Sunday, October 14, 2007

(10.14.07) Recommends:

Joe Posnanski and The Soul of Baseball.

Now that we're into the meat of the baseball playoffs, it seems like an appropriate time to mention Joe Posnanski. There may be no better baseball writer than the Kansas City Star's Joe Posnanski. He is a sports writer for people who otherwise hate sports writing. He very well be a sports writer for people who otherwise hate sports. He is gentle and humane and charming and not afraid of real, genuine emotion; his column's are like mini documentaries; he has the traditionalist sensibility of someone who has understood the joy of baseball since his earliest days, yet is intellectually curious enough to listen to outside voices (in Kansas City he was incorporating the work of, e.g., Bill James and Rob Neyer long before the release of Moneyball); he is occasionally, literally, laugh out loud funny.

This summer I discovered that he that started a blog in promotion of a new book.

The blog is a must read. The one caveat is that while in his columns he is "sports writer for those who hate sports writing," the blog tends to be more "baseball writer for people who spend at least two hours each day contemplating which baseball team had the best powder blue uniforms in the 1980s." (Please feel free to leave your votes in the comments) Of course, for baseball fans, this is an utter treat. There are 8 months of archives and it might take a few days to get through them all, but it's hard to imagine you'd be sorry for doing it.

Then, at some point at the end of the summer, he decided to scrap the blog because it was taking up too much time (hahahahaha!). But fear not, nerds, JoPa is back. His latest entry -- the first I've read on the new site -- is a 5,700+ word (!!) opus ostensibly about LeBron James' YankeeHatGate, but ends up telling Posnanski's crushing history as a Cleveland Sports Fan (he's from Cleveland). It's pretty classic Posnanski. The word "stunning" and the phrase "we're lucky to have a writer like this alive" are far too overused in our culture. But there's simply no way of getting around the fact that they both apply to Joe Posnanski.

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