If you run in certain circles, the start of Major League Baseball season brings the inevitable re-telling of romantic tales honoring both diamond heroism and failure. Whether from the lips of legendary Dodgers announcer Vin Scully or your own father, you’ll never escape the stories that begin with “I remember when.”

My favorite involves the New York Yankees. In 2001, the Bronx Bombers selected shortstop Bronson Sardinha with pick No. 34 in the draft. Sardinha, whose full name, Bronson Kiheimahanaomauiakeo Sardinha, would stump the brightest of spelling bee contestants, ended his career with a not-so whopping nine major league at-bats. He is perhaps best known for reaching the Final Four of the 2007 Minor Moniker Madness tournament, a “contest” where entries advanced based on who had a better name. (Yes, I’m shaking my head as well.)

Anyway, I especially enjoyed Sardinha’s flop for one reason. Four picks later, the loveable New York Mets drafted David Wright, a seven-time All-Star and two-time Gold Glove Award winner who holds franchise records for most career runs batted in, doubles, total bases, runs scored, etc. As a Mets fan, I remain eternally grateful to the Yanks for this flub.

Still, I can’t help but wonder what might have been if George Steinbrenner’s Evil Empire had better scouting.  (No disrespect, Yankees fans. I admire and envy your record 27 World Series championships. And yes, that hurt to type.)

In the risk mitigation realm, scouting is a vital element. We at Ethos Risk Services refer to it as due diligence and offer several services under that heading. As a quality control professional, one tremendously effective tool I’ve seen in this arena is the activity check. Depending on the circumstances, clients may wish to precede a surveillance assignment with this effort.

By Ethos’ definition, an activity check involves our field investigator traveling to the claimant’s provided address, describing the nature of the community, and advising whether or not the residence is located in an area conducive to surveillance.

Further, the investigator discreetly interviews neighbors regarding the claimant. As you might imagine, this canvass has the potential to uncover a number of important items.

1. Verifies the claimant’s residency at the provided address.

2. Determines if the neighborhood is populated by multiple family members of the claimant.

3. Reveals if the claimant is employed.

4. Defines the claimant’s activity level.

Armed with this intelligence, adjusters unsure about assigning surveillance will surely be persuaded one way or the other. Truly, that’s the primary goal. At Ethos, we’ve found that informed clients are satisfied clients.