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

Dynasty League Baseball

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Sheer Tim Foli
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOTP 2018 May 21: President takes British royalty to a baseball game, May 15, 1991
(558 - 6:55am, May 23)
Last: Joe Bivens Hereby Demands!

NewsblogHader's feats generating All-Star, Cy Young buzz
(31 - 6:35am, May 23)
Last: Leroy Kincaid

NewsblogYankees should trade for Paxton.
(33 - 5:52am, May 23)
Last: You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR)

NewsblogOT: Winter Soccer Thread
(2028 - 5:47am, May 23)
Last: Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB)

NewsblogMLBN: Kenny on Rays Starting Romo
(10 - 4:43am, May 23)
Last: QLE

NewsblogMets “Showing Interest” In Jose Bautista
(20 - 3:27am, May 23)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogAstros Release Currently Suspended Ex-Top Prospect Jon Singleton
(23 - 2:19am, May 23)
Last: Baldrick

NewsblogIt wasn't the plans, it was Beauty killed the OMNICHATTER! for May 22, 2018
(90 - 2:11am, May 23)
Last: Bote Man

NewsblogOT - 2017-18 NBA thread (All-Star Weekend to End of Time edition)
(4738 - 12:32am, May 23)
Last: sardonic

NewsblogOT - Catch-All Pop Culture Extravaganza (April - June 2018)
(2178 - 12:23am, May 23)
Last: Gonfalon Bubble

NewsblogWhitey Herzog Offered Hernandez to the Mets in 1980, 2+ Years Before Trade
(47 - 11:10pm, May 22)
Last: Howie Menckel

Hall of Merit2019 Hall of Merit Ballot Discussion
(118 - 9:35pm, May 22)
Last: Kiko Sakata

NewsblogTwins part with Phil Hughes despite owing him more than $22 million
(10 - 9:06pm, May 22)
Last: DavidFoss

Gonfalon CubsPadding
(23 - 7:59pm, May 22)
Last: Walt Davis

Sox TherapyEnjoy This
(35 - 7:50pm, May 22)
Last: Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine

Page rendered in 0.1124 seconds
47 querie(s) executed