Baseball is like church: Many attend, but few understand

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“It’s hard not to be romantic about baseball” — Billy Beane Many great things have been said about the game of baseball (and a few silly things, too — Just Google Yogi Berra), but the above quote wraps it all up nicely and puts a bow on top. I would argue that you’d be hard-pressed … Continue reading

Rounding Third: year one

I need to start this off by saying (writing) that when Gavin Craig approached me (instant messenged me) about this idea — starting a web-zine stocked with writers drawn from our group of quirky, nerdish pals and their quirky, nerdish pals — my biggest worry was making sure I was producing content as interesting, and … Continue reading

Brandon comes back

Brandon Inge

Last week, Detroit Tigers third baseman, catcher, centerfielder, oh-hell-put-him-anywhere-and-he’ll-play guy Brandon Inge was called up from the Tigers’ Triple-A affiliate in Toledo to join the starting lineup against left-handed pitchers. A ringing endorsement, I know. Inge was assigned to Toledo earlier this season when his hitting, never stellar, totally bottomed out — .177 in 239 … Continue reading

When asked to officiate a wedding, this is what a baseball fan comes up with

baseball-wedding

We’re here today to celebrate the union of Laura and Ben, and provide witness to their enduring partnership. Partnership. When I spoke with Laura and Ben about what they wanted me to say today, that’s the one word that came up again and again. And, as far as I’m concerned, we can’t talk about partnerships … Continue reading

Living in the nation

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These days I live in the nation, but it hasn’t always been so. Growing up, my father instilled in me a reverence for the things he loved most: John Wayne, pro wrestling, bow hunting, and Detroit baseball. If we weren’t watching Full House or WrestleMania (exclusively for Hulk Hogan) on a lazy summer afternoon we … Continue reading

Harry Potter and the evil empire

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Two weeks ago, in a corner suite on the fourth floor of the very lovely Hotel Rouge in Washington, D.C.’s tony Dupont Circle neighborhood, I lay on a king sized bed, finished my quinoa/ dried berry / green leaf lettuce / dinner salad, and read the last ten pages of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s … Continue reading

Watching the watchmen

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The first round of the State Farm Home Run Derby lasted two hours. Despite running 3 miles in the gross humidity just before it started, I decided to tweet it — I toweled off first. Between my own disgusting scent and the presence of the vile Chris Berman (on television — not in my home), … Continue reading

What we talk about when we talk about ball

Justin Verlander

Something special is happening right now. Alex Avila is flirting with. 300, the first Tigers catcher to hit so well since Lance Parrish. In fact, he took a turn at third base just to keep his offense in the lineup during interleague play. If life were fair, he’d be the undeniable starting catcher for the … Continue reading

Five ways of looking at Ryan Raburn

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1. He’s a mediocre hitter who heats up as the season wears on but doesn’t really seem to learn much as the years advance. To wit, his strikeouts have been nearly dead even with—or eclipsed—his hit total every year he’s recorded stats in the majors. Despite having played alongside some of the best hitters in … Continue reading

Because even The New York Times noticed

Oakland Athletics v Detroit Tigers

Last week, my friend Zack sent me a link to the New York Times bit about the lack of legendary nicknames, a subject I meditated on way back at the beginning of this column’s career. The Times, of course, picking up on something that’s been written better and with more nuance by people who actually … Continue reading