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)
Powered by Squarespace

Entries in elsewhere (63)


The week's reads and writes, 09-13-15

I'm switching things around this week, as I felt like I read a lot of stuff this week worth linking to. I did write two reviews that were well-received, which is always nice. Links to those are below.

Happy that my friend Mike McClary is also posting good links with his new blog Five4Friday. It was either that or a newsletter like all the cool kids are doing these days. 

No radio appearances this week, other than my Tuesday and Thursday hits on ESPN Asheville. Again, I hope podcasts of those interviews will soon become available. Fingers crossed. 

So here we go! Thanks for stopping by, as always! 


-- I doubt any food writer has been more compelling or influential to me over the past 15-20 years than Mark Bittman. In many ways, I feel like he and Emeril Lagasse taught me how to cook, though I don't eat as many vegetables as he now encourages. Sad to see he's leaving the NYT. [New York Times]

-- Late on this, but I admire sportswriter Israel Gutierrez for coming out publicly, just before he got married. The story he shares about struggling with this while growing up is something everyone should read. The support he's gotten from colleagues and fans has been heartening. [Izzy Gutierrez]

-- I catch crap on this sometimes, but when I talk about missing Michigan, I usually talk about food. (No offense to friends and family.) Loved this article on Detroit's thriving food scene and the spotlight on coney dogs and shawarma. I miss Greek coney island restaurants terribly. [New York Times]

-- Do you think of Jim Gaffigan or Stephen Colbert as "Christian" comedians? Me either, but that's probably the point being made here by Ruth Graham. Not that it's anyone business, but both have been pretty candid about their faith and self-deprecating about touchy issues in their comedy. [Slate]

-- Thinking about how much I get paid for how many words I write or hours put into an article would probably get pretty depressing. But I'm certainly grateful for the numerous opportunities to get paid for writing that weren't available even 10 years ago. I've always known I should probably be more aggressive as a freelancer, though it's a tough way to go. [The Awl]

-- Of course, what you write about also influences how much you make. You're probably not making much money if you're writing about comic books, unfortunately. And critical coverage of the comics industry suffers for it. [The Beat]

-- I've wondered about this myself in recent months, but how uncomfortable would it be to watch Bill Cosby, Himself again, which is a stand-up comedy special many in my generation grew up with, maybe the first comedy special we ever watched? Yeah, it probably won't go well. [Splitsider]

-- I don't engage in this sort of thing as much as I used to when in college or working in bookstores, but I enjoyed Laura Miller's observation of how writers' work can be viewed based on "everyone" seeming to read them, how they're viewed in critical and cultural circles or public personas, and the heated discussions that come with that. [The New Yorker]

After the jump, links to the stuff I wrote this week.

This week's writing >>


The week's writes and reads, 08-09-15

Summer vacations have been good for me on the radio. I subbed in as co-host with Pat Ryan on ESPN Asheville twice this week (in addition to my two regular baseball spots), which was a whole lot of fun. If you told me 20 years ago that I would someday make appearances or co-hosting spots on sports talk radio, I'd have been thrilled. I very much appreciate Pat giving me the opportunity to indulge a dream.

It kills me that I can't post podcasts to those shows, but big things are ahead for The WISE Guys which might include making those appearances available to a wider audience. But here are the radio hits I can share with you from this week: 

Marty & Miller Show, 1700 The Champ, Des Moines - Monday (8-3, Hour 1, 37:38 mark)
In the Huddle with Ragz, 750 the Game, Portland, OR - Monday

And here's what I wrote for the week. A little bit lighter toward the end of the week, with me going into the radio studio for a couple of days. But Awful Announcing still kept me busy enough. 


Watch: 'True Detective' season one not a fan of season two - The AP Party
Video: Olivia Munn gets her kicks in 'X-Men: Apocalypse' Psylocke training - The AP Party

Chris Mortensen admits he could have done 'better job vetting' DeflateGate report - Awful Announcing
Thanks, Bill Murray: Lee Corso can no longer dress as Florida State mascot - Awful Announcing
Knicks analyst Walt Frazier isn't very enthused about team's chances this season - Awful Announcing
NBC Sports Live Extra brings back 'Tactical Cam,' interactive features for Premier League coverage - Awful Announcing
Floyd Mayweather's next fight will be on pay-per-view, not CBS - Awful Announcing
Joel McHale makes it officlal: 'Community' is done after six seasons - The AP Party

Strangely, Tigers' win-now approach seemed to push out Dave Dombrowski - The Outside Corner

Ballers is not the new Playmakers and shouldn't concern the NFL - Awful Announcing 
Jon Stewart is pumped up that the Mets are in first place - The Outside Corner
NBC expects to top $1 billion in ad sales for 2016 Rio Olympics - Awful Announcing

