March 2009

“Odd Man Out”: Boxed In

Hector Astacio
Hector Astacio was the starting pitcher when Provo visited Ogden on June 22, 2002.


As The New York Times amply documented earlier this week, Matt McCarthy’s Odd Man Out is facing a serious credibility problem. The Times documented several inaccuracies, some of them simply mistakes about game events, others more significant because they claim certain individuals behaved in a certain way when the evidence shows they weren’t even present.

On Page 107 of the book, McCarthy details a late June game between the Provo Angels and the Ogden Raptors. Hector Astacio was the starting pitcher. McCarthy makes several claims about this game that have been questioned by the Times. Defending himself in recent days, McCarthy says the Times can’t possibly prove he was wrong about events because he didn’t give specific dates.

Well, neither we or the Times are stupid.

All one has to do is to get hold of Provo’s 2002 season schedule and do a little digging in statistical data to figure out the dates.

The game on Page 107 occurred on June 22, 2002. How do we know?

Simple. I looked up Astacio’s game-by-game record for that season. McCarthy writes they’d lost at Ogden the night before, 10-6. The box score for June 21, 2002 shows Provo lost that night 10-6 at Ogden. So June 22 is clearly the game described by McCarthy.

Here’s the box score for June 22:

                                 YTD                                   YTD
PROVO              AB  R  H BI   AVG  OGDEN              AB  R  H BI   AVG
E.Aybar SS          5  0  1  0  .407  N.Carter CF         5  1  1  1  .150
J.Sugden DH         5  1  1  0  .333  J.McClanahan LF     4  2  2  0  .444
D.Gates LF          4  0  1  0  .333  M.Mendez RF         3  4  2  1  .519
M.Perdomo RF        4  1  1  2  .444  C.Soriano RF        1  0  0  0  .333
J.Guzman CAT        4  0  0  0  .200  P.Fielder DH        3  0  1  0  .500
J.Gray 1B           4  0  1  0  .240  M.Serafini 1B       4  1  0  0  .235
J.Hancock 3B        2  0  0  0  .263  J.VandenBerg CAT    3  1  1  3  .364
W.Selmo 2B          4  0  0  0  .000  J.Eure CAT          0  0  0  0  .235
Q.Cosby CF          3  0  1  0  .350  K.Bohanan SS        4  0  0  0  .176
H.Astacio PIT       0  0  0  0  .000  P.Bell 3B           3  1  0  0  .182
K.Sisco PIT         0  0  0  0  .000  C.Crabbe 2B         3  1  2  0  .353
J.Torres PIT        0  0  0  0  .000  C.Carpenter PIT     0  0  0  0  .000
B.Barnett PIT       0  0  0  0  .000  C.Breslow PIT       0  0  0  0  .000
                                      G.Desalme PIT       0  0  0  0  .000
TOTALS             35  2  6  2        TOTALS             33 11  9  5

PROVO                0 0 0   2 0 0   0 0 0- 2
OGDEN                2 0 3   0 2 4   0 0 X-11
E--J.Hancock, H.Astacio 2, C.Crabbe, C.Carpenter. DP--PROVO 0,
OGDEN 0. LOB--PROVO 11, OGDEN 6. 2B--J.Gray (1), J.McClanahan (2).
HR--M.Perdomo (2), J.VandenBerg (1). SB--M.Mendez (3). HBP--P.Fielder.
SF--J.VandenBerg. SH--J.McClanahan.
                                 IP   H   R  ER  BB  SO  HR     ERA
H.Astacio (L,0-1)               4.0   5   5   4   1   5   1    5.63
K.Sisco                         1.0   1   2   1   2   1   0   22.50
J.Torres                        2.0   3   4   3   2   1   0   12.00
B.Barnett                       1.0   0   0   0   0   1   0    0.00
C.Carpenter (W,1-0)             5.0   4   2   2   2   6   1    3.38
C.Breslow                       3.0   2   0   0   1   3   0    0.00
G.Desalme                       1.0   0   0   0   2   1   0    4.91
HB--J.Torres. WP--H.Astacio 3, J.Torres, C.Breslow. PB--J.Guzman 2.
SO--J.Sugden, D.Gates 2, M.Perdomo, J.Guzman, J.Gray 3, J.Hancock,
W.Selmo, N.Carter 2, C.Soriano, M.Serafini 2, P.Bell 2, C.Crabbe.
BB--D.Gates, M.Perdomo, J.Hancock 2, Q.Cosby, M.Mendez, P.Fielder,
M.Serafini, P.Bell, C.Crabbe.
T--2:36.  A--4381


McCarthy tells us that Astacio gave up three runs in the first inning. As you can see, it was actually two.

