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Blog and Baseball

There's been plenty of discussion during the past year about the definition of a blog and what the advent of the blog means to the publishing world. We think those questions jump the gun a bit. A more fundamental question to ask is, why read a blog?

Unfortunately, we can't answer that question, just as we can't answer the more pointed question directed by Marie Scheske to her husband, why do you write one?

But we can tell you that most blogs have a feature that is new to publishing history: freedom from editorial restraint. The result? The blog is one-on-one. The writer writes and the reader reads what he writes. No editor intervenes, and the reader sees the writer naked, which can be good or bad, depending on the writer's shape.

The freedom from editorial restraint also allows unorthodox forms of publishing. Where else would you see a “review of a review,” like we presently offer.

Books & Culture has published a nice review by Michael R. Stevens of Baseball and Philosophy: Thinking Outside the Batter's Box, the latest volume in Open Court's Popular Culture and Philosophy series. We haven't read anything in the series, but we're intrigued. How could we not be, what with titles like The Matrix and Philosophy and Buffy the Vampire-Slayer and Philosophy: Fear and Trembling in Sunnydale?

Michael R. Stevens gives a solid review, but it's a little lengthy (2,200 words, though the last part isn't really a review, but rather his predictions for the 2005 season). It's a little dry, but it contains a handful of interesting anecdotes, like this one: “In 1911, Charles Victory Faust told John McGraw that a fortune-teller had guaranteed the New York Giants would win the pennant if he pitched for them. Although Faust had no skill whatever as a pitcher, McGraw kept him on the Giants payroll from 1911 through 1913 as a good luck charm. Faust warmed up for every game (though he never started) and the Giants did win the pennant in each of those years."

Stevens' review touches on a variety of topics, like the spirit v. the letter of the game, the addiction to statistics, cheating, and other topics surely to interest the cerebral fan.

CLICK HERE for the review

CLICK HERE for a list of books in the Popular Culture and Philosophy series