Wednesday, May 26, 2010

S.F. Chronicle review

High Heat was included in a roundup of new titles in the San Francisco Chronicle. That's my old stomping grounds, as I used to work at the S.F. Examiner, which is right next door. Here's the short review:
"You can teach a good curveball, you can teach a changeup, but you can't teach arm speed. It's a God-given ability." So says pitcher Troy Percival in this highly entertaining exploration of the pitch that has made so many careers (and destroyed so many arms). Fascinating details emerge: Until 1887, batters could call for their preference: a high or low pitch. A high school coach recalls Nolan Ryan's budding skills: "Those kids were so scared, they'd swing at anything just to get out of there." When the Baltimore Orioles were too cheap to invest in a newfangled portable radar gun, manager Earl Weaver bought one himself, for $1,200.

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Boston Globe review

The Boston Globe Review. My publisher, Da Capo, is in Cambridge, Mass., so this is a good one to land.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Happy birthday to Stan Mikita

OK, we're off baseball for a moment, as I need to wish my friend Stan Mikita a happy 70th birthday. Of course, Stan was the inspiration for my novel for young readers, My Man Stan. He graciously did the foreword. Here we are signing books at the Blackhawks' convention two summers ago. The Blackhawks haven't been this good since Stan's heyday.

Blogcritics review

The Baseball Cabal at Blogcritics gives High Heat a thumbs-up.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Price continues to roll

What a difference a year makes. Last season, I caught up with the Rays' David Price at Triple-A Durham. He was so frustrated about not being with the big-league club he wondered if he should move to the bullpen, perhaps try to be a closer. Well, he stuck it out as a starter and last night went six innings against Cleveland to become the American League's first six-game winner.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Wisconsin connections

I'll be on 92.1, The Mic, Madison's Progressive Talk station, on Sunday at 11 a.m. So much of book touring these days is doing radio, and I had a lot of fun talking with host Stu Levitan. Not only is Stu a great interviewer, but you can find his review of Bob Dylan's Chronicles in the trade paper edition. He wrote it for the Capital Times in Madison, which David Maraniss' father used to edit. Of course, David, along with Ken Burns, graciously wrote cover blurbs for High Heat. Small world.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Strasburg in D.C. by mid-June

Back in February, I predicted that Stephen Strasburg, the next great fireballer, would be in the majors by mid-June. Now it looks like he's ahead of schedule. The Washington Post reports that the hard-throwing, right-hander could be in D.C. by June 4 when the Nats open a homestand against the Reds. After no-hitting Norfolk through six innings last night, he doesn't have anything else to prove in the minors.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

More reviews

ARETE, the sports literature journal, weighs in about HH. Calls the book "intriguing and informative." And singles out the sections about biomechanics, "the miraculous Tommy John surgery" and "the extensive analysis of
the talents and problems of little-known Steve Dalkowski."

Sunday, May 9, 2010

The Ryan Interview

Some were asking about the interview I did with Nolan Ryan last summer in researching High Heat. Here's an excerpt that recently ran in Guideposts.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Third printing

Da Capo announced that High Heat will go into a third printing this week. Thanks for the help and support, everybody.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Thumbs-up from LA Daily News

Tom Hoffarth calls High Heat, "a fastball down the middle ... maybe one as fast as (Steve) Dalkowski's..."