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Reading Update – Mid-February 2013

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Unlike my previous reading updates, I will dispense with oft-repeated excuses why I’m not reading more. The excuses will be the same and will continue to be same until I say otherwise. Nevertheless, in keeping with my new year resolution, I’ve been reading much more.

So without further ado, here is my reading list as of today:

  • An Empire of Wealth by by John Steele Gordon
  • The Litigators by John Grisham
  • The Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth
  • Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar by Thomas Cathcart and Daniel Klein
  • The Instant Economist by Timothy Taylor
  • Francona by Terry Francona and Dan Shaughnessy

Two of the books are leftovers from my June 2012 reading list, but I’m proud to say I finished three out of the five listed:

  • Special Assignments by Boris Akunin
  • Travels With Herodotus by Ryszard Kapuscinski
  • The Islamist by Ed Husain

Trying to get into the habit of reading more than one chapter – of reasonable length, of course – a night. More on the weekends and whenever free time permits.

I will also be augmenting my reading by listening to unabridged audio books I picked up for a song at a local discount store. Since my drive to and from works is about 90 minutes, I should better use the time for edification rather than listening to repetitive sport talk radio. One can only hope, of course.

My reading list doesn’t include countless magazine and news articles, blog posts, white papers, and things I find via social media.

I will no longer give a target on when I will finish the books as I will be automatically setting myself up for failure. Better to let things happen when they happen.

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Written by niraj

February 15th, 2013 at 11:45 am

Indians To Play Baseball?

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You might be seeing some desis playing major league baseball:

The Pittsburgh Pirates hope Rinku Singh and Dinesh Patel really do have million-dollar arms.

The two 20-year-old pitchers, neither of whom had picked up a baseball until earlier this year, signed free-agent contracts Monday with the Pirates. They are believed to be the first athletes from India to sign professional baseball contracts outside their country.

Singh and Patel came to the United States six months ago after being the top finishers in an Indian reality TV show called the “Million Dollar Arm” that drew about 30,000 contestants. The show sought to find athletes who could throw strikes at 85 miles per hour or faster.

It’s gimmicky, to be sure, but it would a nice thing, indeed, to see desis play professional sports in a country where there is a paucity of brown professional athletes.

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Written by niraj

November 24th, 2008 at 10:28 pm

The Wise Man And The Fool

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Compare and contrast these two young baseball players, both in the same boat experience wise, in how they cope with their weak bargaining positions regarding contracts. First, Prince Fielder:

The Milwaukee Brewers renewed the slugger’s contract for $670,000 on Sunday after he finished third in NL MVP voting last season, when he made $415,000.

“I’m not happy about it at all,” Fielder said. “The fact I’ve had to be renewed two years in a row, I’m not happy about it because there’s a lot of guys who have the same amount of time that I do who have done a lot less and are getting paid a lot more.”

And second, Jonathan Papelbon:

Jonathan Papelbon may be young, but he knows how the business of baseball works.

He knows that, with a little more than two years of major-league service time, he has no contractual leverage with the Red Sox. Not yet eligible for arbitration, Papelbon has little recourse at the bargaining table.

But he also has a benchmark for what he should be paid in 2008, and if the Red Sox don’t come close to his figure, he would rather they renew him at a lower salary figure, without further negotiation.

It’s obvious Papelbon is the wiser of the two. Papelbon knows full well he can’t do anything about his contract, the collective bargaining agreement between the owners and union exclude him from the negotiation process, so he’ll concentrate on being the most dominant closer in the game, knowing full well come arbitration time he’ll get his money one way or the other.

Fielder, on the other hand, needs to take a reality check.

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Written by niraj

March 3rd, 2008 at 12:23 pm

The Sweet Sounds Of Baseball

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Saturday is Truck Day in Boston, when the Red Sox sends a truck filled with equipment to their spring training site in Fort Meyers, Florida. It’s an annual ritual that is well reported by the Boston media, and it’s also a sign that spring will soon be upon us, and with it the 2008 baseball season. Will the Red Sox repeat? Let’s hope so. Some key dates:

  • Feb. 14 — Pitchers and catchers are due to report to Fort Myers.
  • Feb. 16 — First workout for pitchers and catchers.
  • Feb. 20 — Reporting day for Sox position players.
  • Feb. 22 — First Red Sox full squad workout.
  • Feb. 28 — First Red Sox spring training game.

The entire Red Sox Spring Training schedule can be found here.

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Written by niraj

February 7th, 2008 at 12:18 pm