"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Monthly Archives: November 2006

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Side Project

A quick housekeeping note. Some of you may have noticed that we’ve reordered the sections on the sidebar. Although you’ll have to scroll down a bit further to find the pitching probables during the season, we think the new order is more intuitive. I’m currently in the process of streamlining and organizing some of the more unwieldy sections, so you’ll likely notice further changes in the coming weeks. As always, the links on the sidebar are there for the benefit of our readers and we welcome feedback, either in comments or via email, regarding what is or isn’t there, or how we can make the sidebar more user friendly.

2006 Post Mortem: Infielders

See also the Outfielders and Starting Pitchers.

C – Jorge Posada .277/.374/.492 (.305 EQA)

At an age when the bottom drops out on most catchers, Jorge Posada had one of the three or four best seasons of his career. He ranked fourth among all major league catchers in VORP, behind a trio of youngsters (Mauer, McCann and Martinez). Best of all, Posada had what was undoubtedly his best defensive season. Whereas Joe Girardi at long last taught Posada how to block the plate in 2005, Tony Pena taught him how to set his feet to throw resulting in the best caught stealing percentage of his career this past season. At age 35, Jorge Posada is still improving his defense and hitting better than most catchers do in their prime.


1B – Jason Giambi .253/.413/.558 (.334)

Although Giambi’s generally been regarded as a DH for years, 2006 was the first season in his career in which he played more games as a DH than he did in the field. Troublingly, despite the prolonged exposure to the non-position, his alarmingly consistent positional splits persisted. Giambi the DH hit a solid .224/.373/.531 (.301 GPA), but Giambi the first baseman hit a resounding .289/.459/.592 (.355 GPA). Unfortunately, Giambi’s defense continued to decline this past season to the point at which the idea of Giambi playing the field more than once or twice a week is untenable.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that Giambi, despite the DH-related decrease in batting average, remains one of the most productive hitters in baseball (he had the fifth best EQA in the AL in 2006 and was tied with Chipper Jones for the eleventh best mark in the majors). It seemed unthinkable in the offseason following Giambi’s scandal, injury, and illness-riddled 2004 season, but Ga-bombi’s 2005 and 2006 seasons, in which he’s hit a combined .262/.426/.547 with 69 homers and 200 RBIs, rank with his best. By both EQA and OPS+, Giambi’s best seasons, in order, are his final season with the A’s in 2001, when he wrongly lost the MVP to Ichiro Suzuki by a mere eight points, the previous year, when he properly won the award, his underappreciated first season with the Yankees in 2002, 2005 and 2006. In chart form that looks like this:

Year Team EQA OPS+
2001 A’s .381 202
2000 A’s .372 188
2002 Yankees .352 174
2005 Yankees .348 156
2006 Yankees .334 154

Yes, three of Jason Giambi’s five best seasons have come in pinstripes.


Bwana Igawa?

It’s just been announced that the Yankees have won the right to negotiate with Japanese pitcher Kei Igawa, who was posted by the Hanshin Tigers of the Japanese Central League. The winning bid, alternately reported as $25 and $26 million, was actually $26,000,194 (the 194 being Igawa’s 2006 strikeout total). The losing bids are not announced, though word has leaked out that the Mets had bid $15 or $16 million and the Padres had also placed an eight-figure bid. The Mariners, Orioles, Giants, and World Champion Cardinals were among the other teams believed to have been interested in Igawa. The Yankees will have until midnight on December 28 to sign Igawa. Should they fail to do so, they will not have to pay the bid amount.

So who the hell is Kei Igawa? He’s a 27-year-old left-handed starting pitcher. His best pitch is said to be his curve ball, though some reports say that the pitch is actually a change-up that drops like a curve. He also has a slider in the low 80s and a 90-mile-per-hour fastball. With that repertoire he has lead the Central League in strikeouts in three of the last five years, won the Central League MVP award in 2003 (20-5, 2.80 ERA), and lead the Tigers to two Central League pennants (though Hanshin lost in the Japan Series both times). As is often the case with curveballers, however, he’s quite susceptible to the longball, surrendering a whopping 52 over the 2004 and 2005 seasons combined–this in the Central League’s short 146-game season.

