Wrote a lot of fun stuff this week, so just in case you missed any of it...
In light of the thawing relations between the United States and Cuba, I wrote this piece for Rolling Stone on the ten greatest Cubans to play major league baseball, and topped it with El Tiante, above. (Sadly, the limited size of the list precluded the inclusion of Jose Cardenal, Tito Fuentes, Leo Cardenas and El Duque.)
Earlier in the week, I wrote a Rolling Stone piece on Astros second baseman Jose Altuve, one of my favorite current players and MLB's "Secret MVP".
Because there's no rap battle like an 80s Mets rap battle, I wrote this piece for Fox Sports' Just a Bit Outside on the various rap records produced by the '86 Mets, including "Chocolate Strawberry," the immortal collaboration between U.T.F.O., Whistle, The Real Richie Rich and Darryl Strawberry.
I recently did an interview with Paul Francis Sullivan for his great Sully Baseball podcast. We gabbed at length about the Hall of Fame's Golden Era vote, steroids and Fantasy Island, so he broke our chat into Part One and Part Two.
And on a non-baseball-related note, check out my Jewish Daily Forward interview with the legendary Theodore Bikel — 90 years old and still going strong. I asked him about Bob Dylan's controversial electric set at the Newport Folk Festival, but ran out of time before I could ask him about 200 Motels.
Hey, did you know that there's still time to give copies of Big Hair and Plastic Grass and Stars and Strikes to your favorite baseball fan for Christmas? Philadelphia radio host Phil Allen says, "When I was 16, I read Five Seasons by the great [Roger] Angell. Stars and Strikes is the best since... get Big Hair and Plastic Grass too!!" Considering that Five Seasons is my favorite baseball book of all time (well, other than Joe Pepitone's autobiography), that is high praise, indeed...
And finally, today is the birthday of the great Oscar Gamble. I hope you will all celebrate it in a supremely 'fro-tastic fashion.