Herr Bud

Adam Underhill


Bud Selig: a man often vilified among the ranks of baseball fans and sports writers alike, a man whose judgement and quiddities often flew in the face of baseball purists, a man who made many changes to the game to keep it up with the times, for better or for worse, but usually for better. Although he will probably be best known as the commish who reigned during the ugly times of steroid scandals, Selig’s positive contributions to the game must be (reluctantly) acknowledged, as Adam Underhill does here.

Draft-Brewed Goodness: A Look Back, and A Look Ahead

Adam Underhill


Woke up to two emails this morning. First, Danny Jock, responding to the news of Michael Jackson’s death. “I heard. I was in a diner. Where were you when the king of pop died? I immediately said, they should reshoot the video THRILLER now with him. An old lady said, you shouldn’t make fun of the dead. I said yeah? They could put you in the video?”  Which I have to say after all the hullabaloo yesterday, which was a big deal (and ABC’s going on and on about Farrah Fawcett’s hair, which wasn’t, her hair that is) was a refreshing let’s move on kind of moment. Then in kind, Adam Underhill’s NBA draft piece came in, which reminds us that something else happened yesterday besides two icons dying – some were being born, or at least just suddenly becoming rich. Art of course by Danny Jock.

Strawberry Jamming: Darryl’s Dodger Days, Memories of a Young Fan

Richard Parks


Richard Parks grew up across the highway from one of the rougher hoods in Los Angeles, Crenshaw (as this editor knows, I used to teach there), and Crenshaw High is where Darryl Strawberry honed his talent on the baseball diamond before jaunting back and forth to New York as both a Met, a Yankee, and an interim return stint as a Los Angeles Dodger, a period that would also introduce him to his arch nemesis, crack cocaine.  It was during Straw’s Dodger days that Parks, aged 9, first fell in love with the old American pastime (too young for Nirvana yet), and Strawberry was his first hero.  A couple of newish books chart Strawberry’s checkered, storied career involving drug use, redemption, fall and redemption again. Loosely referencing those texts, Parks here mostly recalls his memories as a young fan and the changing city he knew at the time.

This One Will Last a Lifetime

Pete Hausler


Pete Hausler reminices over the last Stanley Cup victory for the New York Rangers, which came in 1994, after he caught a recent television replay of the final game. Part tribute to his father—who, like Pete, is a lifelong Rangers fan, but who languished in Stanley Cup-less futility for 54 years until the fateful night—and part memoir of the weird and fortunate circumstances in which he watched the final series, Hausler brings the victorious times up to speed with the modern day reality of another decade-plus of fan frustration. This year’s hockey season is over, with the Pittsburgh Penguins taking the Cup from the Detroit Red Wings in seven games. The Rangers were bounced out in the opening round, but for the true fan there’s always hope for next year over and over again.

Oh Calvin! A Belmont Postmortem

Pete Hausler


Yeah the Gods were right.  Hubris got the best of Borel in the 2009 Belmont.

OH, CALVIN! I FEAR YE HAVE ANGERED THE RACING GODS: Why Saturday’s Belmont Stakes is More Than a Two-Horse Race

Pete Hausler


[Update: yep, Borel finished 3rd, jumped for the lead early on the long track. Another Bird, Summer Bird Wins, read Pete’s Postmortem here]. The ancient greeks warned against betting this way – swearing on one’s own abilities with excessive pride. It’s a trait known as the big H and has nothing to do with horses (it’s the humans that are teeming with Hubris). If you don’t like Calvin Borel, you likely don’t have a heart, but if you think he may end up the first jockey to have his own "jockey triple crown," (winning the big three on different horses) a prize up till now relegated to the horses themselves, then you’re either just reading the odds right, or tempting fate along with the quite boastful (and favorite) Cajun. Careful with those bets this Saturday, read Pete Hausler’s piece here beforehand (other tips included). Art by Danny Jock

A Two-Week Disney Waltz: Thoughts on the 2009 NBA Finals Between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Orlando Magic

Jason Jude Chan


In our preview, the line was Lakers in 6, they got it in 5.  We didn’t see the LeBron James and Kobe Bryant matchup that some were hoping for. No, while James, perhaps Cleveland’s highest figuring GDP, was couching it for the 2009 NBA final series, before the first tip off Jason Jude Chan imagined what may happen over the next couple weeks as a largely favored Los Angeles Lakers took on a somewhat less formidable Orlando Magic. Art by Danny Jock.

The New NHL—Sending a Message

Michael Louie


or, Me First at the Expense of Everyone Else

Jordan Heller’s ‘Roid Rave’ story cited in Vanity Fair

Casey McKinney


About a month ago Jordan Heller wrote a controversial story for Fanzine showing the other side of the steroids debate – that they can actually have wonderful benefits for the right candidates when used properly – Vanity Fair cited his article recently in a steroid piece of their own. Michael Hogan asks should baseball just go ahead and allow steroids in America’s hallowed game that’s been made much less holy (that is – besides the pincushions players have made of their bodies) the past few decades?

Bombs Away Borel at 50:1: The Derby Postmortem

Pete Hausler


"It’s all in the hands!", not sure what was better, the race or Borel after. If you read Pete Hausler’s preview before the Derby, you…