Dirk Hayhurst – Bigger Than the Game

Dirk Hayhurst was one of the first people I followed on Twitter, way back in 2009, and I’ve been keeping a keen eye on him ever since. I absolutely adored his first two books, The Bullpen Gospels and Out of My League, and I was very excited for this one too. When it first came out, I already had a to-read pile longer than my arm, so I left it for a little while before I bought it, but I really wish I hadn’t! And as I expected, I...

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Nicholas Sparks – Nights in Rodanthe

Well I think this is a first; a Nicholas Sparks book that I didn’t enjoy. Usually I love his books and get lost in the romance, but I just wasn’t feeling it with this one! I just couldn’t form any kind of connection to the main characters, I think in part because they were much older than I am, although this doesn’t usually cause a problem, so I think that probably wasn’t the main reason I didn’t get on with...

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A-Rod or A-Roid?

Well I know that there are going to be a lot of posts about this over the next few days (and I have already read a fair few myself), but it’s been a while since I last wrote a baseball post and I can’t stop thinking about this one. Last night, the long investigation was finally over and the  news came out that A-Rod and 12 other players have been suspended for their links with the now-defunct Biogenesis clinic. The list of players...

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Review: Dirk Hayhurst – Wild Pitches

This book was in e-book only format, designed as an add-on to Hayhurst’s last book Out of My League. It basically contained extracts that he wrote for the book that didn’t make it into the print copy, but that he though were too good to miss out. Most of the snippets from the e-book were quite funny, although with a few of them, you could tell why they hadn’t made it through into the actual book. My main complaint was that...

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Review: David H. Martinez – The Book of Baseball Literacy

This book was quite a change from my last one and I was undecided about whether to include it in my ‘100 books’ as it most definitely a non-fiction book rather than a novel. But, I am 25 books behind on the challenge, with no chance of making it to the end, so I guess it doesn’t harm to include it. The book was a guide to all things baseball, including some of the basic terms (like single, double, walk-off etc), along with a...

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#IStandUpFor

For the World Series this year, MLB is partnering with a different charity for each game, and the first game is partnered with Stand Up 2 Cancer. Not as well known in the UK until last Friday, but I wrote a little post on it last year. MLB have invited everyone to fill in this card with the hashtag #IStandUpFor to let everyone know who they stand up for, and everyone in the stadium tonight will hold up their own card in a moving tribute.

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Review: John Grisham – Calico Joe

When I saw this book on the book people, I was intrigued. I knew that Grisham was more of a legal writer – I know my dad had read a lot of his books. But the description said that it was completely different to those books, and of course the cover drew me in straight away. Now I don’t know what his legal books are like, but this book was very emotional. The start was a little confusing with two seemingly unrelated stories running in...

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That time of year already…

Well this post is risky for two reasons. Firstly, I’ve not done a baseball post for a while and I know that a lot of my new followers are probably expecting books, books and more books, so if you don’t have an interest in baseball, this post probably isn’t for you. Secondly, I think I must post a bit too much about a certain Detroit Tiger whose name may rhyme with Dustin Berlander. A quick look at Google searches that have...

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Player love or Team Pride?

It’s been a while since I posted about baseball, so if you’ve started following my blog recently and are expecting back to back book reviews, I’m sorry! It’s not been the best season so far for the White Sox, but we’re slowly climbing our way back up the standings. There are a few bright sparks on our team, like the fact that Paul Konerko is leading the AL in batting average, and Chris Sale and Jake Peavy are both...

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Review: Chad Harbach – The Art of Fielding

This book ended up being nothing like I thought it would, but it had me hooked from the first page. I had expected a book that was heavily baseball oriented, but baseball was (in the main) just an undercurrent throughout the book to support the other issues. The book is centred around a few characters whose lives become completely intertwined. The main character is Henry, a naturally talented shortstop who is spotted by Schwartz and persuaded to...

