It was a quiet weekend in the Mariners world – this is the brief portion of the calendar when many baseball people take some time off – so let’s do something different today: a book recommendation.
During an Amazon shopping spree I impulsively bought a slim little hardcover called “The Grind – Inside Baseball’s Endless Season,” by Washington Post baseball writer Barry Svrluga. Svrluga (note: I haven’t the foggiest idea how to pronounce that, and I have to look it up every time just to spell it) takes a unique look inside the game.
Utilizing his experience as a beat writer covering the 2014 Washington Nationals, Svrluga focuses on nine different people who are each part of the relentless day-after-day grind that is professional baseball.
The book includes chapters on the star everyday player, the reliever, the scout, and the team travel guy. You get a real behind-the-scenes look into what happens prior to the first pitch.
I particularly enjoyed the chapters called “The Wife” and “The Twenty-sixth Man.” The look at what a player’s wife goes through is illuminating, and here at the Triple-A level we know all about the 26th man who goes back-and-forth between the minor and majors several times in the same season.
The writing style is clean and direct, as you would expect from a newspaper reporter. Svrluga was granted a lot of inside access. I give this book two thumbs up, and it might make a nice gift for yourself or the other total baseball nut in your family.
- Hishashi Iwakuma spoke to the media after signing his deal with the Mariners.
- Larry Stone mentions Jerry Dipoto and chaos theory in the same story.
- Bob Dutton has everything you need to know about where the Mariners payroll ranked in 2015.
- Dutton also has a post on the Mariners current 40-man roster and salary obligations, with player’s option status.
- Over at USS Mariner, marc w wrote logically (as always) about the Iwakuma signing.
- Jesus Montero is continuing his winter workout regimen in Arizona, Greg Johns writes.
- In the PCL, former Seattle Mariners catcher Bill Haselman was named manager of the Oklahoma City Dodgers. A friend of mine who went to M’s games in the early 1990s told me that when Haselman got a key hit the Kingdome scoreboard flashed “HASEL-MANIA.”
Check back on Wednesday when we’ll lay out some future blog plans.