Intern: Wonderful thing, pain. Without pain, no race could survive.
4th Doctor: I’m well aware of that.
Intern: Autonomic defence mechanism.

Doctor Who, The Hand of Fear 1976

Although the Red Sox have been on a rough patch lately there has been one constant factor this season.  David Ortiz is the reason they are in the race for the pennant.

Ortiz is 40 years old yet his numbers this season have been phenomenal:

He currently leads the league in doubles, slugging percentage, Extra base hits, total bases and intentional walks.

He also leads the league in some less known stats such as: adjusted batting runs, adjusted batting wins, OPS, OPS+slug, base out runs added, situational wins added,

And he is in the top 10 in all of these following categories

Batting avg 3rd
Home Runs 6th
RBI’s 2nd
On base percentage 2nd
Runs Created 2nd
Times on base 7th
At Bats per HR 3rd
Wins above replacement 10th
Offensive wins above replacement 3rd

This would be quite an accomplishment for a player in his prime, for a 40 year old player in what should be his final season, that’s ungodly.

Additionally he is being well compensated for these achievements. This year he is making $16,000,000 and while he has announced his retirement the team has a $10,000,000 option for next year if he was to change his mind.

That being the case an observer might think that postponing retirement for another year or two might be a wise decision after all he continues to be a productive player and baring injury it is highly likely that he will suddenly become a mediocre player in the next year or two.

Furthermore there is that $10,000,000 option. Even if he is hired by the Red Sox as a permanent batting instructor, by MLB in whatever capacity they choose, hired by ESPN or MLB network as an analyst and get endorsements high and low he will likely never see any like that kind of money ever again in his life.

But for all those numbers, including the dollar signs some things are just more important

“Big Papi” arrives at the stadium before any other player to start the long process of preparing for a game, particularly when it comes to his feet. He said he feels pain in his feet every day, and they are the main reason he guarantees he will never change his mind and come back for another season.

“Everything hurts,” he said. “It even hurts to think. Last time I reached second after a double, I almost called for a timeout so they would get me out of the game. I can barely run because my feet hurt so much. I am in severe pain.

“One often tries to live in the moment, and even when your body is saying no, you say yes, even when your body says not to. Only mental strength convinces you that you can continue. Mental strength tells you that you can keep at it. But the body is a machine; it will give out and will send you a bill.”

 

And David Ortiz is wise enough to know that no amount of cheers, honors or money will pay that bill for him and is acting accordingly.

That’s  an important lesson and I suspect more than one older pro athlete is nodding their head wishing that at the end of their career they were wise enough to do the same.

USA-UK flagsBy John Ruberry

“This is the issue of this election: Whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capital can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves.”
Ronald Reagan, A Time for Choosing, 1964.

If you substitute “Great Britain” for “American revolution,” this could have been something UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage said during his victory speech early Wednesday morning after United Kingdom voters voted to leave the European Union.

Great Britain is having a Reagan moment–and to be fair to the UK you can argue it had a Reagan moment before we did nationally. After all, Margaret Thatcher became prime minister a year before the Gipper’s election.

Is Britain having a Trump moment before America does?

In his victory speech, Farage called his Brexit win, “A victory for real people, a victory for ordinary people, a victory for decent people.”

That sounds like Trump.

“We have fought against multinationals,” Farage added, “we have fought against the big merchant banks, we have fought against big politics, we fought against the big merchant banks, we fought against lies, corruption, and deceit.”

That sounds like Trump too.

The driving force in Brexit referendum of course was unfettered immigration of Syrian migrants, refugees some say are fleeing war. Yes, some are. But curiously, many of these refugees are males of military age.

John "Lee" Ruberry
John “Lee” Ruberry

Few of these migrants show any desire in assimilating into Western Civilization. But no one dares call the migrants “nativists.” That would be racist.

Other EU nations, such as France, Italy, the Netherlands, are considering their own vote to bail out. Mrs. Marathon Pundit, who grew up in tiny Latvia, tells me that there was even talk of a “LatExit” last year when Brussels bureaucrats, yes that “little intellectual elite in a far-distant capital,” told them they had to accept some of these unskilled migrants, even though Latvia, one of the poorer EU nations, has benefited greatly since joining.

When the bureaucrats don’t listen, “the decent people” do the expected thing and throw the bums out.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

wedding jack 025 Yesterday I found myself at the wedding of one of my wife’s co-workers that took place in a backyard. As I sat there I noticed two doors down a Union Jack flying in the wind.

As the neighborhood was curiously devoid of fences I walked over and asked permission to take a photo of the flag flying as if from the stern of HMS Victory. They owners graciously consented and we started talking.

They had come from the south of England 25 years ago and talked of their joy at the result of the Brexit vote. I asked them about age gap between those who voted to stay and those who voted to go, and they talked of their memories of joining the common market and the time before it and quoted Churchill about the lessons of history.

That was the key factor, like the elderly WW 2 vet I wrote about and unlike the panicked youths they had no fear of life without the EU because they had lived it and had been just fine.

My only regret was that they didn’t wish to be interviewed on camera but I thanked them and returned to the wedding wondering if the angry youth signing petitions had thought about this, if they hadn’t they would be well advised to read this tweet from The House of Savoy:

If only the youth who are terrified of other opinions and of chalk had the courage and confidence of their elders. If they can learn such courage then they would have nothing to fear, after all they are not much older than the were the Few who saved the country just a few generations ago.