The power of graphics.

Nothing here is the least bit startling to anyone familiar with the Detroit area, but the graphic representation is arresting:

Race and ethnicity: Detroit

That’s the racial/ethnic breakdown of the Metro: Whites are red, African Americans blue, Hispanics yellow. I don’t think Arabs have a color, or you’d see their numbers, too. If you click the photo itself, you’re taken to the Flickr page where I found it, which contains notes you can mouse over, and see the various neighborhoods/municipalities. (I live in the little comma of red curved in the southeast, on the lake. Here’s a map for Chicago.) Everything, and I do mean everything that happens in Detroit? Is about race. City-suburban relations in particular are like disputes between armed fiefdoms. If we cooperated we could maybe get something done around here. But no.

My partner in GrossePointeToday.com went to a conference earlier in the year, where everyone had to give a presentation on their area. She started with some photos of life around here — the pretty houses, the lake — and finished with one taken a few blocks away in Detroit. The audience gasped. Yep.

In the suburbs, race has its own set of euphemistic vocabulary. My favorite is “changing demographics.” I went to local Republican headquarters to cadge some McCain-Palin yard signs, props for our zombie movie two years ago. The guy who gave them to me said he couldn’t believe all the Obama signs in the Pointes, which he attributed to changing demographics. Because I was in the process of taking his signs for the purpose of making fun of them, I didn’t suggest the alternative, i.e., his ticket sucked, but there you are.

I don’t have much time this morning — more office hours — and precious little bloggage, but what I have is magnificent, a Mitch Albom takedown by someone who’s even more irritated by him than I am. My source on this speculates that perhaps Albom is gearing up to take over Andy Rooney’s job whenever America’s designated lovable coot kicks the bucket. Hmm. Hadn’t considered that. He’s certainly qualified, and he’s precisely the sort of get the producers of “60 Minutes” would consider golden.

Anyway, enjoy. If his editors won’t handle Albom, someone has to. I’ll be back tomorrow.

Posted at 8:35 am in Detroit life, Media |
 

79 responses to “The power of graphics.”

  1. Peter said on September 23, 2010 at 9:03 am

    They should have a cage match between Mitch and Bob Greene at Andy’s funeral to see who gets the job at 60 Minutes.

    And yes, I’m not ashamed to say, I would pay to see it.

  2. LAMary said on September 23, 2010 at 9:21 am

    I’m having one of those six degrees of whatever moments. Long before there was computer fantasy baseball, there was rotisserie baseball. My former NYT Denver Bureau boss, Grace Lichtenstein, was very successful at this. I think at one point having the number one rotisserie team. Rotisserie baseball was largely the creation of Daniel Okrent, whose book you feature to the right. Grace Lichtenstein was also a friend of Red Smith’s and Mitch won the Red Smith award. I suspect Grace would find that ridiculous, but I can’t speak for her. She’s a lot better writer than Mitch is. I recommend the book she wrote about women’s tennis back in the mid seventies. It certainly gives some perspective about women in sports.

    Oh, and Grace and I were big admirers and friends of Gladwin Hill, the LA bureau chief of the NYT. Glad had been one of the journalists in WW2 who flew along with bombing missions out of England. He was one, so was Walter Cronkite and so was Andy Rooney. Glad wasn’t a tiresome gasbag, though.

  3. Lana said on September 23, 2010 at 9:25 am

    Mitch Albom is to writing as Thomas Kincaide is to painting.

  4. coozledad said on September 23, 2010 at 9:36 am

    Mitch always reminds me of a short piece in Spy about some editor’s former career as a crappy beat poet. They listed three poems, and the challenge was to figure out which poem the folks at Spy had written, using crappy beat poet’s technique. Spy’s went something like this:

    I bring.
    I bring you a gift.
    It is up my ass.

  5. 4dbirds said on September 23, 2010 at 9:42 am

    I remember the guys in the army playing strategy baseball using some sort of board game. This was way before anyone had a personal pc.

  6. Pam said on September 23, 2010 at 9:47 am

    Whoever said baseball was some nostalgic experience of the good old days? I’ve been to maybe 2 or 3 games in my life – St. Louis Cardinals games at the old Busch Stadium. By the 4th inning it was just so monotonous! Inning after inning, it was so tedious. I think people cheered at home runs, not because the home team scored, but more like, “Yay! Something different is happening!” But then, I’m just a girl! I loved that article. That writer is absolutely correct about MA. And I rarely watch 60 minutes any more and if I do, always turn it off before Andy time (which sucks). I think his eyebrows are cultivated to look like they do. Like teasing your hair, the stylist teases his eyebrows for the LOOK.

  7. Kim said on September 23, 2010 at 10:07 am

    Cooz – I remember reading that Spy piece and laughing my ass off. Shortly after that some friends had a beat party in what would become a gorgeous, ridiculously expensive home on Chicago’s near Gold Coast (the owner – or maybe he was a squatter – called himself Warren Peace). I think the invitation’s refrain bounced from “monkey” and “inferno.” No bathroom, running water, electricity was poached from some neighbor. That poem made the rounds that night, and most of us grew up to recognize the irony that followed.

    Mitch Albom is the Thomas Kinkade of the writing world, for sure.

  8. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 23, 2010 at 10:11 am

    I see that Canadians are transparent, which sort of fits.

  9. ROgirl said on September 23, 2010 at 10:14 am

    Much as I dislike Mitch, I think it’s an insult to compare him to Thomas Kinkade, who’s a self-aggrandizing Christian schlockmeister. To me he’s more like Norman Rockwell, a talented craftsman who aimed for the middlebrow and often fell back on cliches (no offense meant to those who admire Rockwell’s skills).

