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Repoz
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Monday, June 08, 2015

Bud Selig hires agent to sell book rights

Recently retired Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig has hired Sandy Montag of IMG as his agent to represent him in selling the rights to a book about his life and baseball.

No matter how bland and whitewashing the end result turns out, it will never be able to match the FIFA movie.

Swedish Chef Posted: June 08, 2015 at 03:11 PM | 124 comment(s)
  Beats: books, selig

Friday, May 29, 2015

The New York Times:  ‘Ty Cobb: A Terrible Beauty,’ by Charles Leerhsen

Cobb remains a puzzle missing certain pieces. This biography takes the crudely drawn monster away, and in place leaves a more common figure in the world of sports, the player who is “at once the dreaded enemy and the biggest draw.” Leerhsen gives him to us incomplete but human, rather than as a myth served up whole.

bobm Posted: May 29, 2015 at 10:13 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: biography, books, ty cobb

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Q & A with “Benchwarmer” Author Josh Wilker

Josh Wilker, the author of “Cardboard Gods,” one of the best-ever baseball books not necessarily about baseball, is back with another memoir.  This time, it chronicles his first year as a new father, and the insecurities (and joys) therein.  “Benchwarmer” presents his son Jack’s first year, while also detailing, in almanac form, the annals of all-time benchwarmers/sad sacks. Its not the easiest subject matter to traverse, as Wilker lays his first-time fatherhood neuroses and raw emotions out for all to read. There are of course, moments of joy as his son grows, but there are also many moments of wrenching angst. Its not a book you’ll finish in a day or so, but you WILL want to finish it. It will be worth it, especially if you are a parent and especially if you are new to parenthood.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 19, 2015 at 09:41 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: books, interviews

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Review of “Ty Cobb: A Terrible Beauty” by Charles Leerhsen - Books - The Boston Globe

A new take on the Georgia Peach.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 10, 2015 at 08:10 AM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: books, ty cobb

Friday, May 01, 2015

Minor League Ball Gameday - Friday, May 1st - Minor League Ball

I have all of John’s books. He’s had a tough couple of years physically. If you’ve enjoyed his books in the past, help keep them coming by purchasing this year’s book. It may be too late to use the info in fantasy draft but it’s still a good reference.

One last thing before we get to the goodies. If you happened to peruse the comments section of the Gameday (highly, highly recommended if you don’t already), John passed along an update of The 2015 Baseball Prospect Book. To quote Mr. Sickels from yesterday -

OK guys, for obvious reasons I am not going to make a main screen post on this just yet, but I really need to sell some books here. I haven’t even broken even this year with the book yet, and without more sales soon I cannot justify writing the book in 2016. My family cannot afford to take a loss on this project or even just break even.

I realize that sales are down because the book was late again due to the health issues. Hopefully that will not be an issue next year. But the book represents the majority of my family income and for there to be a next year in the first place, I need to sell books now.

If you have already bought the book, THANK YOU. Suggest it to a friend if you can. If you have NOT bought the book, please do so at JohnSickels.net. You can order the PDFor the paper edition (which includes the PDF!).

Jim Furtado Posted: May 01, 2015 at 09:21 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: books, minor leagues, prospect reports

Pedro Martinez talks rivalry with New York Yankees in new book - MLB - SI.com

Just reading about Manny is probably worth the purchase price.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 01, 2015 at 08:44 AM | 45 comment(s)
  Beats: books, pedro martinez, red sox

Sunday, April 19, 2015

The myopic ignorance in hailing Alderson for Mets ‘revival’ | New York Post

It’s on my reading list but I haven’t gotten around to it yet. Has anyone read the book? If you have, I’m interested in your thoughts on Sherman’s take.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 19, 2015 at 08:09 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: books, mets, omar minaya, sandy alderson

Sunday, April 12, 2015

The Season’s Best Baseball Books - The Daily Beast

Some good books on this list.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 12, 2015 at 01:52 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: books

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Huffington Post: The 50 Greatest Baseball Books of All Time

This should be good for an argument…

Rather than ranking the 50 greatest nonfiction baseball books, I’ve listed them in alphabetical order by author. Scroll down the list and find books that will entertain and educate. And if some of your favorite baseball books are missing, post a comment and let the rest of us know.

