Stick to baseball, 9/22/17.

I wrote three pieces for Insiders this week: scouting notes on Yu Darvish, more notes on Aaron Nola and some young Phillies hitters, and my annual look at players I was wrong about. I also held a Klawchat on Thursday.

I’m down to biweekly game reviews for Paste, so the most recent one is from last week, covering the great Days of Wonder-published title Yamataï, by the same designer who won the Spiel des Jahres (game of the year) this year for his game Kingdomino.

My book, Smart Baseball, is out and still selling well (or so I’m told); thanks to all of you who’ve already picked up a copy. And please sign up for my free email newsletter, which is back to more or less weekly at this point now that I’m not traveling for a bit.

And now, the links…

Stick to baseball, 9/16/17.

For Insiders this week, I wrote two pieces, one on eight top 100 prospects who had disappointing years in 2017, and my last minor-league scouting notebook of the season, covering Yankees, Pirates, Nationals, and Cardinals prospects. I held my regular Klawchat on Thursday. My next column for ESPN will be my annual “players I got wrong” piece; if you have suggestions, throw them in the comments. I try to stick to players who’ve beaten expectations for more than just one season, although sometimes I waive that if there’s a particular story I want to tell.

Over at Paste I reviewed Yamataï, the new boardgame from Days of Wonder, which hasn’t fared that well critically or commercially but which all three members of my family really liked. It’s also a gorgeous game, which never hurts around here.

My book, Smart Baseball, is out and still selling well (or so I’m told); thanks to all of you who’ve already picked up a copy. And please sign up for my free email newsletter, which is back to more or less weekly at this point now that I’m not traveling for a bit.

I have a ton of links from the NY Times this week, which requires a subscription above a certain number of free articles. I normally try to spread my links out across many sources, but the NYT had so much great content this week that I stuck with it. I’ve tagged a few of them as such for those of you who don’t subscribe (I do, obviously). And now, the links…

Stick to baseball, 9/9/17.

I wrote two Insider pieces this week, naming ESPN’s 2017 Prospect of the Year (hint: it’s Vlad Jr.) and covering and on the strange saga of Juan Nicasio over the last ten days. I held a Klawchat on Thursday.

Last week, I wrote about the major Game of Thrones-themed boardgames for Vulture. My next boardgame review for Paste will come this week.

My book, Smart Baseball, is out and still selling well (or so I’m told); thanks to all of you who’ve already picked up a copy. And please sign up for my free email newsletter, which is back to more or less weekly at this point now that I’m not traveling for a bit.

And now, the links…

Boardgame news will return next week; I know of two significant Kickstarters to launch on Tuesday, but at least one of them is currently covered by an embargo so I can’t talk about it just yet.

Stick to baseball, 9/2/17.

For Insiders this week, I wrote four pieces. I broke down the Astros’ trade for Justin Verlander and the Angels’ trade for Justin Upton. I put up scouting notes on prospects from the Yankees, Phillies, Jays, and Rangers. And I looked at five potential prospect callups for September. I also held a Klawchat on Thursday.

At Vulture this week, I looked at five major Game of Thrones-themed boardgames, not just reskinned games but several original titles like the excellent GoT Card Game. For Paste, I reviewed the Tour de France-themed boardgame La Flamme Rouge, which is light and good for family play. And here on the dish I reviewed the strong app version of the two-player game Jaipur, a steal at $5.

I’m trying something new this week, and if you find it useful I’d appreciate your feedback. I get a lot of press releases on boardgames from publishers, so I’m including the best of those at the end of this run of links along with boardgame-related news items. These will include Kickstarter announcements that look interesting to me, and if I’ve seen a game at all I’ll indicate it in the blurb.

This is your regular reminder that my book Smart Baseball is available everywhere now in hardcover, e-book, and audiobook formats. Also, please sign up for my free email newsletter, as my subscriber count is down one after I removed that one guy who complained about the most recent edition and called me a “tool.”

And now, the links…

Stick to baseball, 8/26/17.

The big piece from me this week was about GenCon, the massive annual boardgaming convention held in Indianapolis; I went from Thursday to Sunday and my wrapup post covers every game I saw or tried, with a ranking of my top 20. I even slipped in a mention of some upcoming boardgame apps of note.

