Welcome to Pozeroski Baseball!
OK, the baseball preview craziness begins here today!
Well, wait, after last night’s Oscars mayhem, I don’t know that the word “craziness” will ever mean quite the same thing. How about mania? Does that work better? Probably not. By the way, did you see this Tweet from the Academy of Motion Pictures?
I do not think that word “condone” means what they think it means.
I’ve already talked a bit about the baseball fun that’s coming for JoeBlogs subscribers leading into Opening Day, but I’m going to go into some of the nitty-gritty details here. Starting in the 1980s, a company called Preview Publishing started to put out the best baseball preview magazine ever made. It was called Bill Mazeroski’s Baseball — Maz himself was the Associate Publisher.
I cannot begin to describe what an event it was for us young baseball fans to see the Mazeroski show up on the newsstand. In a field of typically flat, boring, cheaply made, repetitive and outdated preview magazines, the Mazeroski was so wonderful that it practically glowed. The writing was sarcastic and funny. The look was colorful. Much of the information was stuff you didn’t see in other places — minor league reports and college baseball updates and surprising essays about stuff like the impact of baseball statistics or the mythology of left-handed pitchers.
I still get emotional thinking about how much it meant to me to see the Bill Mazeroski’s Baseball magazine peer out from behind the other magazines for the first time. It was a $3.99 piece of heaven, and I feel quite sure that it is one of the biggest reasons I became a sportswriter.
So, starting today, I will be doing my homage to the Mazeroski — which will obviously be called the “Pozeroski Baseball Magazine.”
I ordered three Mazeroskis — one from 1986 with George Brett on the cover, one from 1989 with Mike Greenwell on the cover and one from 1981 with Blue Collar Ace Doug Drabek on the cover — to get the exact rhythms of the magazine. And I’ve tried to recreate it as exactly as I can.
So here’s what you will get over the next eight days — a team-by-team breakdown by division, starting today with the National League East. And by breakdown, I do mean breakdown. There were short essays on each team in the Mazeroski (mine, naturally, are a bit longer) and then the magazine broke down each team into six categories: Starting pitching, relief pitching, catching, infield, outfield (plus DH) and management. They gave a grade to each category, on a scale from 1.0-10.0, and then totaled up the grades to give a final TQ, which apparently stands for “Talent Quotient.”
Here’s how they broke down the TQ Final Scores:
40.0: Championship Caliber; Exceptionally Strong and Balanced.
35.0 to 40.0: Definite Pennant Contender.
30.0 to 35.0: Generally Solid but Still Some Questions.
25.0 to 30.0: Longshot With Too Many Holes to Seriously Threaten.
25.0 and under: Major Rebuilding Project.
Pozeroski Baseball is doing ALL of this, plus giving you a short Farm Report on every team. I have been writing non-stop, no exaggeration, for days and days now, and I’m still only halfway through — I’ll be busy writing while you’re busy reading! One jump ahead of the breadline as they say in Aladdin.
Finally: This preview will be for paid subscribers, with a short preview of the preview for everybody. I do hope you will subscribe; I can promise you I’m putting everything I have into this one.
And we have just added a pretty cool subscription option if you have ever thought about subscribing; You can now read the preview risk-free. All paid subscriptions going forward come with a seven-day free trial. Simply subscribe with a credit card, and if you change your mind, all you have to do is cancel by the end of your seven-day trial and you won’t be charged.
OK, I have to get back to work. But look for Day 1 of Pozeroski Baseball later this morning. And thank you as always for being a reader.