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, 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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Entries in baseball (69)


The week's writes and reads, 01-31-16

I almost made it until February without catching a full-blown cold, but being snowed in last weekend probably gave those germs a chance to gestate and emerge. So kind of a slow writing week for me, between being zonked out on cold medicine for a couple of days along with quite a bit of editing work. 

That should change in the coming week with a couple of movie reviews, helping out on Super Bowl coverage, the approach of spring training, and I'll be recapping FX's The People v. O.J. Simpson. (Will I regret that decision?) 

Here are this week's writing and reading links. As always, thank you for checking in! 


The relief of Roger Goodell: No awkward trophy handoff to Tom Brady - The Comeback
Mets re-signing Yoenis Cespedes affirms fans' faith in building World Series contender - The Outside Corner

ESPN's Mike Greenberg challenges Olympic officials to swim in polluted Rio waters - Awful Announcing
Dick Vitale met The Rock on the Ballers set; How was your Tuesday? - Awful Announcing
Legendary NASCAR voice Barney Hall passes away - Awful Announcing
Report: Darth Vader will appear in Star Wars anthology film, Rogue One - The Comeback

An updated Scooby-Doo? DC Entertainment is rebooting old Hanna-Barbera cartoons - The Comeback
Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce to star in E! reality dating show - Awful Announcing


-- Here's a good explainer on how the Iowa caucuses work (compared to the primaries most states use for voting). I wish I'd have participated in one during my two years in Iowa (though didn't want to change my voter registration). [Washington Post]

-- It often fascinates me when people root for teams outside where they grew up or live now. But TV and the Internet have changed regional loyalties, allowing fans to develop affection for any team he or she can follow. (I still can't get into any North Carolina teams, myself. Even with the Panthers' success.) [New York]

-- Slack has become a big part of my working life. I enjoy it, but do people really hate e-mail? It feels a bit more stable to me. [Bloomberg Business]

-- So if you follow politics, you've surely heard plenty of reporters and commentators say that the past seven months have shown that nothing follows a traditional pattern anymore. That even applies to Nate Silver and FiveThirtyEight, with regard to Donald Trump's chances. (By the way, I miss Silver and FiveThirtyEight at the New York Times.) [Slate]

-- I've probably said this in one form or another during the past six or seven years, but I really am trying to get into the NBA again. (This time around, my job might force me to.) So I've certainly been following the Kristaps Porzingis phenomenon closely, and enjoyed this look at how he ended up with the Knicks. [Yahoo Sports]

-- For most of my childhood, I wanted to work in comic books. So I'll always be interested in the process of making them. Watching how a page of The Fade Out gets created from script to finished page was fascinating. [The Art of Sean Phillips]


The week's writes and reads, 11-01-15

It's been quiet around here during the past month (not that it was ever loud to begin with), as October was busy — as it typically is during baseball's postseason — and I've gone into cryo-sleep on weekends. What, you can't even throw up a lousy links post, Ian? Apparently not. 

November will hopefully be an exciting month. Exciting things on the horizon. If you didn't know, the crew at Awful Announcing is starting up a new general sports-culture blog and we're looking for writers. Here's the official announcement, which includes details of how to apply, if you're interested. 

These are the podcast links to my radio appearances for the week. I'm hoping my spots on ESPN Asheville will soon be among these. I'm now on with The WISE Guys three times a week — Tuesdays and Thursdays for baseball news, and Wednesday for movie reviews — as the show has been expanded to three hours a day. Streaming online and podcasts are hopefully soon to come. 

Marty & Miller Show in Des Moines, IA - Tuesday (10-27, Hour 2, 19:00 mark)
Maximus & The Bartender, - Tuesday (42:00 mark)

The big media news this week was ESPN pulling the plug on Grantland, which was almost surely on life support once the network fired Bill Simmons in May. The sports-culture internet was a better place with Grantland's longer-form pieces on sports, TV, movies and music, and I've probably spent most of the past two-plus years trying to create content that aspired to the bar they set. (Though I fully acknowledge that the general public probably wasn't aware of the site.)

I could fill up this week's reading links with the many — so many — eulogies and tributes written for Grantland, but I'll keep it to just a couple. Before that, here's what I wrote this week. Thanks for checking in!


'Supergirl' shows superheroes can be fun, yet also taken seriously - The AP Party
Colin Cowherd calls out Michelle Beadle and Bill Simmons, Beadle bites back - Awful Announcing
Get ready: Ricky Gervais is hosting the Golden Globes again - The AP Party
Watch: Adele says 'Hello' to Lionel Richie, who returns the 'Hello' - The AP Party

Keys for the Royals to win the World Series - The Outside Corner
The Grantland NFL podcast returns from (self-imposed or inflicted) exile, tribute finally paid  - Awful Announcing
FanDuel will continue to offer college games, despite NCAA request - Awful Announcing
Top eight candidates for 2015 World Series MVP - The Outside Corner
Alcides Escobar's inside-the-park home run gets Royals off to blazing start - The Outside Corner
Fox loses TV feed for World Series broadcast - The Outside Corner

Eric Hosmer, Royals take 5-4, 14-inning win over Mets in World Series Game 1 - The Outside Corner
Report: Nationals set to hire Bud Black as manager - The Outside Corner
Johnny Cueto dominates Mets for 7-1 Royals win, 2-0 World Series lead - The Outside Corner

Marlins reportedly hire Don Mattingly as manager, signing him to four-year deal - The Outside Corner

ACC Network launch pushed back further at ESPN's request - Awful Announcing
Ken Hershman stepping down as HBO Sports president - Awful Announcing


-- Chris Cilizza on why Grantland made an impact, focusing on the "so what" and "now what" of journalism. [Washington Post]

-- If you didn't read Grantland, here are 13 articles that represent the best of what that site and its writers and editors created. [ThinkProgress]

-- Eating salad can make you fat? Well, that's oversimplifying. It's more about the trade and rationalization we make with ourselves when eating healthy. [New York Times]

-- Matt Crossman took a month off from social media, tired of the constant need for affirmation that it creates. So was he ultimately better off staying away? [Charlotte Magazine]

-- Do most radio shows and podcasts sound alike these days, trying to emulate the sound and pace of NPR programming? Maybe it applies to writing too. (Personally, I don't think so.) [New York Times]

-- One of the most intriguing storylines of Tuesday's Game 1 of the World Series was Royals pitcher Edinson Volquez playing while news of his father's death was being reported. Fox didn't report the news during its telecast, fearing Volquez would learn of it before being informed by his family. [The Washington Post]

-- Murphy Anderson wasn't the most popular comic book artist. But if you read DC Comics from the 1960s and 1970s, chances are you encountered his work somehow. He passed away this week at the age of 89. I didn't know he was born in Asheville, NC. [New York Times]

-- What will the football of the future look like and how will it function? (The ball itself, not the game.) What materials will it be made from, will there be a computer chip inside it and will it avoid being deflated? [Wired]


The week's writes and reads, 09-27-15

Writing-wise, I ended the week on a bit of an anxious note, after criticizing Lance Berkman for taking a stand against a LGBT rights proposition in Houston. As you might expect, that drew some negative reaction on social media with several attacks on Facebook and Twitter. I was also drawn into some comparatively civil discussions, which were still upsetting since it was clear no minds were going to be changed.

But this is the life that I have chosen, and I felt strongly enough about what I view as prejudice and persecution to have written about it. I'm grateful that I have that outlet and hope I didn't give my editors too much moderation work on a Friday evening. 

One radio appearance podcast for the week on 1700 The Champ in Iowa. (Thanks as always to Marty Tirrell and Trent Condon for setting that up. I love talking with those guys, and am flattered that they want my opinions on baseball.) Those might pick up a bit now that MLB is about to enter the postseason, which will be very exciting.

