Monday, August 29, 2016

Buy Low, Sell High

A neighbor of mine was relaying a story to me recently about his family discussion on stocks. Seems he had a stock that was performing particularly well, and was discussing selling it with his wife. The problem, of course, was deciding when to sell it. Do you sell it now, and risk it going even higher tomorrow? Do you wait, and risk the value dropping through the floor? When should that cut off point be? It was then that his pre-teen daughter, who was overhearing the conversation, suggested they should probably just sell it when the value reached its highest point.

Brilliant. Buy low, sell high.

Of course, that’s what everyone aims to do when they buy and sell stocks. Or, anything else for that matter. You want to buy something at the moment it’s the cheapest that it will ever be, and sell it when its value is the highest it will ever be. The problem is…you don’t really know when those points will be until they’ve passed. Even with all the number out there analyzing the economy, predicting the future it still hard.

So, what in the name of Tris Speaker does a stock discussion have to do with the Red Sox?

Well, it reminds me a bit of the sixth inning of last night’s game, and the grief that people keep giving John Farrell.

The Red Sox lost the game against the Royals yesterday due to one bad inning. OK, one horrible inning. A collection of Red Sox pitchers gave up eight runs in the sixth inning, during a game the Sox would go on to lose 10-4. Another case of Farrell mismanaging his pitching staff again, some would say. He doesn’t know how to deal with a bullpen.

Why doesn’t he bring in the good pitchers instead of the bad ones?

Same reason I don’t always buy low and sell high.

How does Farrell know which pitcher is the good one, until he puts him in the game to see how he throws? I’m going to take a wild guess and assume he wasn’t in the dugout thinking “I think this is a good time for Barnes to give up five runs, so I’m going to bring him in.” Giving up the lead isn’t a strategy Farrell was using that backfired. The pitchers just couldn’t get anyone out. 

So, I’m not going to sit there and complain about leaving EdRo in the game for four batters leading off an inning. After all, he got the fourth guy out. When do you take him out, after giving up two baserunners? If that’s your criteria, then you’re going to burn through your bullpen pretty quickly. You could argue he should have been removed after loading the bases. But, Farrell bought low, as it turns out, because EdRo got the next guy out. 

Barnes then came in. Shall we assume Farrell didn’t expect him to start out single-triple? Would he have put him in if that was the case? Certainly not. So, at this point you have a guy at third and one out. The damage has been done. Might as well ride it out a bit. Then it becomes first and third. That might be a good time for a switch. But, it all happened so fast. Was Ross even ready? Was he prepared mentally to enter the game? A grounder back to the pitcher doesn’t result in an out, and Barnes it out, Ross is in.

Again, did Farrell assume Ross would give up two straight singles? Does that suggest that perhaps he wasn’t actually ready to come in, mentally? Because he settled down to end with two grounders.

So, which moves were actually the mismanaged ones? The ones where the pitchers didn’t perform? The ones where Farrell didn’t predict the future? Why do we expect him to know everything that’s going to happen?

If he could do that, he would have bought Disney at $16.

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