Last Thursday I had the good fortune to meet and hang out with Josh Wilker, Cardboard Gods author and resident Funky Red Sox skipper, who did a fun reading for an audience of knitting old ladies and baseball eccentrics like myself at the South Pasadena Library. Afterwards at a local BBQ spot, joined by his lovely wife Abby and two gentlemen from the Baseball Reliquary (which sponsored the event), we chewed the fat on baseball, the Internet, Vermont and the merits of batting Bernie Carbo leadoff against right-handers. Josh was as friendly, witty, and unassuming as he is in his pages, and if you haven’t read his moving and hysterical baseball-card memoir yet, you’re missing out.
I’d also like to give a hearty third base coaching shout to Scott Simkus, our Funky Cubs manager, who with Gary Ashwill has just launched the Outsider Baseball Bulletin, a wonderful weekly e-zine devoted to baseball history. Filled with impeccably-researched stats, essays, and humor, it’s well worth the modest subscription fee.
Also, while we’re plugging e-zines, you may want to subscribe to The Sheehan Newsletter, Funky Yankee manager Joe Sheehan’s regular stat ruminations on the current baseball world. Joe is so good that when he left Baseball Prospectus recently I cancelled my premium subscription.
Feel like another funky thang? Okay, how about Wezen-Ball’s original and awesome Tater Trot Tracker, our Dodger manager Larry Granillo’s stopwatching of every MLB homer trot. Sports Illustrated has already mentioned it, while ballplayers and broadcasters have brought up top slowpoke David Ortiz a number of times. Cool beans, Lar!
Last but far from least, Funky Expos commander Jonah Keri has a book coming out next spring on the new success of the Tampa Rays, but we’ll grease his wheels at a later date. —J.P.