Daily Archives: May 11, 2012

“Extra Innings” – By Bruce E. Spitzer: Baseball Book Review

Friday May 11th, 2012


(Bear Hill Media:  2012)

MLB reports – Jonathan Hacohen:  We are full swing into the baseball book season. Stopping by my local bookstore (yes…they still have those as e-books have not yet completely taken over), I went straight to the baseball book section. I was amazed at how many new titles were out. With so much to choose from, picking a new title to read can be overwhelming. Let’s face it- we all have busy lives. There is a strong time commitment required to complete any book from beginning to end. If taken too long to read, the stories and messages can often be lost. Thus the special story that you choose must be worthy of your time. To pick the book, read it from beginning to end and walk away having gained wisdom and enjoyment from it. That is why we encourage reading books here on MLB reports and work to find you the latest and greatest titles. Today’s book is revolutionary in the world of baseball and one that completely blew me away.  Extra Innings, a novel by first time author Bruce Spitzer. Imagine science was able to bring Ted Williams back to life in the year 2092. Do I have your attention? I knew I would.

Here is a brief introduction to Extra Innings, courtesy of

   In the year 2092, Ted Williams, the greatest baseball hitter of all time, is brought back to life through the science of cryonics.

Once again playing for the Red Sox, Williams finds himself trapped in a world he hardly recognizes: the corruption of the game he loves with über-juiced batters and robot pitchers; difficult love affairs clashing with his old desires; and a military conflict of the future in which he must harness the fighter pilot skills he used in his first life.

Dr. Elizabeth Miles is the cryonicist who brings him back to life, initiating a dramatic sequence of medical achievements. She and her young son Johnnie are a constant reminder of what Williams lacked in his first trip around the bases, never devoting much time to love and family. But old habits die hard.

With enemies and allies both on the field and off, Williams must make sense of it all and play on against a machine that he detests, pressure to take the “giddyup” he abhors, unrelenting media mania, and a dystopian world he can’t ignore.

The narrative resonates with the consequences of the major issues we face in our world today—the steroids debate in sports, global warming, corporate greed, technology run rampant, and the moral ambiguity of war.

Extra Innings is alternately poignant and humorous, heartbreaking and joyous. Thought-provoking throughout, it’s a rollicking ride that looks at second chances and redemption, the ability to triumph over adversity, and the search for meaning in this life and the next.

Flawed in his first life, Williams must decide in the second what’s more important, the chance to win his first World Series, or the chance to be a better man?

I enjoyed Extra Innings on many levels. It is a book that made me think, feel and learn all at the same time. Too many of today’s baseball fans grew up having never watched Ted Williams play. Sure, they heard some stories and remember some of the tributes to the baseball great later in life. But not many fans I meet have actually watched Ted Williams play. This is where Extra Innings shines. To be able to imagine a future world where Ted Williams returns, we have to remember and think about Ted Williams in his previous life. The life that many of us missed. Spitzer likely picked Williams for several reasons. Living and growing in Boston, he would have an automatic passion for the Red Sox and Williams. A logical choice. But Williams presents an interesting contrast from days gone by to what the future would be like. Williams was a “man’s-man”.  A throwback. Playing the game hard. Giving it all on the baseball field. Serving in the army. They don’t build many like Williams anymore. From a baseball standpoint, Extra Innings gives the requisite baseball education and information that I always crave in a baseball book. Read the rest of this entry


Report on the Travel Companies of the 30 MLB Cities

Friday, May.11/2012

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024) –After logging 65,000 miles from planes, trains, subways, Buses and other methods of transportation in one month, I am left with some thoughts about certain companies.  I don’t believe in trashing a company based on one incident or a rogue employee, so I will leave the negativity for a future travel book.  I will say that my four favorite travel companies helped me tremendously.  I am not just saying this because they helped me out on my trip, I wrote about the same four companies in my book ‘The Fastest 30 Ballgames.’  I am also happy to say that these companies had no blame for the half of dozen mishaps that caused me cancellations or delays during the streak.   The mishaps were a poorly executed plane de-boarding at IAH airport that cost a doubleheader attempt in Texas.  The second plane issue was some sort of mechanical failure that the airline gave up after 30 minutes of trying only in San Diego. The worst blunder was having the seat belt of the first officer not close properly cause an hour delay.  Other mishaps were a failure to understand car rental procedures right in Cleveland costing me an hour delay.  But that wasn’t as egregious as a hotel chain overcharging me three separate time for a hotel booking even though I cancelled way in advance.  All of these are about the average for the amount of traveling .  The four companies that stood above the rest are: Southwest Airlines, Air Tran Airways, Best Western Hotel Chain and National Car Rental. Read the rest of this entry

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