So, what’s up in Kosmo’s world?

I avoided the ladder

I encountered one of my more interesting driving experiences this week.  As I was driving into work, an extension ladder suddenly appeared on the road in front of me.  The ladder was in the two right lanes (of three total lanes) and I was in the right land, so I veered sharply right to avoid the ladder, then back sharply left to avoid leaving the roadway.  I felt a little bad about the lack of control the car exhibited during this maneuver – until I looked in my rear view mirror and saw another driver perform a carbon copy of my move.  I really didn’t need my morning caffeine after that – I was wide awake.

Baywatch (and Hollidaywatch)

Red Sox outfielder Jason Bay rejected a 4 year contract offer worth $60 million from Boston this week.  This sets an apparent floor on the value of Bay and fellow free agent outfielder Matt Holliday.  The emerging consensus, based an advanced statistical measures, is that the two players are comparable offensively (albeit with different strengths and weaknesses), and that Holliday is a better defender.

An interesting quirk is that Boston would actually come out ahead in terms of draft picks by allowing Bay to leave and nabbing Holliday as a free agent.  They would forfeit their first round pick to sign Holliday, but would receive a draft pick from the teams that signs Bay (assuming that a contender signs Bay, this would be a first rounder) as well as a sandwich pick between the first and second rounds.  The sandwiches are truly a free lunch – they picks are artificially added into the draft.  That’s why there are about 40 “first round” picks every year – in spite of the fact that there are only thirty teams.

There’s one important free agent who might be slipping under the radar of a lot of casual fans.  The name is Rudy Jaramillo.  Never heard of him?  What position does he play, you ask?  Hitting coach.  Jaramillo, widely renowned as the best hitting coach in baseball, is moving from the Texas Rangers to Chicago Cubs.  Don’t be surprised if you see several Cubs players have strong seasons at the plate.  Interestingly, the Rangers lose Jaramillo just one season after poaching standout pitching coach Mike Maddux (brother of Greg) from the Brewers.  What goes around, comes around, I guess.

Novels

I recently broke ground on my novel, Casting Stones.  I’ve been kicking around plot ideas for several months, but finally began the actual writing on Halloween.  I pushed past 6000 words on Friday and am making good progress.  The infrastructure for the plot is developing pretty well, with concrete ideas for seventeen chapters.  I see 15,000 words as a turning point – if I can make it to that point, I think there is a strong chance that I an maintain momentum and finish up with a full sized novel.

I’m not the only one working on a book.  Martin Kelly is working on his, of course.  We’ll see another installment of his NaNoWriMo diary tomorrow) and few other folks I know are either in the midst of writing a book, or are seriously considering one.  Go for it!  If you finish the book, great.  In any case, writing a book is an absurdly cheap hobby.

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Kosmo is the founder of The Soap Boxers and writes on a variety of topics. Many of his short stories have been collected into Kindle books.

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