Sunday, February 28, 2010

New York Post Review

High Heat was included in the NY Post's Required Reading column. They said the effort "draws you in right from the first pitch..."
My friend Tim Gay's latest, Satch, Dizzy, and Rapid Robert, was also included in the Post review.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Review, updates

Spitball, the Literary Baseball Magazine, just reviewed High Heat. They call it "freewheeling and always entertaining."
Yesterday, I did an extended interview with Bob Edwards for his show on Sirus/XM. I'll keep you posted about when that airs. Also, future reviews pending from Newsday and The Boston Globe.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Chapman brings the heat

Cuban defector Aroldis Chapman is opening eyes in the Cincinnati Reds' spring camp. Pitching coach Bryan Price hinted that Chapman could open his professional career in the major leagues this April.
"He could start anywhere," Price said. "But we want to access him and make sure it's the right place. Maybe it's in Cincinnati. Maybe it's somewhere else in our system. Turn him loose. Let him compete and see what he's all about."

Monday, February 15, 2010

Great expectations for Price

Last spring, when I was researching High Heat, I needed a young phenom, somebody who could really bring it, to be one of the main characters. That guy became David Price of the Tampa Bay Rays.
He was coming off an epic postseason that saw the Rays reach the World Series for the first time in their history.
Despite such accomplishments, he wasn't guaranteed a job with the major league club when camps opened last year. In fact, he began the year at Triple-A Durham, N.C., where I caught up with him.
What a difference a year makes. Barring injury, Price will open this season in the Rays' rotation. He, along with Jeff Niemann and Wade Davis will make up the 3 through 5 spots. The Rays are banking a lot on their young guns. Between them, Price, Niemann and Davis have started only 62 big-league games, winning only 27.
Of course, this season such fireballers as Stephen Strasburg (Washington) and Aroldis Chapman (Cincinnati) are following in Price's footsteps.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Book trailer

We did a short bit on YouTube with the last novel and it worked so well that here's the one for High Heat. Check out the vintage photos.
High Heat book trailer

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Cover on Amazon

We're definitely getting closer to the March 9 pub date. Cover for High Heat went up on Amazon this morning. In addition, I did the pre-interview for a session with Bob Edwards on Sirus/XM that will tape on February 24. Not sure when that will be airing yet, but I'll let you know.
High Heat on Amazon

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Tony C.

One of the great things about living in the Washington, D.C. area is having the Library of Congress nearby.
When I was working on High Heat, my friend Paul Dickson mentioned that the LOC had recently acquired the Look magazine collection. Of course, Look was one of the most photogenic magazines ever. At that point, I was working on the section about the fastball's dark side. While we are enthralled with the high heat, there sometimes is a cost to pay (see Ray Chapman, Tony Conigliaro).
As a kid, Tony C. was my favorite player. The slugger got off to a Hall of Fame start but was never the same after being beaned by Jack Hamilton in 1967.
At the LOC, I found great background info about that tragic incident. But I also found never-before-published photos of Conigliaro taken by Look magazine photographer Jim Hansen. One of them appears in High Heat.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Verlander signs

More good news for Tigers fans as Justin Verlander, another fireballer, signs a five-year contract worth $80 million. He won a career-high 19 games with a career-best 3.45 ERA in '09. But what really impressed the scouts I talked with in doing High Heat was his velocity often increased the later he went into ballgames.
That distinction puts him in such rare company as Bob Feller, Sandy Koufax and Nolan Ryan. Sounds like a sound investment to me.