'Fantastic Four' is better than its negative buzz, but still falls apart - The AP Party


-- Just not a good week for anyone involved with Fantastic Four. Josh Trank ripped Fox in a tweet before deleting it. Then star Miles Teller had this profile, which makes him look like a jerk. Comparing glassware to his cock to a female writer? Classy. [Esquire]

-- This is a really good explanation of how TV ratings work, and just how many people are watching, though it's obviously an inexact science. But it helps explain why sites like BuzzFeed, Vice are trying hard to get their brands and content onto television. The internet only has so much reach, believe it or not. [Medium]

-- As long as Tom Cruise makes cool action movies, people seem to be able to separate what they see on screen from the weirdo he seems to be in real life. The key seems to be making action movies, though. When's the last time Cruise performed in any sort of drama? [Vulture]

-- Film critic Glenn Kenny was a friend of David Foster Wallace. He's not too thrilled about the attempt to make a movie featuring Wallace, with Jason Segel portraying him. As you might expect, Kenny has major problems with how Segel plays Wallace. I have to believe that will be a huge obstacle for anyone familiar with Wallace, or who knew him well. [The Guardian]


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!


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

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

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

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

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


-- 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]



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:


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

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

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

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

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

'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


-- 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]


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! 


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

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

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

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

'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

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


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. 


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

'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

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

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

'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

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

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


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. 


'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

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

'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

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

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 >>


-- 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]


The week's writes and reads, 06-07-15

I felt like I was off my game this week. Stuff like doctor appointments and helping with babysitting my nieces, along with some poor planning in terms of balancing editing with writing prevented me from getting more work than I should have — or would have — liked to. There's one article I definitely should have published this week, but just could not get it finished.

I'll chalk it up to one of those weeks, as long as it doesn't begin a pattern. I'll just get back to work this week, man.

OK, here's what I wrote and the articles that made for the most interesting reading during the past seven days. 


Documentary aims to tell story of never-made George Miller Justice League film - The AP Party
Caitlyn Jenner is Vanity Fair July 2015 cover story - The AP Party

Nationals need Michael Taylor to produce in Jayson Werth's absence - The Outside Corner
Dwayne Johnson gearing up to remake 'Big Trouble in Little China' - The AP Party

'Entourage' gives fans of the series exactly what they want - The AP Party
Mariners get Mark Trumbo, D-Backs receive a haul in return - The Outside Corner
'Furious 7' director James Wan signs on to helm 'Aquaman' - The AP Party

Jason Alexander explains why 'Seinfeld' killed off Susan, later feels 'officially awful' - The AP Party
Watch: Stephen Colbert sheds his 'Colbeard' in 'Late Show' teaser - The AP Party
CBS Sports Network to get a piece of the MACtion - Awful Announcing

'Hannibal' begins third season showing why it's like nothing else on TV - The AP Party
Watch: Key and Peele spoof the NBA and its TV announcers - Awful Announcing


-- I don't know how I've gone this far without watching Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. It just began its sixth "season" online. (We even have a writer recapping the show for The AP Party.) I gotta get on this. And here I consider myself a Jerry Seinfeld fan. Anyway, the whole venture is a pretty savvy career reinvention by Seinfeld. [NY Times]

-- Something else I need to watch is the R.E.M. by MTV documentary. One guy who likes the film quite a bit is Michael Stipe, who looks back at what the band did and didn't do well in this interview with Steven Hyden. I feel the need to re-listen to New Adventures in Hi-Fi. [Grantland]

-- This is probably overstating the case, but would there be a Marvel cinematic universe if not for the Ultimate Marvel line of comics in the 2000s? Comic book reboots can be housecleaning cash-grabs, but the Ultimate line modernized characters like Spider-Man and the Avengers successfully without pandering, providing the blueprint for the movies to follow. [Vulture]

-- How would it feel to see one of your old prom photos used as a stock image on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver? Jeremy Olshan experienced that last week. Very cool that he was able to pose for another photo with his prom date 23 years later. [MarketWatch]

-- A no-hitter always makes for a great baseball story. But Johan Santana's on June 1, 2012 — the first and only one in New York Mets history — has a compelling subplot to it: Did Santana ruin the rest of his career by throwing 134 pitches that night, one year removed from reconstructive surgery on his shoulder? His manager still feels guilty about it. [Sports Illustrated]

-- "What Americans see as healthy has evolved. Subway hasn’t." A very interesting look at the decline in Subway's fortunes, though it still feels like plenty of people eat their food and the locations are everywhere. But I don't eat there anymore, mostly because of the bread. I wonder how many others feel the same way? Or is it just that getting Subway always feels like a last resort? [Washington Post]