  10. Julie Robinson said on September 23, 2010 at 10:18 am

    Pam, I am SOOO with you. I can stay focused on baseball for 4-5 innings, and after that I do nothing but watch the crowd. Maybe one time a year. It’s unbelievable to me that anyone watches it game after game after game after good god isn’t the season over yet game. What a blessing that the rest of my family has even less interest than me.

    And baseball fans, don’t write to tell me that I am missing the magic and if I just understood the game better I would see the beauty. My Dad fully explained all aspects of the game as he was watching game after game after game.

  11. Judybusy said on September 23, 2010 at 11:03 am

    Related to the demographics and NN’s comment about all the politics in Detroit beign about race: the Minneapolis Park Board is trying to establish an off-leash dog park in a nearby neighborhood. I was very excited, as I’m a new dog owner. In following the process, I found out that there is some opposition in the black community because the park is Martin Luther King Jr., Memorial Park. The gist of the complaint is that it’s disrespectful to have all the dogs running around there. I don’t necessarily agree–dog parks can be a great way to bridge divides, and it would help keep an eye on the park, where there is some drug use. However, it once again opened my eyes to the African-American experience in a way I didn’t expect! I’d be interested to hear what others think about this.

    Read the story here.

  12. Jeff Borden said on September 23, 2010 at 11:05 am

    The part of the Albom critique that hits home for me is the assertion that Mitchy probably doesn’t even believe what he writes. In that, he mimics Bob Greene, who pretended to “discover” Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls in 1992, when weary of his many hours spent writing about the horrors of the world, he somehow walked into the old Chicago Stadium. And, what do you know! There was this famous, transcendent basketball player wearing Number 23.

    Now, bear in mind that Jordan had joined the Bulls in 1984 and that the team already had won an NBA championship the year before. He already had numerous endorsement deals with Gatorade, Nike, etc. But somehow, this all had escaped Bob until he saw a Bulls game. And so, “Hang Time” emerged as quite possibly the worst sports book ever written, because it was constructed on a foundation of complete and utter bullshit.

  13. Bob (Not Greene) said on September 23, 2010 at 11:08 am

    Oh my God, that Deadspin piece was hilarious. Actually, it was probably the only way I could have ever made it through that incredible piece of crap. See this is what most journalism awards are about. They’re nice to win, and it feels good — hey it’s basically the only vaildation you get — until you see someone win an award you’re up for with the hackiest piece of crap conceived. Then you think, “I guess this award is just more bullshit, too, and when I win it I’m part of the bullshit.”

    Re: Norman Rockwell. I have no idea why, but I’ve always been a sucker for those. Sure lots are, as Mr. Potter would say, “Sentimental hogwash!” but I always liked the little details in them.

    I took a look at the Chicago map, and it was about what I thought — segregated as hell. I did get a kick out of where Oak Park is, however. Oak Park (and don’t get me wrong, I love the place dearly) touts itself as a model of racial diversity. On that map, it looks like whitey-land. Now go a tad south to, say, where I live. Now that’s one diverse-ass community!

    And 4dbirds: that game was called Strat-O-Matic Baseball.

  14. John said on September 23, 2010 at 11:13 am

    Strat-O-Matic Baseball…

    Best played while drinking.

  15. Sue said on September 23, 2010 at 11:13 am

    Ok, here’s why I like baseball games:
    *I’m 55 and I just found out about that weird rule where outfielders can decide that a runner’s not worth the effort. I can’t remember what it’s called, I’ll have to ask my husband because he’s the one who pointed it out last month, but the point is baseball’s got so many strange bits about it that I’m still finding things out.
    *Triple plays. Unassisted triple plays, mmmm.
    *Baseball stats. There are so many of them, and everyone discusses them in the stands, often with the strangers around them. Teachers should use baseball stats to teach math. Men I know who can’t balance a checkbook can do stats in their heads.
    *People watching – of COURSE people watching, sillies! The game slows down a little bit and you can watch all sorts of dramas and comedies, just by seeing how the family reunion in the six rows five across just to your left spins out. That’s because baseball is still a whole-family thing.
    *Tell me that when a batter is going through his swing, has hit the ball and he’s all twisty-stretched and the ball is arc-ing beautifully out into right field that there’s not a ballet component to that. Gorgeous bod (usually), perfect prop.
    Of course, what do I know? I watch televised golf.

  16. nancy said on September 23, 2010 at 11:21 am

    Among our little community, Kirk is probably the most die-hard baseball fan — certainly the most dedicated I know. A few weeks back, I sent him a video clip taken at a college game last spring, where a runner headed for home saw the catcher down on one knee defending, and leaped into the air like a rabbit, jumping all the way over the catcher and landing on home plate. Safe.

    Kirk has probably watched a million games and read about a million more, but he said something that stuck with me, to the effect that you never know what you’re going to see in any given baseball game, and that’s why he keeps showing up. Works for me.

  17. Jeff Borden said on September 23, 2010 at 11:25 am

    I am an unapologetic baseball fan, but I don’t proselytize to those who are not. I enjoy the pace, the rituals and traditions, the odd nuances and the delightful absence of a clock, even if it means the games stretch too long. Mostly, I love the idea that a 145-pound shortstop can play alongside a 275-pound first baseman and both can contribute. Few professional sports can make that claim, particularly the NBA and the NFL, where the freakishly large is now the norm.

    I’ll be at a meaningless Cubs vs. Giants game tonight, in fact. I’ll hop my bike, pedal the three or four miles to the stadium, grab a pork chop sandwich at Bernie’s and have a great time, even though the Cubs will be finishing their 102nd season without winning a World Series.

