"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Unchained…And Ya Hit the Ground Runnin'

Grantland, Bill Simmons’ on-line magazine, is open for business today.

Our pal Chris Jones has a piece on the Blue Jays and the Red Sox in the American League Beast:

Without ithout looking it up, I can tell you the night the Toronto Blue Jays won their first World Series — October 27, 1992 — because that was also the night I lost my virginity. I’m not nearly so sure of the night they won their second World Series. I was in college, watching the game in my dorm’s common room, on a TV that was suspended from the ceiling. When Joe Carter hit that home run off Mitch Williams to beat the Philadelphia Phillies, I jumped up and cracked my head on the TV, opening a dime-size hole in my scalp. It turns out that holes in your head bleed a lot. Somewhere, there is a picture of me still celebrating, late that night, drunk, mostly naked, and covered in dried blood. I’ll be forever glad that we did not yet live in the digital age.

That’s how important baseball was to me back then. I still have the Ken Burns Baseball catalogue on VHS; I once spent an entire summer making a paper model of Fenway Park, complete with a ball-marked Pesky’s Pole. But then a couple of fate-changing events took place. First, there was that whole no-longer-a-virgin thing. Before sex, something like Dave Stieb’s wobbly retirement — ignoring his brief resurrection six years later — would have qualified as a significant life event of my own. Now, it barely registered as a brief. And then baseball went on strike. I was sitting on a couch in a Mexican hotel room when everything stopped — those 14 words are how all stories of loss should begin — and I took it very much to heart. The girl who claimed my virginity later cheated on me, and baseball’s cold shoulder gave me the same feeling: I should have left you before you left me.

Last month, Jones wrote a blog post that relates to this piece. It is worth checking out.


1 RagingTartabull   ~  Jun 8, 2011 1:39 pm

color me "VERY cautiously optimistic" on this whole thing, but I'm giving it a chance

2 Alex Belth   ~  Jun 8, 2011 2:05 pm

2) Yeah, I was discussing it with a friend. The real test will be to see how Grantland is in six months to a year from now.

3 RagingTartabull   ~  Jun 8, 2011 2:25 pm

[2] Agreed, Simmons' "Welcome" column pretty much encapsulates all the good, bad, and ugly of his style and what we'll probably see from this whole thing.

4 Shaun P.   ~  Jun 8, 2011 2:53 pm

[2] [3] I'm hopeful. It could be something awesome.

I also can't help but feeling like he's started "U.S. Banter", minus any game threads. There's a lot of clear differences, and Simmons is clearly doing something different with Grantland, but I do feel like you've already been there, Alex.

5 Alex Belth   ~  Jun 8, 2011 3:03 pm

5) Welp, I sure love great writing and we do more than just baseball or even sports 'round here. Thanks for the compliment.

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