THE AUTHOR

Ian Casselberry is a freelance writer, currently based in Asheville, NC. He is an editor at The Comeback and Awful Announcing

Previously, he has been a contributing writer for Yahoo! Sports' Big League Stew, MLive.com and SB Nation. In addition, he was a lead baseball writer for Bleacher Report. 

You can also find him on Twitter and Facebook, where he craves your attention.

He still plans to write that novel someday. 

("Pearls Before Swine" © 2005 Stephan Pastis)
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Sunday
Jul262015

The week's writes and reads, 07-26-15

I'm just about to finish my first month as an associate editor with Awful Announcing, and still feel like I'm trying to find my footing on a relatively new beat (though I've always been a follower of media happenings). But this past week may have been when I really became official, as some big stories broke regarding Bill Simmons and Colin Cowherd, and I was "on the clock" for some of those developments. 

Making a radio appearance on behalf of AA to talk about Simmons going to HBO felt like kind of an indoctrination. Here's a link to that interview, as well as another podcasted spot from the past week:

The Warm Up, TSN 1290, Winnipeg - Wednesday (7-22, 14:01 mark)
Marty & Miller Show, 1700 The Champ, Des Moines - Wednesday (7-22, Hour 3, 28:05 mark)

And these are the articles I wrote this week. A little light on Friday, as I ducked out of "the office" early to celebrate my mother's birthday and travel to find some legit Chinese food. Back at it next week. The MLB trade deadline should keep us busy!

WRITTEN:

Monday
Charles Davis reportedly replacing Donovan McNabb on Fox NFL broadcasts - Awful Announcing
Watch: Brandon Phillips goes behind-the-back to get an out - The Outside Corner
The 2015 drought is over: Nick Markakis has hit a home run - The Outside Corner

Tuesday
Outfielders available for Orioles, but do they have enough to make a deal? - The Outside Corner
Watch: J.D. Martinez and Nelson launch gigantic home runs in Detroit - The Outside Corner
Watch: Judd Apatow impersonates Bill Cosby in 'Tonight Show' stand-up set - The AP Party

Wednesday
Bill Simmons is going to HBO - Awful Announcing
Why Grantland still makes the most sense for Tommy Craggs, why it still may never work - Awful Announcing 
Colin Cowherd officially announces he's leaving ESPN on his show - Awful Announcing

Thursday
Astros get Scott Kazmir from Athletics, beginning MLB trade deadline season - The Outside Corner
Jamie Horowitz tabs Charlie Dixon to oversee Fox Sports 1 and 2 - Awful Announcing 
Ranking the sports cameos in Sharknado 3 - Awful Announcing

Friday
NFL launching new Game Pass subscription service for devices including Apple TV - Awful Announcing

READ:

-- Those who know me well know how strongly I feel about gun control, no matter how unrealistic it might be. The argument is weary, but maybe I should just be stronger. Especially you read that there have been 204 mass shootings in 204 days of 2015. [Washington Post]

-- Moving from a site where you had success to start up your own venture can be a risky endeavor. Umberto Gonzalez is doing it, and so far, he's off to a good start with Heroic Hollywood. Alex Pappademas profiles him, and details the process of getting a movie news scoop. [Grantland]

-- A movie with Jason Segel playing David Foster Wallace has always made me nervous. But The End of the Tour has been getting good film festival buzz. And I certainly enjoyed the David Lipsky book the film is based on. This is looking like a possible career-changing role for Segel. [New York Times]

-- Many writers, including me, have praised Michael Pena's performance in Ant-Man, calling him the star of the movie. It never occurred to me that his role would be offensive to Latinos, as Umberto Gonzalez writes. [Heroic Hollywood]

-- So women dyeing their armpit hair is a thing? [New York Times]

-- I don't know if you could call this a "good read," but the website I enjoyed most this week was the hip-hop/baseball mash-up Straight Outta Cooperstown. Good timing with the Baseball Hall of Fame induction this weekend. [Straight Outta Cooperstown]

 

Sunday
Jul192015

The week's writes and reads, 07-19-15

The highlight of my radio week may have been a late-night appearance Thursday (technically Friday) on CBS Sports Radio to talk about my MLB second-half storylines piece, with guest host Paul Nanos subbing in on the "Ferrall on the Bench" show. (If you'd have told me 10 years ago I'd be on that show, I wouldn't have believed you.) Audio of that hasn't been posted, as far as I can tell, but if I get a link or copy, I'll post it here. 

Here's a link to my other radio appearance for the week (other than my two spots on ESPN Asheville, which unfortunately isn't available online):

Marty & Miller Show in Des Moines, IA - Monday (7-13, Hour 1, 29:30 mark)

And then there's the writing. Doing more for Awful Announcing has me working more on the daily fantasy sports and over-the-top streaming content beats, areas that I wasn't entirely familiar with, but I'm happy to learn more as I write about them. These were my articles for the week:

WRITTEN:

Sunday
Watch: 'Hannibal' Comic-Con reel, series jumps three years to 'Red Dragon' - The AP Party

Monday
Floyd Mayweather's next fight might be available for free on CBS - Awful Announcing
Comcast announces over-the-top service, but with no sports networks - Awful Announcing
Was Batman wearing a desert uniform in 'Batman v Superman' trailer? Yes - The AP Party
Watch: HBO's trailer for David Simon's 'Show Me a Hero,' starring Oscar Isaac - The AP Party

Tuesday
Draft Kings reportedly close to 'imperative' investment deal with Fox Sports - Awful Announcing
MLB Home Run Derby draws 4.9 overnight rating, up 26 percent from last year - Awful Announcing
FanDuel raises $275 million in new funding, according to reports - Awful Announcing 
Video: Dwayne Johnson is a pretty flower in 'SNL' Cut For Time sketch - The AP Party
Watch: Teaser trailer for 'Ferrell Takes the Field' on HBO - Awful Announcing
Watch: Doom looms in new 'Fantastic Four' trailer - The AP Party

Wednesday
Watch: Baristas, customers in body paint sell new Nestle coffee creamer - The AP Party

Thursday
10 most compelling storylines to follow in MLB's second half - The Outside Corner
Oscar Isaac, Olivia Munn in 'X-Men: Apocalypse' costumes on Entertainment Weekly cover - The AP Party

Friday
'Ant-Man' is quirky ad hilarious, just what serious superhero films need - The AP Party
Ben Affleck jumped at chance to present ESPY award to Derek Jeter - Awful Announcing

READ:

-- Tom Gage deserved better treatment from the Detroit News and Fox Sports Detroit than he received, especially toward the end of a Hall of Fame career. That aside, he has some interesting thoughts on how the job of baseball beat writer has changed during his 36-year career. [Columbia Journalism Review]

-- Writers interviewing other writers often make for my favorite interviews. So when I saw he was chatting with David Maraniss, whose career — authoring biographies on subjects as varied as Vince Lombardi and Barack Obama — is the envy of many writers, I knew it would be good. [Jeff Pearlman]

-- Maybe I already knew that Marc Maron and Jon Stewart didn't really get along. If so, being reminded of it still felt like a fresh revelation. Not difficult to imagine that two prickly personalities might clash, though. [Splitsider]

-- After seeing Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow in 2004, I figured Kerry Conran was destined for big things. But I remember one of my film buff friends not caring for it, which I always found curious. Given that Conran hasn't made a movie since, I think my buddy was on to something. [The Telegraph]

Wednesday
Jul152015

The Outside Corner's 2013 MLB midseason awards, including my picks

With Major League Baseball having its All-Star break, everyone writing about baseball is handing out midseason awards. Obviously, we're no exception at The Outside Corner. Here are the winners of our staff vote:

American League MVP: Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels 
National League MVP: Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals

AL Cy Young: Chris Sale, Chicago White Sox
NL Cy Young: Max Scherzer, Washington Nationals

AL Rookie: Lance McCullers, Houston Astros 
NL Rookie: Joc Pederson, Los Angeles Dodgers

Those were the picks on my individual ballot too. I'd love to say I swam against the current on some of these picks, but most of these winners were pretty clear. 

Had we voted for top managers in each league, I'd have picked the Yankees' Joe Girardi in the AL and Chip Hale of the D-Backs in the NL. 

If you really want to know, here are all the picks I submitted to my editor, ranking candidates from 1 to 5:

AL MVP
Mike Trout, Angels
Josh Donaldson, Blue Jays
Miguel Cabrera, Tigers
George Springer, Astros
Manny Machado, Orioles

NL MVP
Bryce Harper, Nationals
Paul Goldschmidt, Diamondbacks
Buster Posey, Giants
Andrew McCutchen, Pirates
Todd Frazier, Reds

AL Cy Young
Chris Sale, White Sox
Dallas Keuchel, Astros
David Price, Tigers
Felix Hernandez, Mariners
Corey Kluber, Indians

NL Cy Young
Max Scherzer, Nationals
Zach Greinke, Dodgers
Gerrit Cole, Pirates
Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers
Johnny Cueto, Reds

AL ROY
Lance McCullers, Astros
Devon Travis, Blue Jays
Carlos Correa, Astros

NL ROY
Joc Pederson, Dodgers
Kris Bryant, Cubs
Noah Syndergaard, Mets

Sunday
Jul122015

The week's writes and reads, 07-12-15

Holiday hangover? Not so much, it appears. Lots going on worth writing about and keeping me busy. Certainly not a bad thing.

I was worried I wouldn't be able to write a review of The Death of Superman Lives: What Happened, a documentary about the failed Tim Burton-Nicolas Cage 1990s Superman film that I supported through Kickstarter and Fanbacked. But I got it done, right before Comic-Con began this past week. 

So here's all the other stuff I wrote during the past seven days. Once again, no reading links. I'm sure I read some things that weren't work-related, and it's just a bad look when I can't even keep these links posts updated. I mean, it's just me, me, me. We'll try to do better next week. Thanks for checking in! 

WRITTEN:

Monday
Watch: John Oliver, 'Last Week Tonight' cover 15 topics in one minute - The AP Party
ESPN moving ESPY charity golf tournament from Trump National to Pelican Hill - Awful Announcing
Fox Sports says second season of Katie Nolan's 'Garbage Time' is 'in the works' - Awful Announcing

Tuesday
Tigers should accept reality and become trade deadline sellers - The Outside Corner
Cardinals send rookies to Wrigleyville Starbucks to pick up order - The Outside Corner
Vin Scully teaching the history of the American flag is a national treasure - Awful Announcing
Chances of 'Hannibal' getting picked up by another network look grim - The AP Party

Wednesday
The Marshawn Lynch biopic so 'terrible' that none of us will ever see it - Awful Announcing
Marvel's 'Daredevil' has found its Elektra for season two: Elodie Yung - The AP Party
Fox Sports Digital hires Mark Pesavento from USA Today Sports, For the Win - Awful Announcing 
Albert Pujols, Todd Frazier headline 2015 Home Run Derby field - The Outside Corner
Alex Gordon carted off field after suffering left groin strain - The Outside Corner
Mark Cuban's brother tells Chris Broussard to 'STFU' - Awful Announcing

Thursday
Older Spider-Man fans accepting that Marisa Tomei will be new Aunt May - The AP Party

Friday
'The Death of Superman Lives' tells story of lost Nicolas Cage Superman film - The AP Party
Check out the new Ghostbusters suited up in full costume - The AP Party

Saturday
Braves' Jason Grilli ruptures Achilles tendon, will miss rest of season - The Outside Corner
Marlins' Dee Gordon dislocates left thumb sliding into first base - The Outside Corner
Watch: 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' behind-the-scenes Comic-Con video - The AP Party

Sunday
Jul052015

The week's writes and reads, 07-05-15

Strangely, with a holiday ending the week, I somehow ended busier on Friday than I can remember being in quite some time. That's at least partially due to gaining some more responsibility at Awful Announcing.

This week, I began serving as one of the site's associate editors, which means that I'll be writing a lot more for Awful Announcing than the one or two pieces I may have contributed per week. (I'm still doing the thing at The Outside Corner and The AP Party!) I'm very grateful to Matt Yoder and Ben Koo for offering me the opportunity, and it's a thrill to made a greater contribution to a site that I've always read and admired. 

And with that, here's the writing I did this past week. Somehow, I managed to file two pieces on Monday, despite babysitting my two nieces during the day. Not much usually gets done when those little angels are around. I must have stuck them in front of the TV to give myself a chance to write. 

No reading links this week, as I either didn't read anything of note or just neglected to save those links throughout the week. Take a guess which applies. 

WRITTEN:

Sunday
Ben Affleck, Matt Damon producing movie about FIFA scandal and Chuck Blazer - Awful Announcing

Monday
'Ted 2' can't even do its job of making us laugh - The AP Party
Watch: Olivia Munn shows off Psylocke sword training for 'X-Men: Apocalypse' - The AP Party

Tuesday
Feud between Scioscia and Dipoto makes Angels fascinating case study - The Outside Corner
Watch: 'I Am Chris Farley' trailer covers sensation, tragedy of late comedian - The AP Party
Video: Chris Pratt imitates Jason Statham in 'SNL' Cut For Time sketch - The AP Party

Wednesday
Watch: Jim Harbaugh's 'clunker' interview with Colin Cowherd on ESPN Radio - Awful Announcing
Watch: First trailer for 'Creed,' 'Rocky' spinoff starring Michael B. Jordan - The AP Party
ESPN and Marvel join forces for '1 of 1 - Origins' series of short films - Awful Announcing 
Twins' future is now, call up top prospect Miguel Sano - The Outside Corner
Watch: Stephen Colbert hosts cable access show in Monroe, Mich. (feat. Eminem) - The AP Party

Thursday
'Terminator: Genisys' should kill off the Terminator film franchise - The AP Party
Fan who wouldn't cut hair until Jose Fernandez returned gets haircut from pitcher - The Outside Corner

Friday
Watch: John Kruk sings with Davisson Brothers Band for ESPN July 4th baseball coverage - Awful Announcing
'Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice' gets Entertainment Weekly Comic-Con cover - The AP Party
Watch: First trailer for 'Steve Jobs,' starring Michael Fassbender - The AP Party
Charity wins: A-Rod, Yankees settle dispute over $6 million milestone bonus - The Outside Corner
A-Rod gets 3,000th hit ball from Zack Hample, charity gets $150K donation - The Outside Corner

Saturday
Astros' first base-DH surplus now helps to cover George Springer injury - The Outside Corner
Japan-England Women's World Cup match draws 2.3 milion viewers on Fox Sports 1 - Awful Announcing

Sunday
Jun282015

The week's writes and reads, 06-28-15

All right — lots of stuff this week, so let's dispense with a long intro. Here were my radio and podcast appearances during the past seven days. 

750 The Game in Portland, OR - Monday
Jimmy B & TC in Des Moines, IA - Tuesday (6-23, Hour 2, 20:15 mark)
Maximus & The Bartender, XERSradio.com - Tuesday (55:00 mark)
Marty & Miller Show in Des Moines, IA - Friday (6-26, Hour 3, 18:50 mark)

In what may be the highlight of the week, this happened. (Thanks to Purple Row's Bryan Kilpatrick for bringing it to my attention.) 

I honestly can't remember when I posted that tweet, probably toward the beginning of the season. If I ever meet Troy Tulowitzki, I'm sure he won't remember this. And maybe it would be smart of me not to bring it up. 

OK, here is the past week's writing, along with the stuff I thought was worth reading. Much appreciation for you checking in. 

WRITTEN:

Monday
How 'Ballers' can use NFL team logos without league permission - Awful Announcing
Watch: Tom Cruise all action in new 'Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation' trailer - The AP Party

Tuesday
With breakout performance, Twins' Byron Buxton joins stellar rookie class - The Outside Corner
'Hannibal' can no longer delay inevitable, canceled by NBC - The AP Party
Tom Holland is the new movie Spider-Man, Jon Watts to direct - The AP Party
Watch: Maya Rudolph imitates Rachel Dolezal on 'Late Night with Seth Meyers' - The AP Party

Wednesday
DraftKings loses Disney's $250 million investment, still signs exclusive ad deal with ESPN - Awful Announcing

Thursday
Franklin Gutierrez returns, but Mariners need more than nice story - The Outside Corner
Watch: Chuck Palahniuk reads from... 'Fight Club 4 Kids'? - The AP Party

Friday
Mets' slide may get Terry Collins fired, but team isn't good enough - The Outside Corner
He's outta there! Ryne Sandberg resigns as Phillies manager - The Outside Corner

Saturday
Bad break: Giancarlo Stanton suffers broken bone in hand, out 4-6 weeks - The Outside Corner

This week's reading >>

READ:

-- If there was one person's response I wanted to read on the Supreme Court legalizing same-sex marriage, it was Andrew Sullivan. [The Dish]

-- I'd always been in favor of gay marriage. I didn't really understand why anyone would be against it. (Oh, I was so naive.) But not until reading Sullivan's 1989 essay, "Here Comes the Groom," did I really get why the concept of marriage was so important to certain gay people. [The New Republic]

-- One of those trends that you maybe didn't quite notice was a thing, but I'm glad Roberto Ferdman wrote about it. What is up with waitstaff snatching up those plates as soon as you're done, even if the entire party isn't done? [Washington Post]

-- The baseball bat is a crucial piece of equipment that always figured to be what it's always been. I mean, you can fatten the barrel or skim the handle, but the basic design is the same, right? But what if that knob on the end of the handle — one which may cause hand injuries — can be altered? [Yahoo! Sports]

-- Many of you probably know that Eric Stoltz was the original star of Back to the Future, not Michael J. Fox. But how exactly did the process of replacing Stoltz go with producers and director Robert Zemeckis? This is really intriguing. [Vulture]

Saturday
Jun202015

The week's writes and reads, 06-20-15

It was a pretty good week, writing-wise, though I'm thinking about the piece I didn't get around to finishing, which was something on the 10th anniversary of Batman Begins. I'll probably write that for next week, but I was really hoping to get that done for June 15, the date the film was released. Not sure that matters to anyone but me, but there it is. 

