tweet of Apr. 11, 2012
Friday, July 30, 2021
Thursday, July 29, 2021
Maximum R&B,” Classic Rock Magazine, Issue 188 (September 2013)
(The image accompanying this post shows, in performance, Otis Redding, one of Wolf’s objects of veneration.)
Wednesday, July 28, 2021
How I Write: Alice Hoffman,” The Writer, September 2013
(The image accompanying this post, showing Alice Hoffman at BookExpo in New York City, was taken May 30, 2019 by Rhododendrites.)
Tuesday, July 27, 2021
Humble Pie Eating Contest,” Newsweek, Nov. 15, 2010
Ms. Miller does not mention that, well before Spitzer became “client No. 9,” he could very easily have been nicknamed “Governor Steamroller” for his snarled boast to a GOP Assemblyman.
These days, I don’t think that Spitzer is as eager to brag about his one lasting claim on America’s cultural consciousness: As an inspiration for the long-running drama series, The Good Wife.
Monday, July 26, 2021
, Oct. 7, 2019
Sunday, July 25, 2021
English Baptist preacher Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892), Feathers for Arrows; Or, Illustrations for Preachers and Teachers, from My Notebook (1883)
The image accompanying this post is Christ in the Storm on the Sea of Galilee (1695), by the Dutch painter Ludolf Backhuysen (1630-1708).
Saturday, July 24, 2021
, Nov. 5, 1992
Unless it was under a different title, I did not see this piece in Triumph and Tragedy in Mudville, the posthumous collection of baseball essays by Stephen Jay Gould. The above paragraph is a good example of the author’s clear, even lively writing style and deep knowledge of his subject.
But its romanticism—a term that Gould did little to disclaim—may have already sounded dated by the time of his death, because of the use of the designated hitter in the American League and, we know now, the widespread prevalence of steroids in the 1990s and early ‘oughts.
Many fans like me have been watching other trends of the last two decades with concern bordering on disgust, including work-stoppage threats, batters’ lack of shame over strikeouts, defensive shifts, and the stress on strikeouts that may be taxing pitchers’ arms.
But in the last two seasons, COVID-19 has introduced new elements into games, such as placing men on second base during extra innings. To use an example that Gould might have appreciated: Under these conditions, how, then, can Gerrit Cole be compared with, say, Christy Mathewson?
More so than ever, I think, because of such changes, player statistics can only be compared with their immediate contemporaries rather than those in the past.
(Speaking of baseball “mythology”: the image accompanying this post shows Robert Redford as Roy Hobbs in the 1984 film The Natural. Though the movie adaptation changed quite a bit from Bernard Malamud’s 1952 novel, the Hobbs character drew on elements of Babe Ruth, Bob Feller, Shoeless Joe Jackson, Ted Williams, Sal Maglie, and Eddie Waitkus, a Philadelphia Phillies first baseman shot and wounded in a hotel by a crazed female fan.)