Lots of people are spending this off-day blogging about the Yankees’ chances for:
a) winning the division
b) having a viable starting rotation for the playoffs
c) avoiding the need for Austin Kearns
d) enjoying a series at Fenway for the first time ever.
Not me. I spent the day having a lunch meeting in L.A. with the producer of “An Ex to Grind,” the novel I hope will become a movie soon. She told me that Benecio Del Toro, who’s attached to play the male lead, and Jeremy Garelick, who wrote “The Hangover” and is working on our script, got together and talked about making Benecio’s character a baseball player instead of a football player. Apparently, both are baseball fans. (I was totally ferklempt when I heard that.) Anyhow, the other subject that came up at lunch today was the TV show “Mad Men.” I admitted I’d never watched it.
“How can you not watch it?” said the flabbergasted producer.
“I want to,” I said. “I just haven’t had time. Either I’m watching a ballgame or I forget. One of these days I’ll buy the first season on DVD and catch up.”
As I drove back to Santa Barbara, I was determined to order the show and start watching. In the meantime, here’s my own version. It stars, in alphabetical order:
No wonder people are so into this show!
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I just got my copy of Publishers Weekly, the trade magazine that covers the book industry in the same way that Variety, its sister publication, covers Hollywood. There’s a section on forthcoming sports books and I thought some sounded interesting.
Take a look at the spring roster of baseball titles – something for fans of all stripes.
“As They See ‘Em” by Bruce Weber. Can’t wait for this one. Weber, a New York Times reporter, spends a season around major league umpires, even going to umpire school, and reveals all sorts of secrets. (March)
“Odd Man Out: A Year on the Mound with a Minor League Misfit” by Matt McCarthy. In the tradition of “Bull Durham,” McCarthy comically recounts his year as a southpaw for the Provo Angels, the team’s Class A club in Mormon country. (Feb. 19)
“The Complete Game: Reflections on Baseball, Pitching, and Life on the Mound” by Ron Darling. The former Mets star and current broadcaster dissects the art of pitching. He’s doing a 10-city author tour, so he’s sure to be signing at lots of stores. (April)
“Catcher: How the Man Behind the Plate Became an American Folk Hero” by Peter Morris. A look back at catchers in history and how they became more and more important to the sport. (April)
“Yogi Berra: The Eternal Yankee” by Allen Barra. I know. Yet another book about Yogi. But this one’s supposed to chronicle his defining moments. Besides, I like the cover. (March)
“Forever Blue: The True Story of Walter O’Malley, Baseball’s Most Controversial Owner, and the Dodgers of Brooklyn and Los Angeles” by Michael D’Antonio. Since there will be two books about George Steinbrenner coming out, why not one about O’Malley? (March)
“Fighting Words: The Media, the Red Sox and the All-Encompassing Passion for Baseball in Boston” by Jerry Beach. A detailed account of “the combative relationship between the media and the Beantown team.” Is there a combative relationship? I guess we’ll find out. (April)
“Bottom of the Ninth: Branch Rickey, Casey Stengel, and the Daring Scheme to Save Baseball From Itself” by Michael Shapiro. A biography of the men who tried to change the course of the sport. For history buffs. (June)
“Hit and Run: The Many Lives of Alex Rodriguez” by Selena Roberts. (No, that’s not A-Rod; it’s investigative reporter Roberts. There’s no cover yet.) The book is described as “an expose of A-Rod’s controversial path to self-destruction.” If he wins another MVP in ’09, will that be considered self-destruction? (May)
“The Rocket That Fell to Earth: Roger Clemens and the Rage for Baseball Immortality” by Jeff Pearlman. Well, we knew the Clemens books were coming. They were inevitable. Here’s the first. No cover yet. (June)