To Cause a Tiger, Easthampton, MA, November 16

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I’ll be hitting the road soon to bring my one-note act to beautiful western Massachusetts, reading at the opening of To Cause a Tiger in Easthampton. Join us!

The Bottom of the Order: Every Fifth Day

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The Seattle Mariners’ history is one long tale of woe studded with infrequently dazzling displays of capability, with all of it adding up to exactly zero championships. I say this as someone who has counted several Mariners as his favorite players. There’s no logic to this, just as there’s no relief from the routine cruelties of time and money. It just is.

“Every Fifth Day,” the last entry in the season-long The Bottom of the Order series, for Hobart

The Bottom of the Order: Your 2003 Detroit Tigers

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The thing I can’t wrap my head around, when it comes to the 2003 Detroit Tigers, is what it must have been like to show up to work every day. What must it have taken, as the losses mounted – up to and including the 119th, the most defeats ever amassed by an American League team, and tied with the ’62 Mets for the most losses in major league history – to rouse oneself for the excruciating daily repetition of a very public abasement?

— “Your 2003 Detroit Tigers,” for Hobart

The Bottom of the Order: A Photograph of Gaylord Perry Being Investigated for Foreign Substances

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Gaylord Perry toiled for twenty-two seasons in the majors, and the look on his face suggests it was hard toil indeed. Wind worn, exasperated, he mutely submits to yet another examination of his cap, his head, his uniform, for a dab of Vaseline, a smear of K-Y. It might or might not have been there – Perry’s success rested on the twin pillars of a doctored ball’s unpredictability, and the thought, instilled in the head of each batter he faced, that the ball might be materially abetted in its tortuous journey from mound to plate.

“A Photograph of Gaylord Perry Being Investigated for Foreign Substances,” for Hobart