Saturday, January 01, 2011

Moving On

It has been almost four years since I started this blog here on In recent years, my web presence has been scattered across several different locations. There was (The Baseball Archive), which I created during the spring of 1995... my effort to cope with a baseball strike that didn't seem close to ending. In the 2000s I launched, a site to promote my books (and myself, I guess). And then this blog, a few years later, when I needed an outlet for writing outside of the newspaper I was working for, my freelance magazine work, and my scattered book projects.

I was in California in December, doing a fellowship at UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism, when I got an email telling me my baseball website was down. A quick check revealed that the site had been hacked. While I have no way of knowing whether it was someone with malicious intent or just an opportunist who found a hole in my security, the vandal wrecked the joint. I had backups, but rebuilding it was going to be a huge chore.

My baseball site was born in the earliest days of the web. There were no off-the-shelf content management systems. There weren't even any WYSIWYG editors. I built hundred of pages by hand in Windows Notepad, crafting a site that at it's peak got over a million page views a month.

But the site languished. When I became editor of the baseball encyclopedia, I stopped making daily updates, and pretty soon those days of inactivity turned into weeks, and then into months and years. The site still draws a ton of traffic even though some of the content is horribly out of date.

But the hacking was a blessing in disguise. It forced me to tackle the task I'd put off for too long, pruning those outdated pages from the site, bringing the good stuff back out into the light, and putting everything into a nicer looking and easier to manage package using WordPress.

And now those three sites are merged into one: my blog, my archive of baseball reference content, and my book/author site. There all under one roof now at I hope that those of you who have visited any of my satellite websites will find everything you're looking for at this new site, and hopefully even find something new.

If you're following this blog in an RSS reader, please follow my new feed at

There will be no more posts or updates at

Monday, June 07, 2010

A Video History of Every Book Ever Written

Fun video from the Wall Street Journal.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Imperial Bedrooms

Esquire has published an excerpt of the new novel by Bret Easton Ellis, a sequel to his classic Less Than Zero.

Friday, May 21, 2010


Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman.

-- Louis Brandeis, from his 1914 book "Other People's Money and How the Bankers Use It"

As relevant today as when he wrote it.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Investigative Journalism

Filmmaker Errol Morris, in his commencement address at the Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism last weekend.

I have often wondered why we need the phrase investigative journalism. Isn’t all journalism supposed to be investigative? Isn’t journalism without an investigative element little more than gossip? And isn’t there enough gossip around already?

I became involved in one investigation after another – even on occasion working as an actual private detective. (And yes, journalists are detectives, and vice versa, as well.)

But despite the job descriptions – filmmaker, detective, journalist – the enterprise that I was involved in was always similar. Asking questions: What is going on here? What does this mean? What really happened?

Other journalists have expressed similar thoughts to me over the years. Recently, I interviewed Josiah Thompson, an ex-Kierkegaard scholar at Haverford and Yale, who became obsessed by the Zapruder film of the Kennedy assassination. He quit his job in philosophy and wrote an exceptional work of journalism, Six Seconds in Dallas. And subsequently became a private detective. But it all started with his puzzlement over details – details that didn’t make sense. To me, he is the quintessential journalist-investigator.