According to this scouting report, however, Igawa made a major adjustment in 2006 that helped to reduce his susceptibility to the home run. Here’s the relevant passage:

He’s finally figured out that the [straight, 88-90 MPH] fastball is a gopher pitch when centered and overexposed so he’ll go to it less often (will throw it down the middle when he’s confident the hitter is unbalanced) and try to spot on the corners or miss out of the zone with it when he isn’t sure if the hitter is sitting on it. This adjustment is HUGE, as he has finally learned to pitch backwards and mix his pitches better (which he MUST do in America) in 2006 and its making him a far better bet to succeed in the transition to MLB. If Igawa were to pitch the way he pitched pre-2006 in the big leagues (aggressively with his straight 89 mph fastball), he wouldn’t have been very successful despite the great K/BB ratios. Preseason Igawa wasn’t as attractive of an option, but 2006 answered a lot of questions.

Indeed, his 2006 statistics support that analysis. In 2004 and 2005 combined, Igawa surrendered 1.26 homers per nine innings. In 2006, he allowed just 0.73 homers per nine innings. He also walked a career low 2.11 men per nine innings in 2006, which is an important sign as another knock on Igawa is that he has the sort of controlled wildness that could lead to a spike in his walk rate stateside. As for that “great K/BB ratio,” his career mark is 2.97 K/BB, which is excellent, but not quite “great” (Mike Mussina’s 3.58 career K/BB is a better example of “great”).

With those caveats, Igawa compares quite favorably to his infinitely more celebrated countryman, Daisuke Matsuzaka, as this quick tale of the tape shows:



Our man Pete Abraham is back and has the highlights of yesterday’s Yankee action. It’ll be fun following the Baseball Winter Meetings next week via The Lo-Hud. Man, it seems as if Manny Ramirez might actually be traded this year. Go figure. With Rich Aurillia reportedly close to signing a deal with the San Francisco Giants, Andy Phillips may get another shot at backing up Giambi, after all. Elsewhere, according to the Globe and Mail, Greg Zaun will re-sign with the Blue Jays. Drag.


It’s official. Mike Mussina has signed a two-year deal to stay with the Yanks. Moose made a couple of few enemies recently, but Yankee fans should be happy to see him return. Considering the dough that’s being thrown around this winter, the Bombers got Mussina on the cheap.

The Lost Episodes

One Yankeeography you are not likely to ever see is: 1974 and 1975, “The Shea Years.” On the surface those years are not remembered because the Yankees lacked real star power. Not that they didn’t have any stars–Murcer, Catfish, Bonds–but they didn’t have a lot of them. Mostly, they had grinders like White, Munson, Nettles, and Sweet Lou. It wasn’t until Billy Martin took over as skipper mid-way through the ’75 season that the Yankees got some real star power.

Still, they were both interesting seasons. Playing at Shea Stadium cost Murcer his career in New York; ironically–and for different reasons–it would eventually cost his replacement, Elliot Maddux, his career in pinstripes as well. In 1974, “The Band on the Run” Yankees made an entertaining run at the pennant. That was the year Nixon resigned as President and George Steinbrenner was convicted of making illegal campaign contributions. Sparky Lyle played virtually the entire season without having signed a new contract. He could have become Andy Messersmith but he settled on a new deal just as the leaves started to turn.

Though the team took a step back the following year when injuries just killed them, Gabe Paul kept busy building a winner, and the Yankees left the wildnerness of Queens poised for success. Dick Williams, Catfish, the Chambliss trade, oh, there were lots of compelling things about the Shea Stadium Yankees. Anyone out there remember seeing them play in Queens? If so, do tell…

Back Stop

The Yanks are looking for a solid back-up catcher this winter. As lovable and huggable as Sal Fasano was and is, he is likely not the man for the job. However, according to Newsday, the Bombers are interested in Gregg Zaun. We certainly know he can hit better than what the Yanks have had in recent years.

The New Deal

From part one of Steve Marantz’s interview with veteran newspaper columnist Bob Ryan:

You’ve got the shift in readership to the likes of Bill Simmons and all of the people on the Internet, who are a little less accountable than newspaper writers. But they’re all out there forcing us to re-evaluate where we fit in. It’s not the same and it won’t be the same – our influence is waning and eroding. Simmons is not doing what mainstream columnists do – he has no desire to speak to anyone in power – he observes and does what he does. There’s room for everybody – the access to information is staggering, imposing and intimidating. You’ve got Baseball Prospectus and all that number crunching by genius people dissecting baseball in ways mainstream writers never could – it’s very intimidating.