  18. Sue said on September 23, 2010 at 11:25 am

    That catcher shoulda had’m.

  19. Deborah said on September 23, 2010 at 11:41 am

    I’d be interested to know if there are many African Americans in the mix of readers here at NNC. Don’t know why, it would just be interesting to me for some reason. I’m half German,and mostly half Scots/Irish, but my great grandmother was Italian, northern Italian, near Switzerland, she had blond hair.

  20. Deborah said on September 23, 2010 at 11:44 am

    Oh and I forgot to mention what a great graphic that map diagram is, Nancy. I love that stuff. The New York Times has fantastic charts and graphs, so does Good Magazine. I buy that just for the graphics. But then I’m a graphic designer so I guess that’s not so surprising.

  21. Rana said on September 23, 2010 at 11:57 am

    Also expressing admiration for the map here. I can be somewhat annoying on the matter of readability in graphs and maps. (I own all of Edward Tufte’s books and even attended one of his seminars.) This one’s a beauty though – its message is clear and instantly understandable.

  22. LAMary said on September 23, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    I looked at the LA map. No surprise, along the beach everyone is white.

  23. Mark P. said on September 23, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    I suspect Atlanta would look similar. “White collar” has a double meaning there. I think lots of Southern towns would look more like a checkerboard, with different races living within smaller enclaves but fairly evenly distributed.

    Speaking of zombie movies, one was filmed in my home town fairly close to where I live. It showed up on one of the cable channels, and I watched to see if I could recognize local stuff. Somewhere close to the opening shots, I saw the high school (One shot showed “COSA High School”, and another showed “COOSA High School”, the real name. Who can tell where this is without Google?). And then I was done. It was too bad to watch, even to make fun of.

  24. Jim said on September 23, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    The difference between Norman Rockwell and MA is that Rockwell’s middle-America sentimentalism is well-executed.

  25. nancy said on September 23, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    You know what I liked best in that Albom rant? That the original essay contained this phrase:

    Now, don’t misunderstand.

    I see some version of this phrase in half the newspaper columns I read, and to me, it always indicates the same thing: Someone is pussying out. I did it myself, many times, back in the day, and what it means is, I’m afraid that if too many people call my editor and complain about this, I’ll lose my job or have to write an apology or otherwise suffer some pain in the ass. Nine times out of 10, “don’t get me wrong,” or “don’t misunderstand” is the mark of a writer who doesn’t trust his readers to understand English. Or lacks the courage of his convictions. Or both.

  26. Jeff Borden said on September 23, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    Mark P.,

    Actually, a high-budget zombie movie based on the graphic novels “Walking Dead” was filmed in Atlanta for AMC, which will premiere it on Halloween night. The opening of the film is a near ripoff of the opening of “28 Days Later,” where an injured man awakes in a hospital to find himself completely alone, but the zombie effects look very, very good. The protagonist is a small-town Kentucky cop who is searching for his wife and kid. He heads to Atlanta because that is where the authorities urged everyone in the southeast to congregate, but suffice to say, the zombies have been having quite a smorgasbord in the city too busy to hate.

    I’m fairly OD’d on zombie movies these days, but this series looks to have a fairly compelling storyline. It’s being produced and directed by some quality people, too: Gale Ann Hurd is producing and Jan Darabont is directing. It should be good enough for shits and giggles.

  27. ROgirl said on September 23, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    Jim, Rockwell was also working at least 50 to 60 years ago. Mitch just seems like he’s working in the past.

  28. Peter said on September 23, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    LA Mary, speaking of six degrees, Dan Okrent is the brother of Larry Okrent, who’s a regional planner (boy, how many of those are left…) that I work with.

    Well, here’s another log to throw on the Journalism Is Dying fire – my son was named assistant editor of his high school yearbook as well as continuing as assistant editor of the newspaper. Wow, pretty big honor for a sophomore, until he told me how many kids in his high school of 1000 are on the newspaper and yearbook staffs – 5 and 3, respectively.

  29. Kirk said on September 23, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    Haven’t been on in a couple of days, but Dexter, you are so right about Volquez. I was thrilled to see him pitch that well. That’s huge. I’m not a fan of front-runners, but we’ll let you squeeze onto the bandwagon.

    Borden, just because the Cubs suck doesn’t mean that game tonight is meaningless. It means plenty to the Giants.

    And you folks quit with the tiresome anti-baseball comments, and I’ll keep tiresome anti-American Idol/Dancing With The Stars comments to myself. Oh, wait. I already keep them to myself, mostly.

  30. Linda said on September 23, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    Fascinating map. The interesting part are the little tufts of blue out of the Detroit city limits–the bit of blue smoke escaping from the northwest corner of Detroit, the blue blobs downriver (one of which is Inkster, which, I am informed, was created by Henry Ford as a development for his African-American workers–Dearborn was for the white workers), and now that I think of it, the little blue blob in the farther upper left must be Pontiac.

    Hmmm–looking at an excerpt from Dreaming Suburbia, in which the author gives evidence that Henry Ford became a benefactor to Inkster in the 1930s largely to uplift blacks and protect them from exploitation by “Jewish exploiters.” An interesting read. http://books.google.com/books?id=-6h_EFb–YcC&pg=PA131&sig=t98BnhTmyAH57M-O_xeC-WQyQm4&hl=en#v=onepage&q&f=false

  31. Catherine said on September 23, 2010 at 1:41 pm

    Those maps are eye-opening, not to mention kind of beautiful. It would be interesting to see a bunch of them matted together & framed.

    And, I notice that my community looks like a Seurat closeup — all the different little points of color.

