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Thread: What Are You Reading Right Now?

  1. #951
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    I'm finishing "Stan Musial:An American Life" by George Vecsey. Unfortunately read most of it in bits and pieces as things have been busy, but it is well written and is teaching me a lot of new things about Stan. Amazing coincidence that I bought it the week before Stan died. One thing that really surprised me is that Stan's kids said they didn't see that much of him even when his baseball schedule wasn't interfering because he spent so much time at his restaurant in the evenings...they felt he was a wonderful dad, but wished he had been around more. Stan said he felt an obligation to let the fans who came to eat have a good chance to meet him, and also that the financial success of the restaurant was very important to being able to care for his family the way he wanted to.
    I skipped ahead to a brief section at the end about when Vecsey was dining in StL with one of Musial's oldest friends and Stan himself happened to come in, pushed in a wheelchair by a grandson. Stan shook hands with the party on his way to his table but clearly didn't recognize his friend of many decades, and Vecsey said the meal was very quiet after that. Struck me as very poignant and reminded me a bit of my own father's sad last years as an old man in a wheelchair growing progressively more confused.

    I also picked up "The Last Boy" book about Mantle off a bargain table at BAM and am looking forward into digging into it.
    "If I drink whiskey, I'll never get worms!" - Hack Wilson

  2. #952
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dude Paskert View Post
    I'm finishing "Stan Musial:An American Life" by George Vecsey. Unfortunately read most of it in bits and pieces as things have been busy, but it is well written and is teaching me a lot of new things about Stan. Amazing coincidence that I bought it the week before Stan died. One thing that really surprised me is that Stan's kids said they didn't see that much of him even when his baseball schedule wasn't interfering because he spent so much time at his restaurant in the evenings...they felt he was a wonderful dad, but wished he had been around more. Stan said he felt an obligation to let the fans who came to eat have a good chance to meet him, and also that the financial success of the restaurant was very important to being able to care for his family the way he wanted to.
    I skipped ahead to a brief section at the end about when Vecsey was dining in StL with one of Musial's oldest friends and Stan himself happened to come in, pushed in a wheelchair by a grandson. Stan shook hands with the party on his way to his table but clearly didn't recognize his friend of many decades, and Vecsey said the meal was very quiet after that. Struck me as very poignant and reminded me a bit of my own father's sad last years as an old man in a wheelchair growing progressively more confused.

    I also picked up "The Last Boy" book about Mantle off a bargain table at BAM and am looking forward into digging into it.
    Stan Musial's life doesn't really make for a juicy biography, he was a good, decent man whose life was virtually controversy-free.

    The Mantle book, on the other hand, paints him warts and all. I learned more about The Mick than I really wanted to know.
    Last edited by ol' aches and pains; 02-13-2013 at 08:01 PM.
    "Tactics were resorted to, unworthy of fair, manly players" - Brooklyn Eagle, June 12,1890

  3. #953
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    Quote Originally Posted by ol' aches and pains View Post
    Stan Musial's life doesn't really make for a juicy biography, he was a good. decent man whose life was virtually controversy-free.

    The Mantle book, on the other hand, paints him warts and all. I learned more about The Mick than I really wanted to know.
    I have been flipping through "The Last Boy" here and there (bad habit, should just wait until I am ready to read it) and I think it's already set a record for F bombs in one book for me.

    You're right that there isn't THAT much to say about Stan for the reasons you give. I"m just about to get into the Michener stuff and think that might be interesting. I had forgotten that Stan was the Cards' GM for a season!
    "If I drink whiskey, I'll never get worms!" - Hack Wilson

  4. #954
    The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver.

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/159420411X

    Nate Silver built an innovative system for predicting baseball performance, predicted the 2008 election within a hair’s breadth, and became a national sensation as a blogger—all by the time he was thirty. The New York Times now publishes FiveThirtyEight.com, where Silver is one of the nation’s most influential political forecasters.

    Drawing on his own groundbreaking work, Silver examines the world of prediction, investigating how we can distinguish a true signal from a universe of noisy data. Most predictions fail, often at great cost to society, because most of us have a poor understanding of probability and uncertainty. Both experts and laypeople mistake more confident predictions for more accurate ones. But overconfidence is often the reason for failure. If our appreciation of uncertainty improves, our predictions can get better too. This is the “prediction paradox”: The more humility we have about our ability to make predictions, the more successful we can be in planning for the future.

    In keeping with his own aim to seek truth from data, Silver visits the most successful forecasters in a range of areas, from hurricanes to baseball, from the poker table to the stock market, from Capitol Hill to the NBA. He explains and evaluates how these forecasters think and what bonds they share. What lies behind their success? Are they good—or just lucky? What patterns have they unraveled? And are their forecasts really right? He explores unanticipated commonalities and exposes unexpected juxtapositions. And sometimes, it is not so much how good a prediction is in an absolute sense that matters but how good it is relative to the competition. In other cases, prediction is still a very rudimentary—and dangerous—science.

  5. #955
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    The Mantle book, on the other hand, paints him warts and all. I learned more about The Mick than I really wanted to know.
    Yes it does. After reading it, I warned a couple of friends who are huge Mantle fans that they might want to skip this book because it would certainly alter their opinion of him. I always liked Mickey but wasn't a huge fan and a lot of it sure surprised me - rather unpleasantly, I'm afraid.
    You see, you spend a good deal of your life gripping a baseball and in the end it turns out that it was the other way around all the time. J. Bouton

  6. #956
    I just finished reading Mike Piazza's biography "Long Shot" last night. While it was an interesting read leading up to his major league career, it was a bit of a let-down when it got to his big league days. There is no doubt that Piazza was very talented and in my opinion should be in the Hall of Fame, but his book left me wanting more.