No big deal, but it’s just the start of the inconsistencies.

McCarthy writes that Provo shortstop Erick Aybar made a hard tag on Ogden DH Prince Fielder to end the bottom of the second inning. “When Aybar led off,” McCarthy continues, “he was hit with a 90-mile-per-hour fastball between the shoulder blades. No one thought much of it as it was likely retaliation for a hard tag on their best player. But that all changed two innings later when Aybar was again hit with the first pitch he saw.”

Okay, time out.

Look at the box score.

Only one batter was hit by a pitch in that game, and it was Prince Fielder.

According to McCarthy, Aybar was hit the first time in the third inning, and the second time “two innings later,” which would have been the top of the fifth.

McCarthy claims that Provo manager Tom Kotchman told Astacio, “I want you to bean the leadoff hitter next inning. Do you hear me? Hit him in the ribs with the first pitch.”

Astacio took the field to begin pitching the bottom of the fifth. “We all looked on as Kennard Bibbs, an outfielder from Houston, Texas, stepped into the batter’s box,” McCarthy wrote.

Time out again.

The above box score shows that Kennard Bibbs wasn’t even in the lineup.

McCarthy wrote that Astacio defied Kotchman, threw a fastball down the middle for strike one, and was promptly lifted from the game. At least that part seems to reconcile, in that the box score shows Astacio pitched only four innings. If he came out for the bottom of the fifth and didn’t record an out, he’d be credited with only four innings.

Astacio “grabbed a bag of ice and headed for the showers,” McCarthy wrote. “When I walked into the clubhouse an inning later to use the restroom, I saw Astacio sitting alone at his locker with his head in his hands.”

Um, that would be a neat trick, because the clubhouse is nowhere near the visitors’ dugout or the visitors’ bullpen. For McCarthy to have visited Astacio in the clubhouse in the middle of the game, he would have had to run across the field to get to the entrance door which is in the left-center field fence. I would think that Kotchman and pitching coach Kernan Ronan would have questioned where he was going.

You can see this long walk for yourself. In 2005, I did a video documentary about the four-year history of the Provo Angels. Click Here to watch the video; you need Windows Media Player and a broadband (cable modem, DSL) Internet connection to watch. At the nine-minute mark begins a segment on Ogden I shot in 2003, the year after McCarthy was in Provo. At the eleven-minute mark, you’ll see the Provo players walking after the game from the visitors’ dugout all the way out to the clubhouse in left-center field.

McCarthy writes on Page 110 that Kotchman brought in third-string catcher Brian Barnett to pitch the bottom of the eighth, with Provo down 11-2. That reconciles.

So what we have is McCarthy claiming an incident that simply didn’t happen, according to the official record.

“Odd Man Out”: KPCC Interview

Matt McCarthy was interviewed yesterday on KPCC 89.3 FM, one of the National Public Radio affiliates here in the L.A. market. Click Here to visit the AirTalk web site. Look for the March 5 show; you’ll see a listing for “A Year On The Mound With A Minor League Misfit” with a Listen icon; click on that.

You need to have RealPlayer on your computer to listen. If you don’t have RealPlayer, scroll to the bottom of the AirTalk home page. You’ll see a link titled, “Get the RealAudio Player.”

If the March 5 show is no longer on the AirTalk home page, click the Archive button on the upper-left corner of the page and select March 5.

On his blog, host Larry Mantle wrote that he recorded an interview with McCarthy only to have Matt tell him at the end about the New York Times article questioning the book’s truthfulness. Mantle insisted he be allowed to read the critique and re-record the opening to the interview so he could question McCarthy about the allegations.

