actually, i'm just starting this because i ordered the neyer/james guide to pitchers the other day. it's basically an enyclopedia of pitchers and pitches. i'm trying to find a nice bullet outline somewhere but it apparently contains:
-articles describing all the major pitches, how they're thrown, what they do, who threw them the best, etc-a register of every major mlb pitcher (1000 innings/400 games) and their repetoires-assorted pitcher biographies and pitching-related essays
there's an excerpt, obviously written by james, over at espn: http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=1822135
― John (jdahlem), Wednesday, 16 June 2004 03:04 (fourteen years ago) Permalink
Another one I ran across that looked pretty cool was something called 9 Innings by Daniel Okrent. Basically, its a pitch-by-pitch, inning-by-inning account of a 1982 regular season game between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Baltimore Orioles, with lots of back story woven in about the players, managers, and owners (including one Bud Selig). I read till about two outs in the top of the first and witnessed a Lenn Sekata leadoff homer off of Bob McClure. It reads somewhat like it's aimed at the baseball novice, but it's not too dumbed down to be enjoyable.
― boldbury (boldbury), Wednesday, 16 June 2004 04:26 (fourteen years ago) Permalink
The Neyer Lineups book is well worth getting too, years of bathroom enjoyment to be had.
― Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 16 June 2004 12:39 (fourteen years ago) Permalink
Seriously Morbs. Years? There aren't that many photos in the book.
― boldbury (boldbury), Wednesday, 16 June 2004 13:59 (fourteen years ago) Permalink
― David R. (popshots75`), Wednesday, 16 June 2004 14:01 (fourteen years ago) Permalink
Neyer & James on ESPN chat yesterday:
One of the Ed Linn books James recommends, the co-authored autobio "Veeck as in Wreck," I recall from my dad's bookshelf; probably the first baseball book I read most of, succeeded by Roger Kahn's profanely nostalgic "The Boys of Summer" on the '50s Dodgers (and Kahn's '30s/40s boyhood).
― Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 16 June 2004 15:29 (fourteen years ago) Permalink
Oh, I hear ya. The men in my family call it the "Oldbury Curse".
Maybe this was TMI.
― boldbury (boldbury), Wednesday, 16 June 2004 15:33 (fourteen years ago) Permalink
― hstencil (hstencil), Wednesday, 16 June 2004 16:02 (fourteen years ago) Permalink
I am getting started on "The Boys Of Summer" (morbius' recommendation). it's a little bit more sepia toned but i like it so far.
― gygax! (gygax!), Wednesday, 16 June 2004 19:25 (fourteen years ago) Permalink
― earlnash, Wednesday, 16 June 2004 19:30 (fourteen years ago) Permalink
as for flip open and read baseball books, every fan should own a copy of james' NHBA. am i the only person here who has a copy? i hawk it at every opportunity everywhere because i'm sure it would appeal to anyone with an interest in the game.
so "profanely nostalgic" is a compliment?? i guess i read that differently.
― John (jdahlem), Wednesday, 16 June 2004 19:38 (fourteen years ago) Permalink
I saw a new book at Barnes & Noble following a season in the Cape Cod League, but I'll wait to take a chance on it in paperback.
― miloauckerman (miloauckerman), Wednesday, 16 June 2004 19:41 (fourteen years ago) Permalink
the cape cod league has always fascinated me, the "summer in maine" aspect of it as much as anything else.
― John (jdahlem), Wednesday, 16 June 2004 19:47 (fourteen years ago) Permalink
'49 is U&K if you're a Yankees fan. He paints a really nice portrait of Joe D., which may or may be complete BS, but I prefer to believe it's true.
― miloauckerman (miloauckerman), Wednesday, 16 June 2004 19:50 (fourteen years ago) Permalink
― hstencil (hstencil), Wednesday, 16 June 2004 19:59 (fourteen years ago) Permalink
I'll big up Ball Four and the Halberstam books, and add Tom Adelman's The Long Ball, which is about the '75 season (ostensibly it's about the Series, but it really rambles through the season like one of those four-page SI pre-playoffs recaps, except book-length). I've also got this big monstrosity called The Baseball Chronicle -- I can't see from here who the publisher is -- that sold cheap at the discount tables at Barnes & Noble and covers highlights year by year up to ... 2001, I think, maybe 2002.
I have The Physics of Baseball sitting on my desk waiting to be read, but it's still waiting.
Ken Burns' book doesn't seem like it's actually meant to be read, so I suppose it's a good baseball coffeetable book.
Spaceman's Little Red Sox Book is fun -- I keep meaning to buy it, but just ... well, read a chapter or two at a time in the bookstore, to be honest. It's pretty slim.
And I've only read excerpts of and articles by Roger Angell, but he seems worth picking up.
― Tep (ktepi), Thursday, 17 June 2004 12:04 (fourteen years ago) Permalink
― Tep (ktepi), Thursday, 17 June 2004 12:15 (fourteen years ago) Permalink
You said in the other thread someone gave you "Win Shares." Man, that's one James book I knew was NOT for me -- too much pure theory. And he said in the ESPN chat this week "I made four significant mistakes in the design of Win Shares; four that I know of. I am making notes about a next-generation of Win Shares..." So why lay out $20 for a work in progress?
