It isn’t always pretty, the timing stinks, the umpiring is spotty, the pitch count limits are a drag, many of the games are half-attended and God only knows what the TV ratings are, but I’d still rather watch The Kingdom of the Netherlands battle Chinese Tapei in the World Baseball Classic than one inning of [...]
Adrian Gonzalez, his new home Dodger whites practically glowing against the brilliant green turf, jogged back to the dugout after clubbing a pitch from Miami’s Josh Johnson deep into the right field stands. It was his very first at bat in L.A., and only the second pitch he saw. Coming after a crazed 24-hour news [...]
Back in the good old disco ’70s, I had the thrill of working a New England amusement park roller coaster for three consecutive summers. It was me and four other impressionable, party-loving young guys and the pay was crap, but we had so many vivid, unforgettable moments I can still feel the sensation of stopping [...]
As much as I had grown to like Terry Francona, the 2011 Red Sox were severely unprepared to start the season, and ill-equipped to finish it, and it’s a manager’s job to prevent things like that from happening. Yes, there were some devastating injuries to Clay Buchholz, Dice-K, and in the stretch run, Kevin Youkilis, [...]
Okay, first things first: I am not a sabermatician. I have no interest in memorizing, using or developing mathematical formulas to measure baseball player performance. I’m pretty good at math, but a math class is something I’ve avoided like the plague since high school algebra. What I am is a loyal sabermetric FAN. As I [...]
I saw my first signs of acute Giants fever in the waning weekends of their 2010 championship year, when the team was in a neck-and-neck battle with San Diego for the NL West title. It wasn’t your standard rising crowd roar that accompanies two-strike counts for the home pitcher late in the game. It wasn’t [...]
Eric Weiss was in trouble. The â€œpracticing attorney and unapologetic Yankees fanâ€ from Scarsdale was wrapping up a 25-minute seminar called Baseballâ€™s Greatest Postseason Series, when a handful of people in the Pacific Room of the Long Beach Hilton began to squirm. The battle he was recounting was the 1912 Chicago City Series between the [...]
I have a confession to make. Every time I walk into a bookstore the first two sections I visit are Baseball and True Crime. You would think no two subjects would be further apart, and yet they do have an odd symmetry. Both are treasure troves of curious tales with colorful characters. Both create an [...]
Hello. My name is Jeff and I’m a certified Brownsaholic. Don’t ask me why. The star-crossed franchise hasn’t existed in its St. Louis form since 1953, when the club was sent packing to Baltimore to become birds. George Sisler may be the only Brown that your average baseball fan can name. And I’m from New [...]
Arnold Hano’s marvelous 1955 book, A Day in the Bleachers, is an eyewitness account, told in minute descriptive detail, of Game 1 of the ’54 series between the Indians and Giants at the Polo Grounds.Â You know, that one with the miraculous catch by a Giants’ center fielder?Â It’s a reporting work of art that [...]
Life can throw you a big fat knuckle ball. Thirty-three years ago, while writing a feature article for an alternative weekly paper, I spent a fall afternoon with a small documentary film company in western Massachusetts called Florentine. The three Hampshire College graduates based in the nearby village of Florenceâ€”Buddy Squires, Roger Sherman and Ken [...]
Iâ€™ve never been a huge fan of baseball fiction. The gameâ€™s natural mythology and unforgettable luminaries since the turn of last century is so rich and entertaining by itself that I never felt a need to delve into stories and characters separate from the real ones. I did make an exception for W. P. Kinsellaâ€™s [...]
BALTIMOREâ€”The girl in the Orioles cape, beads and Mardi Gras mask painted black and orange was waiting six innings to dance her way onto the centerfield scoreboard cam, and here was her chance. The funny thing is that she wasn’t alone. Visiting Camden Yards again for the first time since its inaugural 1992 seasonâ€”when I [...]
It happened earlier than it usually does. Being a fanatical Red Sox fan, there’s usually five to seven times each season when I will just throw up my hands (after throwing up) and boycott all broadcasts of my team for the indefinite future. They tend to come in June when the pennant races normally heat [...]
It being the season of giving and receiving and all that, I felt it would be a good time to ask Santa Closer (the holiday specialist) for a baseball fantasy wish list for 2010. We’re talking serious fairy dust here, so I’ll be happy if even one of these comes true.
I have a friend named Jay who not only bleeds Dodger blue, but drinks a tall glass of it for every meal. He still hates the Braves because Atlanta was the chief Dodger rival during the 80s, and he can still argue for hours that Steve Garvey should be in the Hall of Fame.
Four score or around thirty years ago, I was editing an alternative weekly newspaper in Burlington, Vermont. I had a good friend who owned a thriving local bookstore (what a concept!) who was more of a seamhead than I was. One day he told me about this obscure Midwestern baseball writer “with two first names” [...]
So it’s a sultry Saturday night in Los Angeles, and I’m flipping my remote back and forth between two scintillating wild card matchups. The Rays are hosting the Rangers and Marlon Byrd just tied the game 4-4 with a two out homer in the 9th, while out at Coors Field, the Rockies are in the [...]
It hasn’t happened yet, but I’m sad already…
Forty years ago, baseball’s all-star game used to mean something. Â I mean: Â really mean something.
I have the DirecTV Baseball Package, which is both a blessing and a curse (Blessing: ten games on at the same time; Curse: you can’t watch ten games at the same time), and one of its best features is the ability to tune into MLB venues you normally don’t and hear some of the best [...]
There is an unspeakable horror at large in today’s baseball world, threatening to capsize everything we hold dear about the game. I’m not talking about steroids, though, or labor agreements, or player contracts larger than some countries’ entire economies. I’m talking about the beast that lurks inside the fabric of every major league contest.