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September 19, 2012 6:45 am

Sobsequy: Reading Lolita in Durham


Adam Sobsey

A Nabokovian report from the Triple-A National Championship(Reno Aces 10, Pawtucket Red Sox 3).

DBAP/ DURHAM—Brett Butler is probably best known to you as one of the premiere leadoff hitters of his decade, roughly 1983-93. He ranks 25th all-time in stolen bases (less than 30 shy of Maury Wills), and is tied for 78th in career triples (131) with… Joe DiMaggio? Yep. You could look it up.

Maybe you’re an Atlanta Braves or Cleveland Indians fan. In that case, Brett Butler is the main guy (Brook Jacoby and Rick Behenna were the others) traded after the 1983 season from the Braves to the Indians for Len Barker. That one pops up on numerous “most lopsided trades ever” lists, even though Barker had thrown a perfect game in 1981. To add insult to injury, the Braves also gave the Indians $150,000.

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An MVP award suggests that the Rays' Russ Canzler was the class of the International League, but as one Durham Bulls beat writer explains, Triple-A threats aren't always destined for major-league greatness.

Believe it or not, most of our writers didn't enter the world sporting an @baseballprospectus.com address; with a few exceptions, they started out somewhere else. In an effort to up your reading pleasure while tipping our caps to some of the most illuminating work being done elsewhere on the internet, we'll be yielding the stage once a week to the best and brightest baseball writers, researchers and thinkers from outside of the BP umbrella. If you'd like to nominate a guest contributor (including yourself), please drop us a line.

Adam Sobsey has been the Durham Bulls beat writer for the Independent Weekly since 2009. He has also won numerous awards as a playwright, and his work has been staged in New York, California, Austin and North Carolina. His most recent play, WESTERN MEN, or OPPOSITE TO HUMANITY, was a comparative intertextual weaving of Shakespeare's TIMON OF ATHENS with the lifelong friendship between the poet Ezra Pound and the painter/author Wyndham Lewis, commissioned and premiered by Little Green Pig Theatrical Concern at the Nasher Museum of Art in October 2010. As a journalist, he has won the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies Award for Arts Criticism, and two North Carolina Press Association Awards. In 2012, Adam will collaborate with writer Sam Stephenson, creator of the Jazz Loft Project, on a season-long documentary project about the Durham Bulls.

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Catching up on stuff that happened when it had happened.

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It's Superior Circuit Transaction Action for all you fellow moves junkies.

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BALTIMORE ORIOLES Activated 1B/OF-L Chris Richard from the DL; optioned OF-R Luis Matos to Rochester. [7/24] Cancelled Richard's recall/reactivation; announced they would recall 2B-B Brian Roberts from Rochester on Friday. [7/25] Skip the decisiveness, we're back in business as Akbar's House of Waffletastic Indecision. Chris Richard managed to reinjure himself in his last game in Rochester, so Brian Roberts got a reprieve for blowing his previous opportunity to be recalled by not having his passport handy. That brings us back to the same point we were at before Roberts got sent down, which is that the Orioles will flim-flam their way through their second-base situation, wallowing through a non-choice between Roberts and Jerry Hairston Jr. It could be worse, because it has been--they could keep finding ways to get Luis Lopez into the lineup. Assuming that finishing close to .500 or keeping third place are actual (versus worthwhile) goals, this doesn't really help realize either of them.

Activated 1B/OF-L Chris Richard from the DL; optioned OF-R Luis Matos to Rochester. [7/24]

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