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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Entries in writing (35)

Sunday
Aug072016

The week's writes and reads, 08-07-16

So how everyone's been doing? How's your summer gone so far? Enjoyed your trips and vacations? The searing heat throughout the country? 

Yet again, we try to blow out the cobwebs, open the windows and let some fresh air into this blog and website. Back in April, I was promoted to more of a lead editor role at The Comeback, overseeing our longer feature content. It's been fun and fulfilling, but I'm a lot busier on a daily basis.

Unfortunately, that's kind of affected my writing output (especially with baseball), and also left me too fried to remember posting even a weekly writing/reading update here at The Casselbloggy. 

But now that we're beginning August and the summer is sort of winding down (a reality that was always depressing as a kid), I'm going to try yet again to keep this thing somewhat active — and hopefully with more than just weekly updates of what I wrote and read each week.

Really, I should start a newsletter, right? That's the thing to do these days. Although do you need one more newsletter in your email inbox? And really, something needs to update this site. 

Thanks for checking in. And I hope I can include some writing here, especially with the presidential campaign having about three months to go. For now, here's what I wrote and enjoyed reading this week.

WRITTEN:

Monday
The Night Of episode 4 recap: The Art of War - The Comeback
Big 12 expansion not so appealing to ESPN and Fox Sports as TV partners - Awful Announcing

Tuesday
Being Bret Bielema moving from digital video series to ESPNU - Awful Announcing

Wednesday
Hawk Harrelson and Steve Stone talk it out, all is good on White Sox telecasts - Awful Announcing
IOC gives media web tool to report press freedom violations in Rio - Awful Announcing

Thursday
Mr. Robot season 2, episode 5 recap: The if/then moment - The Comeback
ESPN usage of Olympics video footage restricted until NBC daily coverage ends - Awful Announcing

Friday
Suicide Squad wastes great concept by being a two-hour trailer, not a movie - The Comeback
Darren Rovell signs new contract with ESPN, had talks with CNBC - Awful Announcing
UFC champ Tyron Woodley joining cast of Spider-Man: Homecoming - Awful Annoucning

Saturday
ESPN's 2016 college football theme is "Collider" by X Ambassadors and Tom Morello - Awful Announcing

READ:

** I think I already knew this, but cargo shorts are frowned upon? This is a staple of my wardrobe for three-quarters of the year, living in North Carolina. "Socially acceptable sweatpants"! [Wall Street Journal]

** Kim Masters always does great work with her investigative features. No one is likely surprised by this piece on the Suicide Squad production, filled with corporate fear and interference. [The Hollywood Reporter]

** This is a really cool multimedia piece on Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte and a technique in the freestyle that's been a key to his success. [New York Times]

** So how bad a week did Donald Trump have? So bad. [NPR]

** Amanda Waller (played by Viola Davis) may be the best character in Suicide Squad. So how was she created? Here's her DC Comics history. [Vulture]

** I was not a fan of Jason Bourne, but Devindra Hardawar highlights another problematic aspect of the movie: It gets tech totally wrong. [Engadget]

** This might be because I live around a lot of old people, but I hear a lot about knee, back and hip surgeries that didn't work. The back ones, especially, probably weren't necessary. [New York Times]

Sunday
Feb212016

The week's writes and reads, 02-21-16

This past week was probably one of the slowest on the sports calendar. Maybe most of us should have just taken a vacation, rather than try to wring water from a stone. But it was also the week baseball players began to report for spring training, so with little else to talk about, that got a few radio stations and podcasts calling me up.

That includes my debut on ESPN Upstate, the ESPN Radio affiliate in Greenville, S.C. I don't know if that will result in a regular gig or not (and might depend on how much people want to talk about the Atlanta Braves), but it's always fun to talk to someone new, especially when it's practically a local show. Here are some audio links, if you'd like to listen:

Marty & Miller Show, 1700 KGBB, Des Moines - Tuesday (02-16, Hour 2, 37:20 mark)
Maximus & The Bartender, XERSradio.com - Tuesday (59.55 mark)
The Huddle with Greg McKinney, ESPN Upstate, Greenville, SC - Friday 

And these are the links for this week's notable writing and reading. My thanks to you for stopping by! 

