The Fantasy Baseball Guide 2016 in Brooklyn!

I spied the Guide in the wild today, at the Park Slope Barnes and Noble. Just us and the Sporting News amidst the gun mags.

2016-01-11 14.40.27
Guitar mags, too.

The Poetry of Football.

FG-FOOTBALL-2013-COVERThe Fantasy Football Guide 2013 is out now. I’ve seen it in many stores and you can buy the online or pdf versions at thefantasysportsguide.com.

This year’s Guide is full of sharp opinions, considered analysis and clear charts and stats all designed to help you prepare for your fantasy drafts this year. We even resisted the temptation to put Aaron Hernandez on the cover, so rest assured we did a lot of things right. Every year, please believe me, we put additional resources into getting things right, and we’re getting better each year I think, though there can still be the occasional headscratcher.

One big thing I screwed up this year has nothing to do with football, but is so elementally wrong I feel compelled to cop to the error here and I hope clear the air.

Each year my old buddy Jon Glascoe writes a piece for the back page of the Guide. His tone is usually comic, his subjects usually bit dark (but funny), and his writing glib and conversational and a bit philosophical. I’m always pleased to have his voice in the Guide, as I was this year.

Dylan_ThomasBut alas, in editing his piece called The New Male Manifesto Edition I judged that his last line paraphrase of Dylan Thomas’s hugely famous poem Do not go gentle into that good night would be improved by direct quotation.

So I changed Jon’s “Rage against the dying of the light,” to “Do not go gentle into that dark night/Rage, rage against the dying of the light.” Good idea, but the actual quote is:

Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

What has been done cannot be undone, but I just want to be clear that this was my error, introduced into Jon’s copy. And I’m all apologies.

Rotoman

Ps. If you would like to read the whole poem you can do so at Poets.org. Thomas is great to read out loud, but there is also a recording of the poet reading the poem, which isn’t in keeping with current styles but is powerful nonetheless.

Pps. I didn’t think this particular poem had much to say about football, but then there is this stanza:

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Perhaps Aaron Rodgers should be worried.

Tough Intervals: An Etherview with Pitchers and Poets

FanGraphs Baseball

Getting sort of meta, this is an interview with couple of guys who have a couple of excellent baseball sites (pitchersandpoets.com and Rogue’s Baseball Index) that treat baseball as a leaping off point for the imagination. That makes them sound like less fun than they are, which is why I lead with the interview, which is funny. Read ’em all! [Thanks Carter!]

The Writer’s Almanac from American Public Media

The Writer’s Almanac from American Public MediaI linked to that radio show, but they don’t have permalinks to individual pieces. This beauty is perfect for the opening week of baseball season. Or any week really.

Poem: “Assignment #1: Write a poem about Baseball and God” by Philip E. Burnham, Jr. from Housekeeping: Poems Out of the Ordinary. © Ibbetson Street Press, 2005. Reprinted with permission.

Assignment #1: Write a poem about Baseball and God

And on the ninth day, God
In His infinite playfulness
Grass green grass, sky blue sky,
Separated the infield from the outfield,
Formed a skin of clay,
Assigned bases of safety
On cardinal points of the compass
Circling the mountain of deliverance,
Fashioned a wandering moon
From a horse, a string and a gum tree,
Tempered weapons of ash,
Made gloves from the golden skin of sacrificial bulls,
Set stars alight in the Milky Way,
Divided the descendants of Cain and Abel into contenders,
Declared time out, time in, stepped back,
And thundered over all of creation: “Play ball!”

Thanks, Bruce.

Joe Torre Haiku

City Room – Metro – New York Times Blog

I have a hard time resisting the invitation to write bad poetry. Reading through the submissions for a Joe Torre haiku you can’t help (I don’t think) be struck by the nuance and twists the language makes available for a wide swath of ideas. I

I have to admit that my haiku in the comments is based more on my love of the pun than an expression of my feelings about Torre’s departure. For that, I’ll post exclusively here:

Morning’s easy stillness
A clubhouse full of calm
The runner is out at home.