The Cubs were swept in a pair of preseason exhibition games against the White Sox over the last two days mostly on the back of two bad innings. It’s never particularly fun to watch the Cubs struggle, but I’m not going to get too worried about them in practice games. Now, if this persists after Friday, we’ll talk.
Ah, Friday — the day Cubs baseball is scheduled to return for real. Yesterday I covered my mixed feelings and emotions about pandemic baseball. I’m sure others are feeling similarly conflicted. But from a more practical level as baseball inches ever closer I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what to do with this Diary. It’s been a great place to talk through a historic time, share insights as they relate to baseball and just connect at a time when society feels particularly disconnected. I’ve spent a great deal of time trying to figure out how to continue all three of those goals and have come up with two new BCB features, the first of which I wanted to roll out today.
Starting in August we’ll be launching the BCB Book Club. Depending on interest and people’s availability we may do one book each month or one every other month. We’ll be starting off with a focus on labor relations in MLB since there are multiple outstanding books on the topic and the Collective Bargaining Agreement will be renegotiated after the 2021 season. We wanted to make this as accessible as possible, so we’ll be prioritizing books that have audio and e-versions. A few of these books are quite substantial, so we may take more time on them. There will be opportunities to participate in the conversation through posts here on BCB and periodic virtual meetings to talk about the key issues and parallels to today’s labor relations.
So, without further ado, the first book will be Jon Pessah’s The Game which is considered one of the definitive histories of the last labor stoppage in baseball. Future possibilities include John Heylar’s The Lords of the Realm, and Brad Snyder’s A Well-Paid Slave. Once we get rolling there will be a process for participants to suggest books and topics, but I wanted to try and get us started with a theme.
Let us know in the comments if you’re interested in participating! There is still plenty of time to pick up the book before our first posts and discussions in August.