All great writing is an act of rebellion against what exists, a need to say something unsaid, an impossible attempt to heal what is broken, to make a mark.
If there’s a book you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.
I just write what I wanted to write. I write what amuses me. It’s totally for myself.
That’s the rumor. Jay Bruce is reportedly on the trading block, and the San Diego Padres are one of the teams showing interest. I will not be happy if #32 is playing anywhere other than Cincinnati next year, and creating another hole in the outfield just doesn’t make sense. I can’t help but wonder how Mick the Jay Bruce Fan feels about this.
(P.S. – I can’t believe I beat Joe Shlabotnik to this one either.)
A good story takes readers where they haven’t been before in the company of interesting people they learn to care about who are forced to deal with adversity.
National Baseball Hall of Fame 2015 Daily Calendar
The Cooperstown Collection
Sellers Publishing, 2014
If you haven’t looked at a calendar lately, you may not be aware that there are only 35 days left until Christmas. Don’t worry, though, Sellers Publishing has the perfect gift for the baseball fan on your list: the National Baseball Hall of Fame 2015 Daily Calendar. Each day of the year provides information and trivia for die-hard baseball fans, beginning with a collage of 19th century memorabilia on January 1 (Hank Greenberg‘s birthday) through December 31, with the somber remembrance of Roberto Clemente‘s fatal mission to Nicaragua.
Trivia questions are scattered through the pages; member plaques, baseball cards, uniforms and other memorabilia are displayed throughout the year. This calendar, officially licensed by Major League Baseball and the Hall of Fame, is sure to delight fans young and old who hunger for historical knowledge and who miss the game terribly during the off-season.
Writers end up writing about their obsessions. Things that haunt them; things they can’t forget; stoies they carry in their bodes waiting to be released.
If you get stuck, get away from your desk. Take a walk, take a bath, go to sleep, make a pie, draw, listen to music, meditate, exercise; whatever you do, don’t just stick there scowling at the problem.
You can’t put a limit on anything. The more you dream, the farther you get. I want to be able to look back and say, “I’ve done everything I can, and I was successful.” I don’t want to look back and say I should have done this or that.
All of us harbor secret hopes that a magnificent novel will tumble out of the sky and appear on our screens, but almost universally, writing is hard, slow, and totally unglamorous. So why finish what you’ve started? Because in two weeks, when you are done, you will be grateful for the experience.
Read the full pep talk at this link. Or, skip the pep talk and get back to writing. Because that’s what it’s all about.
Barring unforeseen circumstances, the final nine 2014 TWJ baseball cards are in the books (the last two were uploaded this morning). The virtual set consists of 260 base cards, twenty-eight highlights, and an eighteen-card All-Star subset. The final nine were highlights, featuring each league’s Most Valuable Player (Mike Trout and Clayton Kershaw), Cy Young (Corey Kluber and Kershaw), Manager of the Year (Matt Williams and Buck Showalter), and Rookie of the Year (Jacob deGrom and Jose Abreu) Award winners, and a special World Champions card for the San Francisco Giants featuring Series MVP Madison Bumgarner and his catcher Buster Posey.
I liked the 2014 TWJ set, and enjoyed producing these cards. I’m still tinkering with a design for 2015 and some possible subsets for the off-season. I hope you enjoyed it as well.
The full set (as well as previous years’ sets and subsets) can be viewed at TWJ cards on tumblr.
The BBWAA finally got it right in the American League, unanimously crowning Mike Trout as the Most Valuable Player in 2014. In addition to his BBWAA hardware, the slugging outfielder takes home his second virtual trophy from the blogging community in 2014; he was named Rookie of the Year in 2012. He may have won an award in 2013 as well, had the chairman of the BBBWARAOAAE remembered to send out the ballots. Trout is only the tenth player ever to be listed first on all BBWAA ballots for the MVP; Albert Pujols was the last unanimous winner in 2009 for the St. Louis Cardinals. He was one vote away from unanimity from the BBBWARAOAAE as well; one voter listed Chicago rookie Jose Abreu above Trout.
In the National League, the debate whether a pitcher should win MVP raged on, but in the end both the BBWAA and the BBBWARAOAAE selected Clayton Kershaw as the Most Valuable Player. Hotly contested until the very end of the season, Giancarlo Stanton‘s injuries may have cost him the award. Of course, the early season front-runner was Troy Tulowitzki; no BBBWARAOAAE listed the shortstop on their ballot, but one kind BBWAA member recognized Tulo and listed him in last place.