AndrewJ Posted: April 08, 2015 at 07:30 AM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: books, lists

Monday, April 06, 2015

Baseball and Fathers and Sons

I may be biased, as I am the current owner of this book, but I think every baseball fan will do well to read this inscription each spring.

deputydrew Posted: April 06, 2015 at 02:01 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: books, opening day, tearjerker

Monday, March 30, 2015

This week’s must-read books | New York Post

I’m about 1/3 done with my copy (which I paid for). The book is a great piece of research and very entertaining as well. In short, the book is great.

GMs have always been a special interest for me and I read every GM biography I find. I now have few new ones on my list because of the thoroughness of the book’s research. If you are a visitor to the site and are interested in the topic, do yourself a favor and get this book. I cannot recommend it enough.

In Pursuit of Pennants: Baseball Operations from Deadball to Moneyball by Mark L. Armour and Daniel R. Levitt University of Nebraska Press
The majority of baseball books concentrate on the men in uniform. But Armour and Levitt approach the national pastime through front offices and team owners. Today, all the talk is about analytics and moneyball, but the authors look at different eras of the game and the systems that resulted in winning — including the introduction of the minor-league system, improved scouting, integration and free agency. We like the story about the Yankees’ George Steinbrenner threatening to sue the Angels after Bobby Grich spurned the Yanks in 1976.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 30, 2015 at 11:23 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: books, stuff worth buying

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Best Baseball Books - The 20 Best Baseball Books Ever

There are some great books on this list; there are some great books missing.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 21, 2015 at 04:30 PM | 87 comment(s)
  Beats: books

Sunday, March 15, 2015

New book introduces Mets fans to passionate Sandy Alderson - NY Daily News

An excerpt from Steve Kettmann’s upcoming book.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 15, 2015 at 04:20 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: books, mets, sandy alderson

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Q&A: Travis Sawchik on ‘Big Data Baseball’ and the rise of the Pirates through analytics

An interview with Travis Sawchik, author of the upcoming book “Big Data Baseball: Math, Miracles and the End of a 20-Year Losing Streak.”

Jim Furtado Posted: February 21, 2015 at 10:50 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: books, pirates, sabermetrics

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-4-2012

Milwaukee Journal, January 4, 1912:

HISTORICAL POINTS OF 1911.
Indiana didn’t secede from the Union.
Kaiser Wilhelm was not seen on the vaudeville circuit.
Vienna was refused admittance to the Tri-State league.
Shibe Park was not converted into a moving picture show.
Connie Mack did not unconditionally release Eddie Collins.
...
Count Leo Tolstoy neglected to write a musical comedy.

...and it’s a damn shame he didn’t.  I’d pay big bucks to see the singing, dancing grand finale of War and Peace: The Musical when [WAR AND PEACE SPOILER ALERT!] Princess Helene overdoses on abortion medication and dies.

Dan Lee is a Big Hunk of Neufchâtel Posted: January 04, 2012 at 04:59 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: books, dugout, history

Thursday, December 08, 2011

John Rocker Still Trying to Clear Name

Pearlman: Give ‘Em Enough Rope (sent this over to

Steve

...errr, Jeff).

Rocker says he’s written the book partly in response to a 1999 Sports Illustrated article that he says ruined his good name forever.

Interviewed during Eyewitness News at 6 Wednesday, he referred to the old proverb that says “Don’t pick up fight with a guy who buys ink by the truckload.”

He told 13WMAZ’s Frank Malloy, “I decided to buy my own truck.”

...Rocker says he wrote the book with J. Marshall Craig to add “meat” and context to those statements.

Some of the “meat” according to Rocker:

“The media have declared themselves judge, jury and executioner in the world of free speech and political correctness, and if you offer up an opinion they don’t agree with, rest assured they are going to put the crosshairs right on you.”