All you can do is use your access to bring thoughts to the public and to write as well as you can and hope that someone cares and that it matters. And how you say things is almost as important as what you’re saying. When that stops being the case we’ll be in trouble. Our business is under siege. Somebody starting out today should get to a dot.com immediately if not sooner – why spend your time in a dying industry? I’m grateful I’m much closer to the end of my career than the beginning. I’m grateful for the times I’ve lived through. I doubt the dot.comers will ever have the fun we had – because of the access and respect we got from the leagues – theirs will never be what ours was. They’ll never have the fun and the relationships we were lucky enough to have had. I can’t imagine starting out today.

…My pet peeve is a continual stream of one-sentence paragraphs. That is not writing in my book – I would reject it if I were an editor. My hero is Jay Greenberg (NY Post) because he’s the only guy who writes longer paragraphs than me. We stand alone in the lengths of our paragraphs. One-line paragraphs are not writing – it’s an easy device – it’s just illogical. Anything is okay on an occasional basis – I will lay one down at times but not 27 or 35 of them and you know there are people who do that.

Cheap Thrills

Hot Stove season means I go to the movies again. I went to see “Borat” and “The Departed” over the last two days and found them both mildly enjoyable. “Borat” is a tight, well-made comedy but I didn’t love it (most everyone else in the theater seemed to enjoy it more than I did). I appreciate that it is mercifully short–shouldn’t all comedies clock in under 90 minutes?–but essentially the movie is put-on. Sacha Baron Cohen cons people, he puts one over on them and the results are supposed to show America as it really is. I’m not buying it. What I learned from this movie is that drunk frat boys can be sexist, bigoted creeps, that rednecks say the darndest redneck things and that born again Chritians are hopped-up Jesus freaks. I mean, tell me something I don’t know. There is something that is altogether too easy in all of this. The Borat character can be very funny in subtle, observational ways, but part of the comedy here is to be aggresive and hostile. It’s Reality TV-based satire, “Jackass” with subtext. Part of the thrill for audiences is seeing how far Cohen will go, how far will he push the envelope. He doesn’t disappoint, though he he clearly knows how far to go. For instance, he approaches a group of black kids in a tough neighborhood and in short time is able to disarm them. However, he isn’t rude or offensive with them as he is with easier, less threatening white targets.

Cohen is a modern version of Andy Kaufman, and his Borat displays a vulnerability and sensitivity that Kaufman rarely brought to his characters (with the exception of Latka). And it’s Borat’s vulernability that makes the movie winning–the audience let out a collective “aawwww,” when Borat was down-on-his-luck–they really liked him. “Borat” moves along at a brisk pace and it’s over before you know it. Ultimately, I just can’t get into making people look like morons (even if they are morons) for the sake of “exposing ignorance.” I think it’s mean and cheap. That’s just me, though. Cohen is convincing and he does have some fine moments. I’ll be hard-pressed to forget the naked-wrestling scene, which managed to go from hilarious to flat-out gross to daring and then hilarious again.

I expected “The Departed” to be good cheese and I wasn’t let down. I mean if Scorsese can’t make a gangster movie anymore then you know he’s really shot. He’s like The Rolling Stones in this one, the old rocker still doing his thing. In fact, the movie opens up with the Stones’ “Gimmie Shelter.” Unfortunately, Scorsese doesn’t have the same sly sense of humor that his old friend Brian DePalma used to have, and there is no joke, no irony to the use of a song that not only sounds like a song that Scorsese would use in a gangster movie but one that he has already used (“Good Fellas”). But that’s never been his strength, and otherwise, this an enjoyable ride. The movie moves by quickly and without much consequence but it is hammy fun. The young cast adds a level of self-consciousness to it all though. It’s like watching kids play cops and robbers. Marky Mark, Leonardo DiCaprio and Matt Damon grew up in a generation of American boys who idolized Scorsese’s tough guy movies. Now they get to play tough too. Marky Mark has the hammiest role of the three but I thought he was funnier than he was tough. Damon handles his role well, but I just couldn’t buy DiCaprio–who I enjoyed in “The Aviator” and “Catch Me if You Can”. Didn’t buy him as tough or tortured. Scorsese tries to add some emotional heft to the movie through DiCaprio’s character and it doesn’t stick. But the movie still clicks along so that DiCaprio doesn’t kill things. Unlike “Cape Fear,” another Hollywood turn by Scorsese, “The Departed” never becomes turgid.