Marty & Miller Show, 1700 The Champ, Des Moines - Tuesday (9-22, Hour 1, 29:30 mark)

Here's what else I wrote this week besides the Berkman post, followed by a few reading links: 


End of season post-mortem: 2015 Oakland Athletics - The Outside Corner
Report: ESPN to lay off "200 to 300" employees over next few months - Awful Announcing
Bomani Jones gets 4 to 7 p.m. slot on ESPN Radio, Jalen & Jacoby move to radio - Awful Announcing
Video: Andy Samberg watches all the TV in Emmys 2015 opening number - The AP Party
NFLPA launching player-driven content producer called ACE Media - Awful Announcing

'Minority Report' smartly builds on original movie with promising debut episode - The AP Party
Marvel hires Ta-Nehisi Coates to write 'Black Panther' comic book - The AP Party

Yogi Berra's legacy transcends sports like few others, maybe anyone else - The Outside Corner
Dan Patrick talks about appearing on Scott Van Pelt's SportsCenter, the visitor pass and Keith Olbermann - Awful Announcing
Fox Sports introducing "Fox Lab" initiative for new broadcast technologies - Awful Announcing

Watch: Haircuts and subprime mortgages are bad in 'The Big Short' trailer - The AP Party 

Rediscovering how magnificent 'Se7en' is, 20 years later - The AP Party
The new Bill Simmons podcast will be a lot like his old one - Awful Announcing
Jorge Sedano, Jen Lada to take 9 to 11 p.m. slot on ESPN Radio - Awful Announcing
Lance Berkman exposes his bigotry, speaking out against LGBT ordinance - The AP Party


-- I did not know this about my friend Howard Cole, but Sept. 22 was the 25th anniversary of his kidney transplant. Twenty-five years since he received a new lease on life. [CNN]

-- Big news in Asheville this week, which became a national story, was two coffee shop owners being exposed as serial misogynists and womanizers. Detailing their conquests and the demeaning way they portrayed women was discovered online, and their business is in fatal trouble. [Asheville Blog]

-- E-books sales are down, while print book sales are up? That's not what was supposed to happen. Wasn't print supposed to be dead? Personally, I still like reading a book and carrying it around, though I have a Kindle and iPad. It's an escape from looking at a screen all day. [New York Times]

-- I'm more jaded about marriage than I've ever been, so was naturally interested in quotes from men explaining when they knew their marriages were over. Some of these are sad, some are obvious. [Huffington Post]


The week's writes and reads, 09-20-15

I've had sort of an insecurity about not writing much baseball stuff over the past couple of weeks. That's my own doing, as I haven't been as aggressive in pursuing material and making pitches. Plus, we're kind of in a soft period for interest with the beginning of football season and MLB providing few compelling storylines at the moment. 

But I have to admit, when Marty Tirrell and Ken Miller were teasing me about whether or not I still wrote for The Outside Corner, I winced a little bit. Here's my weekly appearance on their show: 

Marty & Miller Show, 1700 The Champ, Des Moines - Tuesday (9-15, Hour 2, 20:10 mark)

I like to think I jumped back into baseball writing this week, and hope to continue that as the season surges toward the end of division races and into the playoffs. This is going to be an exciting postseason with a lot of new blood in it, and I'm excited to be able to write about it. 

Here are all of my posts for the week, followed by the stuff I enjoyed reading: 


Drew Storen breaks thumb, becomes unofficial symbol for 2015 Nationals - The Outside Corner
Ben Foster admitted taking PEDs to play Lance Armstrong in 'The Program' - Awful Announcing
Video: Clive Owen ready to make history in 'The Knick' season two trailer - The AP Party
Call him the Candy Man? Rece Davis changing his name to Reese - Awful Announcing
Craig Sager talks to Houston TV station about cancer treatment - Awful Announcing

End of season post-mortem: 2015 Miami Marlins - The Outside Corner
David Feherty moves to NBC, will expand beyond sports into entertainment - Awful Announcing
Watch: 'The Jungle Book' trailer brings Disney animated classic to life - The AP Party

MLB hot seat rankings: Which managers are most likely to be fired? - The Outside Corner
Report: ESPN president John Skipper receives contract extension through 2018 - Awful Announcing
Report: Mike Lupica out at New York Daily News in wave of layoffs - Awful Announcing
Last week, DraftKings and FanDuel generated twice what Vegas sports books pulled in - Awful Announcing
Fox Sports Live's Jay Onrait channels Stephen Colbert to "embrace debate" - Awful Announcing

