Hey, I enjoyed this one. For all that it ends on a bad note (the Red Sox lose, Tito "resigns"), it's also this goofy look into life in a majoAh, Tito.
Hey, I enjoyed this one. For all that it ends on a bad note (the Red Sox lose, Tito "resigns"), it's also this goofy look into life in a major league baseball clubhouse. It's weird. I'm sure you live that way long enough and it makes you weird too. Throw in lots of money, lots of pressure, and - for most of these guys - 9 months with very few days off, and suddenly divorce and arrest rates among professional athletes make slightly more sense.
But more importantly, when Pedey won the AL MVP award, Tito bought him a powder blue Vespa with a personalized pink helmet. And Pedey drove it to work. The end. :)...more
Trivia, baseball, unrelated pop culture references, footnotes, and graphs: turns out these are some of my favorite things. I love the website, and canTrivia, baseball, unrelated pop culture references, footnotes, and graphs: turns out these are some of my favorite things. I love the website, and can't wait to see what Robinson came up with for the book.
I'll start, right up front, by saying I had two problems with this book. The first being that quite a few of the infographics included in the book were originally posted to the website, meaning I've already seen them. Don't get me wrong - I liked them! Both times I saw them! But I've already seen most of them.
Want to know the Billboard 100 #1 song played the day Nolan Ryan threw his first and last major pitches? Done. The worst town in the US for baseball fans to live in (and why)? It's there. All of the information you could possibly require re: Ichiro and his awesomeness? Included.
If you know a baseball dork (or if you are one), this is well worth the flip through.
Now, you may be asking - Chelsea, didn't you say you had two problems with this book? Did you walk away in the middle of writing your review again and forget that you said that? Well, yes and no. I walked away, sure, but I don't plan on leaving a cliffhanger for you, no worries.
Let's be honest: I want to read this specifically because of The Big Show, and I read that specifically because of Sports Night.
So, in summary (I guesLet's be honest: I want to read this specifically because of The Big Show, and I read that specifically because of Sports Night.
So, in summary (I guess?): winner, winner, chicken dinner. :)
I got bogged down in this one (unsurprisingly: have you seen the size of this thing?) and did not end up finishing it. If I remember correctly, the same thing happened with the authors' previous book in this format Live From New York, about SNL - I just couldn't finish it.
There were some good stories in here from the early years, as the channel was faced with a constant struggle to remain in business. But too many of the other stories were about behind-the-scenes politics, rather than sports and catchphrases, which is what I was looking for from this book.
It certainly didn't help that I don't know who any of these producers and executives are, making their contributions to the book pretty meaningless to me. Also, as with many fledgling companies, the turnover was quite high, and the book didn't give much in the way of introductions, leaving me confused as to who half of these people were.
ESPN junkies will love this one, as it seems like people were pretty open in their interviews. But I just couldn't get into it....more
Not only do I still get all wibbly (technical term) when I read "The Green Fields of the Mind", but I've also read and enjoyed one of Giamatti's rulinNot only do I still get all wibbly (technical term) when I read "The Green Fields of the Mind", but I've also read and enjoyed one of Giamatti's rulings as Commissioner (as featured in A Great and Glorious Game), so I am all about this one. ...more
I would dearly love to give this book two reviews, in large part because it is two different books poorly smashed together.
The first two parts (or, thI would dearly love to give this book two reviews, in large part because it is two different books poorly smashed together.
The first two parts (or, the first 200 pages) are a historical look at the baseball - the object itself, rather than the sport that it shares a name with. Sure, you can't separate the two, but at the same time, the importance of the physical baseball can be easily overlooked. Going back to the days when baseballs were valuable enough that it was written into the league rules that the winning team got to keep the ball from the game, Hample shares all kinds of facts that, while not previously unknown, have not been put together as a book.
And that was all well and good - a fun read for a baseball dork/history geek like myself.
Then we reached part three.
In which Zack Hample decides to remind his readers why he managed to get a book published.
For those who don't know, Hample is semi-notorious in baseball circles for, as he puts it, "snagging more than 4,600 baseballs from 48 different major league stadiums". And, lucky reader, he's going to tell you his tricks, so that you, too, can shout at major league baseball players during batting practice in the hope that they will toss you a baseball.
That part gets a 1, for being stupid (catching a baseball at a game is neat, especially if it's a home run ball. making it your profession is a little skeevy) and for the self-satisfaction just wafting off the page.
Without part three, I probably would have given this one a four. Alas, Zack Hample managed to ruin Zack Hample's book....more
God, I love this essay. I read it for the first time years ago for a class in a book simply called Baseball (what are the odds that link takes you toGod, I love this essay. I read it for the first time years ago for a class in a book simply called Baseball (what are the odds that link takes you to the right one?), and it made me fall madly in love with not only Updike, but Ted Williams.
This is a great format, and though as a reader I'm not supposed to say this, the cover is fantastic. The footnotes are included (which are a good portion of the appeal, though they are now out of date), as is an introduction Updike wrote the year he died, and the obituary he wrote when Williams died....more
Yes, I picked it up, don't judge me. For what it's worth, I skimmed rather than read.
I giggled a couple times, simply because of the vocab definitionsYes, I picked it up, don't judge me. For what it's worth, I skimmed rather than read.
I giggled a couple times, simply because of the vocab definitions he used (a Pink Hat is, among other things, a fan who thinks that Kevin Youkilis is consistently booed). But Andy isn't as funny as he thinks he is.
Apparently I have made my disdain for football a little too clear, as my boss dropped this on my desk along with an order to watch the Patriots game tApparently I have made my disdain for football a little too clear, as my boss dropped this on my desk along with an order to watch the Patriots game this weekend.
I'm two chapters in, and so far I've learned that the best way to become a football fan is to get bribed with ice cream by your father so you'll shut up during the game, and the best way to become a football expert is to marry a pro quarterback. Also, that Holly Robinson Peete needs a new ghostwriter, because neither of them are funny.
I had better learn some football lingo stat, or I will be forced to quit my job in self defense. (But, like, girls can totally like football! There are guys in tight pants! Ohmigod!)...more
It kills me to say this, because it had such promise - UGH. There's a lesson to be learned in this book, and it has nothing to do with baseball: sometIt kills me to say this, because it had such promise - UGH. There's a lesson to be learned in this book, and it has nothing to do with baseball: sometimes, family members shouldn't be the ones to write a biography. Sometimes you need that bit of distance, or that... ability to write.
I'm pretty sure that there's a really interesting life story in there somewhere, but I got 40 pages in and had written "GAG ME" and "VOMIT" all over the margins (and other variations thereof, plus many more rude things), because the writing was terrible. Telling instead of showing. Complete and utter schmaltz. An overly idealized subject - Gene - who spoke like he was slightly retarded. (There's another lesson for future memoir/biography writers! We, as readers, understand that you are fudging most, if not all, of the dialogue in your book, for lots of reasons. But, please, give us a little bit of realism - some improper grammar, some slang, maybe even a little bit of profanity! Fewer people will throw your book across the room.)
The scene where Gene and his friend watch Citizen King and then hear about Pearl Harbor was particularly bad, and I wrote "SHUT UP WARD" (Gene's brother) and "I HATE EVERYONE" all over the page... if that tells you anything....more