Sports media notes version 05.03.17: Preparing for the “Chuck” release, and the ESPN relief

Prior to Sunday’s media column feature on what’s behind the new movie “Chuck” — and note above, the two Hollywood screenings Friday and Saturday with Liev Schreiber in attendance — here are more things worth tracking heading into the weekend:

== Many thoughtful responses/theories/overreactions to last week’s Sunday column trying to explain why ESPN got itself into a personnel-cutting mode last week.
And then there’s a headline on “Even ‘New York Times’ Notes ESPN’s Leftward Leaning Coverage”
So now they think the NYT isn’t fake news?
In the NYT piece by writer Mark Tracy, it points out that perhaps there is a connecting of dots that is more debatable than not over how the layoffs were determined, but it doesn’t stop the conversation. Nor should it.
Tracy points out: “In The Ringer, the writer Bryan Curtis recently concluded, sympathetically, that sportswriting had become “a liberal profession.” In debates such as whether the Washington Redskins’ name and imagery are offensive, he said, most sportswriters consider there to be only one right-thinking side. …
Bob Ley, one of ESPN’s longest-tenured anchors, perhaps hinted at one byproduct of ESPN’s “diversity and inclusion” when he told the ombudsman, Jim Brady, in reference to gender and racial emphases in personnel: ‘We’ve done a great job of diversity. But the one place we have miles to go is diversity of thought.'”

== Another approach to this subject: Buzzfeed’s “How ESPN became a conservative cause”

== And one more from Deadspin: “No ESPN Isn’t Losing Money Because It’s Liberal You Clueless Morons” Continue reading “Sports media notes version 05.03.17: Preparing for the “Chuck” release, and the ESPN relief” »

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(More than) 30 baseball books for 2017 we wanted to get to but …

By art student Matthis Grunsky in Halifax, NS, Canada.

In addition to the 30 baseball (and more) books we got through this last April, there are a few more titles that we actually did read, hoped to squeeze into the rotation, but for one reason or another – a late review copy, delayed release, there are no more than 30 days to do it, etc. – we regret not being able to include:

== “The Pride of the Yanikees: Lou Gehrig, Gary Cooper and the Making of a Classic,” by Richard Sandomir (Hatchett Books, $27, 304 pages, due out June 13). We have actually read the book but plan for a more extensive review as it comes out to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the movie’s launch in 1942.

==  “Suicide Squeeze: Taylor Hooton, Rob Garibaldi and the Fight against Teenage Steroid Abuse,” by William C. Kashatus (Temple University Press, 256 pages, $35, released in January 23)

==  “Urban Shocker: Silent Hero of Baseball’s Golden Age,” by Steve Steinberg (University of Nebraska Press, 352 pages, $32.95, released April 1)

== “Almost Perfect: The Heartbreaking Pursuit of Pitching’s Holy Grail,” by Joe Cox (Lyons Press, 280 pages, $26.95, released Feb. 1)

== “Dick Allen: The Life and Times of a Baseball Immortal,” by William C. Kashautus (Schiffer, 288 pages, $29.99, to be released June 15)

== “Macho Row: The 1993 Phillies and Baseball’s Unwritten Code,” by William C. Kashatus (University of Nebraska Press, 384 pages, $27.95, released March 1)

== “The Cooperstown Casebook: Who’s In the Baseball Hall of Fame, Who Should Be In, and Who Should Pack their Plaques,” by Jay Jaffe (Thomas Dunne Books, 464 pages, $25.99, to be released July 25)

== “From the Dugouts to the Trenches: Baseball during the Great War,” by Jim Leeke (University of Nebraska Press, 272 pages, $32.95, released May 1)

== “Lou: 50 Years of Kicking Dirt, Playing Hard and Winning Big in the Sweet Spot of Baseball,” by Lou Pinella with Bill Madden (Harper, 352 pages, $27.99, to be released May 16)

Continue reading “(More than) 30 baseball books for 2017 we wanted to get to but …” »

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The complete 30-for-30 2017 list of baseball book reviews

Arranged by the quality of the work that we tried to pass along in each review:


== Day 28: “Fantasy Life: Baseball and the American Dream,” photographs by Tabitha Soren, text by Dave Eggers
== Day 27: “Off Speed: Baseball, Pitching and the Art of Deception,” by Terry McDermott
== Day 23: “Smart Baseball: The Story Behind the Old Stats That Are Ruining the Game, the New Ones that are Running It, and the Right Way to Think About Baseball,” by Keith Law
== Day 20: “Leo Durocher: Baseball’s Prodigal Son,” by Paul Dickson
== Day 18: “The Phenomenon: Pressure, the Yips and the Pitch that Changed My Life,” by Rick Anikiel with Tim Brown
== Day 10: “The Cubs Way: The Zen of Building the Best Team in Baseball and Breaking the Curse,” by Tom Verducci