South Park mocks DeflateGate, as Cartman dreams of Brady and Goodell - Awful Announcing

'Black Mass' reminds us that Johnny Depp is a hell of an actor - The AP Party
Buffalo Wild Wings pulls ad campaign starring The League's Steve Rannazzissi - Awful Announcing
Panthers' Josh Norman questions how much attention Jon Gruden pays to the NFL - Awful Announcing


-- This might be some of the best advice ever given on writing, or commentary on the writer's life. What is success? Are you a failure if you haven't "broken through"? Or is just being able to write, and hopefully make a living from it after committing so much to doing so, the true reward? [The Cut]

-- These are the people Dylann Roof stayed with before his mass shooting in Charleston. Why didn't they try to stop him or alert someone to what he was talking about? [Washington Post]

-- This is the kind of thing that makes you wonder how we can all live in the same world but see it and interpret it so differently. There are people out there who think the Roanoke shooting was a hoax? Maybe that's the thing; we don't really live in the same world. [The Daily Beast]

-- Michigan and Michigan State play each other in football on Oct. 17. On Sept. 15, Michigan played its first home game under new head coach Jim Harbaugh. But later that same day, MSU had a huge game against Oregon in East Lansing. Shouldn't the Spartans have received more attention? [Campus Rush]

-- Actor Jesse Eisenberg is an intriguing character (though maybe not as intriguing as he thinks he is). Still, as someone who writes, plays a variety of roles and is about to play one of the most famous comic book supervillains in Lex Luthor, he's an interesting guy to interview. [New York Observer]

-- Comedian Steve Rannazzissi lied about working in the World Trade Center on 9/11, making it a key part of his biography. What motivated him not only to fabricate that story in the first place, but continue to perpetuate the fiction? [Vulture]


The week's writes and reads, 09-06-15

Leading up to Labor Day weekend, I wasn't sure what kind of writing workload I might take on. I didn't write many longer-form columns this week, though I'm happy I did something on Wes Craven's Swamp Thing. Due to scheduling, unexpected events and some poor planning, I didn't write as much baseball stuff as I intended. We'll try again next week! 

Yet between having to help keep the office running while big stuff was happening on- and off-site with Awful Announcing, along with stories about the Concussion trailer and Jim Harbaugh's debut as Michigan football coach, it turned out to be typically busy. 

Here are podcasts of two radio interviews this week (besides my weekly hits on ESPN Asheville):

Marty & Miller Show, 1700 The Champ, Des Moines - Tuesday (9-1, Hour 1, 38:13 mark)
In the Huddle with Ragz, 750 The Game, Portland, OR - Tuesday

Not a big reading week for me, as most of that time was spent on work-related content. But this is the stuff I wrote:


Watch: Will Smith takes on the NFL in 'Concussion' trailer - The AP Party
Following Jake Arrieta's no-hitter, Cubs hit the road in pajamas - The Outside Corner
Watch: 'All Things Must Pass' trailer eulogizes Tower Records - The AP Party

How the Mariners' new GM can start cleaning up Jack Zduriencik's mess - The Outside Corner
Sony Pictures cut scenes from Concussion to avoid angering NFL - Awful Announcing
There will be no Coach reboot; NBC punts on the series - Awful Announcing
Craig Sager visits Turner Sports crew in Houston, says leukemia treatment going well - Awful Announcing

Concussion director disputes report that scenes were cut to appease NFL - Awful Announcing
Wes Craven gave us 'Swamp Thing,' which I'll always remember fondly - The AP Party
Apple pursued exclusive podcast deal with Bill Simmons - Awful Announcing

'Arrow' reveals Diggle's new look, and it's a bit goofy - The AP Party

Utah bans the "Harbus" from campus before Thursday's game vs. Michigan - Awful Announcing
ACC still deliberating conference network, but talks ongoing with ESPN - Awful Announcing
Watch: Trailer for 'Beasts of No Nation," Netflix's first original film - The AP Party
Vice Sports launching new sports channel headlined by Carmelo Anthony - Awful Announcing

Video: Arrow returns to Starling City in season four trailer - The AP Party


-- Roberto Ferdman continues to be one of my favorite writers. Here's a piece he did on the effect low-carb and gluten-free eating has had on pasta sales, even in Italy. (This one definitely hits home for me, since I have to watch my carbs closely.) [Washington Post]

-- I'm in favor of baseball players showing more flair and emotion on the field. Why is bat-flipping so accepted in South Korea, for example, but not in America? Too showy? Not playing "the right way"? C'mon, it's fun. [New York Times]

-- One of my favorite shows is PBS' The Mind of a Chef. One of the subjects of season four is Gabrielle Hamilton. "[...] it’s about 40 percent food and 60 percent health department, payroll, plumbing, refrigeration, garbage, bill paying. It’s not like you sit around thinking up your next masterpiece dish." [Vanity Fair]

-- If it seems like we see more one-handed catches in football than ever before, it's probably not your imagination. And it's almost certainly because of the gloves skill position players wear. (Even the quarterbacks are wearing them now!) [Los Angeles Times]


The week's writes and reads, 08-30-15

During a week in which I somehow didn't write any baseball columns or articles, I was extremely grateful to scratch that itch by doing some analysis on sports talk radio. Besides my two weekly spots on ESPN Asheville, I managed to hit a few of my regular stops as well. You can listen to those here: 

Marty & Miller Show, 1700 The Champ, Des Moines - Tuesday (8-25, Hour 2, 00:44 mark)
The Dave Jamieson Show, TSN 1260, Edmonton - Wednesday (30:54 mark)
In the Huddle with Ragz, 750 The Game, Portland, OR - Thursday

Back on the baseball bus this coming week! I can't go that long without some ballwriting, especially as we go into September, the last month of what's been a fun regular season and building toward what promises to be an exciting postseason. 

Here are the links to articles I actually did write this week: 


Aaron Rodgers gets his lip-sync on in Olivia Munn's latest Instagram vids - Awful Announcing

Fox Sports 1's C.J. Nitkowski returned to old Tiger Stadium site while in Detroit - Awful Announcing
Video: Bill Hader nails a Conan O'Brien impression for Conan O'Brien - The AP Party
Kentucky Sports Radio's Matt Jones being recruited to run for Congress - Awful Announcing

Nice job, kid: 12-year-old trips, punches hole in $1.5 million painting - The AP Party
CW Seed's 'Vixen' provides appetizer while waiting for 'Arrow' and 'The Flash' - The AP Party

Blue Jays' Jose Bautista refusing interviews with Sportsnet to support rookie teammate - Awful Announcing
ESPN GamePlan is no more, ESPN College Extra to take its place - Awful Announcing
Pirates' Jung Ho Kang's home runs sound even more glorious in Korean - Awful Announcing

'The Daily Show' evolves, hiring Baratunde Thurston to oversee digital content - The AP Party
Michael Fassbender really is doing that 'Assassin's Creed' movie - The AP Party

Kevin Bacon gets great role in small, but thrilling 'Cop Car' - The AP Party
Redskins coach Jay Gruden would like the media to stop calling him fat - Awful Announcing
NFL video-ad partnership with Facebook has quietly ended - Awful Announcing
The Players Tribune expanding digital video offerings with "From Somewhere" series - Awful Announcing


-- One of the most intriguing aspects of Stephen Colbert taking over CBS' The Late Show is him ditching the persona he developed for years on The Colbert Report. That is just one thing this profile by Joel Lovell touches on, as Colbert prepares to step into the network spotlight. [GQ]

-- I'm very intrigued by TNT's new show Public Morals, with Edward Burns being the creative force behind it. He's kind of the face of 1990s indie romantic dramedy to me, and now he's doing a period cop drama on TV? [indieWIRE]

-- Jimmy Carter's presidential legacy often gets sneered at and shit upon. But he deserves much better. If you're not familiar with what he accomplished in the White House, here's a primer on his legacy from someone who worked in the Carter administration. [New York Times]

-- Remember when Borat was a big thing, with so many people you know talking about the movie or doing an imitation of him? Nine years later, it's a cultural relic. Is it just that we're fickle or was Borat's humor more a product of its time? [Splitsider]

