Wait until next year

Putting off what could be done tomorrow, today

Tag: baseball

Taking a look at the new MLB pop-up store in London

Exterior of MLB pop-up in London

This lunchtime I went for a walk to Long Acre in Covent Garden to have a mooch around the brand new pop-up store dedicated to everything Major League Baseball. Read the rest of this entry »

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Sunday Reading

Men reading newspapers

This week I have been reading, or intending to read, the following. These posts are as much for my reference as for your interest, so I hope you don’t mind too much these link-heavy, content-thin posts. Anyway, enjoy some real writing below…

Image from State Library of Queensland, via Flickr

Striking out

Woman bowling, taken around 1950

The Art of Fielding is quite a lovely, comforting book. In many ways it was the perfect holiday read this summer. In many ways it should have been my perfect book – easy-to-read mid-brow fare, feted by the likes of Jonathan Franzen, giving some sort of insight into the human condition, and fundamentally all about baseball. And yet something was lacking, something wasn’t quite right. Read the rest of this entry »

What would Joe DiMaggio do? – Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea

After this blog’s one moment of international fame, I thought I’d make a brief return to the work of your friend and mine, Ernest Hemingway.

So, to bring you up to speed on my Hemingway adventure, on the advice of this parish’s Steven Harris, I picked up the complete short stories late last year in one of those beautiful Everyman hardback volumes, using my Borders vouchers just before the place went belly-up. Then, for Christmas, as part of an array of writing-inspired gifts, my wonderful Significant Other gave me Ernest Hemingway on writing, a brilliant little book compiling many of Hemingway’s thoughts on writing and the life of the writer. So…I’ve been keeping up.

Last week I popped into one of those strange discount bookshops, that sometimes have some incredible bargains and other times have nothing but hopeless junk. This time, I got lucky. I picked up the slim The Old Man and the Sea, the story that won Hemingway a Nobel Prize for Literature.

My verdict? Well, I loved it. It is one of those stories that will stay with me a long time, hopefully forever.

And I used the word ‘story’ rather than ‘book’ quite deliberately.

Here we have a real tale, a fable even. Here we have an old man, a young boy, a fish and little else. Everything is honed down and necessary, like a good story should be. In its 100 or so pages there is no room for flowery prose, or padding. And while it is set in contemporary times, the 1950s, it feels like the kind of story passed from generation to generation, as old as the act of fishing itself.

The one concession to the modern-day is baseball. Oh yes, there’s another reason why I loved reading this, apart from Hemingway’s prose and its brevity (I do love a good short book to rip through). The Old Man’s mind often wanders to baseball, and in particular the great Joe DiMaggio, wondering how the Yankees’ great centre fielder would deal with the Old Man’s situation, being the son of a fisherman himself.

So, concise, timeless and it namechecks baseball. It’s as if this was written for me. Don’t you just love getting that feeling from a book?

I haven’t read a whole lot around the book yet, but it is clear that this is a book that divides opinion. There seems to have been a fair bit of criticism in terms of its symbolism, and if it veers too far from the writer’s famed realism.

I’ll just let the man himself reply:

“No good book has ever been written that has in it symbols arrived at beforehand and stuck in. … I tried to make a real old man, a real boy, a real sea and a real fish and real sharks. But if I made them good and true enough they would mean many things”.

MLB.TV – What shall I buy? And when? (My Baseball Winter #5)

It’s getting to be that time. Spring Training isn’t so far off, and I need to start thinking of just how I’m going to go about watching baseball in 2010. MLB.TV is the obvious option. Access to every single game, from the first pitch of the first exhibition game, to the last out in the last game of the World Series.

But what option should I choose?

The past couple of seasons I’ve gone with the bog-standard MLB.TV option, and it’s been fine for me. I’m not a heavy user of this particular drug, and if the picture gets a little grainy at times I don’t mind. With the dreadful speakers on my laptop to match I can just squint and pretend I’m watching it on a cool old portable TV in a log cabin in 1976. Seems more authentic that way. I just need to be sitting in a wifebeater sucking on a cheap beer, howling at the screen. Or something. Well, it has been known.

But then again, I’ve always been a sucker for shiny advertising and clever payment options, where is only *just that little bit more* to upgrade. So, what do I get for my extra dough? Choice of home or away broadcast. Nice, but not essential. DVR controls to pause and rewind live. Now we’re talking. That could be good for when I drift off, or miss that key play as I reach for the pretzels. Multi-game view. I’d probably use it now and again, just to get a different feel for the game. Not essential though.

Well, thanks for talking me through that, dear reader. It sounds like the basic package will be just fine. Unless I feel a little flush and light-headed when I order. Feel free to convince me otherwise.

The price? According to my online currency converter findings, it’s £62 for cheap MLB.TV, and £74 for shiny, flashy MLB.TV. See what I mean about *just that little bit more*? Hmm. Damn them and their fine pricing policy.

I think it’s a little bit more than last year, and I’m no financial whiz, but maybe the exchange rate doesn’t help. Say, if you can predict the financial future let me know when I should buy. I’m not looking to fleece the worldwide markets. I just want my baseball a little cheaper so I can spend that money on, I dunno, takeaway curry, or something nice for the flat, you know?