I just finished reading Three Nights in August, the book by Buzz Bissinger (author of Friday Night Lights) on Tony LaRussa and the St. Louis Cardinals. Ever wonder how a manager writes his lineup card, or what a pitching coach says to the starter the afternoon before the game, or why the first pitch in any at-bat is the most important? Then this book is for you. The most enlightening section probably involves the phenomenon of pitchers who hit batters intentionally. We all know it goes on, and LaRussa describes how and why he has ordered his own hurlers to do it–always as a form of payback for an earlier offense by the other team (he claims), but also because he’ll lose respect in the clubhouse if he doesn’t do it. Bissinger describes a game that LaRussa possibly let slip away because he thought it was more important to send a message from the mound–both to the oppopsition as well as his own players–than it was to secure an early-season win. Finally, Bissinger’s characterizations are great. The book works as a book because Bissinger writes stories about people rather than crunching statistics.
Senator Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) has been telling a story for years. It’s a deeply romantic story about her parents and their young love, fraught with the familial bigotry of an earlier time. Here’s how she told it this week in a video she released in preparation for her 2020 run: My daddy always said he ... Read More
Two Republican candidates for state office in Minnesota have been physically assaulted in recent days, leading prominent Republican lawmakers to caution their Democratic colleagues against employing inflammatory rhetoric. Republican state representative Sarah Anderson was punched in the arm last week after ... Read More
Democratic senator Kamala Harris joked about killing President Trump and members of his administration in a Thursday appearance on The Ellen Degeneres Show. “If you had to be stuck in an elevator with either President Trump, Mike Pence, or Jeff Sessions, who would it be?” DeGeneres asked Harris during a ... Read More
What has transformed the Democratic party into an anguished progressive movement that incorporates the tactics of the street, embraces maenadism, reverts to Sixties carnival barking, and is radicalized by a new young socialist movement? Even party chairman Tom Perez concedes that there are “no moderate ... Read More
The metaphors don’t get any better (or worse) than this: A van carrying Hillary Clinton, fresh from throwing her Me Too sisters under the bus this weekend, crashed into a parking-garage pillar on the way to a New Jersey campaign fundraiser Tuesday for beleaguered Democratic senator Bob Menendez. At her side was ... Read More