  32. Julie Robinson said on September 23, 2010 at 2:24 pm

    Hey Kirk, as Mitch says, don’t misunderstand me. My disinterest in baseball was not meant as a judgment, and though I don’t watch American Idol either, I do love ballet, theatre, and classical music, which many people find boring. Whatever floats your boat.

  33. LAMary said on September 23, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    The coincidences never end, Peter. My older son is majoring in Journalism and my younger son is named Peter. I’m just cosmically connected to everything in this blog today.

  34. deb said on September 23, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    my favorite parts of the albom rant were the brilliant insults:
    you disingenuous little minx
    you disingenuous, condescending ass
    you unmitigated hack

    all true. all delicious. deep sigh of pleasure.

  35. moe99 said on September 23, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    Was Albom always this bad?

    I passed along the smackdown to another forum and now some spoilsport there is inferring that the author of the takedown is stupid because he doesn’t like bunts. Well I don’t care much for them either but I’m not very deeply educated in their pros and cons. Kirk?

  36. Jeff Borden said on September 23, 2010 at 3:50 pm

    Bunts are great but are something of a lost art among many ballplayers. Back in the mid-90s, when the Cleveland Indians had some kickass teams, leadoff man Kenny Lofton was fast enough to bunt for single on occasion. Omar Vizquel, now 43 and playing well for the White Sox, was also an excellent bunter for the Tribe.

    I think some purists snark at bunts because they often mean an automatic out, even as they advance a runner. But they can be an exciting part of the game when done right.

  37. Kirk said on September 23, 2010 at 4:07 pm

    Bunts are just part of the game with a long tradition of effectiveness. I like them. If they help you win, why not? Purists are more likely to approve of bunts than not. There are situations when they don’t make a whole lot of sense, though, and there are numbers to prove it.

    They also aren’t automatic outs. Some guys know how to bunt for hits. It’s part of baseball’s great equalizing factor that Jeff referred to earlier. The 170-pound second baseman probably doesn’t have the power to hit it over the fence, but he can help his team by laying down a bunt that’s hard to field and scooting to first base.

    And I was just kidding about people ripping on baseball. It’s not to everyone’s taste, just like anything else, and that’s just the way things are. No judgmentalism perceived, Julie.

  38. Sue said on September 23, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    Any of you read The Baseball Codes, by Jason Turbow? I was hooked just reading the introduction.

  39. Kirk said on September 23, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    I’ve read lots of baseball books, but I don’t know that one.

    EDIT: I looked it up. Didn’t recognize the title, but know of the book. Have heard and read many positive reviews. I’ll get around to reading it.

  40. Jeff Borden said on September 23, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    Kirk, what are your thoughts on maple bats? It sounds like Tyler Colvin of the Cubs was really lucky when he was struck by the sharp end of a shattered bat the other night while running home from third base. It pierced his lung and required his hospitalization. He’s being driven home to South Carolina because his condition won’t allow him to be flown.

    I knew the danger of aluminum bats to pitchers and hate them with a passion, but was unaware of the danger presented by maple bats until this incident. I read somewhere that the insects feasting on ash trees are one reason there is a shortage of ash bats and a new emphasis on maple.

  41. Kirk said on September 23, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    Maple bats seem to break more easily than ash. Baseball took note of that last season, too, as a lot more maple bats came into use. I don’t think anything like the Colvin incident happened last year, but there definitely were big hunks of bat flying all over the place. I don’t know the answer. It seems as though baseball was looking into the possibility of trying other woods, but I haven’t heard any progress reports.

  42. Bob (Not Greene) said on September 23, 2010 at 4:35 pm

    That Tyler Colvin incident was really scary. He was looking down the line to see if the ball stayed fair and didn’t even see the thing coming. It could’ve killed him; I mean, he was impaled like he was shot with an arrow. You could see him having trouble breathing as he went to the dugout. Those maple bats just explode. Maybe all of the trees lost to emerald ash borer can be sold to Louisville Slugger at a discount for ash bats, the traditional lumber for them.

    By the way, my all-time favorite baseball book is still “Ball Four” by Jim Bouton. Yeah, suuuurre.

  43. Kirk said on September 23, 2010 at 4:39 pm

    “Ball Four” is being turned into a musical, with Jim Bouton’s collaboration. And it remains a great book.

    Well, gotta go. Nice talking a little baseball here. Hope we didn’t put too many folks to sleep.

    Wish I were joining you at Wrigley tonight, Jeff. Pound a couple of Old Styles for me.

  44. brian stouder said on September 23, 2010 at 4:54 pm

    Regarding bunts, I recall (was it twenty years ago?) when Billy Martin, manager of the AL champion New York Yankees, was dismissive of the “small-ball” (so-called) tactics of the NL champion Cincinnati Reds, in the World Series. As it happened, the Reds swept the Yankees in four games that year, which I greatly enjoyed. Alas, this year’s bandwagon left without me, but that’s OK.

    Also – I find the color graph equal parts pretty, and objectionable.

  45. deb said on September 23, 2010 at 4:54 pm

    “ball four” as a MUSICAL? i loved that book, too, but…damn. the more i think about it, the better it sounds. “damn yankees” worked.

  46. deb said on September 23, 2010 at 4:56 pm

    and by the way, i’m thrilled (but not surprised) to find some of y’all fondly remember (and quote portions of) spy magazine. wish i’d kept those, dammit.

