Don’ worry there are a few Rays nuggets to follow, as well as your one millionth link to a Bryce Harper and Manny Machado destination of the offseason. But overall: woof, it is slow out there for baseball news right now.
Thankfully, we have less than a month until pitchers and catchers report, but in the mean time, why not catch up on some good reads? It’s the prefect time to kick back on a slow night with nary a baseball care in the world and make a dent on that stack building up on your nightstand.
With that in mind, in case that stack isn’t big enough already, here are the five best books I read in 2018:
Savage Detectives, Roberto Bolano: Bolano is one of those incredible writers who can write about literally nothing and make it the most engaging book you have ever read. I still believe 2666 is his ultimate masterpiece, but Detectives flies by as the reader follows the Quixotic adventures of a group of young poets in 1970s Mexico.
Nobody Knows My Name, Jame Baldwin: All Baldwin in pressing and urgent in 2019, but for those who want a quick but vastly important bit of reading, just take on Baldwin’s “In Search of a Majority” short essay within Nobody Knows My Name. Easily the most vital 10 or so pages I read all year.
The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath: For anyone who has ever felt any sort of midlife crisis/why are we here reckoning, Plath’s 1963 touchstone novel is a must. I have not felt as “in the author’s head” with any other author as I did when reading Plath this summer.
High Fidelity, Nick Hornby: It took me a while to get around to Hornby, but boy oh boy I am glad I finally got there. The lightest of these reads, but also just heavy enough to make you feel things.
Slowness, Milan Kundera: An underrated gem from one of the most famous authors of the past 50 years, Slowness is among the most unique books I have ever read. It also kicked off a big Kundera run of reading last winter, which is the perfect time to read the reclusive thinker.
- Mallex Smith kicked the hornet’s nest a bit with his comments about the move from Tampa Bay to Seattle, saying, “I’m going to enjoy fans in the stands.” Honestly, it’s a lazy narrative that needs to die a slow death. Plus, Mallex, wouldn’t you rather tallies in the win column, because the Rays had more of those than Seattle last year, and I’d bet a good amount of money on that being the case again in 2019.
- Neil Solondz takes a look at the Rays outfield for 2019, which it certainly going to be a key part of the roster this upcoming season.
- In a hilarious spin off of the NBA’s #PettyWarz, Steven Souza has lifted his not-speaking ban on Rays beat reporter Marc Topkin, after Edgar Martinez was elected to the Hall of Fame:
Dear @TBTimes_Rays,— Steven Souza Jr. (@SouzaJr) January 22, 2019
After a year of Probation I am thankful to announce that your ban has been lifted and will continue to professionally converse with about any topic you’d like. Let’s hope we get Edgar over the hump! Can’t thank you enough!
Longtime Fan of the Gamr
Longtime Fan of the Gamr, indeed!
Around the League
- The Dodgers signing of A.J. Pollock as a supposed “replacement” for Yasiel Puig has caused some hot takes in the baseball blogosphere (the underlying sentiment of which I can somewhat see), but as always, Eno Sarris has probably the best take.
- It’s basically down to Harper and Machado at this point, so get used to reading a lot about these two from here on out.
- Grant Brisbee is definitely among the three or so (Sam Miller, Sheryl Ring) baseball writers who demand a blind click on literally anything they write. Here are his 2019 Hall of Fame thoughts.
- Mone Davis, forever: