Trade in cars and baseball players | Notice
I recently spent two months trading cars. I was in no hurry, because my old car was still in good condition. Now the ordeal is over, and I have learned a lesson: there is too much information out there.
Do you remember the old days of the horse trade? A potential trader looked for any signs of injury, examined the horse’s teeth, and the deal was done. It took about five minutes.
Now you go online and learn the history of a car, compare the price with similar cars, and read hundreds of reviews. I took notes, took a test drive, and took more notes. Soon my pockets were filled with scribbled facts like ‘good price but needs tires’, or ‘mediocre car but good seller’ or ‘best car for the money but hates the color’. Around the time I made up my mind I would go back online and see yet another car that I liked, all over again.
It reminded me of my favorite baseball team, the Atlanta Braves, and the deals they need to make. When general manager Alex Anthopoulous was hired, he inherited a mess. In an effort to get good young players for the future, he traded in some of the older players. The hope, of course, was that in a few years these young players would excel at the level of Major League Baseball.
So, when trading cars, I would put on my âBraves GMâ hat and pretend I was doing a big business for the future. Like Alex, I had a lot of choice in the automotive “free agent” market.
Would I choose a flashy, expensive import like Marcell Ozuna? The Dominican outfielder looks well built on the outside, but a potential buyer needs to take a close look under the hood. Many ball players seem rock solid, but when you put them on the pitch their flaws are exposed.
The Braves have already made this mistake. It’s like spending a fortune on a new ride, then seeing a huge puddle of oil on the garage floor.
So I envisioned a less showy car, a little older, but with a good track record. A car that has been tested and has suffered some wear and tear. It won’t win any races, but it will make me work every day and save me money. It may be a car I know, similar to the ones I have driven before.
In terms that Braves fans would understand, something like a Charlie Morton, a Tyler Flowers, or a Pablo Sandoval. On reflection, Pablo may not be the best example. Without a doubt, this car would be very capable, but probably a gas hungry one.
Or I could try my luck on a newer, unproven model. A salesperson might try to pass me off as a ârookieâ car, right off the assembly line. âOh, this one has barely been driven, but it has great potential. I hear a lot of buzz about this. Buy it and you will have no worries for 15-20 years! It’s like the Cristian Pache 2021, or a brand new untested William Contreras.
Sometimes this bet pays off. Over the years, the Braves have plugged Hank Aaron, Dale Murphy and Chipper Jones into their roster and have never looked back. They got a lot of miles from these guys, with very little maintenance. They have also won many races. It’s fine when that happens, but a lot more often you end up with a lemon.
Of course, the worst that can happen is to buy one with too many kilometers. Of course, he’s been a solid performer for many years, and you were longing to see him down the neighbor aisle. Boy, that Cole Hamels looks like a winner, I wish I had one. I’ll shell out some money for that one. Wait what? What do you mean it doesn’t even start?
Ultimately, the deadline comes and you have to make a decision. If you don’t understand, someone else will. You go with your instincts. You hope and pray that the car salesman (or in baseball terms, the opposing GM) is being honest with you about your new vehicle’s past and its potential. If all goes well, you aren’t paying too much and your new purchase will turn out like a dream for years to come.
Of course, I could stick with my older and still reliable vehicle. Like Freddie Freeman, he is a proven road warrior. Sure, it seems a little slow every now and then, but if I put a little more money into it it should reassure him.
There is always a risk. If you accept a long-term deal and the drivetrain breaks, the belts break, or the fluids leak, you’ll be doing road tests soon. Hoping that this will not happen to me … nor to the Braves!
Chattanooga TV news anchor David Carroll is the author of âVolunteer Bama Dawg,â available on his website, ChattanoogaRadioTV.com. Contact him at [email protected], or 900 Whitehall Road, Chattanooga, TN 37405.