April 22, 2014

Book Club: A Tale of Two Biographies

'Cheever: a life' by Blake Bailey
'Updike' by Adam Begley

I kept coming back to this question when I thought about two biographies I have read recently on deceased authors John Updike and John Cheever. "Does a screwed up childhood make a author more interesting?"

Let me say upfront I've read almost all of John Cheever's short stories and the novel 'Falconer'. For Updike I've read his first Rabbit book, 'The Centaur", and a book with his collected short stories from his early years. Comparing the books and short stories together I prefer Cheever much more than anything Updike has produced.

Cheever's short stories and his novel "Falconer" have depth and sadness to them bordering on the sublime. Updike's short stories and novels are written well but they have an emptiness in them. Updike's work doesn't make me sit back and think like Cheever's work does. And after reading two biographies on both men you can see where everything differs except their names.

'Cheever: a life' thoroughly examines just how screwed up the Cheever family was. First off poor John was an unwanted kid, always in the shadow of his brother. In fact his relationship with his brother was a little bit strange. John had homosexual, incestuous feelings for his brother that he kept hidden for many years until he had a homosexual relationship with a younger man after he kicked alcohol (more on this later). And this is just a small slice of Cheever's life!

Cheever struggled all his life trying to create a novel. He was definitely a master at the short story and dominated The New Yorker's fiction department for many years. Cheever struggled though with novels. Even after the success of The 'Wapshot Chronicle', which is basically just one long short story, Cheever struggled with the novel. He could never produce novels at such a high rate like Updike.


Confession: I hate squirrels. Where I'm from they're more nuisance than cute. They dig holes which lead to washouts in roads. They eat the nuts off of growers trees. They're a major pain in the ass. It's more fun to flood an orchard and see them popping out of their holes than feeding them in a park.

That being said, I haven't seen a cuter squirrel since the 2011 rally squirrel.

Dawww look at that little thing. Eat them Royals, Squirrel.

April 21, 2014

Talkin' Baseball: Angry Pirates, 3 Errors, & AL Central

49er16: I'm glad to see a youngster like Gerrit Cole doesn't like a player showboating and tossing a bat like he's Yasiel Puig. We need more non-Braves to decided who and who isn't playing the game the right way.

The Colonel: I say let Gomez celebrate. He's the one who looks like an ass celebrating a ball that isn't a home run. Would have been funny if McCutchen fielded it cleanly and threw out Gomez at third or second.

49er16: Puig holding the bat like he hit one out at AT&T this past week and then him just running to the dugout instead might be the most Puig moment. He just looked like a clown.

April 18, 2014

This Week in Baseball: 4/13-4/18

TV Blackouts: Jeff Passan has a great article this week on MLB TV blackouts. Basically there are blackouts for one simple reason, these regional networks pay millions of dollars to broadcast these games and they don't want you losers to bypass buying cable and watching games on MLB.tv. What's interesting is that baseball is being sued over the blackouts and they're waving their anti-trust exemption in every one's face as their defense. I hope baseball loses this lawsuit and loses big.

Whoops: Eventually I'm going to need glasses. Bad eyes runs in my family. So when I'm picking out glasses one day I'm going to make sure I never pick out the glasses Al Leiter wore the other night at Yankee Stadium.

Ben Sheets!?!: Beyond the Boxscore wants you to know that Ben Sheets was really awesome when he was actually healthy. Sheets had a 7 WAR season in 2004 where he only had a 3.4 BB% which is incredible. He also induced that year 43% groundball rate making him one of the best worm burners in baseball.

April 16, 2014

"I Wasn't Talking About the Hot Dog"

The Diamondbacks are selling a 18-inch hot dog that costs $25 dollars. It's what all the opposing broadcasters are talking about now during Diamondbacks games since they're so bad. The Giants broadcasters were talking about it and the Mets broadcasters were talking about it last night.

"I wasn't talking about the hot dog."- Keith Hernandez

And this is why the Mets have one of the best broadcast teams in baseball.