McCarthy told Mantle in the re-recording that he offered a “point-by-point” rebuttal to the Times reporters, but that they refused. As for why so many of his teammates have come forward to say these incidents never happened, McCarthy said it’s because seven years have passed and they don’t want these embarrassing allegations to come out.

“Odd Man Out”: Update

Yesterday I posted a blog entry that listed various other blogs commenting on Odd Man Out. One of the blogs was written by Jeff Bercovici of

Bercovici is back tonight with another post, this time on how Sports Illustrated got taken into publishing an excerpt without properly vetting the article.

Chris Stone, the magazine’s baseball editor, says SI conducted its own, independent fact-check of the excerpt, but that its fact-checking doesn’t routinely extend to calling up people who are quoted and reading them back their quotes. (Some other magazines, including The New Yorker, do fact-check quotes.)

Stone says he’s troubled by the discrepancies brought to light in the Times but doesn’t think the book should be written off as a fraud. In the excerpt, he says, “there were some facts that needed to be amended and corrected, but not enough to suggest that this book was fundamentally wrong. These errors certainly speak to sloppiness and carelessness with the facts, and it’s inexcusable, but to compare it to the James Frey memoir — that’s a big leap.”

Bercovici quoted the lawyer for manager Tom Kotchman as saying that a lawsuit is under consideration.

Contactball 101

I’ve written many times about “Contactball,” my term for the Angels’ style of offense. Most recently, I discussed it in the comments posted by nardtwopper in the Kendry Morales blog on February 27.

Many people on fan boards, and some sportswriters, inaccurately describe how Contactball works. They claim it means the Angels teach their young hitters to swing at bad pitches, to “hack,” that hitting coach Mickey Hatcher forces every hitter to become just like him, etc., ad nauseam.

The truth is that the Angels want their young hitters to look for a pitch they can drive. With nobody on, it’s to look for a pitch that can be driven for a hit. With runners on base, the emphasis is on situational hitting. With a runner on second, for example, they want the batter to hit the ball to the right side so that runner can advance to third. That does not mean they deliberately want the batter to make an out. A hit would be nice, but if you’re going to hit the ball, hit it to the right side (unless it’s a nice big fat pitch, but the higher you go in pro ball the fewer mistakes you’re going to see).

Some people think “patience” means taking walks. But in Angels lexicon, it’s plate “discipline,” which means learning to look for a pitch that fits the situation.

An article by national baseball writer Bill Shaikin in today’s Los Angeles Times affirmed exactly what I’ve been saying.

… The Angels have quietly revamped their minor league instructional program over the last three years to emphasize plate discipline.

“We’re starting to get some tendencies with younger guys coming through the system,” Angels Manager Mike Scioscia said. “We’re excited because we’re seeing it at the major league level.”

The Angels have not finished in the top half of the American League in walks since 2000, Scioscia’s first year as manager. He said he renewed the focus on plate discipline about three years ago, yet he insists walks are not the barometer of success.

Although some organizations demand prospects take a certain amount of pitches and walks, Scioscia said the Angels simply want their players to better distinguish between balls and strikes, to take the bad pitches and hit the good ones, to get the count in the hitter’s favor and force the pitcher to throw a strike, preferably a fat one.

“It’s a huge benefit for team offense to have people, plain and simple, not swing at balls,” said Jim Eppard, the Angels’ triple-A hitting instructor and an organizational coach since 2003.

Guerrero can swing at a bad ball and get away with it, but “most mortal hitters” cannot, Scioscia said.

The Angels, who did not play a game Tuesday, have yet to play their regulars in spring games, and the walk totals assuredly will drop as Guerrero, Torii Hunter, Howie Kendrick and Erick Aybar start to play. Yet the Angels are encouraged with the progress of such young players as infielders Kendry Morales, Brandon Wood and Sean Rodriguez, catchers Jeff Mathis and Mike Napoli and outfielder Reggie Willits.

“To have someone be more disciplined at the plate, you can’t just push a button,” Eppard said. “It doesn’t happen overnight.

“It’s something we’ve talked about, and we’re starting to see results.”