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Back to Baseball: Off-Season recap

It’s that time of year again, and although I’ve been a bit quiet about baseball during Spring Training, there’s less than a week left until the first game of the season so there’ll be more baseball blogs coming. The regular season actually kicked off earlier this week with the series in Japan between the A’s and the Mariners. This actually gave me the opposite problem to usual as the games were on too early for me...

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Review: Dirk Hayhurst – Out of My League

It’s been a while since I posted a review, not been feeling great the last few days so had a break from the laptop. But this book was awesome! I kind of knew what to expect from the book after reading Hayhurst’s first book (The Bullpen Gospels), and I most definitely wasn’t disappointed. This book was just as funny as the first book, it had me laughing out loud quite a few times! Lines like this were just what I...

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Now Reading: Dirk Hayhurst – Out of My League

I’ve been waiting for this book since I pre-ordered it in October, so I’m very glad that it finally arrived, especially when I started seeing a lot of tweets about people in America reading the book when I still had 2 weeks left until it would be dispatched. It will be the second book I have read by Dirk Hayhurst, although you may also know him as @thegarfoose on Twitter. His first (The Bullpen Gospels) was fantastic, I remember...

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Review: Jim Bouton & Eliot Asinof – Strike Zone

This book is the first baseball fiction book that I’ve read, and it was great! It’s been a long time since the end of the baseball season, so it was nice to feel the excitement of a baseball game again. The story revolves around two main characters. The first is an aging rookie pitcher called Sam Ward, pitching for the Cubs in the last game of the season, a game that will decide whether the Cubs make it to the post-season or not. The...

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Now Reading: Alastair Reynolds – Century Rain

This book is a sci-fi book (borrowed from Mike), which will be another change for me, I’ve not read much sci-fi before. It looks quite interesting though, I always used to be quite interested in sci-fi tv programs, but somehow fell out of watching them. The description on the back of the book says: “Century Rain is not just a time-travel story, nor a tale of alternate history. Part hard SF thriller, part interstellar adventure, part...

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Some people just don’t know when to quit…

Not much off-season news yet as far as the White Sox go. I’m hoping for something to happen at the Winter Meetings, as long as it doesn’t involve Buehrle moving elsewhere. MLB released the following statement last night: “Free-agent Manny Ramirez has applied to the Commissioner to be reinstated from the voluntary retired list. As a condition of his reinstatement, Ramirez will be required to resolve his outstanding violation of...

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Moneyball…Finally!

Finally, about 2 months after it came out in America, and after I’ve read countless reviews, I went to see Moneyball yesterday. It came out on Friday, and the Saturday showing only had 6 people in (including me and my Dad). I did think that might be the case though, as the film was purely about baseball, and not many English people are that interested. I’m guessing Brad Pitt is the main reason the film is even showing in the UK. It...

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Ups and Downs of an Off-Season Monday

First, the up. Congratulations to Justin Verlander on being crowned AL MVP 2011. If you’ve read my blog in the past, you’ll know that I have written a couple of posts about how I wanted him to win, so it’s an understatement to say I’m glad. He deserved it after the phenomenal season he had, and I’m glad that the voters put aside the fact that he is a pitcher, although it was nowhere near as much of a clean sweep as...

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Cy Young this week, MVP next?

Congratulations to Justin Verlander, who was unanimously awarded the AL Cy Young Award after winning the three triple crown categories this season with 24 wins, a 2.40 ERA and 250 strikeouts. The MVP award is announced next Tuesday. There is a lot of discussion over whether a pitcher should be awarded the MVP, and if so, if Verlander is deserving of the honour. I for one believe that he should get it, but we’ll have to wait and see.

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No Baseball until next year? Not quite…

Now that the season is over (although it seems like a long time since the White Sox actually played baseball), it’s time to focus on trades and free agents and hot stove goodness until baseball returns for spring training next year. I can’t see the White Sox having much scope for adding new players, especially without getting rid of a few big contracts, so here’s what I hope for this winter: Re-sign Mark Buehrle This is the one...

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