Arguing that Americans’ rights are being taken away due to the war on terror: “You know what? We lost (technically). The terrorists have won. My nation is no longer free.”

...Talking baseball, Rocker has praise for Braves manager Bobby Cox and former Yankees manager Joe Torre, and many of his teammates.

But not for baseball commissioner Bud Selig, whom he calls “a true cretin,” “idiot,” “head dummy,” and a “moron of extreme proportions.”

Repoz Posted: December 08, 2011 at 01:42 AM | 67 comment(s)
  Beats: books, braves, history

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Believer - Interview with Kevin Goldsmith

No, this is not an Onion article; this exists.

Conceptual poet Kenneth Goldsmith’s work is simultaneously among the most mundane and the most maddeningly provocative writing being done today.

A few years ago, I published a super-boring book that was a radio transcription of a Yankees–Red Sox game. I included everything that was on the radio, from the pre-game show to the ads to the broadcast-booth patter.

. . . .

When the book was published, I sent a copy to the Yankees organization. Naturally, I never heard from them.

Clearly, Goldsmith missed his true calling as a court reporter, instead of a “conceptual poet.”

The Fallen Reputation of Billy Jo Robidoux Posted: November 29, 2011 at 11:27 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: books, yankees

Kelner: Take me out to the metaphorically rich ball game

It seems Moneyball has opened world-wide and some of the reviews I’ve been reading are eloquent ####### pips.

It’s certainly true that, in the field of literature and film, this Atlanticised form of rounders has inspired many fine works, of which Moneyball is just the latest. While admitting I may be a little parochial here, I think it’s a shame that some of the best films about sport – Field of Dreams and Eight Men Out to give two examples – have been about baseball, a game that most in the UK find arcane at best, and often unintelligible.

It’s like all the best comedy films being in a language we find very difficult to understand. I’ve been to a few baseball games, and never really understood what was going on. It felt like a hot dog-eating convention with a game going on at the same time.

The slowly unfolding plot of a baseball encounter is, say adherents, its essential appeal. To me, it felt like ritualised longeur. A friend of mine once explained: usually, you don’t want to leave your seat in case something happens, whereas at a baseball game, you leave your seat hoping something happens.

And then there’s the statistics, the endless litany of numbers and percentages that form the language of the sport, but which, to the untutored mind, are completely meaningless. Nevertheless, I urge you not to be put off by all this esoterica to go and see Moneyball, and not just for a bravura performance from Brad Pitt.

Repoz Posted: November 29, 2011 at 11:45 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, books, media, reviews, sabermetrics

Friday, November 18, 2011

And Then Al Michaels Said To Howard Cosell: “You’re Drunk. You’re Ruining The ####### Telecast.”

Speakeasy of Everything…an excerpt from Mark Ribowsky’s new book on Howard Cosell.

During the 1984 American League Championship Series between the Detroit Tigers and the Kansas City Royals, Cosell and play-by-play man Al Michaels took to sniping at each other, though what viewers didn’t know was that Cosell had been drinking during the game. After Michaels disagreed with a point he made, believing Cosell’s explanation of a baseball strategy “made no sense,” Cosell waited until after the game before telling the even then respected announcer that he would never be a good broadcaster until he “learned to take a stand,” implying the latter was too soft on tough issues and on players and owners. Michaels, who personally liked Cosell, snapped back, “You’re drunk?.?.?. You’re ruining the ####### telecast,” adding, “You ever come in like that again, I’m not gonna work with you.” Needing a good stiff belt himself, he then went into the press room and asked for a large vodka. The apologetic bartender poured the glass only a quarter full—all Cosell had left him.

...In the end, Spence made the call: Cosell would not be used for the World Series, played between Gussie Busch’s Cardinals and the cross-state Kansas City Royals. His place as analyst would be taken by Tim McCarver, the former Cardinals and Phillies catcher who was moved up from working as a roving grandstand reporter. McCarver was a personable, keenly perceptive, and articulate man who broke Cosell’s stereotypical “dumb jock” mold, and with his entrance as a full-time color analyst, few mourned or noticed Cosell’s exit.