A common fallacy circulated on fan boards is that Mickey Hatcher tells the batters what pitches to swing at, that he’s making them swing at anything and everything.

Of course, anyone who knows a smidgen of what a major league hitting coach does knows this is nonsense. His job is to know his hitters’ mechanics, to monitor those mechanics to assure they don’t fall into bad habits, and to be a sounding board when necessary.

At the lower levels, when a hitter begins his professional career, a hitting coach’s job is to teach the hitter to become his own hitting coach. Coaches come and go, so it’s vital for the hitter to understand his mechanics, what works, and what doesn’t. They’re also taught to have an idea of what they’ll do when they’re at the plate; longtime minor league manager Ty Boykin describes this as, “Plan your work, and work you plan.”

In discussions over the years with many minor league hitters and coaches, I’ve been told that as a general rule a hitter at the lowest levels may see one mistake pitch every at-bat. As he rises through the levels, he’ll see fewer and fewer mistake pitches. At the major league level, he might see a mistake once every three or four games.

That’s where Contactball comes into play.

Rather than wait for the pitcher to make a mistake, the batter should look for a pitch he can drive that will either get him on base and/or advance a runner. As Mike Scioscia said above, walks are not an accurate barometer of plate discipline, although they might be a byproduct. For example, if there’s a runner on third with one out and you see a pitch you could have driven deep enough to score the runner, but that pitch wasn’t a strike so you let it go by for a ball, the Angels’ philosophy is that you probably made a mistake. Those obsessed with walks argue that the batter did the right thing, but if he walks and the next guy grounds into a double play to end the inning without scoring a run, can you still argue he did the right thing by talking a walk?

A February 28 article by Angels beat writer Lyle Spencer showed what it is a major league hitting coach really does, and how it ties into the Angels’ Contactball philosophy.

The meeting was held in June in the office of Angels manager Mike Scioscia, who did the talking and demonstrating along with hitting coach Mickey Hatcher. Brandon Wood listened, intently absorbing every detail.

“Sosh had a fungo bat in his hands and was showing me some things, and Hatch was showing me how it would benefit me to move my hands down, get quicker to the ball,” Wood said.

“At first I thought, `I’ve been quick enough to hit home runs in the Minor Leagues.’ But I have a lot of respect for their knowledge and experience, and we started working on dropping my hands from the cocked position I’d always used.

“I couldn’t find a comfort zone for two or three weeks. But by July I had it down and began to have some success with it. In September, I was playing every day and I had some good at-bats. I could feel the difference.”

Now that’s what Mickey Hatcher really does.

A March 3 Los Angeles Times article by beat writer Mike DiGiovanna noted that “Hatcher also stressed looking for one pitch to drive and laying off pitches he couldn’t hit hard.”

Hatcher found a way to tweak Wood’s mechanics, and also helped him be more selective at the plate. The advice wasn’t to take more walks, but to look for one pitch he can drive hard. The byproduct might be more walks, but I’d argue that the real byproduct will be more hits, more extra-base hits in particular. When that happens, he’ll get more walks because pitchers will have to be more careful with him. They’ll start to pitch around him. He won’t get more walks just because he’s looking to take a walk. With Wood’s power, his job will be to drive in runs.

A March 2 Orange County Register article by beat writer Bill Plunkett drew a comparison to Mike Schmidt’s early career, one I’ve made many times on this blog. He asked manager Mike Scioscia about the comparison, and Scioscia confirmed what I’ve said before — that Schmidt was given time to fail and learn because the Phillies were so bad in the early 1970s.

Angels manager Mike Scioscia points out that the Phillies indeed “were bottom-dwellers for how long?” when they handed Schmidt a job.

“Some young players just don’t get a two-year window to play at the major-league level and develop like Mike Schmidt,” Scioscia said …

“Coming up and getting playing time randomly here and there and not getting many consecutive at-bats, I didn’t put up very good numbers,” said Wood who would talk to his father during those stretches about feeling he needed to hit “800 feet worth of home runs” one day to get in Scioscia’s lineup the next.