AMERICAN LEAGUE MOST VALUABLE PLAYER
|1. Mike Trout||18||94||420 (1)|
|2. Victor Martinez||-||36||229 (2)|
|3. Jose Abreu||1||24||145 (4)|
|4. Robinson Cano||-||16||124 (6)|
|5. Michael Brantley||-||13||185 (3)|
|6. Nelson Cruz||-||12||102 (7)|
|7. Josh Donaldson||-||11||96 (8)|
|8. Felix Hernandez||-||10||48 (10)|
|9. Miguel Cabrera||-||7||82 (9)|
|10. Jose Altuve||-||6||41 (13)|
|11t. Corey Kluber||-||4||45 (11)|
|11t. Jose Bautista||-||4||128 (5)|
|13t. Alex Gordon||-||2||44 (12)|
|13t. Adam Jones||-||2||34 (14)|
|15t. Steve Pearce||-||1||n/a|
|15t. Kyle Seager||-||1||1 (20)|
|15t. Adrian Beltre||-||1||22 (15)|
|x. Greg Holland||-||n/a||13 (16)|
|x. Albert Pujols||-||n/a||5 (17)|
|x. Howie Kendrick||-||n/a||3 (18t)|
|x. James Shields||-||n/a||3 (18t)|
NATIONAL LEAGUE MOST VALUABLE PLAYER
|1. Clayton Kershaw||12||77||355 (1)|
|2. Giancarlo Stanton||5||56||298 (2)|
|3. Andrew McCutchen||1||53||271 (3)|
|4. Jonathan Lucroy||-||13||167 (4)|
|5. Anthony Rendon||-||7||155 (5)|
|6t. Johnny Cueto||-||3||22 (12)|
|6t. Anthony Rizzo||-||3||37 (10)|
|6t. Buster Posey||-||3||152 (6)|
|9t. Yasiel Puig||-||2||8 (19t)|
|9t. Justin Morneau||-||2||2 (23t)|
|9t. Carlos Gomez||-||2||13 (16)|
|12t. Devin Mesoraco||-||1||5 (21)|
|12t. Ben Revere||-||1||n/a|
|x. Adrian Gonzalez||-||n/a||57 (7)|
|x. Adam Wainwright||-||n/a||53 (8)|
|x. Josh Harrison||-||n/a||52 (9)|
|x. Hunter Pence||-||n/a||34 (11)|
|x. Russell Martin||-||n/a||21 (13)|
|x. Matt Holliday||-||n/a||17 (14t)|
|x. Jhonny Peralta||-||n/a||17 (14t)|
|x. Justin Upton||-||n/a||10 (17)|
|x. Jayson Werth||-||n/a||9 (18)|
|x. Denard Span||-||n/a||8 (19t)|
|x. Lucas Duda||-||n/a||3 (22)|
|x. Freddie Freeman||-||n/a||2 (23t)|
|x. Dee Gordon||-||n/a||1 (25t)|
|x. Troy Tulowitzki||-||n/a||1 (25t)|
On writing, my advice is the same to all. If you want to be a writer, write. Write and write and write. If you stop, start again. Save everything that you write. If you feel blocked, write through it until you feel your creative juices flowing again. Write.
The unanimous winner of the National League Cy Young Award presented by the BBWAA was also the unanimous selection of the BBBWARAOAAE. Clayton Kershaw‘s lights-out performance on the mound made him the clear winner in the Senior Circuit. The BBWAA and BBBWARAOAAE results matched up the top six pitchers in the League: Kershaw, Johnny Cueto, Adam Wainwright, Madison Bumgarner, Jordan Zimmerman and Cole Hamels.
NATIONAL LEAGUE CY YOUNG AWARD
|1. Clayton Kershaw||20||100||210 (1)|
|2. Johnny Cueto||-||61||112 (2)|
|3. Adam Wainwright||-||46||97 (3)|
|4. Madison Bumgarner||-||14||28 (4)|
|5. Jordan Zimmerman||-||10||25 (5)|
|6. Cole Hamels||-||7||17 (6)|
|7. Jake Arrieta||-||3||3 (9t)|
|8t. Tanner Roark||-||2||n/a|
|8t. Stephen Strasburg||-||2||3 (9t)|
|10t. Aroldis Chapman||-||1||n/a|
|10t. Doug Fister||-||1||5 (8)|
|10t. Zack Greinke||-||1||6 (7)|
|10t. Craig Kimbrel||-||1||3 (9t)|
|x. Henderson Alvarez||-||n/a||1 (12)|
AMERICAN LEAGUE CY YOUNG AWARD
|1t. Felix Hernandez||10||74||159 (2)|
|1t. Corey Kluber||8||74||169 (1)|
|3. Chris Sale||-||40||78 (3)|
|4. Max Scherzer||-||18||32 (5)|
|5. Jon Lester||-||13||46 (4)|
|6. David Price||-||4||16 (6)|
|7t. Greg Holland||-||2||1 (9)|
|7t. Hisashi Iwakuma||-||2||n/a|
|9t. Dallas Keuchel||-||1||n/a|
|9t. Rick Porcello||-||1||n/a|
|x. Phil Hughes||-||n/a||6 (7)|
|x. Wade Davis||-||n/a||3 (8)|
A story isn’t about a moment in time, a story is about the moment in time.
With the retirement of Derek Jeter, I thought it would be appropriate to ask the BBBWARAOAAE, “Who is the greatest shortstop of all-time?” In an extremely close race, Cal Ripken edged out Honus Wagner 48-47, with Jeter finishing third. As of this writing, all eligible shortstops named in the poll have been elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
|1. Cal Ripken||6||48|
|2. Honus Wagner||4||47|
|3. Derek Jeter||-||18|
|4t. Ernie Banks||-||14|
|4t. Ozzie Smith||-||14|
|4t. Barry Larkin||-||14|
|7t. Alex Rodriguez||1||5|
|7t. Luis Aparicio||-||5|
|9. Luke Appling||-||4|
One of my personal favorite topics of discussion is the worthiness of players for the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Nearly everyone has an opinion about who does and does not belong, and who has been overlooked by the BBWAA voters. The most overlooked player, according to the BBBWARAOAAE, is the all-time hit king Pete Rose, who is not eligible for enshrinement under the current rules of the Hall of Fame. Others who received votes are PED poster boys Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, stars of the 1980s Tim Raines and Alan Trammell, and old timers Bill Dahlen and Tony Mullane.
|1. Pete Rose||7||42|
|2. Tim Raines||1||27|
|3. Barry Bonds||1||22|
|4. Shoeless Joe Jackson||-||18|
|5. Craig Biggio||-||12|
|6. Bill Dahlen||1||10|
|7. Roger Clemens||-||8|
|8. Dale Murphy||-||7|
|9. Tony Mullane||1||6|
|10. Alan Trammell||-||4|
|11. Lee Smith||-||3|
|12t. Kenny Lofton||-||2|
|14. Dave Concepcion||-||1|