Eric Nusbaum published a compelling first book last Spring, "Stealing Home; Los Angeles, the Dodgers and the Lives Caught in Between"---the story how Los Angeles condemned and violently evicted families in three Mexican-American neighborhoods to give to the Dodgers. This week, Nusbaum joins us to talk about his wonderful book and how clearly this almost forgotten story from L.A.'s past resonates in these times. Do not sleep on this book!
In Chapter Two, another week in baseball with the up-and-down Astros showing signs of life following their COVID-related slump. The Astros top-5 prospects have been assigned to Minor League teams as that season finally begins this week. Eric and Craig take a deep dive into the baseball-wide hitting slump that has driven batting averages below and strikeout rates above the 1968 season---heretofore the standard for offensive futility. Only Mike Trout and a few others so far seem immune to the pitchers' wiles.
The chapter ends with Eric and Craig riffing on a recent Cubs/Braves blowout that saw the Cubs bring in three position players to pitch. The duo also looked at Jay Jaffee's "Position Players are Suddenly -- and Probably Fleetingly -- Decent at Pitching," (Fangraphs, April 30) to discuss trends in this strange but at times highly entertaining baseball phenomenon (do you ever see linebackers come in to take snaps under center in blowouts)?
In Chapter Three, Eric and Craig take on George Varga's article in the San Diego Union Tribune that asks if we really need more octogenarian rock stars? The article is "Bob Dylan and Charlie Watts Will Soon Turn 80. More Music Legends are Rocking Out Past Retirement Age," published April 25.