Tuesday, June 29, 2010

At Bethesda Big Train

OK, I did throw my ceremonial first pitch over the catcher's head. (I think Steve Dalkowski would have been proud.) But I did get to hang with these guys, including my good friend Paul Dickson, at the Bethesda (Md.) Big Train game Sunday night. The rain held off and the hometeam won.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Strasburg & The Big Train

Stephen Strasburg already shares many similarities with Walter "Big Train" Johnson. Before the season began, I documented many of these in Washingtonian magazine. They are similar in build, both right-handers. They pretty much came out of nowhere to national prominence and they're both epic fireballers.
Last week they began to share another similarity as Strasburg lost 1-0 to Kansas City. Nobody lost more 1-0 games in big league history than the Big Train (26).
But there's another area the new kid in town doesn't want to share with Johnson. During his Hall of Fame career, Johnson was so concerned about hitting a batter that he rarely buzzed batters inside. In fact, Ty Cobb figured that out. Now comes word that Nationals' officials are a mite concerned that Strasburg is around the plate too much, too. Will he come inside more? Give hitters an up-close glimpse of that high heat? We'll see what happens in future starts.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Power pitching

Good to see David Price pick up his 10th victory last night. Of course, he's the phenom character in High Heat. For the new edition, out next spring, I'm working up an Afterword with David, Stephen Strasburg and Ubaldo Jimenez. Looks like we could be seeing Price and Jimenez as the All-Star starting pitchers next month. Nothing wins like sheer speed.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Writing about Strasburg

My column about Stephen Strasburg's amazing debut just went up on Huffington Post. I think I'm going to be writing about this guy some more down the line.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Strasburg's amazing debut

Fun to have D.C. be the center of the baseball universe for a night. Strasburg's 14 strikeouts ranks behind only J.R. Richard and Karl Spooner all-time for a rookie debut. My editor is already asking for more Strasburg in the paperback edition of High Heat.

Friday, June 4, 2010

NYT Review this Sunday

High Heat will be reviewed in the New York Times Book Review this Sunday. We haven't seen the whole piece, but the snippets are a rave. See below.

"Sensitive and scrupulous, (Wendel) never forgets that for every Nolan Ryan and Sandy Koufax, lucky to have their unearned gifts, there are flameouts like Steve Dalkowski ... High Heat is ‘a séance with the game’s past,’ an almost literary fantasy in which all the great pitchers throw side by side on the same diamond.”

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Strasburg alert

It's official. Stephen Strasburgh will make his major league debut Tuesday, June 8, here in D.C. His arrival comes 103 years after Walter "The Big Train" Johnson turned the local team into a contender. Some fans expect nothing different from Strasburgh
Also on the fireballer alert wire, Aroldis Chapman may soon be up for the Reds.