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

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Dingbat_Charlie
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogHurdles remain in Mets-Rockies deal for Tulowitzki, Gonzalez
(34 - 1:04am, Jul 26)
Last: Der-K thinks the Essex Green were a good band.

NewsblogWisch: Cooperstown Shouldn’t Close Out Lee Smith
(23 - 12:50am, Jul 26)
Last: bobm

NewsblogOTP - July 2014: Republicans Lose To Democrats For Sixth Straight Year In Congressional Baseball Game
(3204 - 12:43am, Jul 26)
Last: greenback calls it soccer

Newsblog7-25-14 OMNICHATTER
(52 - 12:26am, Jul 26)
Last: Jose Can Still Seabiscuit

NewsblogBA Report: MLBPA Files Grievance Against Astros Over Aiken, Nix, Marshall
(10 - 11:52pm, Jul 25)
Last: Hank G.

NewsblogRe/code: Major League Baseball Cries Foul on Net Neutrality Proposal
(6 - 10:16pm, Jul 25)
Last: cardsfanboy

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread- July 2014
(942 - 10:09pm, Jul 25)
Last: kpelton

NewsblogSurprising Sports Stars – Guided by Voices’ Robert Pollard
(16 - 9:52pm, Jul 25)
Last: eddieot

Newsblog5 for Friday: Leo Mazzone, pitching coach to the HOFers
(24 - 9:51pm, Jul 25)
Last: Howie Menckel

NewsblogOT: The Soccer Thread July, 2014
(414 - 8:38pm, Jul 25)
Last: J. Sosa

NewsblogThe Inventor of the High Five
(30 - 8:32pm, Jul 25)
Last: Willie Mayspedes

NewsblogSoE: AN IDIOT IN EXILE
(4 - 8:24pm, Jul 25)
Last: The Yankee Clapper

NewsblogNoble: Tom Seaver expects Derek Jeter to become first unanimous Hall of Fame inductee
(88 - 7:50pm, Jul 25)
Last: Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick.

NewsblogESPN : GM Offers To Get Prostate Exam During Game
(17 - 7:48pm, Jul 25)
Last: mos def panel

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-25-2014
(8 - 7:27pm, Jul 25)
Last: Eric J can SABER all he wants to

Page rendered in 0.1702 seconds
53 querie(s) executed