Repoz Posted: November 18, 2011 at 10:13 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: announcers, books, history, television

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Slate: Michael Lewis and Billy Beane talk Moneyball

Don’t have time to thumb through all of it (flood of Waylon Thornton and the Heavy Hands EP’s take precedent!), but this…

However, the people who make this objection don’t seem to grasp the basic principles of imitation and catch-up. Once all teams are playing Moneyball, then playing Moneyball no longer gives you an edge. Indeed, the richer clubs have the means to play it smarter. The New York Yankees recently hired 21 statisticians, Beane marvels.

...Lewis breaks in: “To be totally fair to Billy, he likes attention less than anybody who’s got as much attention as he has. You’re shy, that’s what it is! You just hide it well.”

Actually, admits Beane, the film did give him one good celebrity moment. Unusually for anyone in professional sport, Beane counts among his many obsessions punk and indie music. (The Clash poster on Pitt’s office wall in the movie is strictly accurate.) When the film came out in north America, Beane found himself at a table at the Toronto film festival organised by Moneyball’s producer, Sony Pictures. He says, “I was sitting next to the Sonys. Brad and Angelina Jolie were over there. And right there was this guy, and the whole night I kept thinking, ‘Man, that guy looks just like Chris Cornell from Soundgarden.’ So the guy gets up to leave and I turn round and say, ‘That guy’s trying too hard because he’s trying to look just like Chris Cornell.’ And he goes, ‘Oh, that is Chris Cornell from Soundgarden.’ I went, ‘What? I’ve been asking him to pass the scallops all night!’ And off I go and introduce myself to him. That was my closest lookie-me moment.”

Repoz Posted: November 13, 2011 at 02:34 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, books, business, history, media, sabermetrics

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Bissinger: The Strange Genius of Tony La Russa

Buzz La Bissinger returns! (checks Sequel-Buzz for further info)

Whether you loved Tony La Russa, as many millions of fans did, or hated him, as far too many millions of fans did, the verdict on him is simple. In the aftermath of Monday’s surprising announcement, three days after his St. Louis Cardinals won the World Series, that he was retiring after a 33-year managerial career, we might as well get the boilerplate of his legacy out of the way so there is no confusion:

Over the past half-century of Major League Baseball, the 67-year-old has been the game’s best manager, best innovator, best thinker, and best strategist. There is no argument, at least to those who appreciate baseball. He also makes the current rage, Billy Beane of Moneyball book and film fame and the general manager of the Oakland Athletics, look like the general manager of a T-ball team in Toledo in terms of accomplishment, as opposed to hype and exaggeration.

...La Russa loved the lore of baseball. He was a romantic at heart, but the best thing about him is that he changed with the game. He still looked for ways to turn baseball on its head with positive results. He still managed every game as if it were the first game he ever managed so he would not get lazy, exhausting to contemplate, given he managed 5,097 games. He also had great respect for the work of the famed sabermetrician Bill James. Just as he also realized that no matter how many numbers you pour into a computer, there will never be a way to quantify the intangibles of heart and chemistry and desire that define the success or failure of all of us.

I for one hope the naysayers do come around. Because in baseball, in any sport, a person like Tony La Russa only comes around once in a lifetime.

Repoz Posted: November 01, 2011 at 09:34 AM | 294 comment(s)
  Beats: books, cardinals, history, sabermetrics

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

David Maraniss: ‘Moneyball’ the movie is a big swing and a miss

David Maraniss: The Prince of Cannotsee.

But I absolutely hate the movie “Moneyball” and everything it stands for. I think it is a fraud, one that people I respect bought into, for what they thought were noble reasons having to do with the little guys vs. the big bullies. I also dislike the philosophy of moneyball as it is applied to sports. My problem with the movie is a matter of truth. My problem with the philosophy is a question of art and beauty.

...The thrill of baseball has nothing to do with statistics, as much a part of the game as they are. It has to do with the athletic skill of the players: the rifle throw from right field to third base; the dazzling speed of a runner stealing a base; the grace of a second baseman making the turn on a double play.

