Looking for baseball in all the wrong places

July 28, 2015

I picked up a couple of books at the library recently and, lo and behold, found some baseball in ’em.

http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1396836541l/18509642.jpg100 of the Worst Ideas in History, by Michael Smith and Eric Kasum, includes three items on the national pastime in the chapter “Stupidity at a Major League Level.” Each contains the following:

  • “The genius behind it,” aka who to blame.
  • “The brainstorm struck,” when
  • “Bring on the blunder,” the main details
  • “From bad to worse,” further details
  • “Dumb luck”
  • “Afterthoughts”

You may agree, disagree, or think others should have been included, but there they are:

  • “The Bambino’s Curse on the Beantown BombersĀ  (fairly obvious)
  • “Out of the Park? Out of the Question” (Keeping Josh Gibson — and by extension, all African-Americans — out of “organized ball”)
  • Disco inferno singes the White Sox (also obvious)

The other baseball-related material comes from the latest in the Freakonomics series (one of my favorites).

http://also.kottke.org/misc/images/when-to-rob-a-bank.jpgWhen to Rob a Bank…and 131 More Warped Suggestions and Well-Intended Rants by Stephen Dubner and Steven Levitt includes a “rant” on “Pete Rose Provides a Lesson in Basic Economics (the cost/worth of memorabilia) and “If Only God Had Corporate Sponsorship” (The Chicago White Sox start their night games at 7:11 because that company is a sponsor.)

The rest of the stuff in these books is pretty good, too.

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