“Playing every day, I was just playing baseball. … I had a chance to prove to myself that I had the ability to get hits and help a team win. I think that was a big hurdle for me because coming up you always have doubts. It doesn’t matter if you get two, three at-bats in a month – if you strike out all three times, you’re thinking, ‘Man, these guys are good. Can I play up here?’

“Once I got a chance to play every day and I did some things to help the team win … I enjoyed every minute of it and that was my motivation this off-season, to get back to that.”

We all saw how certain young hitters failed in last October’s ALDS against Boston because they were chasing bad pitches. That wasn’t because Scioscia or Hatcher made them chase bad pitches. It’s because they’re young and haven’t yet adapted to playing in a pressure environment.

I’m glad that the Angels’ beat writers are finally giving the world an accurate picture of how Contactball is taught in the minors. There will always be those who will lie about it because they get off on attacking a team they supposedly support. But the more the reporters write about it, and as the young hitters start to produce with experience and confidence, Contactball will be vindicated.

UPDATE March 5,2009 3:30 PM PST — The Orange County Register joins the fray with this article by Bill Plunkett about how the Angels will go about improving plate discipline.

Angels hitting coach Mickey Hatcher said the emphasis includes some directives this spring for the younger players based on certain scenarios — take a strike when leading off an inning, see as many pitches as possible in your first at-bat against a pitcher, lay off breaking balls and change-ups to “keyhole” on fastballs in certain areas.

“It’s going to take us time but this spring training we’re really going to focus on that, especially down there with those (minor-league) guys,” Hatcher said. “They don’t even know what a pitcher’s throwing and they’re swinging. We preach it and preach it and we weren’t getting anything done with it. Now we’re going to make it mandatory.”

And Scioscia validates what I wrote yesterday.

Scioscia rejects the notion that a “wail and bail” approach is part of the team’s hitting philosophy.

“That’s not a philosophy. That’s a plate-discipline issue that some guys got a little out of what they need to do,” Scioscia said. “If you look at what our philosophy is in the minor leagues, it’s very clear. It’s all about getting into a hitting count, keyholing, getting a good pitch to hit and turning the bat loose, sure. But with the plate discipline that allows you to get into counts where you can pressure the pitcher.

“Our philosophy is very clear. Some times there’s a perception out there that I don’t know how it gets created.”

Maya Angelou Puts It in Perspective


We see it all the time, every day in our personal and professional lives.

We most certainly see it on the Internet, which gives people free speech but not the responsibility that goes with it. Cowards suddenly find courage on the Internet, where they can post lies, smears, and personal attacks while hiding behind the anonymity of their modem. They can engage in offensive behavior that would get them a punch in the nose if they did it in the real world.

I doubt poet Maya Angelou had that in mind when she wrote “Hater.” A friend sent me the poem a couple days ago after a spate of posts on various sites by anonymous people attacking me for saying that a certain recently published book had credibility problems.

Well, yesterday’s New York Times article validated what I’ve been saying for the last month. ‘Nuff said.

But given the general tendency on the Internet to smear someone when you can’t win an argument on its merits, I thought I’d share this poem with my readers because it has a lot to say about the world we live in.

A hater is someone who is jealous and envious and spends all
their time trying to make you look small so they can look tall.
They are very negative people to say the least. Nothing is ever
good enough! When you make your mark, you will always attract some
haters…That’s why you have to be careful with whom you share your
blessings and your dreams, because some folk can’t handle seeing you

It’s dangerous to be like somebody else…

If God wanted you to be like somebody else, He would have given
you what He gave them! Right? You never know what people have gone
through to get what they have.

The problem I have with haters is that they see my glory, but
they don’t know my story… If the grass looks greener on the other side
of the fence, you can rest assured that the water bill is higher there

We’ve all got some haters among us!  People envy you because you can:

Have a relationship with God
Light up a room when you walk in
Start your own business
Tell a man / woman to hit the curb (if he / she isn’t about the right thing)
Raise your children without both parents being in the home

Haters can’t stand to see you happy, Haters will never want to
see you succeed, Haters never want you to get the victory, most of our
haters are people who are supposed to be on our side. How do you handle
your undercover haters?