Like I was telling h at the park last night, a friend reports "The Bad Guys Won" is worth it just for dumb ballplayer anecdotes, and the excerpt I read involving the Animal House destruction of the post-pennant-winning charter flight out of Houston (complete with puking wives) was good Flushing Confidential stuff. Nothing about Keith Hernandez's rumored liaison with the San Diego Chicken, alas.
― Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 17 June 2004 13:05 (fourteen years ago) Permalink
I kind of figured Halberstam's books leaned toward the fiction end when it comes to actual facts, but it doesn't bother me that much.
― miloauckerman (miloauckerman), Thursday, 17 June 2004 19:03 (fourteen years ago) Permalink
― hstencil (hstencil), Thursday, 17 June 2004 19:09 (fourteen years ago) Permalink
Filled with stuff I didn't know, from the 1860s through 2004 (did you know this was the first year Topps hadOPS on the back of cards?), from Henry Chadwick (father of the boxscore as we know it) to VOROS McCRACKEN and beyond! Many of you will beshocked at how OLD many sabermetric concepts are... It's also quite hilarious how, in the Stone Age of computers, so many stat mavens worked for the military and used the mainframes to run their baseball numbers at night. Stuff on Strat-o-Matic andother games, the Elias Bureau vs Bill James war, STATS Inc, and how Oakland became the first on-base-centric franchise TWENTY YEARS before Billy Beane (via Sandy Alderson and Steve Boros).
(particularly recommended to Alex in SF)
― Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Monday, 22 November 2004 15:54 (fourteen years ago) Permalink
― Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Monday, 22 November 2004 16:46 (fourteen years ago) Permalink
― Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Monday, 22 November 2004 16:52 (fourteen years ago) Permalink
― gygax! (gygax!), Monday, 22 November 2004 17:31 (fourteen years ago) Permalink
Has anyone seen the new Bill James handbook? Coliseum Books on 42nd usually has it by now...
― Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Monday, 22 November 2004 17:45 (fourteen years ago) Permalink
― John (jdahlem), Monday, 22 November 2004 18:40 (fourteen years ago) Permalink
also, tips of books for someone who knows pretty much nothing about baseball, except for what i managed to glean from watching a few games on tv, would be appreciated.
― toby (tsg20), Wednesday, 9 November 2005 10:35 (thirteen years ago) Permalink
Yes, it's good.
― Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 9 November 2005 14:37 (thirteen years ago) Permalink
― gygax! (gygax!), Wednesday, 9 November 2005 16:02 (thirteen years ago) Permalink
friend of a friend is putting out a graphic novel about satchel paige and jim crow...
― j.q higgins, Thursday, 13 December 2007 18:56 (eleven years ago) Permalink
the new Connie Mack bio by Norman Macht is sposed to be definitive.
― Dr Morbius, Thursday, 13 December 2007 19:57 (eleven years ago) Permalink
I am enjoying that Neyer/James Book of Pitchers.
Got randyrolled yesterday.
Instead of the copy of Christy Mathewson's Pitching in a Pinch that I ordered, I got this.
― felicity, Thursday, 3 April 2008 20:28 (ten years ago) Permalink
― Belisarius, Friday, 4 April 2008 07:30 (ten years ago) Permalink
Oh! I just read about that book and "wa" in the Cubs spring program.
It said that cultural differences between Japan and America were responsible for the Giants' inability to retain Manasori Murikami after 1965. Apparently the MLB negotiators were more strict in their reading of the reserve clause, whereas the Japanese expected the "spririt" of the deal to prevail. The article was pretty brief but I gather that the "spirit" referred to was that NPB used to send "non-prospects" to the U.S. for seasoning, and when Murikami turned into an actual MLB prspect, they felt that he should go back to Japan, despite the literal meaning of the contract language. It sounds like Murikami (semi-) voluntarily returned to NLP, even though he technically could have stayed in the U.S. under his contract.
I guess it was only because Nomo found some sort of legal loophole in the standard NLP contract that allowed him to sign with the Dodgers in the 1980s. Perhaps that represented some historical cultural shift in Japan's attitude to contract. More recently they seem to have stood on the letter of contract (much to their profit).
It didn't explain the "posting" process that well. Apparently Fukudome didn't have to be posted like other recent Japanese players.
"Wa" (group harmony) is neat. Let us bury our tomahawks and have wa on ILBB.
― felicity, Friday, 4 April 2008 15:30 (ten years ago) Permalink
Just read Summer of '49 -- was kinda hoping for a 50/50 split regarding Sox / Yankees nostalgia-tinted schmooze, & not back-in-the-day when-men-were-men Yankeeography action clumsily intercut w/ "these are fans!" anecdotes. (Unrelated: every time DH leaned on Triple Crown stats or W-L records, I rolled my eyes.) Some cool stories & quotes & stuff, but doesn't really seem to congeal as a book so much, and "the great DiMaggio" can go fart in a hat.
