Steve Trout knows what he’s doing

Steve Trout is aware that society would prefer that he not wear those seductive Foster Grants, particularly in mixed company, but he doesn’t much give a damn about that … Steve Trout walks loins-first into the room. “Did you know the Yangtze is shaped like an abundant dong?” He says to, not asks of his fellow cocktail-hour guests. Divorcees undulate toward him as though they are the frayed tendrils of a dock rope as it sinks into the vinegary murk. The status is no longer quo. (This piece originally appeared at FanGraphs. It has since been revised and made even … Continue reading Steve Trout knows what he’s doing

It’s been a good day for Banknotes Harper

Author’s note: If you haven’t already, you are invited to partake of the Banknotes Harper origin story. It’s been a good day at the High-Rise Business Building of Banknotes Harper … At first, it appeared as though the leveraged buyout of the pharmaceutical concern he’d been eyeballing would fall through, but then, as negotiations frayed, Banknotes Harper locked eyes with Larry Ellison, his minority partner, and thundered, “Get your purse.” Sensing the seriousness of the moment and suspecting no contrivance, the Business Victims and toothless regulators across the conference table — splintered from an unappeasable pounding — promptly surrendered. Seized … Continue reading It’s been a good day for Banknotes Harper

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