Books Posts

Yes, It’s Hot in Here by AJ Mass

yes its hotAJ Mass, former Mr. Met joined Rick Ralph on the Rona Roundtable on TSN 1290 Winnipeg discussing his new book
“Yes, It’s Hot in Here: Adventures in the Weird, Wooly World of Sports Mascots”.

Interview with AJ Mass – April 17, 2014

Book Description:

Yes, It’s Hot in Here explores the entertaining history of the mascot from its jester roots in Renaissance society to the slapstick pantomime of the Clown Prince of Baseball, Max Patkin, all the way up to the mascots of the slam-dunk, rock-and-roll, Jumbotron culture of today. Along the way, author AJ Mass of (a former Mr. Met himself) talks to the pioneers among modern-day mascots like Dave Raymond (Phillie Phanatic), Dan Meers (K. C. Wolf), and Glenn Street (Harvey the Hound) and finds out what it is about being a mascot that simply won’t leave the performer.

Mass examines what motivates high school and college students to compete for the chance to wear a sweaty animal suit and possibly face the ridicule of their peers in the process, as well as women who have proudly served as mascots for teams in both the pro and amateur ranks. In the book’s final chapter, Mass climbs inside a mascot costume one more time to describe what it feels like and, perhaps, rediscover a bit of magic.

Dirk Hayhurst on “Bigger Than The Game”

bigger than the game

Dirk Hayhurst joined Rick Ralph on the Rona Roundtable on TSN 1290 Winnipeg last week discussing his newest book “Bigger Than The Game”.

I have enjoyed all of Hayhurst’s books and included them on my list of Baseball Books for Opening Day

Dirk Hayhurst on Bigger Than The Game

Baseball Books for Opening Day

Baseball books are some of my favourite sports books, the grind of a 162 game season, the difficulty of working from Class A Ball to the Majors and the stories involved are always entertaining and hilarious.

Here are my favourite sports books just in time for opening day

5 1/2X8 1/4 5/8The Dirk Hayhurst Collection – The Bullpen Gospels, Out of My League, & Bigger Than The Game

A fantastic collection of books that I finished in about a week combined. Dirk Hayhurst starts off from college, takes you through getting drafted, into the minor leagues and shows the hard work that gets you into the majors. All three are awesome reads with great stories about playing professional baseball.


game from where i standDoug Glanville – The Game From Where I Stand: From Batting Practice tot he Clubhouse to the Best Breakfast on the Road, an Inside View of a Ballplayer’s Life.

Doug Glanville talks about the pressure of being a first round draft pick to the glitz and glamour of being a Major League Ballplayer.

odd man out


Matt McCarthy – Odd Man Out: A Year on the Mound with a Minor League Misfit

Matt McCarthy was a left-handed pitcher from Yale and a 26th round pick of the Anaheim Angels. He wrote about his year in the minors with Utah before entering Harvard Medical School.



Michael Lewis – Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game

By now everyone has heard of Moneyball, how Billy Beane lead the Oakland A’s into the statistical revolution.


Jose Canseco – Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant ‘Roids, Smash Hits & How Baseball Got Big

When this book came out many questioned whether or not anything written in here was true. As time passed many people wound up saying ” Canseco was right”. Certainly an enjoyable read about the life of a a baseball player’s rise to stardom with the aid of PEDs.

Jonah Keri on his book Up, Up and Away


Author Jonah Keri joined Rick Ralph on the Rona Roundtable earlier this week to discuss his new book “Up, Up & Away: The Kid, The Hawk, Rock, Vladi, Pedro, Le Grand Orange, Youppi!, The Crazy Business of Baseball & the Ill-fated but Unforgettable Montreal Expos”.

Interview with Jonah Keri

About the book: The definitive history of the Montreal Expos by the definitive Expos fan, the New York Times bestselling sportswriter and Grantlandcolumnist Jonah Keri.
2014 is the 20th anniversary of the strike that killed baseball in Montreal, and the 10th anniversary of the team’s move to Washington, DC. But the memories aren’t dead–not by a long shot. The Expos pinwheel cap is still sported by Montrealers, former fans, and by many more in the US and Canada as a fashion item. Expos loyalists are still spotted at Blue Jays games and wherever the Washington Nationals play (often cheering against them). Every year there are rumours that Montreal–as North America’s largest market without a baseball team–could host Major League Baseball again.
There has never been a major English-language book on the entire franchise history. There also hasn’t been a sportswriter as uniquely qualified to tell the whole story, and to make it appeal to baseball fans across Canada AND south of the border. Jonah Keri writes the chief baseball column for Grantland, and routinely makes appearances in Canadian media such as The Jeff Blair ShowPrime Time Sports and Off the Record. The author of the New York Times baseball bestseller The Extra 2% (Ballantine/ESPN Books), Keri is one of the new generation of high-profile sports writers equally facile with sabermetrics and traditional baseball reporting. He has interviewed everyone for this book (EVERYONE: including the ownership that allowed the team to be moved), and fans can expect to hear from just about every player and personality from the Expos’ unforgettable 35 years in baseball. Up, Up, and Away is already one of the most anticipated sports books of next year.

My Last Fight by Darren McCarty

my last fightDarren McCarty joined Rick Ralph on the Rona Roundtable on TSN 1290 Winnipeg back on January 6, 2014 discussing his book “My Last Fight: The True Story of a Hockey Rockstar”

Interview with Darren McCarty – Jan 6, 2014


Looking back on a memorable career, Darren McCarty recounts his time as one of the most visible and beloved members of the Detroit Red Wings as well as his personal struggles with addiction, finances, and women and his daily battles to overcome them. As a member of four Red Wings’ Stanley Cup–winning teams, McCarty played the role of enforcer from 1993 to 2004 and returning again in 2008 and 2009. His “Grind Line” with teammates Kris Draper and Kirk Maltby physically overmatched some of the best offensive lines in the NHL, but he was more than just a brawler: his 127 career goals included several of the highlight variety, including an inside-out move against Philadelphia in the clinching game of the 1997 Stanley Cup Finals. As colorful a character as any NHL player, he has arms adorned with tattoos, and he was the lead singer in the hard rock band Grinder during the offseason. Yet this autobiography details what may have endeared him most to his fans: the honest, open way he has dealt with his struggles in life off the ice. Whether dealing with substance abuse, bankruptcy, divorce, or the death of his father, Darren McCarty has always seemed to persevere.