Also read excerpts of that O'Nan / King 2004 Red Sox diary thing a while back. Whatever interest I had in pro-RSN propoganda was totally squelched by that piece of shit.
NB: I hate everything. :p
― David R., Friday, 13 June 2008 17:39 (ten years ago) Permalink
the o'nan/king book was interesting early because that team did take a dip that looked like it would be their annual august swoon and o'nan totally starts ripping the team. but when they hold on and the playoffs it was too much even for me.
― chicago kevin, Friday, 13 June 2008 17:47 (ten years ago) Permalink
― mookieproof, Saturday, 14 June 2008 03:14 (ten years ago) Permalink
I read "Summer of '49" when I was fifteen or so. I found it a bit long-winded and boring. No need to revisit it, I guess? :)
― NoTimeBeforeTime, Sunday, 15 June 2008 15:33 (ten years ago) Permalink
apparently it's full of errors.
― Dr Morbius, Monday, 16 June 2008 14:56 (ten years ago) Permalink
We're pleased to make two major announcements to the SABR membership and the baseball community at large:
1) SABR is now the publisher of The Emerald Guide to Baseball, and2) SABR is making the PDF version of The Emerald Guide to Baseball 2009 available as a FREE download from the members-only section of the website (and be sure to direct friends and family to sabr.org so they can get a copy too).
Edited by acclaimed baseball historians (and SABR members) Gary Gillette and Pete Palmer, The Emerald Guide distills the 2008 season down to 586 fact-filled pages that contain the pitching, fielding, and hitting statistics for every player active in the major and minor leagues in 2008. The Emerald Guide fills the hole in the baseball record left by the 2006 demise of the Sporting News Baseball Guide and contains all of the same features and then some, such as team-by-team daily results, a directory of important contacts, and a synopsis of the just-completed season. A bound version of The Emerald Guide is available via print on demand at Lulu.com for $23.94.
Making the PDF of The Emerald Guide available fre to anyone with accesss to a computer is a direct way for SABR to fulfill its mission of disseminating the history and record of baseball. And you, our members, help the organization fulfill this mission each and every day. One of our objectives is for sabr.org to be bookmarked by everyone with a serious interest in baseball. The Emerald Guide offers a step in that direction.
SABR plans to publish The Emerald Guide annually. Gillette and Palmer also authored 2007 and 2008 editions of The Emerald Guide (co-published with Sports-Reference). Free PDF versions of these editions are also available from the SABR website.
Thank you for your commitment to SABR and its mission. We hope you enjoy The Emerald Guide to Baseball 2009.
John Zajc, Executive Director
― Dr Morbius, Wednesday, 11 March 2009 20:28 (nine years ago) Permalink
fwiw, i third (?) bellisarius and felicity's recommendation of you gotta have wa. it provides a lot of interesting history of japanese baseball even if it's bit dated at this point. it would be interesting to see a new edition taking into account ichiro, matsui et al on one hand and bobby valentine on the other.
anybody have an opinion on that somewhat recent dimaggio bio? i think the author was richard cramer?
― j.q higgins, Thursday, 12 March 2009 11:56 (nine years ago) Permalink
huh. how about that...
― j.q higgins, Thursday, 12 March 2009 11:59 (nine years ago) Permalink
has anone bought the Fielding Bible II? Froma BP interview with author John Dewan:
The one thing I'd bring up that was kind of fun, was the analysis of Nate McLouth and Carlos Gomez; McLouth won a Gold Glove, and Gomez didn't. Carlos Gomez had the most defensive misplays in center field, which is a characteristic of young players that we've found; other young players up there are Delmon Young, B.J. Upton, and his brother, Justin Upton. All of these players have more defensive misplays. But Carlos Gomez covers so much more ground, that it just shows through on the number of runs saved. The difference that we found between Nate McLouth and Carlos Gomez was amazingly straightforward. Simply, Gomez is covering ground in deep center field, where fielding a ball is much more valuable, than Nate McLouth, who covers more ground in shallow center field, where making a catch means that you're saving a single. Gomez, meanwhile, is saving doubles and triples. It looks to be that the biggest problem for Nate McLouth is that he should play deeper. He has good skills and a lot of good fielding plays in our system, but when we break it down between shallow, medium, and deep, which is something we did in the book this year, he's plus on shallow balls, and minus on medium and deep.
also measures Varitek as worst recent Boston catcher, lol
― Past a Diving Jeter (Dr Morbius), Friday, 20 March 2009 21:16 (nine years ago) Permalink
Yeah that was weird though cuz it sort of seemed like the return of CERA which seems very suspect.
― Alex in SF, Friday, 20 March 2009 21:28 (nine years ago) Permalink
The Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) is pleased to announce the winners of the 2008 SABR-Sporting News Awards: Ron Selter for Ballparks of the Deadball Era; Andy Strasberg, Bob Thompson and Tim Wiles for Baseball's Greatest Hit; and Jim Walker and Rob Bellamy for Center Field Shot: A History of Baseball on Television. The winners will receive their awards on Saturday, August 1, 2009, in Washington, DC, at the JW Marriott, Pennsylvania Avenue during SABR's annual convention.
