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
greenback wants the dh
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread - May 2015
(1894 - 10:46pm, May 22)
Last: Athletic Supporter is trying to remember your name

NewsblogOMNICHATTER 5-22-15
(63 - 10:43pm, May 22)
Last: Misirlou's got a job, but it don't pay

NewsblogDodgers suspend Erisbel Arruebarrena for remainder of 2015 season
(3 - 10:43pm, May 22)
Last: vortex of dissipation

NewsblogRed Sox have quite a stockpile of talent in Greenville - Sports - The Boston Globe
(29 - 10:42pm, May 22)
Last: Dock Ellis on Acid

NewsblogOTP - May 2015: Jeb Bush would like to watch baseball with Teddy Roosevelt and Pitbull
(3689 - 10:40pm, May 22)
Last: The Yankee Clapper

NewsblogBBTF 2015 Shooty Memorial Softball Meet-up!
(239 - 10:30pm, May 22)
Last: Greg K

Newsblog45 Ruth Pics from Library of Congress
(13 - 10:19pm, May 22)
Last: RoyalsRetro (AG#1F)

NewsblogCubs Trade Wellington Castillo to Mariners
(82 - 9:52pm, May 22)
Last: Dan

NewsblogAT&T Ad Showing First Woman In Major League Baseball Draws Strong Reactions
(244 - 9:23pm, May 22)
Last: Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB)

NewsblogRicketts Family Buys 3 More Rooftops Across From Wrigley Field « CBS Chicago
(65 - 9:22pm, May 22)
Last: Pirate Joe

NewsblogIs Bryce Harper D.C.’s most popular active athlete?
(56 - 9:18pm, May 22)
Last: The Yankee Clapper

NewsblogPaul White: For baseball lifer, game goes on
(4 - 8:42pm, May 22)
Last: ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick

NewsblogHolding Separate Elections For Player and Non-Player Candidates Would Greatly Improve the Hall of Fame's Era Ballot Vote Process
(9 - 8:28pm, May 22)
Last: Dennis Eclairskey, closer

NewsblogBrewers pitcher Will Smith ejected for using foreign substance
(17 - 8:00pm, May 22)
Last: You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR)

NewsblogOT: Wrestling Thread November 2014
(956 - 7:58pm, May 22)
Last: NJ in DC (Now with Wife!)

Page rendered in 0.1807 seconds
50 querie(s) executed