Daily Archives: December 29, 2010

A book I cannot praise enough. A great meal. And Kennedy Center honors a Beatle

Finished an amazing book the other night, one I thought I wrote about when it came out but alas, I had not.
I first learned about Dirk Hayhurst, a minor league baseball pitcher, a couple of years ago when someone sent me a blog post he was writing for his hometown newspaper in Canton, Ohio. It was smart, witty and remarkably level-headed. I remember sending it to a few people I know because I was so stunned that an athlete had so captured his sport, in writing.
Eventually, Hayhurst decided to keep a journal of his experiences for the 2007 season, and the result is the hilarious, poignant and can’t-put-it-down “The Bullpen Gospels.”
It’s a baseball book, but really it’s a life book. There is some incredibly juvenile stuff in here, but that’s what life on a minor league baseball team is sometimes. Some of the book is dark, as Hayhurst, definitely no-longer a big-league prospect, struggles with his failures on the field, his brother’s alcoholism and how it’s affected his family, and whether he should just quit.
The book is also riotously funny, and wise, and the last 20 pages will knock your socks off.
I highly, highly, highly recommend this book. If you want a taste of his writing, this is the blog post from a few years ago that got me so charged up about him.

**Had a truly fantastic meal Tuesday night, in celebration of my mother’s birthday (Happy birthday Mom!). We went to this great Japanese restaurant, with great appetizers, a terrific main course (I had the tilefish with teriyaki sauce and broccoli on the side, de-lish), and Baskin-Robbins birthday cake for dessert (we brought our own, thank you.)
Now, I love food. As much as I love breathing, pretty much. But this was one of those meals where as you’re walking out of the restaurant, you exhale and say to yourself, “Damn, that was a great meal!” You know those kind? I knew you did.

**So I watched a few minutes of the Kennedy Center Honors program on CBS last night. Didn’t get home in time to see the Oprah tribute, but saw the Paul McCartney stuff toward the end. As I watched Gwen Stefani and others “honor” Paul, I wondered how someone like him feels at that moment.
Like, it’s great to be honored and worshipped by millions, but watching people who weren’t even born when you recorded “Let It Be” and “Hey Jude” sing them, while you’re sitting there high atop a luxury suite? Methinks that has to be a little strange. I’m wondering if McCartney and the other brilliant musicians who’ve been honored by the Kennedy Center ever want to just run down there and yell “Hey! Enough! I get that you love me.
Now please, for God’s sakes, we don’t need a reggae version of “Born to Run!” Thank you!”