  47. Dexter said on September 23, 2010 at 5:02 pm

    On a local radio call-in, I asked a local man, Denny Stark, who pitched for the Colorado Rockies during the time when Bonds was hitting all those home runs if maple bats were the reason the baseballs jumped so hard off the bats, and he dismissed that theory…this pitcher was a good hitter himself and he had a home run to his credit. If he knew about steroids and all the implications he didn’t bring it up. I believe Mr. Stark said it was a “combination of factors…”
    Last year I blogged frequently with my opinion that maple bats have to be banned, and I predicted a person would be killed in 2010. Colvin almost proved me to be a seer.
    And yes, you never know…I have been in the stadium three time when no-hitters were pitched. April 7, 1984, Jack Morris no-no’ed the Sox in Chicago, then I was there for the 4-0 losing no-hitter Andy Hawkins of NYY threw, since taken away, because now for a no hitter you must pitch nine innings, not eight…and I saw a no hitter in Charleston , South Carolina about 12 years ago, Class A minor leagues.
    Over the past 47 years I have attended hundreds and hundreds of games, coast-to-coast. I love the sport more than being attached by the heart-strings to one organization. I like to see good baseball.
    I understand, Kirk, bandwagon jumpers are despicable, but I am what I am, I admit it. Who wants to see a dead-ass team that has quit play? I will never forget the way the Tigers plain-quit on Alan Trammell during his last year, or those old White Sox teams who quit trying in Septembers of old…who wants to pay cash to see half-ass teams in a nearly empty stadium?
    And a shot at Cincinnati fans…take a look at the Phillies crowds lately…jammed packed and LOUD, while Cincinnati’s GABP is half-empty and only the noisy young drunks are making any noise. Yeah, the economy is bad…but it’s bad in Philadelphia, too…right?
    Oh well…I have always followed the Reds, hell, I remember Ruth Lyons and her “We’ll Rally Round the Reds-[we’ll win the pennant in September!]” song…this was 49 summers ago…and I have made many trips to old Riverfront Stadium over the years, attending regular season as well as playoff games many times with my friend who is a hard-core Reds fan.
    JulieRobinson, I am one of those who watch game after game on TV now, night after night, and never tire of it, and suffer anxiety when I know the season is ending.
    There’s just something about it.
    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_a5rtnYEBJmA/SqnRFDQpzQI/AAAAAAAAAD4/rwTEFdTU9R4/s320/vintage-baseball-glove.jpg

  48. Dexter said on September 23, 2010 at 5:09 pm

    brianstouder: It was 34 years ago…I waited all damn night in line outside Riverfront Stadium for World Series tickets…I had 2 people ahead of me at 9:AM and then…SLAM…window shut, sold out…I have yet to see a World Series game.

  49. paddyo' said on September 23, 2010 at 5:37 pm

    Bunting, the lost art — or, like free-throw shooting in basketball, a potential game-winning strategy that’s not paid its due. I can’t believe any baseball purist would dismiss the practice. It’s inner strategy — and hell, in my boyhood, in L.A., it was essential to the Dodgers’ success in their power-outage years. Leadoff batter Maury Wills bunts for a base hit, steals second, is sacrifice-bunted over to third by Jim Gilliam or Wes Parker and scores on a sacrifice fly by Willie or Tommy Davis or maybe Ron Fairly. Then Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale or Don Sutton makes that single run stand up.
    It’s not pinball-light-up-the-scoreboard-fireworks baseball like today’s stadium masses expect, but it’s still a thing of beauty.
    And hey, ash or maple or whatever — no flying shards from a bunt . . .

  50. Dexter said on September 23, 2010 at 5:54 pm

    happy birthday salute to The Boss, who I have revered since 1975 and seen a few times in concert in Detroit, Pontiac and Columbus…my favorite shows by far, unforgettable…thanks to Bruce for all the good times, on your 61st birthday.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xHZNHQfpNps&feature=related

  51. Dexter said on September 23, 2010 at 5:59 pm

    paddyo’…thanks for the memories of those old Dodgers, who I watched a lot on TV and saw play a few times at Wrigley..never to forget the sun-ball that Willie Davis dropped in that World Series, or any of the battles between Drysdale and Marichal, because the teams didn’t like to pit Marichal and Koufax against each other if possible. Koufax is the best pitcher ever, and I am so glad I actually got to see him pitch, one time, September 25, 1966, his last Chicago appearance.

  52. paddyo' said on September 23, 2010 at 6:25 pm

    Dexter, sadly, I never saw Sandy K. pitch in person, but I’ll never forget listening to his perfect game in September of ’65 on my parents’ do-not-touch Packard Bell console stereo in the living room. They were out at choir practice that night, so my older brother and I cranked it up about the fifth or sixth inning when we realized something special was happening. Of course, the incomparable play-by-play man Vin Scully made it even more memorable.
    The only TV we ever saw (besides the World Series, including the year when — I’m not making this up — the nuns at our parochial school wheeled a TV into our classroom so we could watch the Dodgers, DURING school) was whenever the Dodgers went to SF to play the hated Giants in Candlestick Park. KTTV Channel 11 carried those games.
    And you’re right, it was usually Drysdale vs. Marichal, EXCEPT the infamous incident when the Giants’ ace went after Dodgers’ catcher John Roseboro with his bat. Koufax was on the mound and tried to intervene.

    Several years earlier, I DID get to see my boyhood fave, Duke Snider, vs. the Reds in the Coliseum on “Duke Snider Night” in 1959, or was it ’60? Anyway, a twi-night doubleheader: Duke sat out the first game, was presented piles of gifts with his family at home plate between games (grown-up car for Duke and Mrs. S., miniature electric cars for the kids; at age not-quite-7, I was SO jealous).
    We sat midway up the stands down the right field line, just inside where the outfield fence — a quarter-circle of chain-link fence across the vast grass oval of that Olympic/football stadium — met the first-base line.
    In the nightcap, the Duke hit a homer over the head of Cincy right-fielder Vada Pinson, who crashed vainly into the chain link. Next time up, Duke tripled off the top of that fence, Pinson again in futile pursuit. Last time at the plate, Duke was intentionally walked, to the lusty boos of the assembled throng.

