OkA’s: Politics for Your Pocketbook and Pith

by Richard Oxman

“Let’s play ball first. Then I’ll get into the politics.” — Anonymous

It wasn’t compulsive Dostoevsky Syndrome that compelled me to put some action down on the A’s a few days ago, well over a week now, I’m sure.

It was something that perhaps only those with some knowledge of gambling will understand immediately. For others, suffice it to say that when the odds for a given bet are way out of whack — when an *overlay* exists — it’s time to consider jumping into the *saddle exotica*.

To clarify just a wee bit more, when you study horses in a legitimate race — wherein there is a basis for evaluation of all contenders, conditions, etc. — and one pony with a very decent shot at the pot ‘o gold is slated to go off at 60 to 1…when you deem his chances to be only *slightly* worse than the filly favorite (with the even-money profile), you MUST enter into the fray, not wait for another day.

If you think Muhammed Ali is going to beat Rocky Marciano, and the white Brockton brawler is listed as the even-money favorite (which means you have to lay a buck to win a buck), you *go go go* with The Black Man’s flow (or whatever his color), *if* you notice that the oddsmakers are putting The Draft Resister (patriotic or not, idiotic or snotnosed, *rose, raise or risen* from the dead!) at 10 to 1 (which translates as having to lay out a sawbuck to pull in a dollar).

Well, my Damon Runyon stuff might stink, but one should think of laying everything but the kitchen sink on the line — if you have it — should you ever come across such overlays. It pays…in the long run. If anything in the gambling world pays.

So what happened in the last week of July to me was that I spotted the Oakland A’s as a 30-1 shot to win the American League Pennant…AND a 60-1 shot to take the whole baseball kit and kaboodle at the 2005 World Series!

I had no intention of gambling when I went to the online boards. I simply don’t have much moolah to drop through any holes. But them’s some serious overlays!!!

How serious? Arguably the best odds I’ve ever come across for *any* bet in any sport in my 62 years (albeit I haven’t been betting since birth).

The A’s absolutely did NOT — by any standards, angles — come across as being such long shots, such dark horses; I won’t bother you with the breadth of the bullpen or the competitive stench from their bench. But…my judgment, intuition, whatever you want to call it…proved to be spot on target, at least to *some* significant degree. For it wasn’t two days after I laid my action that the bookies changed the board…and the A’s emerged as only 4-1 for the Pennant! Roughly the same profile as the Yankees and Boston, the latter the odds-on favorite.

Why? Someone had apparently fallen asleep at the wheel. And HABIT, Beckett’s *great deadener* had likely taken over. For, for starters, the A’s are, unquestionably, a four-star, star-studded team, boasting — get this! — THE BEST RECORD IN ALL OF BASEBALL SINCE EARLY JULY!

The nooks and crannies surrounding why the A’s were overlooked and/or why the case for them as contenders is astounding are unimportant in these quarters. Let’s get to the politics; let’s throw the ball around on the field where my readers like to…keep score, referring back to the above as needed.

My bookie also takes wagers on politicians…and political events, by the way.

Guess who’s the Front Runner for the Dems at this juncture…for ‘08 Presidential Nominee?

Guess who’s not even listed at all for the Republicans? Someone you’d *expect* to be up on the boards, for sure. Especially if you guessed right for my first question above.

Did you guess that Hillary’s standing as the odds-on favorite at just above *even money* ($100 would bring in $145)? Does John Edwards sit well at $550 for $100? Or stand on anything less than shaky ground, for that matter, at that price? Can you imagine The Not-so Black Obama, third favorite, at $1050 for $100? And how about Howard Dean, Rod Blagojevich and Tom Vilsack all ringing in at $1850 in their speedos?

For those who want a full rundown of the run down Dems…or the rip-roaring Reps, please, as always, don’t hesitate to contact me. But, for the moment, let’s switch over to action on…actions predicted.

What will happen 1st to Karl Rove before 1/1/2006? For fun, see what’s below…before you dip into this article’s conclusion:

1 No Action -110
2 Resignation +120
3 Indictment +200
4 Admission of Guilt +500
5 Condemned by the President +800
6 Appointed to SC +1000

The minus figure means one would have to risk $110 to win $100. A heavy likelihood, that *inaction*, according to The Books…and one one would be wise to not wager on…if this whole business is to be embraced in good conscience.

What say we consider the next celebrity to be arrested? Just for fun…before I make my point.

351 Billy Joel +450
352 Ashton Kutcher +1800
353 50 Cent +350
354 Colin Farrell +500
356 Scott Weiland +600
357 Charlie Sheen +350
358 Michael Jackson +2000
359 Tom Cruise +3000
360 Lindsay Lohan +1500
361 Matthew Perry +750
362 Nick Nolte +600
363 R. Kelly +500
364 Christian Slater +900
365 Mike Tyson +150

Look, there are those who still maintain that playing the stock market on a level playing field is more unlike a horserace than like one. But once you stop laughing at all of the cute shenanigans coming down the pike regarding the clowns (and their hangers-on) above, you have a shot at seeing how similar my A’s wager is to the investments made in reform politics. How much better, perhaps. [1]

On a clear day you may be able to see forever.

You may be a winner. One who can distinguish between throwing heartbeats down a black hole and having some lifeblood adrenalin flow.

Knowing the difference between a fixed game and an honest race. With a finely honed ability to spot losers.

There will be no winners with their hats in the ring come ‘08. And when there are no legitimate overlays, one must stay away from gambling. Especially what one can’t afford.

But then…some people have a sickness.

Richard Oxman, dueleft@yahoo.com, is willing to put his money and heartbeats where his mouth and spiritual inklings are, and challenges all readers to do the same.

Footnote:

[1] Ashton Kutcher has about as much of a chance at ushering in significant reforms — with or without Bruce Willis’ ex — as Rudolph Guiliani (-$300, by the way).