This Fall’s Fake Baseball Books

Another year, another crop of new releases to fill the long winter, until Spring Training starts up again. These are not those books.

Mariano Rivera: Bowel Movements of the Final Season — a day-by-day diary of Rivera’s gastrointestinal system, offering insights to young pitchers who want to know how often they should defecate if they want to throw a killer cutter. Does looser stool mean more velocity? How many sheets of toilet paper were used per save? No detail is too small to celebrate as Rivera took his final lap around the restroom and flushed his career down the Monument Park toilet.

Fifty Shades of Sonny Gray — the story of one playoff game, and a pitcher who is beautiful, brilliant, intimidating, and enjoys free ice cream samples.

Dusty’s Small Book of Statistics — volume one in a one-volume set, with almost three pages of Dusty Baker’s favorite numbers and sabermetric analysis from his two decades of managing. Re-live Dusty’s parade of leadoff hitters, including Darren Lewis (OBP .299, .345, .299), Willy Taveras (.273), and Zack Cozart (.261). With fewer total words than Mark Prior’s average pitch count, this book is sure to become a classic, perfect for reading in one elevator ride. (WARNING: book will clog bases if flushed.)

Becoming Mr. March, by Jackie Bradley (with Dan Shaughnessy?) — a look back at Jackie Bradley’s historic 2013 spring training season, as he helped lead the Red Sox to a 17-17 record this past spring. Featuring 32 pages of color photos, and, with no negativity intended toward whatever might become of Bradley’s career in the future, a sober reminder that spring training statistics should only excite us long enough to mess up our fantasy baseball drafts, and not beyond.

Bud Forever: Celebrating Bud Selig’s 185 Years As Baseball Commissioner — read Bud’s first-person account of what it was like to stand by Alexander Cartwright’s side as he invented the game of baseball, and then lead the sport through the Dead Ball era, the Live Ball era, the Greenies era, the Divisional Play era, the Steroids era, and the End of Bud Selig era. The book is available at most retailers, except any retailers within 100 miles of a baseball stadium, because of blackout restrictions.

The Catcher in the Ryu — a coming-of-age story about a South Korean ballplayer who moves to the United States, becomes best friends with a suddenly-weirdly-productive shortstop*, and has a mental breakdown. (*see tomorrow’s post for more on this– same time, same place.)

Matt Harvey’s Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man — offering surprising insights into how members of either gender decide whether or not to undergo Tommy John surgery on their elbows. The book comes with a pair of 20-sided dice to be used for your most vexing decisions. Also being developed into a movie, starring Matt Harvey as himself and Robin Williams as the injured elbow.

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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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Excellent piece. Worth reading from top to bottom. Also, totally believable Robin Williams film vehicle.