One hundred and sixty two games and then some. That’s baseball. It’s a long term investment for those who love it. And, keenly similar to the stock market, you may be devastated, demoralized, not to mention emotionally or financially crushed, by its outcome. On the other side of the field, you may be uplifted, elated and proud you persevered such a long season of painful losses and meaningful gains, just to ultimately see your team or stock on top.
It’s easy to make comparisons and contrasts between following baseball and playing the stock market. One day, you may wake up to find out your stock has plummeted 100 points. Do you give up on that stock and sell the rest before you can’t afford to buy a new pair of tickets to the ballgame for you and your son or daughter, or do you maintain faith and hope it will rise again? How do you react when you find out, at the water cooler on a Monday break from corporate chaos, that your team was beaten ten to nothing with their best pitcher on the mound? Do you go home at quitting time and burn all the hats, t-shirts, sun glasses, turtle necks, wrist bands, plastic helmets, crowns, coffee mugs, boxers, balls, bats and bow ties with your team’s logo on them? You may even go hardcore insanity fan on your team’s ass and fabricate voodoo dolls out of your once sacred bobble head doll collection. Or, do you say to yourself and other LOYAL followers, “Relax. It’s a long season. Tomorrow, our team may win by ten runs with our worst pitcher. If you give up now, you foul mouthed, fair weather freak, we’ll deem you as traitor to your city. We’ll have you tarred, feathered, and run out on a rail to some city like Seattle where baseball fans don’t really care about winning. They’d prefer eating sushi and clogging their pretentious pores with garlic fries. How does that sound? NOT TOO GOOD.”
For the long term, baseball can be boring just like the market. There’s 162 meaningful games in a season, each lasting three hours a sitting. Don’t watch them all. Take two minutes to read the box score in the daily news right after you take the same amount of time to see pork bellies reach their monthly high. Do you think Dandy Donald Trump hangs out with his homies, Dirty Dow Jones and Nasty Nasdaq all day? No. He’s too busy working on his weave, so he just has a beverage with them after the closing bell.
Martha Stewart and Barry Bonds or Mark McGwire : You don’t see any resemblances? They play their games dirtier than a Halloween Harlot competing in a bobbing for bananas contest. Stewart’s insider trading scandal landed her, and her reputation, in prison for a delightful amount of canceled television time. (Rather than prison time, it was more like merely being sent to the adult version of “Television Timeout”.) Bond’s and McGuire’s lust for long balls, and even longer needles, placed the two of them, and their reputations, in baseball’s rendition of perdition. The steroids injected into their behinds also left them with some parting gifts such as back acne and testicular shrinkage. Martha Stewart’s purse just got a little smaller. Thus, those who play the market or follow a baseball team must take caution when rooting for either to succeed.
Whether you play the stock market or religiously follow the game of baseball, in both, there will be ups and downs, hots and colds, rushes and depressions, prison times and puckered constitutions. But, if you gamble on one and merely try to enjoy the other, prepare yourself for an emotional conclusion.
My team didn’t make it to the playoffs this year. In fact, since the time I started investing in this team, (about forty years) they haven’t won, nor made it to The World Series. This is not as depressing as it may appear on paper, your television set, laptop, I-Phone, I-Pad, or I-Didn’tWin App. At the end of the baseball season, however, even when your team takes a vacation until next Spring, you can enjoy the playoffs without your nerves being rattled. You can watch from an outsider’s perspective and witness the home town fans cheering their team to a victory, and for three hours, enjoy the possibility that their team might win. It provides hope for your next season. You want to be next to them in the bleachers.
The Stock Market breeds imminent danger and the possibility of severe consequences. Much like Vegas, the odds are against you. Baseball breeds hope. Remember, there’s always another season in baseball.