Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Monday, March 17, 2014

Nieman Storyboard: Annotation Tuesday! Roger Angell and the pitcher with a major-league case of the yips

After almost 40 years, Roger Angell looks back on the making of one of his classic essays.

After giving up a home run to the Reds’ second batter of the day, Joe Morgan, which was hit off a first-pitch fastball, Blass readjusted his plans and went mostly to a big, slow curve, causing the Reds to hit innumerable rainmaking outfield flies, and won 5-1. I can still recall how Blass looked that afternoon–his characteristic, feet-together stance at the outermost, first-base edge of the pitching rubber, and then the pitch, delivered with a swastika-like scattering of arms and legs and a final lurch to the left–and I also remember how I kept thinking that at any moment the sluggers of the Big Red Machine would stop overstriding and overswinging against such unintimidating deliveries and drive Blass to cover.

Just read it.

AndrewJ Posted: March 17, 2014 at 07:45 PM | 4 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: long reads, pirates, roger angell, writing worth reading

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Perry Posted: March 18, 2014 at 11:02 AM (#4673283)
Definitely read it. The best baseball writer who ever lived talking at length about how he works. I thought I remembered this piece being titled "Gone For Good" rather than "Down the Drain," and my memory was correct for once. Here he talks about the reason for the changing it when the story was reprinted in a book: Blass hated the original title. The changed title is far superior anyway, IMO.

By the way, thanks to whoever recommended Angell's collection of non-baseball autobiographical essays, Let Me Finish, in an earlier Angell thread. I'm deep into it now and it's wonderful. I'd read most or all of them in the New Yorker over the years, but to have the whole collection between two covers is fantastic.
   2. frannyzoo Posted: March 18, 2014 at 10:29 PM (#4673683)
Bumped for truth...this is definitely read material. I even like the corny color-coding. In fact, I really like it.
   3. Howie Menckel Posted: March 18, 2014 at 11:11 PM (#4673696)

"What’s the best writing advice anyone ever gave you?

One thing I’ve tried to pick up from (John) McPhee is, “As a reporter, try to be stupid.” Be a stupid interviewer. Don’t be conversational, don’t understand too quickly. You say, What? And then the person you’re talking to wants to help you out."

........

In a group media setting, it's amazing how the "dumbest" questions elicit the best answers.

Perhaps the only more core technique is pausing, as the interviewer, when the answer seems done. Let the best of the rest of the answer flow.

   4. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: March 18, 2014 at 11:30 PM (#4673700)
delightful piece.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

News

All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand


BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Harry Balsagne
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOTP 14 August 2014: The American Pastimes of Rock ’n’ Roll, Baseball and Poetry
(3190 - 10:56am, Aug 22)
Last: ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick

NewsblogTaking Back the Ballparks - San Diego Padres
(58 - 10:55am, Aug 22)
Last: Brian

NewsblogJustin Verlander's domination of Dodgers looked like an Astros audition | ESPN
(21 - 10:55am, Aug 22)
Last: cmd600

NewsblogColon becomes third active pitcher to beat all 30 teams
(43 - 10:50am, Aug 22)
Last: DL from MN

NewsblogThe totality of Rafael Devers, who is eclipsing everything thought possible
(8 - 10:48am, Aug 22)
Last: The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott)

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-22-2017
(6 - 10:41am, Aug 22)
Last: PreservedFish

NewsblogMets' Steven Matz goes on disabled list | MLB.com
(4 - 10:17am, Aug 22)
Last: Renegade (((JE)))

NewsblogWho Was George Wright? – Our Game
(3 - 10:13am, Aug 22)
Last: karlmagnus

Gonfalon CubsThat counted as Now
(5 - 10:08am, Aug 22)
Last: Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com

NewsblogMLB Central: Cat and Mouse Game | MLB.com (VIDEO)
(2 - 9:58am, Aug 22)
Last: Random Transaction Generator

NewsblogNothing I can say but total eclipse of the OMNICHATTER, for August 21, 2017
(62 - 9:52am, Aug 22)
Last: Spahn Insane, stimulus-funded BurlyMan™

Sox TherapyThe Gauntlet
(81 - 9:44am, Aug 22)
Last: Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com

NewsblogOT: New Season August 2017 Soccer Thread
(165 - 9:21am, Aug 22)
Last: SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY

NewsblogGiants eliminated in NL West with loss to Phillies, race is on to draft first
(6 - 9:17am, Aug 22)
Last: Spahn Insane, stimulus-funded BurlyMan™

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-21-2017
(17 - 12:16am, Aug 22)
Last: The Yankee Clapper

Page rendered in 0.2559 seconds
47 querie(s) executed