Humbugardy: Subjective for 200
by Score Bard
2005-10-21 8:53

This is round 2 of Humbugardy. I’m your host, Alex Scorebard.


As subjectively determined by your host on Monday morning, the best explanation of how a baseball executive personifies “The Wind, One Brilliant Day” by Antonio Machado.


Note: In this round, searching the web is allowed.


Numb3r5 Sudoku 6th Degree Quotes What and Where Anagram Lines Subjective
200 200 Bob Timmerman 200 For The Turnstiles deadteddy8
400 For The Turnstiles 400 400 Joe 400
600 600 600 600 600 600
T J 800 800 Murray argosy 800
1000 1000 1000 Bob Timmerman For The Turnstiles 1000
Comments: 36
1.   Bob Timmermann
2005-10-21 09:12

1.  Who is Bud Selig?

2.   Humma Kavula
2005-10-21 09:13

2.  Answering as Bill Plaschke...

Who are Paul DePodesta and Frank McCourt?

3.   Philip Michaels
2005-10-21 09:17

3.  I'm sure either one of the first two answers are probably right, but I'll go with...

Who is Peter Angelos?

4.   Derek Smart
2005-10-21 09:21

4.  Answering as Zach Manprin...

What is by hiring Ken Macha after he'd already bloody well been sent on his evil, life sucking way in the first place, dear God, this is perhaps the worst day of my life and if I turn up floating under the Bay Bridge don't be surprised, but don't start an investigation either because it was likely by my own hand, and G--D--- it, somebody bring me the head of Billy Beane!

5.   Joe
2005-10-21 09:21

5.  Who is Dan Evans?

6.   coreyk626
2005-10-21 09:31

6.  Who is Allard Baird?

7.   Bob Timmermann
2005-10-21 09:35

7.  This is all subjective, so in our hearts, none of us is wrong.

8.   Joe
2005-10-21 09:36

8.  Ha ha...good point, BT.

9.   T J
2005-10-21 09:42

9.  What is "Cubs' GM Jim Hendry is really frustrating. He's made some really good trades (Lee, Garciaparra/Murton, Lofton/Ramirez) and of course they won a playoff series a couple years ago and almost went to the World Series ('called to my soul with an odor of jasmine'). The Cubs had a great farm system for a number of years ('the garden that was entrusted to you'). Now it's not looking so good, as (under pressure from Dusty Baker?) he has traded many of them away or allowed them to leave via the Rule V draft ('I have no roses; all the flowers in my garden are dead.'). And since the playoff year, the Cubs have gotten steadily worse, while Dusty insists on playing older, inferior players such as Neifi and Macias and just plain inferior players, such as Patterson ('Well then, I'll take the withered petals and the yellowed leaves and the waters of the fountain.') and not playing the few good young players, such as Murton. Was it all worth it ('In return for the odor of my jasmine, I'd like all the odor of your roses.')?"?

10.   Sam DC
2005-10-21 09:44

10.  Who is Bill Bavasi?

11.   Tom
2005-10-21 09:49

11.  Who is Brian Cashman? The Yankees had an incredible run is WS's when they were relying on home grown talent. Now they have an aging base of talent and no prospects coming up.

Unless, of course, I've completely misread this catagory.

12.   Shaun P
2005-10-21 09:58

12.  What is "Bill Stoneman and Mike Scoscia, with all the hitting talent they have at their disposal, both in the minor leagues and on the bench (the garden they were entrusted with - the odor of the roses coming from said garden), somehow let it rot away (what have they done?) while letting guys such as Erstad, Cabrera, Steve Finley, etc (the withered petals and the yellow leaves and the waters of the fountain) amass how many at-bats in ALCS? The White Sox took those ready-made outs and left California, on their way to the World Series."?

13.   Score Bard
2005-10-21 10:02

13.  In case I haven't made myself clear again: I'm judging the explanation, not just the name.

Those of you who just gave a name, I'll let you try again, if you wish, just this once.

14.   Bob Timmermann
2005-10-21 10:06

14.  In hindsight then, I pass.

15.   Joe
2005-10-21 10:11

15.  Who is Dan Evans because the current Dodger team now looks nothing like the 2004 NL West winning team that was largely assembled by Evans?


16.   Humma Kavula
2005-10-21 10:32

16.  Once again, answering as Bill Plaschke:

They were entrusted.

The Dodgers are not the Brewers. They are not the Rockies. They are not the Royals.

The Dodgers are the Dodgers. The Eden of franchises.

Paul DePodesta and Frank McCourt were entrusted.