The Sporting News-SABR Baseball Research Award recognizes outstanding baseball research published in the previous calendar year in areas other than history and biography. The Award is designed to honor projects that do not fit the criteria for The Seymour Medal or the McFarland-SABR Baseball Research Award. The Sporting News sponsors the $200 cash awards that accompany the honor.
Ballparks of the Deadball Era is Ronald Selter's comprehensive study of Deadball Era-ballparks and park effects, in which he shows the extent to which ballparks determined the style of play. Organized by major league city, this fact-filled, data-heavy commentary includes all 34 ballparks used by the American and National Leagues from 1901 through 1919.
In Baseball's Greatest Hit, Strasberg, Thompson, and Wiles present the complete story of the third-most frequently sung song in America: “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.” The book features countless photos and illustrations, providing a pictorial history of the song’s influence on the game and American culture. A bonus CD is also included, which features many rare and classic recordings of the song from artists such as Dr. John, the Ray Brown Trio, Carly Simon, and George Winston.
In Center Field Shot, Walker and Bellamy trace the sometimes contentious but mutually beneficial relationship between baseball and television, from the first televised game in 1939 to the contemporary era of Internet broadcasts, satellite radio, and high-definition TV. Ultimately, the association of baseball with television emerges as a reflection American culture at large.
― Dr Morbius, Friday, 22 May 2009 01:19 (nine years ago) Permalink
Baseball America's top ten of '09:
― Rage, Resentment, Spleen (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 5 January 2010 08:55 (nine years ago) Permalink
Thanks, Matos WK.
― Andy K, Tuesday, 23 February 2010 00:33 (eight years ago) Permalink
dude's got a blog too!
― Tracer Hand, Wednesday, 24 February 2010 00:26 (eight years ago) Permalink
― Fusty Moralizer (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 2 March 2010 18:21 (eight years ago) Permalink
Anyone read this?
― Daleks in NYC (Leee), Wednesday, 31 March 2010 01:31 (eight years ago) Permalink
earlnash otm, it's like someone paid Martin to destroy those guys.
― ice cream social justice (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 14 November 2017 12:59 (one year ago) Permalink
One thing I noticed reading the book that hasn't changed--at least in terms of those '70s A's--was the quick hook during the post-season. If Holtzman or Blue or Odom (a little less so with Hunter) got into any kind of trouble early in the game--say a couple of runs and a couple of baserunners--there was no hesitation to send Knowles or Lindblad or someone else out there in the third inning. Holtzman had a running feud with Alvin Dark over this.
Sad in a "Campaigner," even-Richard-Nixon-has-got-soul way: when Finley died in 1996, only two ex-A's--Reggie and Hunter, the two guys he screwed over the worst (with the possible exception of Mike Andrews)--showed up at the funeral.
― clemenza, Tuesday, 14 November 2017 15:19 (one year ago) Permalink
Earl: Blue's overruled sale to the Reds turns up in passing (happened during the '77 meltdown).
I'd have to conclude after finishing the book that Finley was an even more volatile and erratic bully than Steinbrenner (but who did help bring a handful of innovations to the game, and also was the only owner who really understood what free agency was going to mean for the owners; his suggestion that every player be declared a free agent at the end of the season would have indeed kept power with the owners).
― clemenza, Tuesday, 14 November 2017 15:28 (one year ago) Permalink
Kids in my neighborhood back in the early 80s were huge baseball geeks. We all had copies of "Who's Who in Baseball" or "Street and Smith" and during those early 80s years we played homerun derby or tennis ball (in the neighborhood) along with watching Cubs and Braves games all the time, since they were always on TV.
My neighbor Tobey his dad was a huge A's fan and had one of those huge early 80s satellite dishes (RIP Bo Diaz) and had it to specifically watch west coast baseball like the A's or sometimes Dodger or Giant feeds. His dad got hooked on them when younger with the 70s teams, so trading baseball cards and the like, Tobey was the A's guy and we knew everything about them in that era.
We eventually invented our own game we called 'dice baseball' that we played all the time keeping stats and what not. Later on we got into the Sports Illustrated Baseball Stat game (never Stratomat), but I remember during a blizzard in probably '84 playing out lots of games with Tobey and my buddy Barry. Two would play the game and the third not playing would be kinda like the play by play guy.
Don't know what it was about those games, but there would always be some oddball player that would hit like Babe Ruth out of nowhere. I know Bob Brenly was one when we played those games that hit way, way better than he ever did on the field.