    And that, non-baseball fans, is what the game does to poor souls like us. . . thanks for indulging.

  53. Connie said on September 23, 2010 at 6:38 pm

    I’m not much for zombie movies, but will heartily recommend the book “World War Z, an Oral History of the Zombie Wars,” by Max Brooks, son of Mel. Done in the most straightforward manner and seriously entertaining.

  54. Julie Robinson said on September 23, 2010 at 6:41 pm

    Okay, anyone want to discuss who was better in Sweeney Todd–Angela Lansbury or Patti LuPone? No? Darn, time to find another blog.

  55. Connie said on September 23, 2010 at 6:54 pm

    I also find baseball boring, but still love it. I grew up going to Tiger games in the Al Kaline/Micky Lolich years, and as a tween had Denny McLaine’s (sp?) Sports Illustrated cover on my bedroom wall. My uncle was a GM bigwig, and most of my Tiger Stadium memories are seen from GM’s great seats on the 3rd base line.

    I also enjoyed living in a city with a Northwoods League team, a summer collegiate league. The Rochester Honkers had huge community support and filled up Mayo Field night after night. Private efforts are underway to build a field and bring a Northwoods League team to Elkhart.

    And hey, badmouth AMerican Idol all you want, but Dancing With the Stars is so ludicrously strange and wierd I can’t stay away. It’s the only reality show I’ve ever watched. Week one just ended. David Hasselhoff was sooo bad, he cha cha’d like a man wearing a back brace, and has joined the infamous ranks of “stars” sent home week one. Which includes Tucker Carlson and Kenny Maine. Kenny Maine has been far better doing deadpan Dancing commentary while wearing sparkling eye shadow, than he was during his one week as a dancer.

    So there, baseball and Dancing, all together now. And with all the NFL and NBA players that have done Dancing, where is MLB?

  56. LAMary said on September 23, 2010 at 7:26 pm

    Connie, I thought David Hasselhoff was drunk. He sure sounded that way in they pre-performance cute rehearsal footage they showed. Lots of slurring going on. His botox was weird looking too. Nothing like dancing with a drunk guy with a zombie face. Dancing with the Stars is very weird. The costumes, the music choices. I remember seeing a paso doble to Britney Spears’ “Toxic.”

  57. alex said on September 23, 2010 at 8:53 pm

    Never a fan of baseball, just there for the parties. Got to smoke, snort and drink top shelf in the dee-luxious box leased by an ad agency at the ugly new Comiskey Park when I was ****ing a star creative who eventually got shitcanned for being an arrogant shithead (who then relocated in LA, last I heard lives in Santa B, and is still an egomaniac last I heard). End of that fun. (End of a lot of intolerable crap, too, come to think of it.) Also been to lotsa games at Wrigley just ‘cuz it was in my ‘hood two blocks from home. Never paid attention to the games, particularly, because it was more about being there than anything, even without all the ducats.

    Have yet to see a game in the Fort’s celebrated new stadium that is being paid for by taxpayers despite all the promises of the yahoo politicians that the retail and residential that was supposed to surround it (that’s never gonna get built) would pay for it. May never. See a game there, that is. My current employer splurges on booze and munchies (that’s all) every once in a while, but not ever likely in that venue.

  58. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 23, 2010 at 9:09 pm

    Patti LuPone was transcendent in “State and Main,” but I’d pick Angela for my fantasy “Sweeney Todd” team. And Len Cariou on second base.

  59. Deborah said on September 23, 2010 at 9:36 pm

    I’ve actually read a couple of baseball books. One was by Doris Kearns Goodwin about her home team in New York, but for the life of me I can’t even remember who the team was (Brooklyn Dodgers?). Many many years ago I read “The Great American Novel” by Philip Roth, don’t remember much about it but I remember enjoying it. I used to go to a game or two once a year when I lived in St. Louis, but since I’ve been in Chicago I’ve only been to one Cubs game, when they played the Cardinals of course. Sorry Julie, I have no opinion of musical theater, I used to be a huge fan when I was a kid.

  60. Julie Robinson said on September 23, 2010 at 9:58 pm

    Angela too, but I prefer George Hearn. And Deborah, I read that book by Doris Kearns Goodwin, but I thought it was really about her father.

  61. Deborah said on September 23, 2010 at 10:45 pm

    You’re probably right about the Doris Kearns Goodwin book. I just vaguely remember the parts about her favorite team and what it meant to her and her family when they left town etc.

  62. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 23, 2010 at 11:04 pm

    The big Fantasy Broadway question — do you, or don’t you want Mandy Patinkin on your team?

    Rightly or wrongly, I go for Bernadette Peters every time. First pick.

  63. Dexter said on September 23, 2010 at 11:57 pm

    Doris was a hardcore Brooklyn Dodgers fanatic. She has been a fan of the Boston Red Sox for many years now, and attends many games at Fenway Park in Boston.
    She is also my very favorite television political commentator.

    paddyo’—loved the story of the Duke. I have never read a first-person account of a game at the famous old Coliseum.

    And for bonus-brownie points for Kirk, to ensure my spot on the Reds 2010 bandwagon, I offer this: I caught a batting practice homer before the Saturday game in Riverfront Stadium, 1975…hit by old man Ken Griffey, and I still have it.

