baseball

Baseball

Baseball is not life. It is, however, an outstanding primer for how “life” works. Economics, probability, the nature of chance and trying to understand why any given event ever happens–it’s all philosophy, in the end, wrapped up inside a simple ball-and-stick game.

This game will frustrate you. It will break your heart early and often. And then right when you’re about to throw in the towel, Max Scherzer will throw a complete game gem, or Bryce Harper will hit a walk-off grand slam, or Daniel Murphy will hit another run-scoring double, or Tony Rendon will save two runs with his slick glove, or Trea Turner will steal two bases in a row–right when you think this game has crushed the last drop of idealism out of your soul, something will happen to bring you back; to say, yes, fan, your faith will be rewarded.

Here is a collection of my work from Baseball Essential and the Read Optional: MLB Edition web sites. Any works in bold with a blurb are pieces that I particularly enjoyed writing, or that I found especially challenging and rewarding. Dig in!

From TalkNats.com, 2017:

Excellence is a process was a reflection on an incredible season from the Nats and how ultimately, great results are the end result of a system that nurtures and creates personal and organizational growth.

From Read Optional, 2016:

Fans from both sides discuss the Adam Eaton trade and their team’s futures was an outstanding format for a discussion with my editor over there, and not only did I learn a great deal about the White Sox, but I really had to focus and hone my own thinking in response to solid questioning. This was a lot of fun to do.

2016 Season in Review: Washington Nationals

and my podcasting debut!

From Baseball Essential, 2016:

Three trade targets in the Rockies outfield

Five questions for the 2016 Nationals

Re-tooled Nats having productive spring

Five things we learned in opening week

The importance of Wilson Ramos

Five takeaways from the Nationals/Cardinals series

Five takeaways from the Nationals/Royals series

Reflections on Stephen Strasburg

Five takeaways from the Nationals/Mets series

Sammy Solis: Closer candidate?

The makings of a Nationals die-hard is a favorite of mine. Developing a non-ironic emotional connection to a team is a good thing. With healthy perspective, obviously. But there’s nothing wrong with full-throated fandom.

What the Nationals taught me about gratitude

From Baseball Essential, 2015:

An ode to Clint Robinson is one of my best pieces, in which I dissect how a player generally overlooked had a terrific year for a club that had very few terrific years.

The multiple values of Daniel Murphy is a dive into Murphy’s evolving approach as a hitter and trying to explain his explosive 2015 post-season tear. (Fortunately for the Nats, his 2015 post-season carried over into 2016 and he turned in a MVP-worthy season for the ages.)

Brandon Phillips, and building a better infield

Nationals making subtle, meaningful bullpen moves

What is Stephen Strasburg’s value?

What are the Tigers getting in Jordan Zimmermann?

Who will lead off for the 2016 Nationals?

What’s next for Ian Desmond?

Nationals need to repair bullpen, but how?