Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Trivial Pursuits

I know we limit ourselves to sporting matters here, but before launching into some sports trivia I’d like to take a timeout to gripe about a piece of sloppy, sloppy journalism.

The CBC reports today that:
Hudson's Bay Co. soared by more than eight per cent Tuesday morning on speculation that buy-out artist Onex Corp. may take a run at the venerable department store, sparking a bidding war with South Carolina entrepreneur Jerry Zucker.

...Industry sources said Onex and property developer First Pro Shopping Centres are among those considering a bid. Other rumoured suitors include U.S. private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management and Canadian shopping-mall owner RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust.

Analysts speculate that these companies are more interested in HBC's real estate than in the department stores, at a time when block-long stores that cater to everybody are no longer in fashion.
Ahem. As the Toronto Star, Bloomberg and others point out, the reason Onex/FirstPro are considering the acquisition is to spin-off some of the HBC real estate to Wal-Mart, and specifically to extend Wal-Mart Supercenters into Canada.

A Wal-Mart, or a Canadianized Wal-Mart Supercentre, is the very definition of a block-long store that caters to everybody. They are very much in fashion, and even sell clothes for the dangerously fatter set. What a fine phrase.

With that off my chest, let me turn to trivial matters. Without peeking on that Internet thing, here are a few trivia questions to ponder. Answers will be posted tomorrow. I have no fabulous prizes to offer, other than the flush of pride that would come with being the first to post correct answers to the following three questions:
1. What do the five all-time leaders in career OPS have in common?

2. Among active players, who has hit the most triples?

3. Who was the batter that put the ball into play on the last unassisted triple play in the majors?

7 Comments:

At 12:26 PM, Blogger Andy Grabia said...

Ahem. I consider your HBC post to be the trivial matter, not these questions. You just started talking about religion and politics in a bar, buddy. If I was the owner of this fine establishment, I would kick you out for stirring up the patrons. This is sacred ground, my friend. Sacred ground. Here are my guesses.

1. They have all cheated on their wives.

2. Craig Biggio

3. Bobby Bonilla

 
At 1:17 PM, Blogger Avi Schaumberg said...

1. Maybe. How the hell would I know? But that's not the answer I'm looking for. Hint: the answer is obvious.

2. Biggio is not even close - has has fewer than half of the triples recorded by the active-player leader. But he was born in the same year (1965).

3. Bonilla had already retired when it happened.

 
At 1:45 PM, Blogger Andy Grabia said...

1. Obvious? Well, since OPS is OBP & Slugging %, I am gonna guess they have all won an MVP award, or they have all won a home run title. Damn, maybe they are the top five BB men of all-time. Obvious, my ass.

2. It can't be Julio Franco, since he was born in the 1800's. Bonds? My first thought is always Bonds, since I know you love him so much.

3. Um, Bonds?

 
At 3:36 PM, Blogger Alex said...

1. If the answer is obvious, then I'll go with "they all rank in the top 5 all-time among OPS"

2. Omar Vizquel

3. Jeff Kent

 
At 4:24 PM, Blogger Avi Schaumberg said...

You are smart to guess that the answer to every question involves Bonds. But not this time.

Having posed the question "What do the five all-time leaders in career OPS have in common?" I now realize that they might have a lot more in common than I thought. Without checking, I bet they did all win MVPs, etc. So to clarify, I'm looking for something personal, not about their achievements.

On the triples question, Abboud is getting warmer. Bonds has more career triples than Biggio, but still well short of our aging leader.

As for the guesses to #3, we can make this more like a GMAT question:

The Mystery Batter and Bobby Bonilla have played for the same club, but not at the same time.

The Mystery Batter and Jeff Kent have played for the same club, but not at the same time.

The clubs held in common with the Mystery Batter are neither of the two franchises that have had both Bobby Bonilla and Jeff Kent as players.

 
At 4:26 PM, Blogger Avi Schaumberg said...

Oops. It was Andy getting warmer with the Bonds guess on triples, not Abboud.

Abboud's guess of Vizquel was hopelessly offbase. Omar's in Biggio territory for all-time triples.

 
At 5:10 PM, Blogger Andy Grabia said...

Moises Alou? For triples, that is.

 

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