The movie is too long and there is a boring subplot with a woman (in a thanklessly written role). But Nicholson is fun and his right-hand man is pretty scary. Alec Baldwin chews up some scenery too. In all, it’s like “Glengarry Glen Ross” meets “Oceans 11.” I’d say that it is one of Scorsese’s most entertaining movies in years. That said, the movie slipped out of memory quickly after I left the theater. Fun fluff but really it’s just the same old song.

Eat and be Chubby

Happy Holidays to everyone. Hope you and yours have a safe and satiating day of it. It’s raining, windy and cold here in New York. Still no word from the Yanks regarding Mike Mussina’s physical but that is likely just a formality. Hey, at least the Yankees aren’t going knuts spending big bucks on the likes of Juan Pierre and Gary Matthews, Jr. Good grief. Meanwhile, here is the final word on the AL MVP award, from our pal Steve Goldman.

But finally, let me leave you with this before you dig in to the bird mit all der fixings, football, and all that other soporific stuff. For me–and undoubtedly for many of you too–one thing to continue being thankful for are two of the most amazing websites of all-time: retrosheet and baseball-reference.com. Actually, they are in cohoots with each other these days, which is a beautiful thing. Here, check out the 2006 Yanks for example. You can click on Schedule, Transactions, Lineups, and Batting Orders. It’s a Nerd’s Delight, believe me. Talk about one-stop shopping. So to all the guys at B-Ref and Retrosheet, we owe you a great deal of thanks. Rock on. You’ve made the world a better place for seamheads near and far.

Thanks for Giving

If there is any one man baseball players have a reason to give thanks to, that man is Marvin Miller. Murray Chass makes a case for Miller to be elected into the Hall of Fame. Color me cynical but I don’t have much faith that Miller will ever be given his due. That’s too bad, but it says more about the voters than it does about Miller or his tremendous impact on the game.

Ain’t it the Truth

According to Tim Marchman in the New York Sun:

The selection, announced yesterday, of Minnesota first baseman Justin Morneau as the American League’s Most Valuable Player is dumb and indefensible, good evidence of why no one takes baseball writers seriously.

It’s hard to be outraged when you have little faith in the voting process.

Fool’s Gold

Ah, those RBI. They are the magic numbers that propelled Justin Morneau ahead of his more deserving teammates Johan Santana, and Joe Mauer–not to mention Derek Jeter–today as Minnie’s first baseman wins the AL MVP. Congrats to Morneau. Otherwise, this is a bum call.

Look Sharp!

For the uni-curious, check out a contribution of sorts I made to one of my essential daily reads, Paul Lukas’s Uni Watch Blog, but be sure to clear some time as the web site I brought to Paul’s attention could make the next few hours disappear very quickly.

I’m with the DJ

I know that it is foolish to get too caught up in awards, but it would be really cool if DJ wins the AL MVP this afternoon. The only thing that would burn my ass is if they give it to Justin Morneau. If Joe Mauer or Johan Santana win it, that’s one thing as I think they are both deserving, but Morneau? That pick gets that Gas Face. Reading articles like this don’t exactly fill you with confidence in the voting process.


Robert Altman, the prolific, wildly uneven, but sometimes brilliant film director died last night at the age of 81. “McCabe and Mrs. Miller,” “M*A*S*H,” and “The Long Goodbye” are three of my favorite movies of all-time. Oh yeah, and “Nashville” was pretty formidable too, wasn’t it? Some found Altman’s inimitable style–which featured over-lapping dialogue, and meandering narratives–pretenteous, but in his best work, it was refreshing and poignant. Rest in Peace, Big Dog, and thank you for all the wonderful cinematic moments.

Pitchng Prescription: An Oldie, But Goodie

While we await the results of the AL MVP voting, allow me to share an idea that popped into my head while looking over yesterday’s MLB transactions, specifically these two headlines:

First of all, no, Moose’s deal still isn’t final, though pending a physical today it will be done by tomorrow. And, yes, he seems to have picked up an extra half-mil along the way.

Second, in this wild offseason that has already seen the Cubs go crazy on Alfonso Soriano ($136 million/8yrs) and the Red Sox bid $51,111,111.11 just to negotiate with Japanese import Daisuke Matsuzaka, the following deals all look mighty reasonable:

  • Moises Alou: $8.5 million/1yr + $7.5/$1 mil club option for 2008
  • Frank Thomas: $18 million/2yrs + vesting 2009 option
  • Craig Biggio: $5.15 million/1yr
  • Mike Mussina: $23 million/2yrs (+ $1.5 buyout for 2007)
  • Jamie Moyer: $10.5 million/2yrs + $3.5 million in incentives
  • Orlando Hernandez: $12 million/2yrs

All relatively low-risk, short-term contracts that, despite the marquee names involved, are actually commensurate with the player’s level of production. What’s the common thread? The players involved range in age from Mike Mussina, who will be 38 in just a few weeks, to Jamie Moyer, who just turned 44.