-- Ownership of web addresses and URLs is often a tricky thing, sometimes with intriguing stories behind them. Ben Lindbergh writes about the brothers who still won't give up "" to the Minnesota Twins baseball team. Will MLB ever meet their price (whatever it is)? [Grantland]

-- Larry King is still around, folks. His TV show is long gone, CNN filling that slot with documentaries and special news programs now. King is still tweeting and has an internet show, though he's now thinking about how his career and life will end. [New York Times]


The week's writes and reads, 08-02-15

It figured to be a busy week with the MLB Trade Deadline on Friday. But after noting all of my posts for the week, I'm kind of surprised at how much I wrote. Thanks for being interesting and newsworthy, baseball! 

One radio appearance podcasted for the week. Tony James and Ryan Roberts subbed in on Des Moines' 1700 The Champ for Marty Tirrell and Ken Miller, and asked if I could come on to talk about trade deadline news. Fortunately, they had a spot open after the 4 p.m. ET deadline. 

Marty & Miller Show, 1700 The Champ, Des Moines - Friday (7-31, Hour 3, 34:40 mark)

No reading links for this week. There just wasn't any time for reading anything non-baseball related! 


'Southpaw' misses badly with its punches, making you wish for another movie - The AP Party
'Vacation' screenwriters to script new Spider-Man movie - The AP Party
LeSean McCoy said media took 'ladies only' party invite out of context - Awful Announcing
Watch: Will Ferrell takes over MLB in 'Ferrell Takes the Field' trailer - The AP Party

Trading Troy Tulowitzki begins Rockies' much-needed reconstruction project - The Outside Corner
Damon Amendolara, other CBS Sports Radio hosts, take shots at Mike Francesa - Awful Announcing
Johnny Cueto dons a Royal crown upon joining Kansas City - The Outside Corner
Former Tennessean beat writer Jim Wyatt to work for Titans' official site - Awful Announcing
Mets reliever Jenrry Mejia tests positive for PEDs again, suspended 162 games - The Outside Corner
Watch: Omar Infante, Alcides Escobar turn dazzling play for Royals - The Outside Corner

Mets get their big bat, nabbing Carlos Gomez from Brewers - The Outside Corner
Eli Manning and Tony Romo in Rob Lowe-style ads for DirecTV - Awful Announcing
Watch: Troy Tulowitzki hits his first home run for Blue Jays - The Outside Corner

Cardinals' Matt Holliday re-injures quad, return to DL likely - The Outside Corner
Netflix plans to provide a dose of Marvel TV every six months - The AP Party
Hulk Hogan accuses Gawker of leaking racist rant in new court documents filed - Awful Announcing 
Stephen A. Smith lashes out at those who doubted his Tom Brady report - Awful Announcing 
Pat Murphy says he pulled Justin Upton, Tyson Ross to mess with media - The Outside Corner 
ESPN Radio announces three teams to fill Colin Cowherd's former slot in August - Awful Announcing 
Yankees get Dustin Ackley from Mariners for two minor leaguers - The Outside Corner 
Crying shame: Lack of originality among Wednesday's NY tabloids - Awful Announcing
Tigers' reboot continues, Joakim Soria traded to Pirates - The Outside Corner 

Winners and losers of the 2015 MLB Trade Deadline - The Outside Corner
'Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation' is the action movie we've wanted all summer - The AP Party
MLB Network apparently slaps temporary logo on wall behind Ken Rosenthal - Awful Announcing


Troy Tulowitzki and I will always have this moment

Shortstop Troy Tulowitzki was traded from the Colorado Rockies to the Toronto Blue Jays late Monday night/early Tuesday morning.

I'll save the baseball side of it for whatever I write at The Outside Corner, though Rockies fans have to be bummed about the face of the franchise being traded. (Even if it was expected.) On a personal note, Tulowitzki and I will always have this moment from this past June when he read a "mean tweet" of mine. 

No hard feelings, Tulo? It was a joke. I don't even remember when or why I tweeted that. If we ever meet, we can talk about what a great city Toronto is. Probably my favorite place I've visited. I love it there. OK, we can talk about the tweet too, if you even remember it by that point.