Josh Beckett says read my blog, or else. (Note: This does not constitute an endorsement from Josh Beckett. Thanks to Boston Dirt Dogs for the photo.)
I’d like to make an interesting entrance here and declare my arrival with equal parts white-hot rage and vinegar, a la Josh Beckett in the 2006 home opener. But Beckett foil Shea Hillenbrand is running a rescue shelter for animals in Arizona, so polite and old-fashioned will have to do.
I’m Jerry Beach, the former managing editor of Diehard Magazine and the author of Fighting Words: The Media, The Red Sox And The All-Encompassing Passion For Baseball In Boston, the first-ever book about the Red Sox and the media. This blog is intended to promote Fighting Words, which is finally coming to bookshelves near you in the next month, a mere five-and-a-half years after I came up with the idea while sitting in the right field press area at Yankee Stadium during the ALCS. (Before I go any further, many, many thanks to Bill Nowlin, the founder of Rounder Books and a tireless supporter of this project, even when the many delays were driving him nuts)
This idea originated with a single thought: Why do so many Red Sox players have contentious relationships with the press? Over the subsequent five seasons, I learned there were many more layers to the story, one of which was the passion Boston-area fans have for the media that covers their favorite teams.
I’m hopeful I can feed some of that interest by posting many of the more than 100 interviews I conducted for the book and posting some of the material that got left on the cutting room floor. The book evolved over the five years and what I asked someone and what I wrote about in 2004 was a whole lot different than what I asked and wrote about in 2008. I think the metamorphosis was interesting and I hope you do too.
I'll also try to provide some analysis of the Red Sox as well as the issues facing the media that covers the team world from my perch here in sunny Long Island, in the shadow of the Evil Empire and its less successful, wannabe kid brother.
What am I doing here? Well, I lived on Long Island with my wonderful wife and our cats even as I covered the Sox, which is a whole ‘nother interesting blog post in and of itself. As for the present, I am that rare species: The out-of-work sports journalist. (Or, as the Latins call us: “Homo sportus nonlaborans”) Despite the industry’s inability to return my faithfulness and devotion (warning: sales pitch coming!), I still harbor hopes of trying to get back in and get back up to Boston. With that in mind, please find on the lower right-hand side of the page some links to my Red Sox clips.
Thanks for reading and please stop back every weekday for original content about the book and the BoSox. I look forward to writing this blog and to receiving your feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks again.