― earlnash, Wednesday, 15 November 2017 01:42 (one year ago) Permalink
earlnash! have you heard of deadball?? i have played a little with my kids and a slightly embarrassing amount with er, myself:
― illegal economic migration (Tracer Hand), Wednesday, 15 November 2017 13:19 (one year ago) Permalink
Bought Keith Law's book on Boxing Day, also The Last Innocents: The Collision of the Turbulent '60s and the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Law's book is good, although I did spend the first few chapters (on the old stats) thinking "Tell me something I don't know." And there's this condescension that runs through it, starting with the cover hype: "The story behind the old stats that are ruining the game..." Really? I'd agree that the save stat has had a negative impact, insofar as it negatively altered the way games are managed, but some player getting undue credit for his RBI count actually "ruins" the game? Or this sentence towards the end: "The battle is over, whether the losers realize it or not." There's a lot of that. Enough that you realize by "losers," he doesn't just mean the side that lost "the battle." He means losers. I guess I was really tuned out on the Jays for a few years--no recollection of his time with the team.
― clemenza, Friday, 5 January 2018 14:46 (one year ago) Permalink
Jerald Podair's City of Dreams: Dodger Stadium and the Birth of Modern Los Angeles is a superb historical monograph based on extensive, original research and brilliantly written. Podair delineates clearly the connection between the decision to build Dodger Stadium and the intricate machinations and alliances of urban politics. This decision ultimately determined that Los Angeles would henceforth develop economically and culturally from a centralized downtown core radiating outward rather than a decentralized conglomeration of independent neighborhoods. The result was the creation of modern Los Angeles.
― ice cream social justice (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 23 January 2018 21:58 (one year ago) Permalink
Almost finished The Last Innocents: The Collision of the Turbulent '60s and the Los Angeles Dodgers that I mentioned above. Very good account of the Roseboro/Marichal incident from '65. The conventional wisdom is that outside events--the Watts riots, political chaos in Marichal's Dominican Republic--were very much weighing on everyone, but the author says it was much more the simple fact of how much the Dodgers and Giants hated each other. Sad: the event dogged Roseboro (the hero) and Marichal (the villain) for the rest of their careers and beyond. But the players eventually made their peace--everyone said Marichal's actions were completely at odds with the kind of person he was--and Marichal ended up as an honorary pallbearer at Roseboro's funeral.
― clemenza, Sunday, 18 February 2018 19:00 (one year ago) Permalink
As good as the book is on capturing the team and the decade, it's kind of awkwardly old-fashioned on player evaluation. Example: the author, without explicitly saying so, seems to think Maury Wills should be in the HOF--which, unless you give him a thousand bonus points as an innovator, is a stretch, to say the least. Noticed something interesting when I looked up how Wills did in balloting, though. In 1978, both he and Mazeroski came onto the ballot; Wills drew around 30% support, Mazeroski 6%. Sure was some drastic re-evaluation around the corner.
― clemenza, Tuesday, 20 February 2018 23:28 (one year ago) Permalink
a glance down the mvp list suggests that wills' mvp was one of two to go to a hitter with an OPS+ under 100 -- the other being marty marion during the war
(tbf, fangraphs gives wills a 103 wRC+ for 1962)
― mookieproof, Wednesday, 21 February 2018 00:09 (eleven months ago) Permalink
Trying to project yourself into the moment, I can sort of see why writers voted for Wills: he broke a record, he was the acknowledged team leader, he scored 130 runs, MVP voters loved middle infielders back then. Obviously he wasn't the MVP--Mays, Robinson, and Aaron all had epic years. About the best you can say looking at it today is that he may have been the best pick out of the second-tier candidates.
― clemenza, Wednesday, 21 February 2018 00:36 (eleven months ago) Permalink
Wes Parker's story is fascinating--as is, as the book points out, his inclusion on this, the one name out of nine guaranteed to elicit puzzlement.
On to this now:
― clemenza, Monday, 26 February 2018 00:44 (eleven months ago) Permalink
It’s 2098 and the last season of baseball -- forever. After the ravages of WWIII, the once all-American sport is now synonymous with terrorism and treason. Holograms run the bases for out-of-shape players and attendance averages fifteen spectators per game. The only ballpark left is Amazon, once known as Yankee Stadium.
America, nearly wiped out by radical Islam, has established a society based on love. Religion, social media, and the entertainment industry have been outlawed. All acts of patriotism are illegal, and the country is led by Grandma. Heading up the Family in her home base in the Bronx, she works tirelessly to build a lasting legacy for the future.
As baseball historian Puppy Nedick prepares for opening day, a chance encounter lands him face-to-face with former baseball greats. Determined not to go down without a fight, the players band together to revitalize the game for one last hurrah.
But not everyone wants peace. Will baseball become the catalyst for WWIV, or will it save America?
out on march 29!
― mookieproof, Monday, 26 February 2018 16:20 (eleven months ago) Permalink
prod. steve bannon
― illegal economic migration (Tracer Hand), Monday, 26 February 2018 16:43 (eleven months ago) Permalink
America, nearly wiped out by radical Islam, has established a society based on love.
I feel like if I repeated this sentence out loud 1000 times I would achieve some kind of enlightenment
but I can't because every time I even think of it I start giggling
― Guayaquil (eephus!), Monday, 26 February 2018 16:47 (eleven months ago) Permalink
Um you guys you can read the text of this in Google Books and it's everything you dreamed of and more
― Guayaquil (eephus!), Monday, 26 February 2018 16:50 (eleven months ago) Permalink
When baseball writers wander astray (Bill Reynolds, Red Sox book above, writing about Bill Lee):
"The article caught the outrageousness of Lee, everything from his fascination with the British rocker Warren Zevon..."
