Thursday, September 22, 2011

Fire Rob Parker?

I don't want to have to do this, Rob Parker. Don't make me do it. Oh lord. Fine.
New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi likely won't win American League Manager of the Year.

Rick Perry likely won't be elected president in 2012. But there's a disturbing probability that each of these could happen despite mountains of evidence that neither man has offered a shred of value added to his representative organization.  I like the direction that this article is going, Mr. Parker, please continue.

In fact, he'll be lucky to finish in the top three in the voting.

I don't know. If I had a ballot, it would probably say Joe Maddon, Manny Acta, and Ron Washington, but a lot of people just look at who went to the playoffs, so Girardi's name will be on there. But I also think that Manager of the Year is preposterous since managers are essentially irrelevant -- what you need is a GM affiliated with the Army of the 12 Monkeys and some dork that was in Get Him to the Greek. Haven't you seen that Moneyball movie?

Sadly, most baseball writers/voters just can't look past the Yankees' $200-million payroll to actually see what he's done.

Earned an attendance certificate? Filled out the lineup card? This is why Manager of the Year is as stupid an award as an ESPY. Winning games is its own reward for a team or a manager. Winning individual awards is something only non-true Yankees like A-Fraud cares about.

Plus, there's an anti-New York vote that swirls around Baseball America whether folks want to admit it or not.

You do know that Baseball America is a publication, right? One that's infinitely more esteemed in its coverage of baseball than the Red Sox crap factory that employs you?

But if there was ever a manager who deserves some credit for getting his team into the postseason this year -- the Yankees clinched the AL East title with a doubleheader sweep of the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday -- it's Girardi.

If there was ever a manager who deserves some credit for getting his team into the postseason this yearYou tricked me, Rob Parker. I was going to suggest that EVER was a very high threshold -- that you would have to be saying that Joe Girardi outmanaged Gil Hodges in 1969 or Sparky Anderson in the 1970s, Bobby Cox in any of the years between 1991 and 2005, every year John McGraw managed... No, instead you are saying he is the most credit-worthy of all time* *if you measure all time by considering only this year. You're still demonstrably, ludicrously, and insanely wrong by any rational measure (Kirk Gibson, anyone?), but you're clever. (Oh, wait, you mean credit like credit ratings, credit limits, right? Because obviously since he has a $200+ million payroll...oh Jesus. You're serious.)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Lists: Books

January (3)
Black and Blue: How Racism, Drugs and Cancer Almost Destroyed Me by Paul Canoville
Home Buying For Dummies by Eric Tyson and Ray Brown
Tips and Traps When Buying a Home by Robert Irwin

February (6)
Mortgages for Dummies by Eric Tyson and Ray Brown
The Damned United by David Peace
The Quitter by Harvey Pekar
An Object of Beauty by Steve Martin
The Good Stuff by Joe Posnanski
How to Beat Up Anybody by Judah Friedlander

March (3)
Zombie Spaceship Wasteland by Patton Oswalt
Hell in a Handbasket by Tom Tomorrow
2011 Baseball America Prospect Handbook by Jim Callis et al.

April (4)
The War for Late Night by Bill Carter
I Was Right On Time by Buck O'Neil
Bowerman and the Men of Oregon by Kenny Moore
For Your Eyes Only: Ian Fleming and James Bond by Ben Macintyre

May (5)
The Internet Is a Playground by David Thorne
Chronicles, Volume 1 by Bob Dylan
Living on the Black by John Feinstein
The Late Shift by Bill Carter
Cancer on $5 a Day *Chemo Not Included by Robert Schimmel and Alan Eisenstock

June (4)
The Game From Where I Stand by Doug Glanville
The Devil and the White City by Erik Larson
Permanent Midnight by Jerry Stahl
Mountain Man Dance Moves: the McSweeney's Book of Lists by the Editors of McSweeney's

July (6)
Chasing the Game by Filip Bondy
Shut Out: a Story of Race and Baseball in Boston by Howard Bryant
The Rocket That Fell To Earth by Jeff Pearlman
The Final Season by Tom Stanton
The New Frugality by Chris Farrell
Where the Wild Things Were by William Stolzenburg

August (5)
Project Nim by Elizabeth Hess
A False Spring by Pat Jordan
Zoo Story by Thomas French
High Heat by Tim Wendel
Those Guys Have All the Fun: Inside the World of ESPN by James Andrew Miller and Tom Shales

September (2)
My Year of Flops by Nathan Rabin
Last Call by Daniel Okrent

Since I've uploaded this, I've read nothing but nonfiction, but it's also included some real dense works -- Last Call took me the better part of two months. It's a good history of prohibition, but the word I'd use to describe it a bit too appropriate for such a topic, so I won't even use it.


I hit a run of science/ecology/biology books with Where the Wild Things Were, Project Nim, and Zoo Story. Now I'm starting a couple of novels, which is odd since I haven't read anything but nonfiction since apparently An Object of Beauty in February, which, while certainly not good, didn't warrant a half a year away from fiction entirely.


Fine, fine, Last Call is dry. Okay? Happy now? Can we move on?

The 50 book threshold seems a lot tougher this year. Admittedly, I've had a lot of lengthier books and I've really run out of go-to fiction authors (I've read everything from Chabon and Vonnegut now, and the Ian Fleming Bond novels are waaaay back in the rear-view mirror now), but it still seems like I've read a lot more than 38 books. I suppose moving near the subway has largely limited my ability to read when going to and from work -- my commute's no longer worth filling and this week I've taken to walking home while I'm trying to overcome an inexplicable injury/health issue that I'm not willing to run through. Either way, 50 is doable, and I suspect it could be done by November considering I have a couple more flights in my near future and no baseball games to fill my spare time.