You can handle these haters by:

1. Knowing who you are & who your true friends are *(VERY IMPORTANT!!)
2. Having a purpose to your life? Purpose does not mean having a job.
You can have a job and still be unfulfilled. A purpose is having
a clear sense of what God has called you to be. Your purpose is not
defined by what others think about you.
3. By remembering what you have is by divine prerogative and not
human manipulation. Fulfill your dreams!

You only have one life to live…when it’s your time to leave this earth,
you ‘want’ to be able to say, ‘I’ve lived my life and fulfilled
‘my’ dreams,… Now I’m ready to go HOME! When God gives you favor, you can
tell your haters, Don’t look at me…Look at Who is in charge of me…’

I think this also applies to fandom in general. Why do people look for the first opportunity to tear down a successful person? Maya Angelou has the answer — it’s jealousy.

Read Angels fan boards, and inevitably you’ll find people who claim to be Angels fans but have nothing positive to say. They look for any excuse to rip the players, management, executives. I remember one person telling me he would refuse to visit my web site unless I only wrote negative articles! Another person lectured that I should only write articles that would make me “popular.” ?! It’s not about being “popular,” it’s about expressing my opinion, like it or not. Maya Angelou’s warning about trying to be like everyone else reminded me of the demand that I only write articles which would make me “popular.”

One big reason why I’ve done since 1999 is I so enjoy being around a team environment where everyone is (or at least should be) geared to a common goal — winning. Individual goals are subservient to the team winning. I get to be around people who are positive, goal-oriented, and (for the most part) self-sacrificing.

It would be nice if the people who spend so much time on the Internet spewing bile would invest that time instead in making a positive contribution to humanity. But as Maya Angelou notes, for some people, “Nothing is ever good enough.”

“Odd Man Out” Author Matt McCarthy in Fullerton March 4

Matt McCarthy, the author of Odd Man Out, is scheduled to appear in Fullerton tomorrow March 4 for a book signing.

Click Here for details about the book signing.

The event according to the web site is 7 PM at the Barnes & Noble at 1923 W. Malvern Avenue in Fullerton.

“Odd Man Out”: The Blogosphere Reacts to NYT  Article

Earlier today I posted an entry about an article in today’s New York Times which alleged that “many portions of [Odd Man Out] are incorrect, embellished or impossible.”

Several professional blogs have reacted to the story. Here are a few.

Orange County Register

OC Weekly

Regarding the latter, blogger Jeff Bercovici wrote:

Of course, for now, the author is sticking to his script, insisting there were, at most, a “handful of details” he might’ve invented to fill in memory gaps. But we’ve all seen how this plays out. The publisher — Viking, in this case — will dig in for a couple days as pressure mounts; then it will flip, toss McCarthy overboard and apologize to all and sundry.

Some of these bloggers have referred to A Million Little Pieces, author James Frey’s biography about his recovery from supposed alcoholism, drug addiction, and crime. The 2005 book, which earned Frey an appearance on Oprah, was exposed by to be a fraud.

Police reports, court records, interviews with law enforcement personnel, and other sources have put the lie to many key sections of Frey’s book. The 36-year-old author, these documents and interviews show, wholly fabricated or wildly embellished details of his purported criminal career, jail terms, and status as an outlaw “wanted in three states.”

Bercovici wrote last December about a phony Holocaust memoir and commented:

With the book business in a deep swoon, no one is going to seriously consider adopting measures that could add tens of thousands of dollars to the cost of publishing a title. And the lesson of Frey’s “A Million Little Pieces” was that readers don’t necessarily care whether a memoir is true as long as it packs a punch.

Still, while across-the-board fact-checking may be off the table, publishers interested in avoiding future humiliations would do well to take a page from the world of journalism. Here’s a little piece of advice every reporter hears not long after starting out: When a story sounds too good to be true, it usually is.

Bercovici noted that the fake Holocaust book and another work about life in gangland L.A, that also turned out to be bogus were both published by Penguin — the same subsidiary of Viking that published Odd Man Out.

His December column was titled, “Phony Holocaust Memoir Won’t Be the Last.”

He was right.

UPDATE 7:45 PM PST — More articles on the New York Times revelations:

NBC Philadelphia “Baseball’s Million Little Pieces.

