract in 2010, for essentially nothing.  Lo and behold - he had a good year, prompting the Mets to sign him to another affordable contract, for the next three years.  He was far from the best pitcher in the National League, but slowly but surely, started to gain CONTROL of his knuckleball.
 
In 2011, he had a similarly "good" year - worth every penny of the bargain basement $2.25 million he earned, a "solid #3 starter" that kept the Mets in essentially every game he pitched.  But then - here's the inspirational part - something suddenly CLICKED, and BAM!, R.A. Dickey - at age 37 - has become the BEST PITCHER IN BASEBALL.  In fact, not only has he MASTERED the knuckleball, but taken it to levels NEVER reached in the game's 100+ year history.  He is walking less batters than ANY knuckleballer EVER, striking out more batters, and "inventing" new ways of throwing it, such as the unprecedented "rising knuckleball" that has become essentially UNHITTABLE...
RA Dickey in the
RA Dickey in the "Knuckleball Wobble"

Reaching the pinnacle of professional sports is a long shot for anyone, much less a child from a poverty-stricken, broken home in rural Tennessee.  His father left when he was a child, his mother became an alcoholic, and he endured sexual abuse, divorce, and years of career rejection before finally finding his way -as both a player and person.  I have not yet read his recently published book, but am told it is quite moving...
 
R.A. Dickey's new book powerful and personal
 
Thus, for all of you fighting your daily battles - aiming to WIN the long-term war - don't give up on your goals.  With a bit of "INSPIRATION AND PERSEVERANCE," nearly anything is possible.