Baseball Toaster Bad Altitude
Not Missing Much
2006-05-28 10:12
by Mark T.R. Donohue

No, I haven't gone into hiding until the Rockies win again. Although perhaps I should have. It's been a busy week with my band finishing our record and going on a brief road trip. Now I'm in Chicago for a high school friend's wedding. I am not a big wedding guy, but I will have the chance to go to two Cubs games this week and that at least will make the trip worthwhile.

If I think of something interesting to say about Colorado's free fall down the division standings while I'm in Illinois, I'll let you know about it, presumably.

There's nothing like airplane travel to allow you to catch up on one's reading. I finished Jeff Pearlman's Barry Bonds book yesterday and I'm nearly done with The Mind of Bill James. I don't whether I've become more critical since I do so much baseball writing myself or now or the market is just overwhelmed with subpar material, but it seems like it's been ages since I read a really good baseball book. Rob Neyer's new book on blunders seems short of content compared to his last several works, which were primo bathroom reading. I've been unable to get into to Leigh Montville's Babe Ruth book although I do still have a whole flight home with which to contend. David Maraniss's Clemente biography got off to a promising start and then kind of trailed off, concluding with an intense three-chapter investigation into Roberto's plane crash, which seemed kind of beside the point to me. Also, as I mentioned before, these old-school baseball biographers need to familiarize themselves with the new statistics that are available. It looks silly to write about how many MVP awards Clemente was robbed of or how Bonds was a "better" player when he stole bases when you can simply look to a column in Total Baseball and disprove claims like this.

People keep talking about how good the Mets would look if only they'd kept Scott Kazmir, but how about all of the pitchers the Cubs have sent to Florida over the past several years? The Marlins have the majority of a workable rotation thanks to Chicago's largesse.

I can't say this comes as any to surprise to me, but here come all of the stories about how much improved the National League West is, right after the Rockies fall out of first place. Well, it makes sense. I can't really take a division that the Rockies are leading seriously either. These things don't change overnight.

2006-05-28 18:24:32
1.   Ken Arneson
The books are just as good as they ever were, Mark, you're just getting old and curmudgeonly now.

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