(Some of the) Best Baseball Writing of the 2012 Season

As your playoff teams get eliminated, you need something to read. This is not an exhaustive list. That’s why we have a comments section. These are the best pieces I read (thanks, Instapaper!) since January. Share yours!

(listed chronologically)

Q&A: Ben Cherington, Red Sox GM
David Laurila / FanGraphs / January 13, 2012

Will Cholesterol Kill Baseball?
Matthew Futterman / WSJ / January 27, 2012

Managing Expectations: Baseball’s Next Big Inefficiency
Ben Lindbergh / Baseball Prospectus / January 31, 2012

Game 162
Sam Fuld / Grantland / February 20, 2012

Rany Jazayerli / Rany on the Royals / February 28, 2012

On Bill James, the writer
Kevin Arnovitz / ESPN.com / March 1, 2012

An American League Horror Story (Adam Dunn)
Bradford Doolittle / Baseball Prospectus / March 9, 2012

A Nervous Exchange of Red Sox E-mails
Bill Simmons and Michael Schur / Grantland / March 21, 2012

The Next Big Idea: Major League Teams Seek New Ways to Deconstruct Game
Tyler Kepner / The New York Times / March 31, 2012

Emancipation of the Minors: Hundreds of pro baseball players make just $1,100 per month. Where is their César Chávez?
Lily Rothman / Slate / April 3, 2012

Baseball, Finally (a story of high school baseball)
Seth Sawyers / The Millions / April 4, 2012

The Lost Founder of Baseball Video Games
Bess Kalb / Grantland / April 9, 2012

Old Fish, New Fish: The Marlins Get a Miami Makeover
Ben McGrath / The New Yorker / April 9, 2012

NPR Interview Transcript: R.A. Dickey
Fresh Air / NPR / April 12, 2012

Hell is Other People’s Fantasy Teams
Pete Beatty / The Classical / April 16, 2012

The Glory and the Pain of Pitching
Bob Ojeda / The New York Times / May 26, 2012

When History Sneaks Up On You (Johan Santana’s No-Hitter)
John Branch / New York Times / June 2, 2012

Jim Eisenreich: No Place To Hide
Bradford Doolittle / Baseball Prospectus / July 5, 2012

Baseball Coach Brings His Beautiful Calligraphy to the Dugout
John Allemang / The Globe and Mail / July 15, 2012

Nationals Manager Davey Johnson is in the midst of one of his best seasons
Thomas Boswell / The Washington Post / July 18, 2012

Royals Today: Trade Deadline Edition
Rany Jazayerli / Rany and the Royals / July 28, 2012

Who’s Really To Blame for the Red Sox Apocalypse?
Jonah Keri / Grantland / August 15, 2012

In French Baseball League, the Feel is more Minor than Major
John Oudens / The New York Times / August 28, 2012

A Wing and a Prayer
Joe Posnanski / Sports on Earth / September 10, 2012

17 Days in November (Greg Halman)
Wright Thompson / ESPN.com / September 10, 2012

Moneyball 2.0: The Pitching Whisperer
Kibby Kleiman / East Bay Express / September 12, 2012

The Playoff Push, Backwards
Mississippi Matt Smith / NotGraphs / September 13, 2012

Wanted: Jewish Ballplayers
Barry Bearak / The New York Times / September 18, 2012

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Jeremy Blachman is the author of Anonymous Lawyer, a satirical novel that should make people who didn't go to law school feel good about their life choices. Read more at McSweeney's or elsewhere. He likes e-mail.

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No Carson Cistulli?

lester bangs
lester bangs

Simmons on any list automatically cheapens it. He’s not really a writer anymore. He specializes in mailbags and podcasts (which, to be fair, I do like).

Glaring Omission to the list: Jeff Passan’s profile of Voros McCracken:



wow, that’s a terrific piece on voros


No list is complete without an entry from Jason Parks, who should really be writing about more important things than prospects. Take your pick from his spring training diaries or his misadventures in the Sally League, but “Willie Mays’ House of Pancakes” takes it for me: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=17625


I don’t know if it was his best piece but I think my favorite was when he wrote up his scouting trip to a local little league game. His live tweeting analysis of a little league world series was pretty entertaining too.

Thanks for this list. Lots of future reading to do now.

Big Jgke
Big Jgke

The little league scouting report was priceless. Probably #1 with a bullet for me.


Plus everything Jeff Sullivan wrote. I’m an avid reader of news, fiction, and unfortunately, legal text. The writing at Lookout Landing brings the most joy to my life. It belongs somewhere on this list.

Big Jgke
Big Jgke

If only Sullivan’s pieces had shorter titles, thus leading to a more palatable single-line title block presentation on the screen, I’d read more of them.


If poetry is to be included, this is also a clear winner: http://www.fangraphs.com/not/index.php/poem-drinking-with-boileryard-clarke/