They were entrusted with these Elysian fields -- this garden.

They were provided with the proper gardening tools.

Only to let those tools rust in the rains of last season.

DePodesta's computer -- which no one could ever use to tend a garden -- was given shelter from the storm.

The useful gardening tools -- Alex Cora, Steve Finley, and Paul Lo Duca -- were left to rust.

Even the most useful tool, the ultimate gardener, Jim Tracy, could do nothing without his tools, and he too has vanished with the wind.

Now, 91 losses later, they are all that is left.

They were entrusted, but now, they are all that is left.

They must ask themselves:

"Who are Paul DePodesta and Frank McCourt?"

17.   Sam DC
2005-10-21 10:46

17.  Aaah, as determined this coming Monday, not as you happened to determine last monday . . .

I'll try again.

18.   Cliff Corcoran
2005-10-21 10:50

18.  A baseball executive believes that he can obtain the wind's odor of jasmine, but fails to consider not only his lack of roses, but of flowers of any kind to exchange for said jasmine. Confronted with reality, he desperately offers up his withered petals, yellowed leaves, and the waters of the fountain, leaving his garden barren. At which point the baseball executive weeps, for his garden cannot be resuscitated by the odor of jasmine, no matter how sweet.

And for anyone who migh accuse that explanation of simply paraphrasing the poem, here's the obvious symbolism for those who require it:

jasmine = big name player
roses = talented players (some of which may actually be more valuable than big name player)
other flowers = useful players (above league average)
withered petals, yellowed leaves, and the waters of the fountain = warm bodies and roster fillers (league average and below)
garden = stock of players, farm system especially, but majors too

And if you need a name, how about George Steinbrenner. He returned from his early '90s suspension to a garden that had been lovingly nurtured back to health in his absense and has since slowly exchanged all of his flowers for the odor of jasmine.

19.   Sam DC
2005-10-21 11:02

19.  Tommy Lasorda (as an dealmaking exec not a general manager) personifies Machado's poem because, when seeking roses, he would nevertheless happily accept withered petals and plain waters without complaint. And he seemed never to realize that they beauty with which he had been entrusted was withering under his care. When the wastage was undeniable, he never quite took responsibility for his part, akin to the gardner's speaking of himself as "you".

20.   King of the Hobos
2005-10-21 11:23

20.  I'm going to go with whoever was the Mets GM during the Isringhausen, Wilson, Pulsipher days

The GM, as the wind, has brought great money and assured fame (jasmine) to the prospects of the farm system (the narrator). But when he asks for something, the farm system admits he has nothing left, all of the prospects are "dead." The wind takes them nonetheless, and the farm system weeps, as it has nothing left after it entrusted the GM to maintaining it

No one said the narrator has to be the baseball executive did they?

21.   Philip Michaels
2005-10-21 11:26

21.  Expanding on my previous incomplete answer then...

Who is Peter Angelos, who turned the garden of a ballpark with which he was entrusted into a ravaged place where all that remains is the withered petals of Sammy Sosa and the yellow leaves of Sidney Ponson and the waters of the fountain of Rafeal Palmiero's drug test?

Or words to that extent.

22.   TFD
2005-10-21 12:12

22.  Answering as TFD and ready to take the requisite hits from the objective crowd for my subjective opinion:

Paul DePodesta

He promised roses to McCourt via his incredible resume, Beane lineage, and "out-of-the box corporate speeches.

Through flawed objective analysis he proceeded to waste money on the likes of JD Drew and HS Choi.

Randian individuality only goes so far - - like solely tending rose gardens by planting them in loamy soil.

Love promised and kicked to the curb is more painful than unrequited love, anyday.

(BTW, baseball executive can't include McCourt, he's an owner.)

23.   TFD
2005-10-21 12:14

23.  Oops..."Who is Paul DePodesta" along with the rest of my post...

24.   deadteddy8
2005-10-21 12:31

24.  The gardener's roses smelled of
Egyptian summers in my younger days,
Running my fingers through Cleopatra and Antony's hair,
The business of an empire drowning in their love.

As I watched the gardener's roses peak, wilt, and crumble,
I remembered tossing petals over the lovers
As they lounged on the Nile and
Celebrated themselves.

So I asked the gardener to give me
The odor of his roses.
I offered him the odor of jasmine.
Compared to roses, a pittance, I know, but it was on hand.

He rose to greet me, and said his flowers were dead.
"Then give me their corpses, for surely you have no use for them now.
And water! I must try! I must try!"

"If you wait until next year,
I will have more bushes."

"I must try!"

