Happy New Year…and keep those bookplate requests coming.

December 31st, 2008 → 12:14 pm @

Everyone loves to be loved – and apparently someone out there either loves me…or is trying to bankrupt me with postage costs: I’ve gotten more than two dozen requests for signed bookplates in the last twenty-four hours alone (including several each from Russia and India). For all you domestic readers* out there, don’t worry: your bookplates will be on their way as soon as I replenish my supplies. (Blank bookplates — without cheesy Ex Libris tags or graphics of kittens — are harder to come by than you might think.) Also, feel free to send along any kind of personalized requests, ranging from “To Bob, the best Sox fan in Juneau” to “To Bob, look what your life could have been like if you’d only stuck with Little League.”

For those of you who haven’t yet read FTM and are looking for ways to use your ’08 holiday gift cards, or for those of you who are a bit behind in your Xmas and Chanukah gift buying, pick up a copy of the book one of my old friends just called “the thing that saved me from having to figure out what to buy for my step parents” and include an oh-so-special personalized note…from me! It (the book – not the bookplate) is only $11.07 at Amazon (cheap!) or $4.91 on the Kindle (which, frankly, seems criminally cheap to me…but from what I hear the whole publishing industry is about to go belly up, so what do I know)

In the days to come, I should be back in the blogging saddle with some thoughts about the Yankees off-season spending spree, the wily negotiating tactics of Scott Boras, the Brad Penney pick-up, and other baseball-related ephemera; I’ll also be writing about some of the other Mnookin-clan writers (we haven’t diversified our careers as well as perhaps we should have), the joys of owning a pit bull (I adopted one a week ago), and the future of the newspaper industry. Until then…do take a cup o’ kindness yet, for auld lang syne.

* International fans of FTM: I’m humbled and honored that you like my book enough to read it instead of a book about cricket (although I should pause here to recommend Netherland, one of the best books I read in 2008). Unfortunately, I can’t send bookplates to non-domestic locales, mainly because it takes too long to go to the Post Office and figure out the postage, get air mail stamps, etc. That doesn’t mean you’re out of luck: if you want a bookplate, email me at monsterfeedback at gmail dot com and we’ll figure out a way for you to get me a SASE ASAP.

Post Categories: A Dog named Blue & Book Publishing & new year & Pitbulls & signed bookplates

“History,” managers, money, and Murray

October 18th, 2006 → 8:42 am @

Ah, yes: the burden of getting back into the swing of doing “work” work. It allows time for that flurry of midnight-on-Sunday posts, but some weekdays are tougher…

Which doesn’t mean there’s not time for some thoughts and updates. (Drumroll, fanfare, etc).

* The Mets loss last night has Jayson Stark claiming that a Cardinals NLCS victory would make history: “When the calendar says it’s October and a team that won 83 games is on the verge of beating a team that won 97 games, that’s more than just an upset. It’s an upset that slips instantly into the realm of myth and legend.” I call bullshit. Wild-card teams have won the World Series three of the last four years. The Mets are missing their ace, their starter, and one of their starting outfielders. The Mets were favored, with most of the ‘experts’ giving them the series in six or seven games, but no one expected a route. Coming back from an 0-3 deficit? That’s history. Beating the Mets in a seven game season? If it happens, it’s a good story for another week or so, or until whichever NL team makes it gets its ass handed to them by the Tigers.

* In his ESPN.com Insider column, Buster Olney discusses what makes a successful manager. (It’s clearly more than simply winning 95 games. See Little, Grady.) Olney puts “Can he lead/does he engender respect” first, with in-game strategizing third (out of four). I’m with Buster on the lack of importance of in-game management, and I generally agree with the “can he lead” thing, although I think the single most important job a manager has is getting a bunch of rich, indulged, jealous, back-biting man-children to stay inspired during the course of an exhausting, numbing, 162-game season.

* For those of you actually interested in how the publishing industry wastes money, Monday’s Journal article (“Dream Scenario: In Era of Blockbuster Books, One Publisher Rolls the Dice”) is well worth reading. Unfortunately, it’s only available to online subscribers. It’s essentially a summary of how Holt managed to put all its eggs in an incredibly leaky basket; the most amazing thing about this article is that the book’s editor, who charitably can be said to have cost his company more than a million bucks, decided to cooperate with the reporter.

* And, of course, there’s good old Murray. The Chass-man has been on a roll this week; such a roll, in fact, that the mere thought of discussing each and every one of his articles makes me feel slightly ill. But here are some quick highlights:

In Monday’s column, Chass writes that while it’s “difficult to imagine a worse performance” than the one Steve Trachsel turned in on the mound for the Mets, the Elias Sports Bureau — Chass’s handy substitute for, you know, reporting — tells him that actually, some pitchers have fared worse in the playoffs.

Then, on Tuesday, Chass acknowledges he was wrong, but naturally he’s not to blame: “Although it said here yesterday that Trachsel’s outing wasn’t the worst start in a postseason game, Elias Sports Bureau determined that by one measurement it was.”

Finally, in today’s Times, Chass helpfully explains that players want higher batting averages: “Going 2 for 17 means Wright is hitting .118. That beats .063 (1 for 16), but it is nevertheless a minuscule average…”

As always, Chass’s columns are free to the reader, unlike the paper’s other sports columnists…

Post Categories: 2006 Playoffs & Book Publishing & Buster Olney & Jayson Stark & Murray Chass