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The Shape of Things


Leigh Montville edited this year’s edition of The Best American Sports Writing. If you’ve got the extra scratch, pick-up a copy to see Todd Drew’s terrific Yankee Stadium memory in print. It’s one of the great moments in this site’s history.

WEEI in Boston ran a short interview with Montville who has some interesting thoughts about the newspaper business, Sports Illustrated, and the nature of sports writing today (thanks to the Think Factory for the link).

Also, there’s this on the Babe:

What’s the most surprising thing you learned about Babe Ruth when you wrote that book?

“I think he was smarter than most people think he was. He grew up without much education. He came out of an orphanage. He had that reputation, and it was well-deserved of being a late-night guy, a carouser who ate a million hot dogs and all that stuff. But he was very smart in lining up his career. He had the first real business manager of any athlete. The guy took care of him and his money. Babe Ruth had money until he died and lived a good life. He made sound decisions in the people he enlisted to help him. He got a personal trainer back when nobody had personal trainers, when he was starting to fall apart. The personal trainer got him on the road and got him hitting again. He had the knowledge to straighten himself out. A lot of guys don’t have that — Antoine Walker being the latest one. He had more self control that I think most people give him credit for.”


1 Sliced Bread   ~  Nov 3, 2009 3:00 pm

looking at the Babe Ruth cola ad, I wonder if ARod's season/postseason has made him more marketable. He's always kept a pretty low endorsement profile quantity wise, but might we see him doing more (any?) commercials and ads this winter? I can't think of any campaigns he's currently doing aside from YES promos. Child support, and Hollywood actress girlfriend aside, he doesn't really need the money, but you'd think a guy who supposedly enjoys attention, and has a high profile show biz manager) would want to get his mug out there, and make a few bucks while he's at it. If I were marketing a car, truck, sports drink, line of clothes etc. I'd definitley try to make a deal with the 21st century centaur.

2 Yankee Mama   ~  Nov 3, 2009 3:36 pm

I read Leigh Montville's book on the Babe and it's ironic because I wonder if today, he would get many endorsements. He was a constant train wreck waiting to happen. Could you imagine with the media outlets today, the kind of exposure the Babe would have? This is no longer the epoch of tacet agreements between beat writers and their subjects.

I'm sure that up til now, nobody wanted to touch the Centaur, a guy who was photographed going out with call girls, seen gambling in after hours joints and finally getting exposed for steroids use.

Maybe they can resurrect the Old Spice commercial.

3 randym77   ~  Nov 3, 2009 3:47 pm

Tribune Co. newspapers to skip AP stories

CHICAGO - Tribune Co., owner of The Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times and several other news outlets, will not use most Associated Press content next week to test whether the financially struggling company can do without it, according to a story on the Chicago Tribune's Web site.

Tribune said it will use some AP material such as sports statistics and stories it considers vital. The Chicago-based company said it is trying to determine whether severing ties with the news cooperative next fall is a viable option.

I have to say, I wasn't expecting this. Might be good news for journalists, though. If they aren't running wire services stories, they have to have in-house reporters.

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver