November 2023

This newsletter is a collection of things I have found in the last month that I enjoyed, found interesting, or simply wanted to share.

You can follow me more closely at my personal website or if you or someone you know is looking to buy or sell a home, you can point them to my real estate website.

Swag Stance

The Long, Slow Death of the Wacky Batting Stance

For decades, balletic and bizarre behavior illuminated the batter’s box. As a 30-year-old, I grew up mesmerized by the fluid wiggle of Ken Griffey Jr., the volatile wrists of Gary Sheffield, the open-face comedy of Tony Batista, the handsy shtick of Kevin Youkilis—the list goes on. But my childhood heroes were merely advancing what they’d seen growing up: Joe Morgan’s elbow twitch, Rod Carew’s acute hunch, Roberto Clemente’s flying back foot, and so many more. Funky stances trace back a century, to Babe Ruth’s immaculate stroke and Turkey Stearnes’ twisted heel, and further still, weaving through time, back at least to Cy Seymour of the New York Giants, a supposed early purveyor of batter’s box wonk in the 1800s. Distinct stances stole our hearts, immortalized all-time greats, and forged unexpected legends.

But we’re losing the thread. In recent years, the desire to nurture this art form has been overtaken by an obsession with hyper-efficiency on the field and in front offices. Baseball’s analytical revolution long ago warped the way the game is played; next up is how the game looks. Little now distinguishes the stances of most hitters, who stand straight up at the plate, legs mostly still, hands about shoulder high, overall devoid of kinks or heaves or glorious whathaveyous. Where there are physical differences—as in the extended arms of Matt Olson versus the rested bat of Pete Alonso—there is still a shared ideology: minimalism. Forget about experimentation. Do nothing random, audacious or endearing at all.

Jack Black Sabbath

One Great Rock Movie Can Change the World: An Oral History of ‘School of Rock’

It was 20 years ago this month that Jack Black put on a bow tie, walked into a prep school, and told a bunch of fourth graders to get the Led out. His star turn as the lovable loser in Richard Linklater’s School of Rock helped the film gross nearly $20 million when it opened, breaking the record for music-themed comedies at the time. Over the years, it’s inspired a hit Broadway musical, a TV show, and a children’s book, and helped popularize actual School of Rock programs for kids who want to serve society by rocking. Two decades on, it remains a wildly funny movie with honest-to-God great tunes — and its kind, inclusive spirit has aged much better than most 2000s comedies.

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A bit about me: I can be interested in anything, for better or worse. I love photography, travel, golf, and baseball. My latest pursuit is learning the guitar. I write a rad newsletter that I publish monthly.

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