Manny Acta would prefer that you not do that

That thing that you’re doing? Right now in presumed secret? Former Indians manager Manny Acta senses that you’re doing that very thing, and, if truth be told, he would like you to stop it right now … It’s fine. Manny Acta did things like that at your age, too (albeit without such an “artisan’s attention to craft” about the whole thing). But just don’t do that again. At least not when Manny Acta is trying to have an adult conversation. Actually, the more Manny Acta thinks about it, the more he believes that you should be utterly ashamed of yourself. … Continue reading Manny Acta would prefer that you not do that

For Darrell Porter

Looking back, When you bounded into Sutter’s arms It seems too obvious an ascension Of a man who brushed his burst fingers against the endurable Only when he was ashamed. In the beery afterglow, Your words as simple as you longed to be, Your words, like your swing — that motel Gideon’s Bible of a swing — Lunging, halting, Then hoping. You can do this, we know, this hitting, catching, running. But it’s the after — the plenteous and undetailed after, The quiet after — To which you’ll always belong. *** You marooned your truck on a roadside tree stump … Continue reading For Darrell Porter

Rudy Pemberton is complex

It was with a measure of confidence that today, in the break room, you attested: “That Rudy Pemberton. He was just a ballplayer.” About this — in addition to your callow belief in a better tomorrow — you were horribly wrong … Sure, the image above shows Rudy Pemberton in professional action, but what of the disembodied spectral presence, the one whose soft, Olan Mills edges suggest a man of a poet’s dimension and discontent? He hovers about your assumptions like a reproving moon. You owe Rudy Pemberton an apology. (This piece originally appeared at FanGraphs. It has since been … Continue reading Rudy Pemberton is complex

The Banknotes Harper Portable Conference Table, For Pounding

Banknotes Harper is about business, except on those occasions when he is not about business, and even at those times he is about business. It follows, then, that Banknotes Harper’s unrelenting business travel schedule requires him to spend every spare moment in the high-level business skies and then arguing forcefully in Tokyo boardrooms, arbitraging on Abu Dhabi trading floors, and — while wearing an Oleg Cassini hardhat — pointing rolled-up architectural documents to indicate various cost-saving-but-against-code structural changes he’d like to see inside a Shanghai factory (“Rip down that load-bearing beam and have one of your boys make me a … Continue reading The Banknotes Harper Portable Conference Table, For Pounding

Matt Kemp is business handsome

Matt Kemp — Chevalier Matt Kemp — wears what appears to be a double-windsor knot. He does this because he is a gentleman. He is festooned with a pocket square. On occasion, he uses it to wash his hands of the entire affair. He is not a frequenter of brothels, storefront or high-rise. This is because he need not pay for the hubba-hubba. Chevalier Matt Kemp is paid millions for being good at baseball. But even if he were not good at baseball, he would make the same amount of lucre from various wealthy patrons of the gorgeous and measured. In the … Continue reading Matt Kemp is business handsome

Some Thoughts on the Current Standings

Friends: Courtesy of the morning paper, the current standings … I think it’s obvious at this point that it’s going to come down to Junior A.C. and Davis Shell and the private-school kids with their high-end bikes who populate those two teams. Were this a cinematic flight, then the relentlessly middle-class kids from, say, Naas Candy, would rise up and bring low their economic betters. But this isn’t a movie, so Junior A.C. and Davis Shell, what with their superior breeding, boutique equipment, and precocious and unreachable girlfriends will surely hold sway. Just as sure is that this will mark … Continue reading Some Thoughts on the Current Standings

Jeff Huson, possible televangelist

Study closely the countenance of American Baseball Broadcaster Jeff Huson … You’ll note the solemn look of disapproval in tandem with the finest in Evangelical’s Choice Menswear. Long ago, he leveraged carefully curated scripture against the city council. On pain of being voted out by Rev. Huson’s legion congregants, they moved to fill all municipal water tanks with Vitalis, which you see in abundance here. The entirety of it provides Huson with a mise en scène that is known variously as “Pastor Drugs” or “Comptroller of Jonestown.” The glowering reproach that issues forth is strong enough to chagrin Cotton and Increase Mather, … Continue reading Jeff Huson, possible televangelist

Banknotes Harper honored at Chicago Merchandise Mart

Author’s note: If you haven’t already, you are invited to partake of the Banknotes Harper origin story. In 1953, American hero Joseph P. Kennedy commissioned the busts of eight captains of industry to be constructed outside the Chicago Merchandise Mart and worshiped as dollar-gods. On this day, a ninth marble bust was added — the bust of Banknotes Harper … Banknotes agreed to be honored only if his bust faced a different direction from the others. “That’s because I see arbitrage opportunities that other motherfuckers don’t. Those butt-smell losers are reading the financial pages, while I’m looking up skirts.” Since his wishes … Continue reading Banknotes Harper honored at Chicago Merchandise Mart

One Day, Joe Pettini Will Show Them All

One day, Joe Pettini will show them all … Joe Pettini’s far-off gaze — it smoulders at the today about him just as it aches for the tomorrow before him. He is, for miserable now, a Le Tigre wearer lost in a remorseless hierarchy of Those Who Brandish Izods. Whatever mastery the lunchroom table — that steering committee of knaves, where he is not welcome — holds over Joe Pettini, it is as fugitive as the pupa. The ribs of Joe Pettini encase not only a mighty heart, but also a concrete intake facility — painted in mute, industrial gray, … Continue reading One Day, Joe Pettini Will Show Them All

This Is Mike Shannon’s Pencil

This is Mike Shannon’s pencil: This is the very pencil that Mike Shannon used to bat .288/.339/.462 during the course of the 1966 season. This is the very pencil that Mike Shannon used to captain a gondola — a gondola handsomely crafted from the very same pencil — along every nautical spice route. All the while, Raquel Welch felt safe. She found the turmeric soothing. This is the very pencil that Mike Shannon used, in 1932 in Greenwood, Mississippi, to write the lyrics, “You’re closer to me, baby, than Jesus to the cross.” This is the very pencil that Mike Shannon, … Continue reading This Is Mike Shannon’s Pencil