There are two things I draw from this. First, the Yankees’ decision to take Mussina’s hometown discount rather than make an expensive long-term commitment to a younger league-average-at-best starter such as recent conversation pieces Ted Lilly or the execrable Gil Meche was not only wise, but has thus far been underappreciated. Second, Brian Cashman should follow his own example and go after the now-available Tom Glavine.

Glavine, who will be 41 in March, earned $7.5 million in 2006 with an additional $5.25 million deferred (restructured in May from an original $10.5 million). He also just picked up a cool $3 million via his buyout from the Mets. All of which suggests that he could easily be had for less than Mussina, say $18 to $20 million over two years, possibly with money deferred. Consider the pros to such a deal:

  • Glavine has played in New York for the last four years, the last two of them for one of Joe Torre’s managerial protégés. There would be no adjustment required for him to move up to the Bronx, personally or professionally. He might even be willing to offer the Yankees a hometown discount of sorts. Glavine has reportedly narrowed his options to New York and Atlanta and is simply trying to make up his mind where he wants to play. Indeed, one of the reasons these veterans are so reasonably priced is that, by time they’ve reached this late stage of their careers, location and winning are more important to them than that last couple million or the long-term security their All-Star careers has already given them.
  • With the exception of the strike-shortened seasons of 1995 and 1995, Glavine has made a minimum of 32 starts every year since 1990.
  • Glavine has had an ERA below league average just once since 1991, that coming four years ago
  • Glavine’s strike-out rate has actually trended upwards in recent years and his K/BB ratio has improved in each of the last three seasons, each of which have seen him post peripherals similar to his averages for his Hall of Fame career.
  • Glavine’s list of comparable pitchers according to Baseball-Reference and Baseball Prospectus’s PECOTA cards include names such as Warren Spahn, Don Sutton, Tommy John, Jerry Koosman, David Wells, Jamie Moyer, and Kenny Rogers, all pitchers who were still league-average starters or better at the age of 41 and, in some cases, beyond.
  • Glavine is a groundball pitcher, thus unlikely to become homer prone like recent NL imports Javy Vazquez, Carl Pavano and Randy Johnson
  • The Yankees have a growing supply of young pitching prospects, some of whom should break through to the majors for good in 2007. That makes now an ideal time to have a pair of veteran pitchers’ pitchers such as Mussina and Glavine around to serve as mentors to Philip Hughes and organization’s other up-and-coming young hurlers.
  • On the business side, Glavine is ten wins short of 300. That’s a sure-fire mid-season attendance bump as he approaches that milestone.

Now, it’s very possible that Glavine doesn’t want to leave the National League, so all of the above may be moot, but it’s certainly something that Brian Cashman should be exploring.

Meanwhile, the MVP announcement should come around 2pm EST. I don’t expect we’ll be disappointed.

Serve You Up Like Stove Top Stuffin’

Man, lil’ Soriano…can you say Jackpot? Dag, kid. Wonder how Lou will take to Sori’s penchant for Cadillacing triples into singles? Well, I guess so long as he pops 40+ jacks a year, it’s a problem he’ll just have to live with. As expected, Nomar is staying with the Dodgers. Meanwhile, the Yanks are laying relatively low. Go figure.

2006 Post Mortem: Starting Pitchers

You can find the outfielders here.

Chien-Ming Wang 3.63 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 1.46 K/BB, 33 GS

Although Mike Mussina actually pitched better over the course of the full season, Chien-Ming Wang emerged as the Yankees default ace in 2006, winning 19 games, and fulfilling all of the promise of his strong rookie season. Looking at Wang’s monthly splits, he decreased his ERA in each of the first four months of the season, topping out with a 3.03 mark in his five July starts and following that up with eight scoreless innings against the Blue Jays on August 2.

That August 2 start was the later part of a run of 19 consecutive scoreless innings, a streak that was broken when the White Sox scored in Wang’s 158th inning of the season. Though somewhat coincidental, that number is not insignificant. In 2005, Chien-MingWang set a career high by throwing 157 innings between triple-A, the majors, and the postseason. Over his first 157 innings of 2006, Wang posted a 3.55 ERA and allowed exactly one base hit per inning and a 1.25 WHIP. Over the remainder of his season and the postseason, Wang posted a 3.80 ERA and allowed 1.24 hits per inning and a 1.44 WHIP.

