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So instead of responding to his question, I asked, “Did you see that article about you in this morning’s paper?” A columnist had just ripped him apart.
It was immediately obvious I had hit a responsive chord. “Oh, Ronnie,” he said, “they’re burying me in this town. I can’t even turn on the television anymore.” … Evidently he’d been looking for someone friendly to talk with all day. He just happened to find someone on the field in the middle of a game.

—Ron Luciano, Strike Two, 1984

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Independent thoughts

Independent thoughts

Eventually I will think of things to blog that are 100% personal and 0% private. Today is not that day, but when those times come, this is where I will share my independent thoughts.

For that reason, I had thoughts of celebrating this past Fourth of July with yet another relaunch.

If you’re looking for the old blog, or the older blog, or the old older blog, I’m sure I have all the old stuff around here somewhere, but I’m not going to unearth it any time soon — not while there are so many older, better bits to revisit.

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Bleakwood Avenue runs through a barrio about eight miles due east of the Los Angeles Times’s Globe Lobby, a marble art deco entry that features a massive globe, Hugo Ballin’s murals of 1930s life in America, and bronze busts of General Harrison Gray Otis, Harry Chandler, and other members of the family whose name, in Southern California, is synonymous with wealth and power. For Leo Wolinsky, the distance between the newspaper where he would become a keeper of the journalistic flame and the downtrodden east Los Angeles neighborhood where he grew up might as well have been halfway to the moon.
— James O’Shea, The Deal From Hell, 2011

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Doubt and DiMaggio had seldom kept company, but after that season, they were seldom apart. Joe talked to Topping about retirement. “Don’t even think about it,” the owner told him. He wanted Joe to come over for dinner — at his place, 405 Park Avenue. … Anyway, Topping could read the numbers, with tickets, concessions, parking, radio and TV, his World Champion Yankees probably made three million dollars that year — with one .300 hitter, a part-timer named DiMaggio, at .346. Topping wanted Joe to know he wasn’t going to lose a nickel, just because he’d played in only half the games. He could have another hundred-thousand-dollar contract right now — just say the word. Joe wouldn’t say the word.
— Richard Ben Cramer on DiMaggio’s offseason of 1949

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“Solving the problem of existence is easy for Rakitin: ‘If you want to do something useful today, you can, for instance, fight for people’s civil rights or maintain the price of beef at a reasonable level; that would be a simple and more direct way of manifesting your love for mankind than playing with all kinds of philosophical theories.'”
— Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov, 1880