My latest piece for Insiders was a minor league scouting notebook covering prospects from Pittsburgh (Mitch Keller), Baltimore (Austin Hays), Philadelphia, and Colorado’s systems. I also did my annual rankings of the top tools in the majors: the top hit, run, and power tools, the best pitches of each type, and the
top gloves and arms for catchers, infielders, and outfielders. I don’t particularly love writing these pieces, but readers seem to enjoy them. And I held a Klawchat on Thursday.

I gave a Talk at Google last month, discussing my book Smart Baseball, which you should definitely buy if you haven’t already.

And now, the links…

Stick to baseball, 8/21/17.

This week’s links post is late because I spent the weekend at GenCon in Indianapolis along with 70,000 of my closest friends. I’ll have a big wrap on all the new games I saw (including some upcoming app releases) later this week for Paste.

My annual look at the players with the best tools in MLB started today (for Insiders) with a look at the best hit, power, run, and plate discipline tools. The next two days will feature the best pitches and the best fielding tools. I also held a Klawchat last week.

Last month, I was invited to give a Talk at Google about Smart Baseball, which you can now watch online. My book also got a mention in my alma mater’s alumni magazine.

This morning, I was back at the helm of the Baseball Tonight podcast and was joined by Eric Karabell, Jerry Crasnick, and Alex Speier. I’m often asked by readers if I’ll podcast regularly again – I don’t have a good answer for that, but if you’d like to hear more of me, then spread the word about today’s show (and tomorrow’s, and maybe the three I hosted last week). A good audience for my guest-hosting shows won’t go unnoticed.

And now, the links…

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…

Stick to baseball, 7/28/17.

For Insiders, I ranked the top five farm systems in baseball, broke down the Jaime Garcia trade to Minnesota, and broke down Tampa Bay’s trades for Lucas Duda and Dan Jennings. I also held a Klawchat on Thursday.

UPDATE: I’ve got one more Insider post covering a few small trades from this week.

I appeared on the Freezing Cold Takes podcast this week, discussing my worst takes, my scouting process (and how failed evaluations have changed it), and Smart Baseball.

I’ve exhausted most of my signings schedule, but will be at GenCon in Indianapolis, signing books on Friday, August 18th, and I believe I will also be signing books at PAX Unplugged in Philadelphia in November. Also, Volumes Book Cafe in Chicago has signed copies for sale; call (773) 697-8066 to purchase one.

And now, the links…

Stick to baseball, 7/22/17.

With the trade deadline approaching, I’ve had a bit more Insider content than usual this week, including breakdowns of the Ryan Madson/Sean Doolittle trade, the David Robertson/Tommy Kahnle/Todd Frazier trade, and the Tyler O’Neill-Marco Gonzales trade. I also had a long post covering lots of prospects I’ve scouted in the last few weeks, including players from the Phillies, Nationals, Orioles, Red Sox, Atlanta, and Cleveland systems. I held a Klawchat on Friday.

My latest boardgame review for Paste covers the asymmetrical game Not Alone, which pits one player against anywhere from one to six opponents who work together, although we found the game really doesn’t work with just two players and is only slightly better with three.

Thanks to everyone who’s already bought Smart Baseball. I’ve got just a couple of additional book signings coming up:

* Chicago, Standard Club, July 28th, 11:30 am – this is a ticketed luncheon event
* Chicago, Volumes, July 28th, 7:30 pm
* GenCon (Indianapolis), August 17th-20th

And now, the links…

Stick to baseball, 7/15/17.

For Insiders, I’ve got my midyear top 50 prospects update, a breakdown of the Jose Quintana trade, and a recap of Sunday’s MLB Futures Game, followed by a Klawchat Thursday afternoon where I focused on questions about the top 50.

MEL magazine’s Tim Grierson, whom you might know from his film reviews or his indispensable podcast with Will Leitch, interviewed me in a wide-ranging conversation that touched on Smart Baseball, pop culture, social media, and other non-baseball topics too.

Thanks to everyone who’s already bought Smart Baseball. I’ve got book signings coming up:

* Harrisburg, Midtown Scholar, July 15th (today!) at 3 pm
* Berkeley, Books Inc., July 19th, 7 pm
* Chicago, Standard Club, July 28th, 11:30 am – this is a ticketed luncheon event
* Chicago, Volumes, July 28th, 7:30 pm
* GenCon (Indianapolis), August 17th-20th

And now, the links…