Like many of you, I found it difficult to read about anything else — let alone write about baseball and pop culture — after the mass shooting that happened in Charleston Wednesday night. I felt like maybe I should write something here or even make a comment on social media, but ultimately wondered if I needed to do so. The mistake some of us make, I think, is feeling like we need to comment on everything. 

I've posted my thoughts on gun violence and the gun control debate before, but it just becomes the same arguments over and over between two sides that aren't going to change their minds. I see people trading their opinions on social media and it just makes me want to log off. But maybe it's weak to stay quiet when we need to be having these discussions.

Thankfully, there were some great writers out there who stepped up with some excellent essays on the matter this week. 

So here are the articles I wrote, followed by what I felt was really worth reading during the past week. As always, thank you for checking in. 

WRITTEN:

Monday
'Jurassic World' provides the right mix of nostalgia and new - The AP Party
Channing Tatum's X-Men spinoff 'Gambit' finds director in Rupert Wyatt - The AP Party

Tuesday
Derek Jeter, The Players' Tribune raise $9.5 million in venture capital funding - Awful Announcing
Why the Reds shouldn't be sellers at the trade deadline - The Outside Corner

Wednesday
'Love & Mercy' gives musician Brian Wilson the treatment his story deserves - The AP Party
Marvel congratulates 'Jurassic World' for breaking 'Avengers' box office record - The AP Party

Thursday
Ranking MLB position player pitching performances of the past two nights - The Outside Corner
Barack Obama appearing on 'WTF with Marc Maron' podcast - The AP Party
Michael Oher thinks 'The Blind Side' created a negative impression of him - Awful Announcing
Cole Hamels, Phillies prank media with empty locker and nameplate - The Outside Corner

Friday
When A-Rod goes for 3,000 hits, it's cause for apathy and shrugs - The Outside Corner
Watch: Vindictive German guy splits everything with ex-wife -- literally - The AP Party
Alex Rodriguez cranks home run for career hit No. 3,000 - The Outside Corner
Famed 'baseball collector' Zack Hample caught A-Rod's 3,000th hit - The Outside Corner

This week's reading >>

READ:

-- You've likely already seen this passed around Facebook or Twitter, but if you read one thing about the Charleston shootings, it should be Charles Pierce's essay. What happened is not unspeakable, and we should most certainly talk about it. [Esquire]

-- Jamelle Bouie writes about the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church where this attack took place, and why it's a historically significant institution in black history, in the South. [Slate]

-- I don't live very far from South Carolina, where the Confederate flag still flies at the Capitol. Of course, I've seen that flag on several car window decals and license plates. Those who support the symbol will cite the history and heritage it represents. But it also represents an America that no longer exists (though some obviously haven't gotten over that). Ta-Nehisi Coates is right (as he often is). The flag needs to be taken down. [The Atlantic]

-- Bouie wrote another piece on the history of "they're raping our women" and "they're taking over our country" being used as a justification for racial violence and terrorism in this country. [Slate]

-- I'll admit my sleep schedule prevented me from watching as much of the NBA Finals and Stanley Cup Final as I wanted to. (Maybe there was some lack of interest too.) But I enjoyed a lot of what was written about the NBA playoffs. Erik Malinowski was great covering the Warriors' run to a championship. [Sports on Earth]

Thursday
Jun182015

Watch: Wilco covers Pavement's 'Cut Your Hair'

Wilco covering Pavement's "Cut Your Hair"? Yes, I would like to listen to that, please! 

Every Other Summer - "Cut Your Hair" from dBpm Records on Vimeo.

So what's the story? The clip above is from Every Other Summer, a documentary about the Solid Sound festival, which Wilco holds every two years at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA). The footage in the film is from the previous festival two years ago. 

The film can currently be purchased for download or stream (or rented) via Vimeo

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