Normally I wait until the off-season to start discussing and analyzing topics other than day to day game happenings. Who’s Hall of Fame worthy, end of season award winners and possible free-agent signings are things better saved for the winter.
But if you’ve watched a Yankee broadcast recently then you’ve noticed as I have, that there is nothing – NOTHING – to talk about. Although admittedly, it’s great seeing Stanton and Severino on the field again, the action isn’t all that important given we’re all just waiting for October 4th. And there are only so many “Is DJ the AL MVP?” and “Will Stanton get enough PA to be ready for the post-season?” discussions from the folks on the Simpleton Summer Camp Network I can handle. (For the record and for the last time: DJ is NOT the AL MVP – not top 3, probably not even top 5 – and Stanton has had 5,000 PA, another 35 doesn’t make a difference one way or the other.)
So what I’m going to start doing, probably sooner rather than later, is throw book recommendations out there. Things that you can add to your off-season reading list and throw your two cents back at me if you so choose. The books will likely fall under a few headings:
- Books I’ve read that have taught me so much about the game that we all think we know. Basically, the books that taught me aspects of baseball history and statistics that make me turn to my wife during Yankee games and say things like “It is remarkable how little Kay, O’Neill, and Flaherty know about baseball”.
- When my father passed away last summer, I inherited his baseball book collection, much of it I’ve gone through with a few more to go. I’ll share which ones I thought were great and others that were…not so much… Needless to say, like many (most?) baseball fans, my father was an instrumental influence in me eventually writing about baseball. You certainly wouldn’t be here now if it weren’t for my father, so I may get a little nostalgic with those choices.
- Books about topics in which I’m extremely ignorant. I like learning. To me, finding out I was wrong is a good thing – it means I got smarter. Along these lines, I’m currently learning more about the Negro Leagues. I’m almost embarrassed to admit how little I know about such an important part of our game, and I’d venture to say you should be embarrassed too. To think that players such as Ruth, Wagner, and Speaker among others who are justifiably considered among the best ever to play, had contemporaries – literally playing at the same time – who by all accounts, were just as good, and likely better than the aforementioned, is mind-boggling. And the fact we don’t even know many of their names is embarrassing and I want to learn more. (To be clear, I’m using the Negro Leagues as one example – there are plenty of areas in which I have a lot to learn.)
And of course, I’d love it if you chimed in with your favorites – I always like good recommendations.
But until then, October 4th can’t get here fast enough. Every AL team that’ll be in the postseason is a team that I say “Damn, that’s a scary team” about. It’s going to be a fun month.
As usual, thanks for reading.
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