Sunday, July 30, 2006

Hit Me, Said the Masochist. No, the Sadist Replied.

I read in either the New Yorker or the Economist -- that's where I learn a lot of things; I never went to kindergarten -- that the average human being fears loss more than he or she yearns for gain. If I recall correctly, to motivate the average person to take a risk in a 50-50 situation, the possible gain must be twice that of the possible loss.

(If I have this wrong, tell me. We revel in interactivity here at Darwin's Cat.)

The last 24 hours of deal making in the venerable Patrick Finley Memorial Baseball League seem to bear this out. I offer deals that will provide mutual benefit. My confreres respond with deals that benefit them and me not at all. My wife -- she who has just returned from the negotiation seminar -- says my problem is that I failed to offer them one-sided deals of my own earlier. She says that by offering fair deals up front, I have spoiled the negotiation. She says I needed to be forced by my trading partner to retreat to an equitable position.

In other words, my fair deals were offered too early in the game to be perceived as fair. And now it's too late. The goods are shopworn.

Okay. Okay. All I'm saying that as commissioner in years past I have signed off on deals that looked like a shower scene from Oz. I let the fast talkers turn the weaker-minded members of the league into their personal butt buddies. And I don't mean that in a nice way.

Any trade comes down the road in the next 18 hours that isn't a rainbow of righteousness, the commissioner is saying NO,

There's an old sheriff in Dodge right enough, but he just remembered where he keeps his teeth.

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