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March 27, 2010 3:50 pm

Joe's Blog: Tout Wars


Joe Sheehan

One of the best days of the year, no matter what my team looks like.

This is why there won't be a section of the book entitled, "Why I Kick Ass at Fantasy Baseball."

I play fantasy because it's fun. Or rather, I play fantasy baseball when it's fun. To me, that means playing in leagues with friends. I don't play NFBC or online leagues or anything where there isn't some connection to the people involved. The fantasy and Strat leagues that I am in because of the people.

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Figuring out what the book is is the current challenge.

I knew that when I made a call for suggestions for articles to include in my upcoming book, it would probably complicate the decision process. I thought I'd been fairly thorough in looking through the last decade of writing, thought I'd narrowed down the list to something manageable, thought there was little chance I'd missed anything of note. I was wrong. There were a number of pieces suggested to me by e-mail and in the comments section that I hadn't considered. Some had already been tossed-by and large pieces to specifically tied to events, that I think won't play well in a book-but some had simply made less an impression on me, in the re-reading, than they had on the readers. It is interesting, as a writer, to not realize what of your output has actually made a lasting impression.

When I talked out this book with Dave Pease over the winter, it started out in my mind as a collection, then developed into something that included more original material than that. The longer I live with this concept, the more I see that the decision between those two categories isn't just a matter of finding sufficient material to make it the former, or writing enough of the latter. It's actually a battle for the identity of the book. Is this going to be a "greatest hits" collection, a means of having all of my best work in one place as both a retrospective of and an introduction to Joe Sheehan, or will I create more of the book from whole cloth?

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March 8, 2010 9:40 am

Joe's Blog: Welcome


Joe Sheehan

I'm writing my first solo book.

Welcome to the blog for "The Untitled Joe Sheehan Book," which will presumably have a catchier title at some point. In this space I’ll chronicle the process of writing my first solo book, which should be out just in time for you to enjoy on an off-day during the World Series. The idea for a blog like this is, to some extent, stolen from the great Joe Posnanski, who started The Soul of Baseball blog while he was working on his wonderful biography, with the same name, of Buck O’Neil.

Since we announced "The Untitled Joe Sheehan Book" a month ago, I’ve spent most of my time reading what I’ve written over the past decade for Baseball Prospectus, trying to pare about 1,500 pieces down to a couple dozen for inclusion in the book. Those pieces are going to form the framework of the book, serving as both a "best of" for longtime readers and an introduction for new ones. Make no mistake about it; as much as I want the people who have read BP for years to buy the book, I want to be able to reach beyond that group as well. I want all baseball fans to be able to pick up the book and enjoy it even if they’ve never heard of BP.

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