Im not sure why they waste peoples time teaching history in school since no one ever really pays attention to anything learned. History definitely repeats itself, so to someone who would like to predict the future, HISTORY should be their major. EXAMPLE: Historically recessions reveal their ugly heads every 17 years. Do the math. 1989 brought a very damaging one - a price paid for wonderful times in Reaganomics. The 1989 recession lasted 3 horrible years - over in 1991. Now lets add 17 years to that and we come up with 2008.
Cant any of the officials in Washington count? Didnt any of them take history in school? Apparently not. How many senators or congressman lost their jobs? Had their houses foreclosed on? Had their salaries cut in half? None. They are elected to represent us, but as soon as they move to Washington they are no longer under the same roof as us so actually can no longer identify with the people who they were elected to represent. Right? Sad but true.
Warren Buffet recently sent out a bunch of emails to the public (thats you and I) strongly suggesting that senators and congressmen have the same health care plan and same retirement plan as those they serve. The one thing he left out was that we would all be much better served if our leaders could only serve two terms like the president. Enough politics.
Someone asked me what I thought about the Boston Red Sox winning the World Series and I had to admit that even though I have been a fanatic since 1946 I had no hint that they would finish any better than in last place as they started building a new team. Historically (that means studying history) baseball teams that win rely on two sluggers in the middle of the line-up, good fielding, at least two excellent starting pitchers and a good closer (a one inning guy finishes the game without misshap). The Red Sox, who played in a lousy division, had excellent starting pitching, ended the season with a phenomenal closer, had outstanding fielding, and had one slugger that should have been walked every time up. Who were their superstars? Boston fans hadnt heard of half the team before the first game, and then the players all hustled together and got the job done.
Of course, not enough credit ever goes to the manager who happened to be a first year guy and former Sox pitching coach. I have always thought that a pitcher or catcher would make the best manager. They are the only players who are in every play, so they must learn something about the game. Meanwhile, what happened to the Yankees playing in the same weak division as the Sox? If some official on the team had ever taken history and learned from it they would not have watched as the team got old and tired. The Baseball Encyclopedia shows that over 90% of all baseball players start fading after their 31st year. That being true, how could the Yankees possibly have hoped to compete with A-Rod, 37 years old. Jeter 36 years old. Pettite 40 years old. I forget the right fielders name but hes at least 38, and Rivera 40. These were the keys, along with a bunch of unforeseen injuries.
So what is expected for next year? My guess is that NY starts spending money again and signs every expensive free agent around the age of thirty. They will get a few good years out of them, and then - oops. The Red Sox? They will pretty much go with the same team hoping that history will repeat itself thinking history is the previous year. Not! Meanwhile the Red Sox parade the other day drew over 2 million fans. I didnt know anyone had that many fans. See you next month. I have to go find my old high school history book.
Roland Hopkins is founder of the NEREJ, Norwell, Mass.