― clemenza, Friday, 2 March 2018 01:30 (eleven months ago) Permalink
― illegal economic migration (Tracer Hand), Friday, 2 March 2018 11:08 (eleven months ago) Permalink
Great story from the Red Sox book (Bill Lee, who else?). In '75, in the midst of all the furor over busing--the book's almost as much about that as about baseball--Lee, a vocal supporter, got some death threats, and also a visit from the Winter Hill Gang, local mobsters who showed up at his house and threatened to kill him.
"We eventually ended up going out for pizza and getting drunk together, but it was scary there for a while."
― clemenza, Monday, 5 March 2018 01:25 (eleven months ago) Permalink
Congratulations to Jim Leeke, Steve Steinberg, and Bill Young, who were selected as the winners of the 2018 SABR Baseball Research Awards, which honor outstanding research projects completed during the preceding calendar year that have significantly expanded our knowledge or understanding of baseball.
Leeke was honored for "From the Dugouts to the Trenches: Baseball During The Great War," published by University of Nebraska Press.
Steinberg was honored for "Urban Shocker: Silent Hero of Baseball's Golden Age," also by Nebraska.
Young was honored for "J.L. Wilkinson and the Kansas City Monarchs: Trailblazers in Black Baseball," published by McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers.
― ice cream social justice (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 15 March 2018 21:37 (eleven months ago) Permalink
Roger Angell is 98 (!) today. This is my favorite passage of his: pic.twitter.com/jRvjIcI3Tx— Emma Baccellieri (@emmabaccellieri) September 19, 2018
― a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 19 September 2018 15:16 (five months ago) Permalink
― a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Friday, 21 September 2018 11:59 (four months ago) Permalink
Saw two today I really want to read:
I don't remember the '76 season being as memorable as '75 or '77, but Epstein's '70s book was really good, so I'm sure he'll turn up lots I've forgotten or never knew. Stuff I do remember: Fidrych, the AL batting race, Sparky Anderson's condescension towards Munson after the World Series.
― clemenza, Sunday, 30 September 2018 17:58 (four months ago) Permalink
i feel like being a fan in the '70s would have made for some good times. i'm too young to remember anything from the '70s (43 yrs old here) beyond a faint awareness of peak '70s baseball guys Dave Kingman and Bill Buckner (i grew up near Chicago), I just remember that I started watching the Cubs in 1982 -- rookie year Sandberg, Leon Durham hitting what seemed like a million home runs (uh, 22), and as a kid my favorite player was Bump Wills because...his name was Bump. Also I very faintly remember people talking up a young OFer named Mel Hall...oops.
― omar little, Sunday, 30 September 2018 19:18 (four months ago) Permalink
Hundred pages into Stars and Strikes, really enjoying it. The '70s are still (and I guess always will be) my favourite decade for baseball. Obviously, nostalgia is a big part of that, but I'd also agree with something James once wrote, that the decade was a perfect mix of a whole bunch of different approaches to the game. Lots of 40+ HR guys, topped by Foster's 52 in '77; Carew threatened .400 more than once, and there was an endless assortment of other speedy, high-average players like Garr and Templeton and Rivers (many of whom don't fare well using modern metrics, but they were fun and exciting at the time); historically flashy seasons by starters (Carlton, Blue, Guidry), and the beginnings of the modern closer (bad for the game from this vantage point, but Marshall and McGraw and Hrabosky and Gossage and Fingers were all memorable). That was the biggest thing--so many characters. Don't have the book beside me, but there's this little detour about John Montefusco ("The Count," 1975's ROY) getting a big raise the next year and hosting a party at the San Francisco Playboy Club that kind of sums up the decade for me. Again, not cool by today's standards. I know.
― clemenza, Tuesday, 30 October 2018 11:47 (three months ago) Permalink
Wasn't aware of (or, more like, had forgotten) some of the backstage drama over Toronto getting a franchise. The two leagues were fighting over the city at one point; the AL had given them the team after the whole Giants thing fell through, at which point the NL decided they wanted both Toronto and Washington, so they tried to block it. Meanwhile, the Seitz-Messersmith-McNally case was working its way through the courts, and Marvin Miller complained that the owners were so fixated on the Toronto issue, it was hard to get them to the table for negotiations.
― clemenza, Tuesday, 30 October 2018 11:53 (three months ago) Permalink
One other thing that made it a great decade: a bunch of memorable WS.
1970 - only 5 games, but legendary defense from Brooks Robinson1971 - 7 games, Pirates come back from 3-1 deficit, Clemente1972 - 7 games, first A's title1973 - 7 games, wild A's win over the barely .500 Mets1974 - 5 games; one of two lousy Series1975 - 7 games, on the short list of greatest-ever1976 - 4 games, the other lousy Series1977 - 6 games, Bronx Zoo, Reggie's 3 in a row1978 - 6 games, more of the same, Welch strikes out Reggie1979 - 7 games, Pirates come back from 3-1 (again), We Are Family
Seven great ones for sure, maybe eight, depending upon how you rate the Brooks Robinson Show. Sad and embarrassed to say I didn't watch the '79 Series--pretentious first-year university student who had put baseball behind him.
