Inside Edge on Assignment With ULI Chicago: Emerging Trends in Real Estate for 2011

Will the Chicago Cubs ever win another World Series? Who was the genius who decided that there should be a “p” in “raspberry”? And just what are the emerging trends in real estate for 2011?

While I can’t answer the first two questions with any level of confidence, I can at least point you in one direction on the last of those queries.

For the third year in a row, I recently had the opportunity to write the summary of the Urban Land Institute’s Chicago District Council panel discussion on the upcoming year’s emerging trends.

There were a few hundred people in the Hyatt Regency Hotel ballroom, so odds are you weren’t able to be on hand. That’s OK, you can still read the Emerging Trends report

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Irony, Tragedy in Photograph of Sosa & Bonds

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of interviewing Stephen Green, a fellow Oak Parker and the Chicago Cubs’ official photographer, for a segment to air on Oak Park’s Channel 6.

Through the end of the month at the Oak Park Public Library, Green has an exhibit of some 30 of the thousands upon thousands of photos he has taken since he began working with the Cubs in 1983. One is of Sammy Sosa listening to Barry Bonds as he discussed a hitting technique before the All-Star Game, circa 2004.

At the time, both had come under suspicion, to say the least, of having used illegal performance-enhancing substances to elevate their efforts. As Green and I spoke, I mused aloud if subsequent revelations of cheating somehow tainted the artistry of a photographer’s work.

Since my interview with Green, Sosa’s name has surfaced–to nobody’s surprise–as one of the 100-odd Major League players who tested positive for illegal performing-enhancing substance use in 2003, the same year he was caught using a corked bat.

Over the past several days, I have arrived at an answer to my question: the artistry of the photograph isn’t tainted, but it takes on a different tone–such as irony or tragedy.

The same is true for any writing related to those heady, naive times, such as my development of a baseball statistic, the Home Run Power Ratio, that was featured in an October 1999 issue of Sports Illustrated.

Just as it’s impossible to undo a photograph from its place and time, it’s far-fetched to think that anyone could re-calibrate statistics by weeding out cheating, which comes in so many forms, both blatant and subtle.

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Cubs, Sox Out: Bye-Bye, By The Numbers

Last week, I offered this equation: October + Baseball=By the Numbers, as I reprised my research-and-writing role for the Daily Herald.

I was hoping for a month filled with Chicago baseball. With both the Cubs and White Sox in the post-season, and the Cubs sporting the best record in the National League during the regular season, I figured I’d be wearing out my calculator.

Alas, both teams flopped–especially the Cubbies, who were swept for the second straight year. You know it doesn’t bode well when I’m spending an inordinate amount of time researching Chicago players’ errors, strikeouts at the plate, and streaks such as the last time a certain slugger (yeah, you, Alfonso Soriano) had homered.

For the By the Numbers’ body of evidence of Chicago baseball woes, see:

White Sox, Game 1 preview

White Sox, Game 1

White Sox, Game 2

White Sox, Game 3

Cubs, Game 1

Cubs, Game 2

Cubs, preview Game 3

October + Baseball=By the Numbers

It’s October and Chicago playoff baseball is under way, so that means my statistical hat is fit snugly atop my head.

Allowing my numerical passions to run wild again is Daily Herald sports editor Tom Quinlan, who began publishing my “By The Numbers” baseball blurbs on the Cubs and White Sox in today’s newspaper.

My numbers-related writing dates back to August 1997, toward the end of my eight years at The Courier News in Elgin, Ill., when I began writing a weekly “By the Numbers” column. It was later syndicated by Copley News Service, and served as the springboard for my numeracy training program called “Go Figure: Making Numbers Count.”Along the way, I had a stats column for Sports Illustrated For Kids and developed the Home Run Power Ratio, an inflation index for home runs.

This is the fourth time over the past six Octobers that the Daily Herald has allowed me to be a part of their baseball post-season coverage.

On the Herald‘s website, you can read the first round of figures I came up with in connection with the Chicago Cubs and their Game 1 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers, as well as previewing the Chicago White Sox’s Game 1 clash with the Tampa Bay Rays this afternoon.