Perhaps “Moneyball” struck a chord with audiences because it presented what seemed like a fresh, unromantic, realist’s view while also presenting a smart plan of attack for the little guys. But in doing so, it not only perpetrated a fraud, it also glorified statistics over beauty and joy, and that is a trade-off that diminishes life itself.

Repoz Posted: October 25, 2011 at 02:51 AM | 43 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, books, media, reviews

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Bronx Banter: DeRosa: About the Errors…

While Mark DeRosa has 74 career errors…Joe DeRosa looks for some in Chad Harbach’s The Art of Fielding.

A ballplayer could react to a terrible slump in a number of ways. But all of them should be vastly different to a person reacting to the loss of a supernatural gift. A slump usually begins with the wrong mix of flawed mechanics and dumb luck and spirals into Adam Dunn-level tragedy when the player gets trapped inside his own head. Henry’s situation is closer to Prometheus and his gift of fire than it is to Adam Dunn and his buck-fifty batting average.

Because all of the characters ignore this essential difference, the baseball in the book loses integrity – a distraction that I could not tolerate.

I’m sure Harbach has loftier intentions than examining Henry’s fielding ability, but he wrote a book around a baseball team – and from what I can tell, nobody’s been shy promoting it as a baseball book. At the very least, the context of the baseball season should serve as the binder of the story, but since the author doesn’t get the baseball right, the binder dissolves. What’s left is still good enough to carry your interest for a while, but since the baseball is palpably unreal, it taints the other stuff too.

Repoz Posted: October 18, 2011 at 07:35 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: books, reviews, sabermetrics

Sunday, October 16, 2011

NYT: Billy Beane

Beane Spill

image

WATCHING I like music documentaries. I just recently saw “We Jam Econo — The Story of the Minutemen,” who were a California punk band from the ’80s. The Minutemen were one of those bands that didn’t really catch on in the mainstream and yet was incredibly influential on other artists that did make it.

The other one that I saw was “Hype!,” which is about the Seattle grunge scene. It has great archive footage of bands like Nirvana and Sound Garden and also Alice in Chains playing in the Seattle bar scene. It’s interesting how clusters of bands develop in certain areas.

LISTENING I listen to a lot of podcasts. My favorite is World Football Daily. It’s a two-hour soccer podcast. It’s got a lot of correspondents from all over the world who cover soccer. My go-to band is Oasis, but I have a friend in the music business who keeps me up to date with newer stuff, some of which I like, some I don’t. He recently introduced me to Glasvegas and Cold Cave.

Repoz Posted: October 16, 2011 at 08:10 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, books, media, music

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Bronx Banter Interview: Glenn Stout

Belth catches up with Glenn Stout, author of Fenway 1912: The Birth of a Ballpark, a Championship Season, and Fenway’s Remarkable First Year.

BB: One of the incredible things about Fenway Park is that it has changed over 100 years, and although it may seem antiquated, the current Red Sox ownership has done a lot to add modern touches without tearing the place down. Can you talk about some of the most significant alterations the place has seen and why it continues to last.

GS: Fenway Park has lasted because until quite recently they never really tried to preserve it. There was little waxy nostalgia about the place until the 1980s. If they needed to change something, they just changed it. In that way the ballpark was allowed to evolve, and, except for the original grandstand, was almost entirely rebuilt in 1933/34 anyway. Significantly, I think, is that despite all the things they’ve done recently, they’ve left the interior footprint of the field alone. That allows fans to imagine they’re in the same park where Ruth and Williams and Yaz played, and where Fisk and Bucky hit it over the wall, and to connect that history. That’s mostly a fantasy, but an effective one. So despite the fact that I find Fenway far too busy these days – there are signs EVERYWHERE, and a constant barrage of noise – in many ways the park more resembles the retro parks that were built in imitation of Fenway more than the original Fenway Park – fans can still have a unique and memorable personal experience. A significant number of fans at any given game are tourists, and tourists will even find cramped seats and posts charming.

 

Repoz Posted: October 13, 2011 at 09:45 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: books, history, media, red sox

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