  64. JayZ(the original) said on September 24, 2010 at 12:26 am

    I saw Sandy Koufax pitch a no-hitter against the Giants in the early sixties. My date, who was not a baseball fan, thought it was a boring game. My roommates were not at all interested in hearing about it. So I called my dad in Chicago where it was about 2 am just so I could share my excitement with someone who appreciated the feat.

  65. prospero said on September 24, 2010 at 12:55 am

    Zonmbie movies are great,. Zombie adherence to alleged proressive politics is another thing altogether, Are you you people nuts? Obama hasn;t succeededed on every bastion and you moron’s are abandoning him, What the fuck is wrong with you? It is really sad that people that believe in social change are turning in such numbers on a President that’s actually changed so much you are going to abandon him now because he didn;t do it it all at oncee.

    You fuckking cowards. The President hasn’t given up. But Progressives have given up on him. Sorry Progressives, but you come across as a bunch of Naderites that would rather lose and claim the high ground. Obama’s right about pretty much everything.
    he’s right about taxes.

    What is the matter with so-called Progressives that don’t think he’s right enough? Are you people idiots? You go out and vote against oppression and the Scalia Court. You cannot be so stupid you let Scaiffe and the Koch Brothers just buy elections because you blame Obama for this super-majority horseshit senate.

    What exactly do you think the President’s supposed to do about this insane and anti-Constitutional idea about the super-majority? It would be OK with me if he decided they ought to be taken out as clear and present danger to Constitutional Government. They actually and clearly are.

    Or make their bony asses actually stand up in the Senate and attempt filibusters. What I can’t understand is how anybody with a brain blames this sort of obstructionism on the president. But you know from HuffPost, it’s all the President’s fault.

    Just what do you you progressive thinker’s think he should actually have done about any of those causes you thought were so important, since he hasn’at gotten anything done.

    Nothings happened, right? It might seem that way. You idiots. Change should have come at the drop of a hat.

    He ‘s right about DADT. He’s right about health care.

    Here’s the deal, you morons. That magic wand. Make those assholes that want to claim law=firms and making a billion managing a hedgefund while crashing the economy and disappearring jobs, explain how that’s defending small businesses.

    In the end, if people are that fucking stupid, I suppose they are stupid enough to get what they pay for. The 1% will be done in by the elite, and they’ll all become the last tidbit for the really rich people. It’s the funniest thing in the world that they will devour you too. It’s a big tent.

    That was GW let that perp loose. Nobody put his face on Time or Newsweek.

  66. Dexter said on September 24, 2010 at 1:23 am

    JayZ…wow, that is a treasure house memory. My Sandy game was “The Battle of the Great Jewish Left Handers”. Ken Holtzman was the Cub hurler, and he no-hit the Dodgers until the ninth. From The Baseball Page dot com site:
    “Holtzman vs. Koufax
    On September 25, 1966, Holtzman and Sandy Koufax dueled in Chicago’s Wrigley Field. It was a battle of the pre-eminent left-handed pitcher against the rising left-handed pitcher in the league. Both pitchers also happened to be Jewish. Holtzman, in what he later described as his “greatest thrill in the game,” defeated Koufax and the Dodgers, 2-1, as he no-hit LA for eight innings.”

  67. prospero said on September 24, 2010 at 1:25 am

    So I think baseabll rules. What I do not understand is howanybody thinks Obama’s abandoned them. The Senate Republican behavior is astounding, and the idea that every vote and every appointment requires a supermajority, sorry, they can say anything they want but they are lying their asses off. Everysingle thing is a filibuster and they have a secret hold on every judicial nominee? These people are assholes. They don’t give the slightest dconsideration to anything, They do not even consider the qualifications of appointees. They just obstruct. I’d like to know, what is their point.? One consideration? There is none. How do people put up with Senators that are that stupid and clearly partisan to the point of being idiot antagonists?

    Why not make these jerks actually filibuster something they can’t support. They will. but standing up and doing it? Make them look like the obstructionist morons they actually are,

  68. Catherine said on September 24, 2010 at 1:54 am

    Fantasy Broadway? Why has no one trademarked this yet? I definitely want Kristen Chenoweth and Cherry Jones.

  69. prospero said on September 24, 2010 at 2:34 am

    Filibuster? Make the pieces of feces actually stand up and talk about it. Call these aholes on it. Make them talk about how they believe kids should suffer from cancer because it isn’t really lucrative to cover them. Make Mitch admit he works for mountain-toppers and not people that drink water from the Eastern aquifrr. He cannot defend himself. And his friends make sure miners die eith no warning. Mitch really doean’t give a shit. He is bought and paid for by Don Blankenship, the singularly biggest liar and miner murderer in the history of mankind.

    Don Blankenship murders miners to make money for Don Blankenship. Somebody want to claim that isn’t true? I grew up in Appalachia. When my adtook over oedes at

    Mitch Albom is a pejorative, Jesus, do something about a national plague, Mitch, That would be McConnell, He’s like bedbugs. Mitch Albom is an affront to literacy. Mitch McConnell is an affront to dmnocracy.

    Well is he or isn’t he? Do people take a word he says seriousy? It is all fucking loony tunes. You know when people talk about the Bill of Rights, why did those assholes that didn;t no dick about the Conatitution put that nonsense about the militia in there? Must have been an accidental clause. And the whole idea that Scaiffe and the Koch Brothers can buy elections with nobody ever knowing where the cash cane fom, that was in the constitutions too. Scalia said so. And he doesn’t stand for activism unless it’s bonafide reactionary, Steal two elections and allow barter. Fuck this excuse for democracy. Bought and Sold and everybody knows it and these people are free to have invented the idea of liberal judicial activism while they stole the supreme court. These assholes appointed Cheney.