― clemenza, Tuesday, 30 October 2018 18:45 (three months ago) Permalink
I read "Big Hair ..." a few months ago and I'll probably buy this one as well. A lot of the stories in that book left me wanting a more detailed treatment.
― NoTimeBeforeTime, Tuesday, 30 October 2018 19:43 (three months ago) Permalink
So I'm heading to Houston in May and figure to include a baseball game or two, are there any must reads on Houston or Texas baseball?
― You (bleeping) need me. You can't Finn without me (fionnland), Tuesday, 30 October 2018 19:57 (three months ago) Permalink
Jim Bouton's I'm Glad You Didn't Take It Personally, which covers his '70 season with the Astros. (He's in Houston for part of Ball Four, too.) "It Makes a Fellow Proud to Be an Astro" is a basic text.
Now, the Astros are a team that likes to go out on the town,We like to drink and fight and fuck till curfew comes aroundThen it's time to make the trek,We better be back to buddy's check,It makes a fellow proud to be an Astro.
Now, Edwards is our catcher and he's really No. 1,Dave Bristol said he drinks too much and calls some long home runs,But we think John will be all right,If we keep him in his room at night,It makes a fellow proud to be an Astro.
Now, our pitching staff's composed of guys who think they're pretty cool,With a case of Scotch, a greenie and an old beat-up whirlpool,We'll make the other hitters laugh,Then calmly break their bats in half,It makes a fellow proud to be an Astro.
Now, Harry Walker is the one that manages this crew,He doesn't like it when we drink and fight and smoke and screw,But when we win our game each day,Then what the fuck can Harry say?It makes a fellow proud to be an Astro.
― clemenza, Tuesday, 30 October 2018 21:18 (three months ago) Permalink
(Not a lot to do with George Springer, though, if that's more what you're looking for.)
― clemenza, Tuesday, 30 October 2018 21:20 (three months ago) Permalink
Sounds ideal thanks! will let you know how I get on with it
― You (bleeping) need me. You can't Finn without me (fionnland), Wednesday, 31 October 2018 22:22 (three months ago) Permalink
Didn't know a thing about this till just now. Rob Neyer's a great writer.
― clemenza, Wednesday, 31 October 2018 23:20 (three months ago) Permalink
(It uses an Astros-A's playoff game from last year as a snapshot of "the myriad ways in which Major League Baseball has changed over the last few decades.")
― clemenza, Wednesday, 31 October 2018 23:21 (three months ago) Permalink
that's one crazy guitar chord
― na (NA), Thursday, 1 November 2018 01:28 (three months ago) Permalink
you can say that again!
― Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Thursday, 1 November 2018 04:25 (three months ago) Permalink
From the Dan Epstein 1976 book: when the Angels brought Tommy Davis out of retirement in June, he was working as a promo guy for Casablanca Records (just taking off with Destroyer and "Love to Love You Baby"). Dick Williams would catch him shaving and making phone calls between innings. (For some truly inscrutable MVP support, look at Davis's 10th place finish in '73. He was a DH who slugged under .400.)
― clemenza, Saturday, 3 November 2018 13:21 (three months ago) Permalink
Neyer is the guest on the latest EW podcast (2nd half)
― a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Saturday, 3 November 2018 14:19 (three months ago) Permalink
A couple more from Epstein (there's no end to them).
Long relief: Dick Tidrow relieves Ed Figueroa in the 7th inning of a 4-4 game vs. the Twins. He pitches 10.2 innings, gives up four hits and no runs.
Most highbrow promotion ever: Bill Veeck's "Ragtime Night," where they give away 10,000 copies of E.L. Doctorow's novel.
― clemenza, Saturday, 3 November 2018 15:51 (three months ago) Permalink
Two things I took away from the Epstein book:
1) How contentious player-manager relationships could be through the '70s. It was such a regular thing for players to badmouth their managers publically. Most of the managers were still old-school autocrats, and they'd often try to enforce dress codes and haircuts and whatever they felt like; on top of that, big money was starting to creep in, baseball was catching up to the contentiousness of the '60s, and managers fought (and resented) that. You hardly ever hear about player-manager friction anymore. (I don't think, anyway--am I wrong on that?) Managers had to adapt. I don't know who the last old-school-type manager was...Pinella?
2) That, in his own bumbling way--and based on personal vendetta--Kuhn might have accidentally made the right call on Charlie Finley's rebuked fire sale. (That's my opinion, not Epstein's.) Legally, Kuhn had no standing whatsoever--as Finley pointed out (to no avail), owners had been selling off players forever. But this was just as free agency was about to kick in. I wonder if it would have been too much shock to the system all at once. I can see where all the other owners, panicked over the loss of the reserve clause, might have followed Finley's lead and automatically tried to sell anybody and everybody playing out his contract (partly as a punitive measure). I don't know--but I can see where player movement for those first couple of years might have been so drastic that teams would have been unrecognizable from year to year. Everything would have sorted itself out soon enough, I suppose, but, to use that deathless phrase, I'm not sure if selling off Blue, Fingers, and Rudi would have been in the best interests of the game, at least in the short term.
