1. It’s Thursday, January 7, 2015.
2. As a Met fan, I’m thrilled about Mike Piazza’s election to the Baseball Hall of Fame. It’s especially rewarding because he was the first player my kids cheered for as I warped their minds into Met fandom.
But Piazza’s election resurrects the discussion about performance-enhancing drugs. He’s admitted to taking a steroid that was legal when he took it, but denies taking anything that was not legal. That hasn’t stopped some writers from speculating that he’s lying. They cite such things as his back acne and mood swings, which can be side effects of steroid use.
They could also be naturally occurring conditions for young men. If those kinds of things can be seen as evidence that he used steroids, the fact that he’s fathered two children since his playing days are equal evidence that he didn’t.
Piazza was denied enshrinement in Cooperstown for three years because of speculation about his PED use. But there was no evidence. There were no people talking about seeing him use steroids or providing them to him or even hearing him talk about it. It was unfair.
Piazza will go into the Hall as a Met. There is nothing clearcut or simple about being a Met or a Met fan. That’s part of the appeal, I suppose. But, until the Wilpons do something else to tick us off, we can be happy for a day.
3. In all my years as a financial journalist, I would hear about how worried retirees get when the stock market drops precipitously. Sort of the way it has so far in 2016.
I obviously was concerned about everyone in our audience, but I can’t say I worried about it.
Now, I do.
Being sort of retired means that I’ll soon be relying on my savings to pay for living. And like many other Americans, my savings are tied to the financial markets. So a 5% drop in stocks means 5% less to spend on the 4 p.m. special at Denny’s.
But as a long-time financial journalist, I also know that this is a terrible time to panic. If you believed enough in the markets to invest all that retirement money in them, you have to believe in them enough to know they’ll bounce back when there’s a setback. That happened even after the financial crisis of 2008.
What’s going on with China is hard for even the experts to grasp, so there’s no use trying to do it yourself. So just hang tight, and remember that stocks usually go up in presidential election years. Usually.