Stick to baseball, 8/12/17.

I’m back from a week of vacation in Aruba, which was lovely, not least because I turned my phone off when we took off from BWI and didn’t turn it back on until we landed on US soil seven-plus days later. That means my last Insider posts were at the trade deadline, including breakdowns of the Yu Darvish trade, the Sonny Gray trade, and the Justin Wilson/Jeimer Candelario trade.

I’m back at Paste with a new boardgame review, this time of the two-player variant of Uwe Rosenberg’s massive Caverna, Caverna: Cave vs. Cave.

I appeared on the Ringer’s Achievement Oriented podcast, co-hosted by Ben Lindbergh, to discuss the current golden age of boardgames and how that might be affecting videogame funding. I also spoke with Jeff Krushell, who worked for the Blue Jays for some of the same years I did, about my book, Smart Baseball, and the role of analytics in the sport.

While I was away, the Washington Post ran a favorable review of Smart Baseball.

I’ll be at GenCon 50 in Indianapolis starting on Thursday, appearing on a few panels, signing copies of Smart Baseball on Friday at 2 pm (or if you see me walking around), and trying lots of new boardgames. I hope to see a bunch of you there.

And now, the links…


  1. Any recommendations from Aruba? I went in December as a stop during a cruise. That short time piqued my interest to go back again for an extended stay (7+ days).

    • We really liked Che Bar, a tiny Argentine bar/restaurant right on the main shopping drag in Palm Beach. In Paseo Herencia, there’s an arepa place (cash only) that’s also solid, I think called Cheo Corner. And Gelato & Co. in the Marriott Stellaris’ lobby is outstanding. I haven’t had a lot of better gelato outside of Italy.

    • Next time you’re in LA, you should try to get to Bulgarini Gelato. Was named the best ice cream in the world by one of the travel mags, and if you get some you’ll understand why.

  2. Any new eats in Chicago from when you were here a couple weeks ago? I figure you went back to Monteverde.

    • I ended up at Monteverde twice – once for dinner, then for lunch to chat with Chef Grueneberg about baseball etc the next day. The egg sandwich they do for brunch/lunch is fantastic.

      I had breakfast at Mortar & Pestle at N Broadway & Barry. Solid, maybe a 55.

      My other meals were determined by the events I was attending, so I didn’t get to explore further.

    • If you’re looking for good Chicago eats, from my time living there I strongly recommend these three:

      Kuma’s Corner for burgers. Atmosphere can be a bit loud, but the burgers are great.

      Pequod’s Pizza – Their deep dish is slightly different than the traditional Chicago Pizza (Unos, etc.). They cook in a pan which caramelizes the cheese at the end and the result is, IMO, much better.

      West Egg Cafe – Great breakfast spot just off of the Magnificent Mile stretch.

    • Keith would like Kuma’s Corner just for the heavy metal theme. Pequod’s/Burt’s Place are good and a much better deep dish than most of the deep dish chain’s, but he’s going to say it’s “bread casserole”.

  3. Papiamento Restaurant is really good. We honeymooned there close to six years ago. I don’t remember what district/area it’s in at this point. There are plenty of American restaurants in Aruba, so if you really want to eat at a Friday’s, you can. My wife and I made sure to eat at places we didn’t have at home. There was also a great restaurant on the water whose name escapes me now.

    Also, if you’re staying somewhere with a fridge and a kitchen, the big Aruban grocery stores are good (I think we went to Super Food). We tried to eat out only once a day.

    • My wife is allergic to shellfish, so we avoid places with too much of it on the menu, like Papiamentu, which several folks recommended.

  4. Welcome back!

    I loved the 2-factor article, although it missed what in my experience is the most common way to hijack this kind of authentication: the dreaded “man in the middle” attack. A site that effectively spoofs your bank’s site and captures the key code (even if it’s a hardware RSA device) and then turns around and uses it to empty your account is frighteningly easy and effective. The bottom line that there’s no such thing as a one-stop shop for safety.

  5. In re: “the least self-aware people outside of show business,” I think you may be underestimating the capacity of politicians and of academics to be lacking in self-awareness. Not to mention soon-to-be-former owners of baseball teams in Miami.

    • Looking at some updates of the job posting, it is indeed serious. And their responses to some questions from a San Francisco journalist doesn’t get much better. They want their PA to figure out that a plumber needs to be called when pipes burst at 3 am. I hope other emergencies don’t include calling their PA at 3 am because the dog crapped on the carpet or there is a fly buzzing around in their bedroom. They want their PA to do social media for the sake of their dog.

  6. Did you stay at the Marriott Stellaris? We stayed there on our Honeymoon back in 2009. We bought a timeshare at the Marriott next door (the Surf Club). Great place for kids. We love Aruba…