== Day 30: “Baseball Is Back,” by Michael Turner
== Day 11: “Baseball Life Advice: Loving the Game That Saved Me,” by Stacey May Fowles
== Day 7: “One Nation Under Baseball: How the 1960s Collided with the National Pastime,” by John Florio and Ouisie Shapiro
== Day 2: “The Amazing Baseball Adventure: Ballpark Wonders from the Bushes to the Show,” by Josh Pahigian
== Day 3: “City of Dreams: Dodger Stadium and the Birth of Modern Los Angeles,” by Jerald Podair
== Day 1: “The Boy Who Knew Too Much: An Astounding True Story of a Young Boy’s Past-Life Memories,” by Cathy Byrd


== Day 26: The New Baseball Bible: Notes, Nuggets, Lists and Legends from Our National Pasttime,” by Dan Schlossberg (preface by Alan Schwarz, forward by Jay Johnstone)
== Day 25: “Hank Greenberg in 1938: Hatred and Home Runs in the Shadow of War,” by Ron Kaplan
== Day 24: “Lefty O’Doul: Baseball’s Forgotten Ambassador,” by Dennis Snelling
== Day 22: “Baseball Meat Market: The Stories Behind the Best and Worst Trades in History,” by Shawn Krest
== Day 17: “Lyman Bostock: The Inspiring Life and Tragic Death of a Ballplayer,” by K. Adam Powell
== Day 16: “Do You Want to Work in Baseball?: Advice to Acquire Employment in MLB and Mentorship in Scouting and Player Development,” by Bill Geivett
== Day 15: “Jackie Robinson: A Spiritual Biography: The Faith of a Boundary-Breaking Hero,” by Michael G. Long and Chris Lamb
== Day 13: “Casey Stengel: Baseball’s Greatest Character,” by Marty Appel
== Day 12: “Seinsoth: The Rough and Tumble Life of a Dodger,” by Steven K. Wagner
== Day 9: “Lost Ballparks,” by Dennis Evanosky and Eric J. Kos
== Day 8: “Frick*: Baseball’s Third Commissioner,” by John P. Carvalho
== Day 6: “Making My Pitch: A Woman’s Baseball Odyssey,” by Ila Borders, with Jean Hastings Ardell


== Day 29: “Cincinnati Red and Dodger Blue: Baseball’s Greatest Forgotten Rivalry” by Tom Van Riper
== Day 21: “Piazza: Catcher, Slugger, Icon, Star,” by Greg W. Prince
== Day 19: “Ballplayer,” by Chipper Jones with Carroll Rogers Walton
== Day 14: “The 50 Greatest Players in Dodgers History,” by Robert W. Cohen
== Day 5: “Baseball Beyond Our Borders: An International Pastime,” edited by George Gmelch and Daniel Nathan
== Day 4: “Dynastic, Bombastic, Fantastic: Reggie, Rollie, Catfish and Charlie Finley’s Swingin’ A’s,” by Jason Turbow

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30 baseball books for April, ’17, Day 30: This dad has baseball’s back … for his kids and everyone else’s

That’s Ella Turner on the left (wearing the Strasburg shirt) and sister Nora (with the Wilson Ramos shirt), right, at a Nationals-Dodgers NLDS Game 1 at Nationals Park last season. The poster is in reference to Ramos’ nickname, Buffalo. (Photo courtesy of Michael Turner)


The book: “Baseball Is Back”
The author: Michael Turner
The vital statistics: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 28 pages, $12.99, released Feb. 10.
Find it: At, at Barnes and Noble

The pitch: Yup, this should have come at the very front of the collection of this year’s reviews.
The perfect title. The perfect tone.
The perfect backstory.
Turner, who grew up in Southern California and graduated from North Hollywood High, knows what it’s like to be away from baseball.
As a Naval officer from 1999-2004, then joining the foreign service, he has been in the international affairs field for more than 17 years, also living in Italy, Bahrain, Indonesia, Colombia and Vietnam. Washington, D.C., is his current home base, just 10 minutes from Nationals Park.
All those years sitting in the left-field bleachers when he could look over Dusty Baker’s shoulder at the games in the 1970s never left him. Now he watches Baker manage his home-town team, with former teammate Davey Lopes coaching first base.
Turner said he saw a need for a book like this for his two daughters, Ella (10) and Nora (9), with son Patrick (3) on the way up.
Continue reading “30 baseball books for April, ’17, Day 30: This dad has baseball’s back … for his kids and everyone else’s” »

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Sunday media: Who pays the price when ESPN overpays for sports? (Hint: You, then …)

“I heard it was coming like everyone and because what’s going on with our shows now, as we’re building it, I did feel somewhat safe,” Jeremy Schaap, who has spent about half his life at ESPN, a fixture on programming like the journalism-based “E60” and “Outside The Lines,” was telling us the other day.
“When you realize that if these guys are expendable, those women are expendable, then we all are in some way, right?”
Sorry if the “E” in ESPN now seems to represents “Expendables” or “Ex-Employees.” There’s no entertainment value in that.
Our educated explanation for why ESPN needed to downsize days before another stockholders’ earning share report and the trickle down effect it could have as it tries to reconfigure a new game plan.

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