Friday, April 2, 2010

4/02 - Tommy Lasorda and Bruce Weber

Tommy Lasorda - Hall of Fame Manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers

Regarded by many as baseball's most popular ambassador, Tommy Lasorda begins his 61st season in the Dodger organization and fifth as Special Advisor to the Chairman. He was named Vice President in 1996 after retiring as manager, a position he held for the previous 20 seasons.
Lasorda compiled a 1,599-1,439 record and won two World Championships, four National League pennants and eight division titles in an extraordinary 20-year career as the Dodgers' manager. He ranks 13th with 1,599 wins and 12th with 3,038 games managed in Major League history. His 16 wins in 30 NL Championship Series games managed were the most of any manager at the time of his retirement in 1996. His 61 postseason games managed ranks fifth all-time behind Joe Torre (138), Bobby Cox (132), Tony LaRussa (110) and Casey Stengel (63). He is only one of four managers to manage the same team for 20 years or more, joining Walter Alston, Connie Mack and John McGraw.

Bruce Weber - "As They See Em"

Bruce Weber, a reporter for the New York Times, began his career in publishing as a fiction editor at Esquire. His first piece for the Times was a profile of Raymond Carver for the Sunday magazine in 1983, and he has been on staff at the newspaper since 1986 as an editor, metro reporter, national cultural correspondent, theater columnist and theater critic, among other things. His writing about baseball includes three cover stories for the Times
Magazine (for whom he has also profiled E. L. Doctorow, Martin Cruz Smith, the Harvard Admissions Department, the New York Public Library and Cher) and he has regularly contributed first-person essays and participatory features to the paper. These include accounts of several bicycle journeys (from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City and from San Francisco to New York City, among them); of a walk the length of Broadway, from Yonkers to the Battery; of canoeing down the Hudson; of skating on all of New York City's skating rinks and of batting in all of New York City's batting cages. He has written for Sports Illustrated, Sport, Esquire, Manhattan Inc., Vogue, Mademoiselle, Redbook, Harpers' Bazaar, the Hartford Courant and the St. Petersburg Times. As They See ’Em is an insider’s look at the largely unknown world of professional umpires, the small group of men (and the very occasional woman) who make sure America’s favorite pastime is conducted in a manner that is clean, crisp, and true. Bruce Weber, a New York Times reporter, not only interviewed dozens of professional umpires but entered their world, trained to become an umpire, then spent a season working games from Little League to big league spring training. As They See ’Em is Weber’s entertaining account of this experience as well as a lively exploration of what amounts to an eccentric secret society, with its own customs, its own rituals, its own colorful vocabulary. Writing with deep knowledge of and affection for baseball, he delves into such questions as: Why isn’t every strike created equal? Is the ump part of the game or outside of it? Why doesn’t a tie go to the runner? And what do umps and managers say to each other during an argument, really? Packed with fascinating reportage that reveals the game as never before and answers the kinds of questions that fans, exasperated by the clichés of conventional sports commentary, pose to themselves around the television set, Bruce Weber’s As They See ’Em is a towering grand slam.

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