Curiously, Wang also increased his strike out rate by more than a K per game and dropped his walk rate below 2 per 9 innings after that 157th inning. But then Chien-Ming Wang’s strikeout rate is one of the more perplexing statistics in baseball at the moment. For all of his success in 2006, Wang actually experienced a decrease in his already alarmingly low strikeout rate from the year before. In fact, Wang’s rate of 3.18 K/9 was the lowest by a 19-game winner since 1980.

That year two men, the A’s Rick Langford and another Yankee sinkerballer you may have heard of named Tommy John, won 19 games while striking out 3.17 and 2.65 men per nine innings respectively. Each of these men resembles Wang differently. John was a Yankee hurler adept at inducing groundballs, getting 2.36* grounders for every fly in 1980. Langford, though also a sinkerballer, was less adept at the grounder, getting just 1.11* grounders for every fly that season and an only slightly higher ratio of ground balls in the surrounding seasons. Instead, Langford’s success in 1980 had more to do with his good fortune on balls in play (.259 BABIP).

As far as the reasons for his success, Wang is more John than Langford, as he had a fairly typical .293 BABIP in 2006, but boasted the major league’s third most extreme groundball rate (3.06 GB/FB). Rather, where Langford resembled Wang was in his relative youth (Langford was 28 in 1980, John was 37) and the sharp increase in the innings he pitched that season. In his first season as A’s manager, former Yankee skipper Billy Martin allowed Langford to throw 290 innings in 1980, an increase of nearly a third over his previous career high of 218 2/3 from the year before. Wang’s increase in 2006 was even greater, a whopping 43 percent more innings than he’d ever thrown before in a single season (including the postseason, Wang pitched 224 2/3 innings in 2006).

Langford managed to replicate his success in the strike-shortened 1981 season and suffered only a modest drop off in 1982. But despite the strike and his own less-stellar pitching saving him from cracking the 240 innings mark yet again, Langford’s elbow went under the knife after the 1982 season and he never again pitched a full season. While some might be tempted to use Wang’s extreme efficiency (only Greg Maddux and Roy Halladay threw fewer pitches per inning in 2006) to quell concerns over his workload, it won’t work. Wang was as even more efficient in 2005. Given Wang’s history of shoulder problems (labrum surgery in 2001 and his DL scare late last season), the Yankees should have been more cautious with his workload this past year.

If Wang’s shoulder remains intact in 2007, what should the Yankees expect from their young star? Consider the three other pitchers who induced more than three times as many ground balls as flies in 2006:


Happy Belated

You know, I’ve been so consumed with work over the past month that I forgot to mention that Bronx Banter turned four years old back on November 7th. Here is a look at the first post I ever wrote here. Anyhow, I feel great going into Year Five. Cliff has been a valuable addition over the past two seasons, and I’m proud of the community of readers that keep coming back (both those who use the comments section and those who don’t). The whole pernt was to build a community in the first place so I feel as if the banter has been a success. I’ve always been more interested in starting up a dialogue than I have in necessarily being any kind of expert. While I feel that I’ve grown considerably as a blogger, I also know that I’ve learned so much from you all, and for that I am grateful.

I’ve spent much of the fall working on new writing assignments, including some freelance work for Variety, not to mention my gig with SI.com. I’m also contributing a few chapters to a forthcoming Baseball Prospectus book as well as editing a compilation of Pat Jordan’s best journalism. I’ve read over a hundred of Pat’s articles and profiles over the past six weeks, material which covers almost forty years. Picking out the best 30 or so is not easy but is a tremendous amount of fun–it’s like making a literary mix tape. In addition to selecting the pieces, I’m also contributing an introductory essay, and I’ve conducted a Q&A which will appear in some way, shape or form, at the back of the book.

Yo, when I started doing lengthy interviews with baseball writers back in 2003, Pat was one of the guys I most wanted to speak with. Now, I’m responsible for proposing, pitching and selling a project devoted to his best writing. I can’t tell you how stoaked I am about this. Yup, Bronx Banter has been a great launching pad for me, and it is still rewarding to blog about living in New York and following the Yankees with you guys.

Keep comin’ back. We’ll leave the light on.

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