Writing the Book (6 Oct 08)

I’m happy to report that the first week of serious work on the Ducksnorts 2009 Baseball Annual went well. I made progress on several fronts:

  • I had some good discussions with my editorial advisory board, which is just a fancy name for folks who are helping guide me as we move forward with the project. I have a fairly solid idea of the outline, although I’m keeping it a bit fluid at this stage — just in case something unexpected comes my way. Like what? Well, if I knew that, it wouldn’t be unexpected, would it? ;-)
  • On Thursday, I sat down and talked with a graphic designer about ideas for a cover. We’re in the pre-Cambrian stages of development, but I’m very glad to have this aspect off of my plate. I will offer creative input but leave the actual production to someone with actual skills.
  • After gathering all my notes (basically slapping a year’s worth of posts into a 484-page MS Word file), I got started on the player section this weekend. So far I’ve finished Josh Bard, Brian Giles, and Nick Hundley. I’m planning to do 18 or 19 full profiles (depends on how much I can say about Luis Rodriguez), with about 10-12 additional partial profiles. I might write short blurbs on guys who made cameos (Callix Crabbe, Brian Falkenborg, Justin Huber, etc.), but then again, I might not.

This week I’ll continue on the profiles. My goal is to get through eight of them. I’m not sure how realistic that is, but I guess we’ll find out soon enough.

For the curious, here’s my rough schedule from now through the end of February (with a couple weeks off around Thanksgiving):

Monday – Friday

  • 5 a.m. Make coffee, stretch
  • 5:30 a.m. Write for Baseball Digest Daily
  • 6 a.m. Eat breakfast, work on book
  • 8 a.m. Leave for work
  • 5:30 p.m. Gym
  • 7 p.m. Eat dinner, say hi to wife
  • 8 p.m. Work on book
  • 9:30 p.m. Stretch
  • 10 p.m. Lights out

Saturday, Sunday

  • 5 a.m. Make coffee, stretch
  • 5:30 a.m. Work on book
  • 10:30 a.m. Pretend to have a life
  • 10 p.m. Lights out

I’m also doing physical therapy twice a week for my legs. Several years ago I jumped off a stage in the middle of a song at a gig and wrenched my knee. I’ve been compensating for it since and done damage to other parts in the process. I sure hope the jump looked cool.

Research Notes

Here are a few things I learned last week while doing research for the book:

  • No big leaguer hit more road homers in 2008 than Adrian Gonzalez. He and the Phillies’ Ryan Howard each knocked 22 of ‘em.
  • Last November we wondered whether Brian Giles could rebound from two disappointing seasons. Uh, yeah. His age 37 season wasn’t just “pretty good,” it was downright epic. That is some nice company he’s keeping.
  • It’s fortunate that the Padres didn’t “win” the Kosuke Fukudome sweepstakes. Of all the potential center field candidates headed into last season, he turned out to be the worst. Jody Gerut was the best:

    Padres Center Field Candidates for 2008
    Statistics are courtesy of Baseball-Reference.
    Mike Cameron 508 .243 .331 .477 109
    Kosuke Fukudome 541 .257 .359 .379 92
    Jim Edmonds 401 .235 .343 .479 113
    Jody Gerut 356 .296 .351 .494 128

    Fukudome hit .217/.314/.326 after the All-Star break. He turns 32 at the end of April, and the Cubs owe him a guaranteed $38 million over the next 3 years. Oh, and he has a no-trade clause. Good luck working your way out of that contract.

  • I’ve found an excuse to use a technique highlighted in a piece on run support I published at Hardball Times:

    Jake Peavy vs Tim Redding, 2008
      W-L IP ERA ERA+
    Statistics are courtesy of Baseball-Reference.
    Jake Peavy 10-11 173.2 2.85 137
    Tim Redding 10-11 182 4.95 87

    Really? For the Nats? They won four fewer games than the Padres in 2008 and scored just four more runs. What’s really weird is that they went 10-2 in Redding’s no-decisions. Yep, 20 of the Nats’ 59 wins came when he started.

That’s all for now; more as it happens…

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7 Responses »

  1. the blue jays claimed Dirk Hayhurst!

  2. FJ with news about roster moves …


    … including Dirk Hayhurst claimed on waivers by the Toronto Blue Jays :-(

  3. I know what you are saying, Geoff.

    I just finished physical therapy on my knee a couple months ago after several years of putting it off.

  4. #5@Kevin: The scary thing is, I’ve been doing this for more than a month and we haven’t even gotten to the knee yet. That starts next week. The sensory experience promises to be… a bit more intense…

  5. I thought I WAS the “editorial advisory board”.

    Well, you know I’m available for any and all tasks, nonetheless.