Village Voice “Times Pounces on Bogus Memoir, But Still Protects Another”.

The Sporting News “Baseball Memoir Turns Out To Be Fiction”. “Crazy Baseball Memoir Probably Didn’t Happen”.

PowellsBooks.Blog “Mound of Lies”.

Ron Kaplan’s Baseball Bookshelf. “Matt McCarthy’s Baseball Memoir Stirs Questions About Truth-Telling”.

Can’t Stop the Bleeding “First Do No Harm To Easily Checked Facts: The Times on Matt McCarthy’s Memoir”. “Odd Man Out book under attack.” “Doctor’s tall tales fail to stand up to examination”.

The Common Man “Faulty Memories”.

The Perpetual Post “Odd Man Out, or Who Do You Trust?” “Washout pitcher’s book revealed to have massive errors”.

IvyGate “Kaavya Meets Aleksey Meets A Million Little Pieces”. “Another Memoir in Trouble? Baseball and Lilacs”. “Anti-Fan: Despite advice, I forge ahead”. “The New York Times: It Giveth and It Taketh Away”.

Yahoo! Finance “Odd Man Out is this year’s all-star baseball book”. “What’s The Truth Worth, Anyway?”.

Along with plenty of posts on amateur blogs across the nation …

Women’s Baseball Lecture Saturday March 7 at Fullerton Museum

The Fullerton Museum will have a lecture this Saturday on women’s baseball. Here’s the blurb from their web site:

“We Played Baseball” Luncheon
Saturday, March 7
noon-2:00 p.m.
$12-general/$8 museum members

Don’t miss this informative discussion with Jean Ardell, author of “Breaking Into Baseball: Women and the National Pastime” Learn about the 1940s All American Professional Girls Baseball League from players Shirley Burkovick who played on the Rockford Peaches and Maybelle Blair who played with the Peoria Redwings.You can ask questions and mingle with the pros! Includes lunch and viewings of our Line Drives and Lipstick exhibit. Space is limited and pre-registration is required.

Call the museum at (714) 738-6545 to register.

Jean is also the wife of Dan Ardell, an original “future Angel” who played in the minor league system 1961-1964 and was with the parent club for seven games in 1961.

Click Here for more information on the Line Drives & Lipstick exhibit.

Click Here for directions to the museum.

“Odd Man Out”: New York Times Review

Today’s New York Times weighs in on the Matt McCarthy controversy. Click Here to read the article.

… Statistics from that season, transaction listings and interviews with his former teammates indicate that many portions of the book are incorrect, embellished or impossible … When presented with evidence of his book’s wide-ranging errors and misquotations in an interview Monday morning, McCarthy said that he stood by the contents of “Odd Man Out.” He said the book, which was published last month by Viking Press and was ranked No. 29 on the most recent New York Times nonfiction bestseller list, was drawn from detailed journals he kept during his year in the Angels’ minor league system. He declined to show how those journals corroborated his stories.

There’s also a lengthy sidebar documenting many of the discrepancies; Click Here to read the sidebar.

Alan Schwarz, who co-wrote the article, is a longtime sportswriter for The New York Times and Baseball America.

Click Here to read all blog posts on Odd Man Out.

Orem – Great Falls Highlights

Will Smith
Will Smith was the starting pitcher for Orem on September 12, 2008 when the Owlz defeated Great Falls 3-2 in 13 innings to tie the Pioneer League championship series at one game apiece.


Catching up on my video archives … I just uploaded a 30-minute video highlights from Game #2 of the 2008 Pioneer League championship series between the Orem Owlz and the Great Falls Voyagers. In the eleven years I’ve been running, this game is in the top five. Great pitching. A see-saw lead. A bad call by the home plate umpire that led to the first ejection ever of an Orem player. A 9th inning rally to send the game into extra innings.

This video begins on the field with batting practice, giving you a behind-the-scenes look at pre-game activities before the gates open. It takes you through the game, highlights and lowlights, up to the winning hit in the bottom of the 13th and post-game celebration.

Click Here to watch the video. You need Windows Media Player and a broadband (cable modem, DSL) Internet connection to watch.