Bits and pieces, May 5

May 5, 2015

Happy Cinco de Mayo, everyone.

Trying clear out the old new links box (as opposed to the old old links I post on Thursdays now).

‘Tis the season when reviews, excerpts, lists, and author appearance are sprouting like flowers.

* From Men’s Journal, this list of “The 10 Baseball Books Every Fan Should Read.” (Hmm, where have I seen a title like that before?) I have a couple of quibbles. For example, I find the inclusion of Bart Giamatti’s A Great and Glorious Game akin to art-house movies; if you don’t like them, find them perhaps a bit too poetically pretentious, then there’s obviously something wrong with you. Additionally, the writer states up front that Pafko at the Wall, by Don DeLillo, is basically a short story.  I submit that is such is the case, it shouldn’t be taking up a spot that should go to something more meaty. The article also links to another list: “11 Best Sports Cult Books.” Given that the publication is one of those adventurous outdoorsy things, I’m surprised they include baseball among such activities as rowing, surfing, climbing, cycling, and spearfishing, among others, but their choice is Jim Bouton’s Ball Four.,204,203,200_.jpg* The Pittsburgh City Paper site posted this review of Big Data Baseball: Math, Miracles, and the End of a 20-Year Losing Streak, by  Pittsburgh Tribune-Review baseball writer Travis Sawchik. Upshot: “very readable and revealing.”

* From the Huffington Post — and forgive me if I posted this previously — a list of 50 — count ’em 50! –of the “Greatest Baseball Books of All Time.”

* Peripatetic Allen Barra syndicated this piece on his five must-reads of the new season. (Note: this site requires registration.)

* Here’s a list of eight titles to read courtesy of the Pocono Record.

* Dennis Anderson offers a modest list of three titles that might have otherwise flown under the radar in the the Peoria Journal Star.

* Eight seems to be a popular number. The Christian Science Monitor published “8 new baseball books for Opening Day and beyond,” which, contrary to the title includes at least one book that is definitely not new (two other books were updated and re-released for 2015).

*,204,203,200_.jpgUh-oh, seems like Steve Kettmann touched a collective nerve among some Met fans with his new bio, Baseball Maverick: How Sandy Alderson Revolutionized Baseball and Revived the Mets. In a Daily Beast article, Kevin Canfield, writes “I must point out that substantial portions [the book] are utter BS. ‘Revived’”? There’s no denying that Alderson inherited an organization headed in the wrong direction when he was hired as the Mets’ GM before the 2011 season. But under his leadership, the team has put together four consecutive losing seasons; their best showing during the period was last year’s 79-83 record. So until he puts together a winning season, maybe let’s hold off on celebrating him as a savior?” And then Canifield gets nasty. John Williams wrote in his “Open Book” column on “Reading Options for Opening Day,”Mets fans may want to wait until their team is back in the playoffs — or just finishes a season over .500 — before signing off on Kettmann’s subtitle….”

* Mookie Wilson, a Mets fan favorite, appeared on WAMC, the public radio station in Albany, NY, to discuss his memoir, Mookie: Life, Baseball, And The ’86 Mets . You can listen to the segment here. He was also on WUWF, a northwest Florida public radio affiliate.

* In that same piece, which was published April 3 (so I’m behind, so sue me) Williams also refers to Roger Kahn‘s Boys of Summer; Robert Coover’s The Universal Baseball Association, Inc., J. Henry Waugh, Prop., and Michael LewisMoneyball. Each links to the Times‘ original review as written by Grace Lichtenstein, Wilfrid Sheed, and Lawrence S. Ritter, respectively.

* If you can get a hold of the issues, The Wall Street Journal published reviews of the new bios on Marvin Miller and Billy Martin. Can’t link to them because I don’t have a paid on-line subscription. Boo.

* Deadline Detroit posted this profile/review of Charles Leerhsen’s Ty Cobb: A Terrible Beauty. The piece includes a link the the Publishers Weekly review. To be honest, I found the piece slightly lazy: It basically consists of quotes lifted from the book’s Facebook page, the author’s website, and the PW review, with very little original material coming from the writer.



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