What I've been reading
I ran out of Baseball RPF porn to read—it's not a very active fandom, especially if you rule out anything involving the Giants, which I very much do—and started dipping into baseball-themed m/m romance novels. My overall impressions so far: generally decent sex scenes, mediocre romances, nowhere near
enough baseball. (I realize that my priorities here are out of sync with the market.)
I read The Windup
, which is about two guys who meet through their New York City LGBT recreational baseball league. It was pretty cute and also there was a subplot where the one guy was trying to convince the other guy that NYC is awesome so he will stick around and they don't have to break up, which I enjoyed as a fan of the city. Not very much baseball though, especially since both protagonists are pretty casual players, and also the handling of the emotional beats is pretty clunky.
I read Thrown a Curve
, the sequel to The Windup
, which features two guys who previously hooked up in that book getting together. Again, kind of clunky, tell-y writing, but also slightly more baseball-y—the one guy is a former Yankees player who had a career-ending injury and came out at the same time, but has yet to come to terms with the fact that he is attracted to more fey dudes.
I read Out in the Field
, by the same author as the Rainbow League books, which is closer to what I was looking for because it involves actual pro baseball players, playing for the fictional Brooklyn Eagles. The hotshot rookie hooks up with the veteran star and things get serious between them. Although there is
more baseball—including a bunch of postseason baseball, because while you're inventing a baseball team you might as well make them the Mary Sue of baseball teams—nothing too exciting or unusual happens in any of the games.
I read Force Play
, which is another book with pro players and a fictional ballclub, although this one is an expansion team in South Carolina scraping along at the bottom of the barrel. (I was amused that the author gave no fucks about having a real team be the one who ditches the protagonist after he accidentally outs himself and whose violent fans later attack them; this is, of course, the Phillies). I liked the relationship in this one best, I think, or at least would theoretically; in practice it's developed a little murkily.
I read The Best Team Money Can Buy: The Los Angeles Dodgers' Wild Struggle to Build a Baseball Powerhouse
. It is really fascinating, with lots of juicy behind-the-scenes stuff for a book covering stuff that's so recent. I really appreciate the Dodgers' seeming devotion to turning their team into a giant clusterfuck, because otherwise all that money they have at their disposal is even scarier.
Although they didn't have or wouldn't offer enough money to re-sign Zack Greinke…it's funny, I was just reading about what a magnificent weirdo he is when the announcement that he'd signed with the Diamondbacks hit, and I thought it sounded like a Zack Greinke move. There are Royals fans who hate him for his rude exit from our team in 2011 but I don't get it. If he doesn't demand a trade and go off to Milwaukee in a huff, we don't have Alcides Escobar or Lorenzo Cain now and we maybe don't have Wade Davis either, and who wants to live in that world?
I read More Than a Season: Building a Championship Culture
, the book Royals general manager Dayton Moore wrote after the 2014 World Series. It came out way back in May but I didn't get desperate enough to know what goes on in that closely-cropped head of his to read it until the offseason started heating up. It wasn't all that
helpful in that respect, but I tried!
Alex Gordon wrote an introduction for the book, incidentally. You better be doing your best to sign him right this minute, Dayton. I'm just saying.
I read The Baseball Codes: Beanballs, Sign Stealing, and Bench-Clearing Brawls: The Unwritten Rules of America's Pastimes
. It was fascinating, even though the author is very pro-code and I mostly think it's a lot of weird, sour, irrational and violent nonsense. Especially all the stuff where the grievance boils down to "you are playing baseball too well," and especially
especially where the correct response to people playing baseball too well is to throw balls at people's heads, I mean, seriously, what the actual fuck is that.
I do kind of love it when players retaliate because they're all protective of their teammates, though. I mean, it's totally wrong and they absolutely shouldn't do it, buuuuuuuuut…I'm kind of into it anyway. It is my vice. Assuming an actual, non-bullshit original grievance that does not consist of "you are playing baseball too well," of course.
Plus there are just a bunch of crazy, interesting stories in here, which I love.What I'm reading now
Mostly just trade news and rumors, to be honest. Shit is getting real.