  70. prospero said on September 24, 2010 at 3:15 am

    Mitch Albom blathers and he’s annoying because he can’t write to save his life. People actually believe the other Mitch, and he has never said a word remotely true. He’s a consummate member of the Ananais Club, And he’s sort of a tebagger. One way or another, are people going to be so fuckking stupid they ignore what what Obama’s accomplished in the face of abject stupidity and nihilistic nullification, or embrace moving ahead? Get out the vote, you idiots, What’s your choice? Thinking forward or Contract on America and all that entails. ? My personal feeling is pretty clear. A whole lot has gotten done. If you believe in the super-majority in the Senate, you sure as shit don’t believe in Democracy, The Republicans in the Senate do not believe in Democracy and this 60 vote shit makes that pretty clear. Make them stand up and actually talk about how they oppose restoring the economy if rich people don’t like it.

    This Republican “small-business” bullshit, let then stand up and say they mean Bechtel, and a bunch of hedge fund managers. They are the most lying pieces os shit about small business in the history of mankind.

    So here’s the deal. Are Americans fucking morons? If they buy a single thing Republicans claim, they’re the biggest suckers that ever came down the pike.

    These assholes are looking to make themselves richer and you poorer. If you don’t see that? Sukaahh. This is what they’ve already dibe to you.

    Tell you what. buy into this Republicab, laffer curve stupidity? If you are actually so stupid you buy trickle down, good luck with poverty while rich get richer. I will be on the beach in Brazil.

  71. prospero said on September 24, 2010 at 4:54 am

    My favorite Tigers player was Mickey Stanley. My second favorite was a pitcher called Earl Wilson. You could sit in dead center in the bleachers and hear Earl Wilson’s fastballs busting Freehan’s mitt when he was warming up. Stanley Kaline and Northrup hit more grand-slams than anybody in one season. Mickey Stanley was as good as anybody ever was as a centerfielder. I know it’s ridiculous, in most people’s minds, but I think Freddy Lynn is the second best outfielder I ever saw play, after Mickey Stanley. Entirely fearless. Both guys damaged their superb hitting by crashing outfield walls.

    Actually, the Dewie, Freddie and Jim Ed outfield may have been the absolute best for fielding and hitting. Jim Ed Rice played the wall in Fenway better than Yastremski. Nobody in Boston will admit it, but it is a fact.

  72. brian stouder said on September 24, 2010 at 8:07 am

    I’m impressed that we talked about bunting, but not the (completely horrible) “designated hitter” rule. That always struck me as Major League Baseball’s bow toward National Football League-style stage-managing. For the record, I think there’s great justice in making the guy who throws 90-mph fastballs to within inches of the members (so to speak) of the other team, step into the batter’s box and face the same.

    Aside from that, speaking of fantasy-Broadway, there is a funny German board game by Renier Kinizia, which is no longer in print (in its original form) because of the many, many copyrights it violated. It is called Fabrik der Träume, and in it players compete over directors and stars to complete classic movies. In one game, a fellow did a remake of Bambi starring Marilyn Monroe, and directed by Alfred Hitchcock. (he scored lots of points, and won the game, if I recall correctly; but who knows)

  73. Julie Robinson said on September 24, 2010 at 8:15 am

    Kristin Chenoweth, yes! Mandy Patinkin and Bernadette Peters, yes! in my all-time favorite musical, Sunday in the Park with George, by the god of musical theatre, Stephen Sondheim, and my all-time favorite musical theatre song, Finishing the Hat. I watched that video almost everyday while on bedrest the last three months of pregnancy with our son. The son who is a singer and loves to be in musicals. Hmmm…

  74. basset said on September 24, 2010 at 8:51 am

    “that weird rule where out­field­ers can decide that a runner’s not worth the effort. I can’t remem­ber what it’s called, I’ll have to ask my hus­band because he’s the one who pointed it out last month”

    Sue’s husband or someone else, explain that if you would…

  75. Peter said on September 24, 2010 at 9:07 am

    Basset, I can’t explain that, but I have recently heard of a term used when someone steals a base and the catcher doesn’t attempt to throw him out “passive indifference” (I think…) Can’t say whether that’s something new, dug up, or invented….

  76. brian stouder said on September 24, 2010 at 9:24 am

    I was thinking this was a reference to the infield-fly rule, wherein a pop-up is an automatic out regardless whether it gets caught, when there’s a runner on first base. The problem otherwise would be that a savvy infielder would have an unfair advantage in such a situation, wherein he could decide whether to catch the infield pop, or let it drop – depending on whether the runner already on base advances for second or remains on first. But again, who knows!

  77. LAMary said on September 24, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    Do the Broadway performers have to still be alive? If not,I’ll take Jerry Orbach.
    For smaller supporting roles I claim Martin and Jim VanTreuren, my high school friend who are broadway performers and are very talented as well as being just great people.

  78. LAMary said on September 24, 2010 at 1:28 pm

    The websites of Jim and Martin, identical twins.

    http://www.jamesvantreuren.com/

    http://www.martinvantreuren.com/

  79. moe99 said on September 24, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    Well, I’m glad I’m not the only one who doesn’t care for bunts. From a friend in MO:

    Nostalgia aside, sacrifice hits are down by 30% from 1975 levels, and more from the Rizzuto days. The reason is not fantasy, not a lack of attention to fundamentals, but sabremetrics. It is about twenty-five years ago that Bill James proved by the evidence that bunting costs teams more runs and more wins than it gains them. It’s no accident that the bunt has passed out of favor since then. It’s not that managers are overawed by statistics, but that James was right, and they do score more runs and win more games when they bunt less. Nothing sells like results.