  7. #957
    I'm currently reading Ball Four by Jim Bouton. I had never read this baseball classic before and I have to say, it's pretty awesome.

  8. #958
    Quote Originally Posted by filihok View Post
    The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver.
    I'm reading that too. It's a fine book, most valuable to me for its attitude towards the uncertain. I didn't know until I read it that Silver invented the Pecota system.
    Indeed the first step toward finding out is to acknowledge you do not satisfactorily know already; so that no blight can so surely arrest all intellectual growth as the blight of cocksureness.--CS Peirce

  9. #959
    Quote Originally Posted by Cowtipper View Post
    I'm currently reading Ball Four by Jim Bouton. I had never read this baseball classic before and I have to say, it's pretty awesome.
    Finished it. It was stellar.

  10. #960
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cowtipper View Post
    Finished it. It was stellar.
    Next read "The Long Season" by Jim Brosnan. It is the same type of book, more G-rated but written better.

  11. #961
    Quote Originally Posted by Muncus Agruncus View Post
    Next read "The Long Season" by Jim Brosnan. It is the same type of book, more G-rated but written better.
    A fine book and certainly a worthy follow up.
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  12. #962
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muncus Agruncus View Post
    Next read "The Long Season" by Jim Brosnan. It is the same type of book, more G-rated but written better.
    It's actually really good. It gives a bit of a flavor of suburban lifestyles at the cusp of the 60s.

  13. #963
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    Major League Encounters on kindle?

  14. #964
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    Quote Originally Posted by catcher24 View Post
    Yes it does. After reading it, I warned a couple of friends who are huge Mantle fans that they might want to skip this book because it would certainly alter their opinion of him. I always liked Mickey but wasn't a huge fan and a lot of it sure surprised me - rather unpleasantly, I'm afraid.
    Still haven't truly started this one, I was going to bring it on vaca with me but ended up taking a far more portable copy of the Oedipus plays of Sophocles that had been sitting untouched in my basement for at least 10 years (it was fantastic). Still, the browsing around that I have done in the Mantle book has shown me that his life after his baseball career was over was not at all what I expected.

    Quote Originally Posted by Muncus Agruncus View Post
    Next read "The Long Season" by Jim Brosnan. It is the same type of book, more G-rated but written better.
    This is an awesome book...Brosnan claimed in one of his books that he saw young ladies sunbathing topless during a game at Wrigley sometime around 1960, which I still have a REALLY hard time believing.
    "If I drink whiskey, I'll never get worms!" - Hack Wilson

  15. #965
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cowtipper View Post
    Finished it. It was stellar.
    You should dig up a copy of "I'm Glad You Didn't Take It Personally" (1971) next.
    Not as epic as "Ball Four", but well worth reading.

  16. #966
    Quote Originally Posted by BSmile View Post
    You should dig up a copy of "I'm Glad You Didn't Take It Personally" (1971) next.
    Not as epic as "Ball Four", but well worth reading.
    Yeah, I got one off of BookMooch and am reading it now.

  17. #967
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    Island of Vice by Richard Zacks abount Theodore Roosevelt's stint as one of Manhattan's police commissioners. One chapter describes Big Bill Devery's corruption trial with Frank Farrell appearing as a witness for the prosecution.

  18. #968
    I'm Glad You Didn't Take it Personally is decent, but pales in comparison to Ball Four. It's not a bad book, but it's not as much of a page-turner as the aforementioned.

    I'm also reading Pedro, Carlos and Omar by Adam Rubin. It's about the New York Mets' 2005 season and how they went out and got Pedro Martinez and Carlos Beltran. I haven't gotten too far into it yet, so I can't really judge how good or bad it is.

  19. #969
    Quote Originally Posted by Cowtipper View Post
    I'm currently reading Ball Four by Jim Bouton. I had never read this baseball classic before and I have to say, it's pretty awesome.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cowtipper View Post
    Finished it. It was stellar.
    Best final sentence in a book ever.

    Not just pertaining to baseball, ya know ...

  20. #970
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    Quote Originally Posted by westsidegrounds View Post
    Best final sentence in a book ever.

    Not just pertaining to baseball, ya know ...
    I've always thought that too. Note my signature....
    You see, you spend a good deal of your life gripping a baseball and in the end it turns out that it was the other way around all the time. J. Bouton

  21. #971
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    On Sunday I bought "Pitching In a Pinch" by Christy Mathewson. I probably will start reading it next month.

  22. #972
    I just finished reading Superstars: Baseball's All-Time Greats by Wayne R. Coffey. It's a short book (120 pages) that goes over the careers of 10 of the best players ever, Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, Jackie Robinson, Ted Williams, Sandy Koufax, Mickey Mantle, Roberto Clemente, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron and Carl Yastrzemski. It was pretty interesting, though it was a bit too brief.

  23. #973
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    I just picked up The Farmers' Game: Baseball in Rural America from Amazon. Plan on reading it as soon as I receive it.
    "I'm the only winner on this team. The rest of 'em, they're losers. Either by choice, or by birth." -- Jack Parkman

  24. #974
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    There's a new book by Doug Wilson, "The Bird: The Life and Legacy of Mark Fidrych." The author was interviewed on NPR recently. Has anyone read it?
    The Mets have the best, smartest fans in baseball.

  25. #975
    I finished Pedro, Carlos and Omar by Adam Rubin. It was pretty good, not stellar, but decent. A good recap of what went down with the Mets from late 2004 through the 2005 season. But there's something about the way Rubin wrote the book that me the wrong way, though I'm having a hard time putting into words what it was. He tried too hard to be so overly non-offensive, I guess.

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