Wednesday, December 11, 2013

By David Saltzer, Senior Writer

As an Angels fan, I am very pleased with the 3-way trade that the Angels made involving the Diamondbacks and White Sox. The Angels needed to get younger, better, controllable pitching and got back in value as much (or more) than what they gave up.

As a parent, though, this trade presented a tough problem for me. Mark Trumbo was one of my sons’ favorite players. They loved his mammoth homeruns and would emulate his swing whenever he went to the plate. They loved yelling Trumbomb whenever he hit one out of the park.

For my eldest, this would be even more difficult. Mark Trumbo gave him his very first autograph. Prior to the start of the Little League season, Mark came out to help encourage the boys and parents prepare the fields and signed an autograph for my son.

Driving home from work, I thought about all the things I would have to explain to my boys in order to get them to understand a trade. My eldest is in 2nd grade and my youngest are twins in Kindergarten.

When I got home from work, my sons came running up to me and asked me what happened with the Angels and Mark Trumbo. Apparently on the radio they had heard that the Angels did something with him, and they wanted me to explain it to them.

Since they are all learning about the value of money and how to make change, I thought I would use an analogy to help them understand what happened. I started off by asking them to make change for a dollar for me using their quarters. I told them that their uncle Kevin needed some quarters to do laundry in his apartment building and had given me three $1 bills to get some quarters for his laundry.

They all got me 4 quarters from their savings. I was pleased with their math.

I then asked them if it was a fair trade to trade a $1 bill for 4 quarters. They said “yes” because 4 quarters was worth $1. Since both amounts were the same, it was a fair and even trade. They then told me that I was being a silly daddy and that I should know that already (after all, they knew that).

I then asked them if there were times when a person might need 4 quarters instead of a $1 bill. They said “yes” and said that uncle Kevin needed them for the laundry machines. Again they told me that I was being a silly daddy.

Seeing that they understood the concept of making a trade, I then explained that as Angels fans we want the Angels to win as many games as they can. We want to see them win the World Series again.

Next, I explained how the Angels needed pitching, particularly starting pitching. So for us, starting pitching was like the quarters for uncle Kevin. We needed it to get to the playoffs. And, just like uncle Kevin giving them $1 bills to trade for the quarters, we needed to trade something of equal value to get it.

They then asked me all about the pitchers we were getting back. They asked me if I thought that they were good, how hard they threw, and if they threw any tricky pitches. I answered all their questions, told them about Hector Santiago’s screwball (which for 7 and 5 year olds had them laughing and excited), and even told them how we traded Tyler Skaggs for Dan Haren and then traded to get him back. They found it all fascinating.

They asked me if I thought it was a good trade, and I said “yes.” I explained how I thought we would win more games next year and would be a stronger team overall. I didn’t want to build up their expectations too much, but I said that because of the trade we might be able to make more moves to help us get to the playoffs next year.

They were very excited.

We then discussed the importance of wishing Mark Trumbo well with his new team and that we would miss watching him. We decided that we would follow him with the Diamondbacks to see if he can hit 40 or more homeruns with his new team. They thought that would be cool. We agreed that we wanted him to do well when he played every team other than the Angels (because as they said he might hit a Trumbomb and beat the Angels and that would be not good).

When we were done talking about the trade, my eldest looked at me and said “Daddy, I hope the new pitchers have a lot of quarters.”

A bit confused, I asked him why he said that.

He replied “Because Mark Trumbo is worth one hundred dollars . . . and that’s a lot of quarters!”
Love to hear what you think!

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