Saturday, July 26, 2008

reader response: the soul of baseball: a road trip through buck o'neil's america by joe posnanski

for some reason, i've really struggled to finish books lately. right now i have bookmarked copies of killing the buddha: a heretic's bible, not for sale, graphic novels: stories to change your life, harry potter and the deathly hallows and keep your donors lying in various places all over the house. however, when i cracked open my discounted copy* of the soul of baseball earlier this week i simply could not put it down.

if you're a fan of ken burns' documentaries, hail from kansas city or know anything about the negro leagues you know the name buck o'neil already. if you don't, here's the briefest of synopses: buck was a solid negro leagues player, the long-time manager of the kansas city monarchs (who were, depending on who you're talking to, the yankees or the red sox of the negro leagues) and the most engaging ambassador that either the negro leagues or professional baseball has ever seen.

throughout the book, as buck speaks to and greets folks from every walk of life it quickly becomes clear that buck is not simply an old ballplayer, but a priest who shares the sacraments of celebration and forgiveness with everyone he meets. if you want to understand the priesthood of all believers that saints from peter to r. paul stevens have been extolling for ages, you best read this book.

thank you for blessing us with your presence buck and congratulations on your recent (long overdue) enshrinement in the hall of fame.

* which i came upon at the christmas tree shop, of all places, and purchased for a mere $2.99.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

with eyes bright and boots on

i'm going to be moving to an office with a view* on monday, so i guess it is finally safe to report that i've been promoted. on monday i will be starting a new role as rectangle's strategic partnerships director. in this new position i will soliciting public and private foundations, managing all promotional copy and overseeing the 'tangle's volunteers and interns.

ever since my promotion was unofficially announced, my colleagues have alternated between congratulating me and sternly warning me "not to become an a*shole" on account of my new position.

for my part, i know that i am already an occasional a*shole and i am not focused on increasing the frequency or diameter of the latter anytime soon. however, i'd be lying if i told you that these consistent admonitions have not, to a degree, got to me. for that reason, i have constantly been reminding my colleagues that i have always been focused on our participants and would not take the position if it did not help the participants achieve more independent, prosperous and meaningful lives. i've been so insistent on the purity of my intentions that on a couple of occasions i have told colleagues that i am considering hanging one of the pictures of my successful students on the wall. underneath the picture, i told them, i plan to have someone with far better handwriting than mine write, "it's all about the participants."

the last time i launched into the latter apologia, i actually got a lump in my throat and my voice cracked. in the moment, i thought that my visceral reaction was simply evidence of my sincerity. however, on further reflection, i fear that i've confused sincerity with a mistaken belief in my own bullsh*t.

regardless, full of sh*t or not, i'm pulling up stakes on monday. here's to hoping that in my new role, more often than not, i find innovative and effective ways to help all people and all things grow up into him who is the head.

* of the parking lot, but still.

Monday, July 21, 2008

five simple reasons the cardinals should sign barry bonds

1. the man can rake.

2. his defensive liabilities can be offset by late inning defensive substitutions.

3. he'll make the major league minimum and would be easy to release.

4. history has proven that larussa can wrangle the roiders.

5. affirmative action. the cards only have 1 african-american player and i don't think rico washington will be around for long.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

an op-ed worth reading

i love living in the boston area. residing in the cultural and educational center of the country and living in a neighborhood full of friends that is a mere five blocks from the ocean is hard to beat.

however, after living here for eight years i am starting to believe that massachusetts is not only first in education, but also first in government corruption. whether it's the beverly softball field that took fifteen months to build, the three quarter mile salem connector road which has been in the building process for years, beverly's irresponsible and manslaughtering police, boston's disabled and coked up firefighters or the 22 billion dollar boondoggle that is the big dig, corruption seems to ooze from every civic orifice.

for that reason, i really appreciated jeff jacoby's current op-ed, entitied are we angry enough to fight back in the boston globe. it's about time somebody started tellin'.