October 9, 2012

Wickets and Wonders: Cricket’s Rich Literary Vein 9


Cricket fans hate lazy comparisons to baseball, but the literary analogy is an apt one here: if baseball is America, then cricket is—or rather, was—England.

August 31, 2012

Burnin’ Down the (Big) House: The Unhappy Marriage between Michigan Football and Rich Rodriguez 4


The “aw-shucks” Rodriguez blundered at his first press conference by answering “Gosh, I hope not!” to the question of whether he needed to be a “Michigan Man” in order to coach the Wolverines. In Ann Arbor, that’s tantamount to saying you’ve never heard of The Beatles. Months later, he would be reprimanded for using the word “ain’t” in an interview.

August 6, 2012

The Problem with Sportswriting 12


I will now posit a corollary to Godwin’s Law: as a sportswriter’s career progresses, the probability that he will needlessly invoke Nazis approaches 1.

July 6, 2012

Scott Raab Isn’t Mellowing with Age: The Millions Interview 1


“If one of those [Cleveland] teams were to actually win a championship, I think it would be an unmitigated joy. I can’t imagine any Cleveland fan going, ‘You know, I really liked it better when we could uniquely identify ourselves by our suffering.’ I can’t. That thought is, if not really even perverse, it’s just ridiculous.”

April 4, 2012

Baseball, Finally 8


I loved baseball but baseball never loved me back. It’s true that I wasn’t fast enough, or strong enough. I did everything right except own the thing that makes a boy an athlete.

September 30, 2011

The Joys and Compromises of Bennett Miller’s Moneyball 2


Take whatever it is that’s important to you – knitting, perhaps, or mountain biking – and then imagine waiting for a feature film about it. Would you be excited or nervous? Or would you simply be dreading how Hollywood would manage to fuck up your passion?

July 28, 2011

Staff Pick: Baseball Playbook 1


“You might have to coach Little League in a few years,” my father told me, handing me a strange, plain book. My son was a week old. It would be at least two years before he would learn to throw a cut fastball (and probably another year or two before he had any real command of the pitch).

November 24, 2010

The Hot Stove Report: A Parody 3


Now that the 2010 season has ended, it’s time to look at the off-season transactions that will shape next year’s division rivalries and pennant races.  Here, then, are a few of baseball’s most notable available free agents.

November 22, 2010

Knockout Reading 5


Tom Wolfe, Norman Mailer, Hunter Thompson and Gay Talese, all wrote extensively about pugilism, but none of these portrayals of real life boxers nurse a bookworm’s dream of being a toughened fighter like fiction.

November 3, 2010

Gay Talese’s The Silent Season of a Hero is Sports Writing That’s Destined to Last 0


Even more fascinating to Talese than failure is the murky downslope of greatness, the twilight of storied careers, the ways stars must struggle to get their bearings after the cheering stops.