― clemenza, Thursday, 8 November 2018 01:41 (three months ago) Permalink
Let's go with revoked fire sale instead.
― clemenza, Thursday, 8 November 2018 01:42 (three months ago) Permalink
Selig cancelled that loan from FOX to Frank McCourt that more or less forced his hand in selling the Dodgers (for $2B -- even when the bad guys lose, sometimes they still win). Legally it was questionable but the commissioner does have the power to do things in "the best interest of baseball". Finley didn't really need the money, but he liked treating his players as cattle, even more so than regular owners. Kuhn's decision can't be viewed in a vacuum, it was the culmination of more than a decade of the league having the deal with Finley's BS, despite the fact that the team was very successful on the field (the Dodgers made the playoffs a bunch of times under McCourt's ownership too). But I really don't think Kuhn cared about avoiding a "shock to the system", he just wanted to hurt Finley. Kuhn was way behind the times on every labour issue of his tenure, I can't credit him with the foresight of "easing" MLB into the free agency era.
― NoTimeBeforeTime, Thursday, 8 November 2018 12:31 (three months ago) Permalink
Don't disagree at all about Kuhn's motives (I said as much in my first sentence)--he wanted to fuck over Finley, pure and simple. If it had been O'Malley or Yawkey or one of the old-guard owners making the sale, Kuhn wouldn't have intervened. I just think he did the right thing--or at least, at that moment in time, the best thing--for the wrong reasons. If that sale had gone through, I think it would have been a couple of years of bedlam.
― clemenza, Thursday, 8 November 2018 13:29 (three months ago) Permalink
Right, although I'm saying that even if the sales had been "bad for baseball" and led to a couple of years of bedlam (which I don't agree with), Kuhn would have made his move anyway because he never grasped what was good or bad for baseball in any context.
― NoTimeBeforeTime, Friday, 9 November 2018 05:20 (three months ago) Permalink
Started Jeff Katz's Split Season: 1981, the book I mentioned above. One of the big appeals of such books for me is taking note of major changes in the game. (Major changes from what seems like recent history--obviously such changes would be obvious if you read a book about Ted Williams or Cy Young.) Three for the few pages Katz spends on Len Barker's perfect game:
-- Barker was considered a hard thrower, sometimes erratically so; his fastball was clocked at 91 m.p.h.
-- Cleveland's PR guy had to get special permission from management to allow the Toronto Star's Alison Gordon into the clubhouse after the game.
-- The same PR guy arranged for the Today Show's Bryant Gumbel to speak to Barker the next morning (this had been the first perfect game since Catfish Hunter in 1968--it was national news). Barker cancelled because he wanted to sleep in. I'm trying to imagine a player today turning down a similar chance to (as I heard some YouTube analyst creepily say the other day) "leverage his brand."
― clemenza, Sunday, 9 December 2018 17:11 (two months ago) Permalink
A couple of show-biz anecdotes from the split-season book:
1) John Gavin, Janet Leigh's boyfriend in Psycho, was Reagan's Ambassador to Mexico (he accompanies Valenzuela when the latter gets invited to the White House).
2) Doug DeCinces was a cousin of Lisa Loring, who played Wednesday on The Addams Family. (I had no idea DeCinces was convicted of insider trading a few months ago...is he is prison right now?)
― clemenza, Sunday, 16 December 2018 16:19 (two months ago) Permalink
Neyer's Power Ball won the Casey Award for best baseball book of 2018. Has anyone else read it? I'd be interested in hearing what you thought. Honestly, I didn't like it that much--and I used to like Neyer's blog a lot. The baseball was fine, although it felt like a broad overview of very familiar terrain. The bigger problem I had was with the tone. Specifically all the exclamation marks. It was like the Seinfeld Jake Jarmel epsisode.
― clemenza, Saturday, 26 January 2019 19:26 (three weeks ago) Permalink
slightly OT, Neyer has started a podcast on the SABR site, it seems.
― a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Saturday, 26 January 2019 22:00 (three weeks ago) Permalink
The premise didn't interest me very much, even though I've loved reading Neyer's stuff for most of his career. Maybe I'll pick up this book after all.
I finished reading Jon Pessah's "The Game", everything up until the fallout from the '94 strike is excellent, with a lot of cool insider looks into what all sides were trying to accomplish. Once he reached the so-called Steroid Era I felt as though I wasn't learning much that I didn't already know, but then again I was following much more closely during that time.
His fawning over the Yankees and especially Steinbrenner gets to be a bit too much. Somehow big Stein avoids catching much flak and is presented as this visionary figure who sees the big picture in ways that the other owners and even (especially?) the commissioner can't see.
― NoTimeBeforeTime, Saturday, 26 January 2019 22:23 (three weeks ago) Permalink