Weeping, the gardener handed over
The remains of many years' work,
And I slipped streams of jasmine
Through his garden.


The next year, I returned to the garden,
Seeking more roses,
More memories of Egypt.
The gardener was sweaty and standing in a patch of new rose bushes.
The stench of roses and jasmine stung.

"Those roses you gave me only lasted so long.
Now that you have healthy bushes,
I can offer pine cone for them."
The gardener frowned.

"How dare you ask for my roses?
I gave my knees and hands to those flowers I gave you last summer.
They were my greatest accomplishment, and, before they died,
Provided me with joy only my children have eclipsed.
I only hope these roses can do the same.
Come back next year, and perhaps we can chat about your pine cone."

So I sat on a hill overlooking the roses,
And the gardener spent many days wandering through his bushes,
Inhaling the aroma.


In the original poem, there is nothing about the gardener never being able to have roses again. True, his garden appears to be in shambles after giving away his dying roses, but that is mostly a sentimental effect of remembering what the roses once were. The roses were well on their way to dying, if not already dead. The wind gets the raw end of the deal, because one might read that the jasmine is a reasonably pleasant smell that can hold the gardener over until he finishes re-building his garden. The gardener weeps because he seemingly has nothing left, but he was going to have nothing anyway, because the roses were dead! Thus, he has gotten something out of a prospect of nothing.
In the original poem and my "inspired by" poem, the gardener is the baseball executive who understands that sentimentality is an important part of baseball and who genuinely feels for the roses (players), his garden (the team and its system), and their fates, but who also understands that there is a neverending supply of rose bushes waiting to be planted. His job, once his roses start dying (players start declining), is to cultivate new patches of bushes (draft and develop new players). If another team (the wind) offers jasmine (another player) for his dying or dead roses, then the gardener would be foolish to refuse them for sentimental reasons. The wind, as I read it, is a baseball executive that's unwilling or otherwise unable to build a proper garden and thus tries to take whatever it can from more fruitful organizations. To compound the issue, it is overly sentimental and is willing to give up something of value for something of little value merely because it reminds him of good times gone by. The problem, of course, is that the successful gardeners don't want to give up roses while they can still get enjoyment out of them, so the wind is left with withering petals and yellowed leaves and watching the Atlanta Braves and Oakland A's win 90 games every year.

25.   Shaun P
2005-10-21 12:31

25.  I don't know about you guys, but I can't wait to see which explanation wins this one. I can only imagine what the 'Subjective for 1000' answer will be!

26.   King of the Hobos
2005-10-21 12:51

26.  What time is this going to be decided? 24 hours? Whenever convenient

And because by puncuation sucked in 20, it should read:

I'm going to go with "Whoever . . . day?"

Don't believe me? Fine by me, I have my chances of winning at roughly 0.01%

27.   T J
2005-10-21 14:12

27.  "What time is this going to be decided?" If I had to hazard a guess, I would say "Monday morning", since that's what Alex put in the answer.

28.   King of the Hobos
2005-10-21 14:39

28.  27 Some of us forgot today wasn't Monday. Well, one of us. I'm 100% serious, I thought today was Monday...

29.   T J
2005-10-21 14:59

29.  How could you mistake Friday for Monday? They are polar opposites! Even though I'm still in the office at 6 pm Friday, I still thank God it's not Monday morning! :)

30.   T J
2005-10-23 16:00

30.  Either there are some people working on some freaking BRILLIANT answers to this one, or several of us tried early and then the rest just gave up.

31.   For The Turnstiles
2005-10-23 23:33

31.  Who is Bob Howsam, who in 1984 reacquired a formerly vibrant Rose, only to watch it wilt into a handful of faded, withered betting slips?

32.   Stevens
2005-10-24 07:56

32.  What is the faded scent on the breeze of Sosa's jasmine swing traded in theory for the rosy Cliff Floyd but in fact for the withered glove of Jerry Hairston Jr., the yellow belly of David Crouthers, and cool waters of Mike Fontenot, as architected by Jim Hendry, who is now likely left with no garden at all?

33.   Score Bard
2005-10-24 08:19

33.  Well, this certainly was entertaining.

I'm gonna give this one to deadteddy8, for creatively turning the wind into the bad exec and the narrator into the good one.

The board is yours, deadteddy8.

34.   misterjohnny
2005-10-24 15:07

34.  Apparently, size matters.

35.   Humma Kavula
2005-10-24 16:04

35.  You would know, misterjohnny.

36.   deadteddy8
2005-10-24 19:15

36.  Let's go with 6th Degree Quotes for 400.

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