WRITTEN:

Monday
Better Call Saul and the 10 best spinoffs in TV history - The Comeback
Peyton Manning is highly in demand by networks wanting him for analyst role - Awful Announcing
Holly Rowe details surgery and treatment for cancer, eyes return at end of February - Awful Announcing
LeBron James endorsement on Twitter worth $165,000 in value - Awful Announcing

Wednesday
The People v. O.J. Simpson recap: The best defense money can buy - The Comeback

Thursday
Serial recap: Where were you gonna go, Bowe? - The Comeback

Friday
Race pays tribute to Jesse Owens legend, but story takes on too much - The Comeback
The Witch unnerves with quiet terror, but could bore those looking for scares - The Comeback

READ:

-- Sylvester Stallone will probably be the best moment of the 2016 Oscars, if — when — he wins Best Supporting Actor and gets a great victory lap for his career. [NY Times]

-- "How does TMZ get this stuff?" The deep network of sources the tabloid site has built up, largely with generous payouts for tips and leaks, is impressive. "Everybody rats everybody else out." [New Yorker]

-- During a time when we see as divided politically as ever, the friendship between Justices Antonin Scalia and Ruth Bader Ginsburg could teach us some lessons about respecting one another's views. [Washington Post]

-- I've been a longtime fan of John Dickerson for his work at Slate, which has always been thoughtful, insightful and witty. Glad to see him get his moment as host of CBS' Face the Nation during this election. [NY Times]

-- Don Van Natta and Seth Wickersham have been doing great work for ESPN, the latest example being this account of the Rams moving back to Los Angeles. [ESPN The Magazine]

-- I go back and forth on Matt Taibbi, respecting his boldness and aggressiveness while also cringing because he seems to enjoy being a jerk. But he has some great points about fans and media caring about sports more than politics and current events. [The Cauldron]

Sunday
Feb142016

The week's writes and reads, 02-14-16

More of a productive week, writing-wise, thanks to the Super Bowl. Although staying up late Sunday night into Monday morning to get those pieces done made me a zombie for the early part of the week. 

In addition to my usual appearances on ESPN Asheville, I was on the Marty & Miller show in Iowa to talk about daily fantasy sports and some baseball, as we get closer to spring training: 

Marty & Miller Show in Des Moines, IA - Thursday (02-11, Hour 3, 20:00 mark)

All righty, the week's writing and reading links are below. Thanks for checking in! 

WRITTEN:

Sunday
The 10 Best Super Bowl 50 Commercials - The Comeback
Super Bowl 50 halftime: Bruno Mars, Beyonce blow Coldplay off the stage - The Comeback

Monday
The 10 Worst Super Bowl 50 Commercials - The Comeback
Hail, Caesar! lets its stars have a blast, making fun of 1950s Hollywood - The Comeback
LeBron James among NBA All-Stars to voice characters on Cartoon Network - Awful Announcing

Tuesday
Fox marks down DraftKings investment by 60 percent, as company’s value drops $95 million - Awful Announcing
Samantha Bee stands on her own with Full Frontal's debut - The AP Party
Watch: Conan O'Brien spoofs Cam Newton's post-Super Bowl press conference - The Comeback
Watch: Daniel Bryan says goodbye to wrestling fans; WWE Network pays tribute - The Comeback

Wednesday
The People v. O.J. Simpson recap: He might kill himself, but what about me? - The Comeback
Baseball writer Tom Singer passes away at 67 - Awful Announcing

Thursday
Watch: Do not mess with Batman in final Batman v Superman trailer - The Comeback

Friday
Deadpool slices up superhero tropes with relish, joking the entire way - The Comeback
Where's Oscar? Mike Francesa has issues with ESPN's all-time NBA Top 100 - Awful Announcing
Claiming censorship, Kevin Kiley resigns from Cleveland sports talk radio show - Awful Announcing
Dallas Mavericks analyst says during broadcast that Saskatchewan is named after sasquatches - Awful Announcing

Proud that I could sneak a reference to Marvel Comics Alpha Flight into that sasquatch piece, which I'm sure very few noticed or cared about. Canada's superhero team! 

READ:

-- VICE seems like a media company ready to truly break out, but maybe their reach is exceeding their financial backing? But TV could change that. [Variety]

-- It's been a choppy two weeks for Marco Rubio. A bad performance in the New Hampshire debate, followed by a bad finish in that primary. But after doing well in the South Carolina debate, maybe he'll do well in next week's primary? This race is nuts. [NY Times]

-- This week's episode of FX's The People v. O.J. Simpson (which I recapped above) dramatized the June 17, 1994 Bronco chase that became a signature event in our culture. What were you doing that day? [Washington Post]

-- It's been a year since David Carr died. I wasn't entirely comfortable reading this post by his daughter, but I know writing about grief can help process it. [Medium]

-- I haven't read many Deadpool comics, though am familiar with the character. But here's a good piece on how his popularity has developed over the past 25 years. [Vulture]

-- New York Mets reliever (or former Mets reliever) Jenrry Mejia, 26, either has a significant dependency issue or is the dumbest athlete currently throwing a ball. He's failed three PED tests in the span of 10 months, resulting in a lifetime ban from baseball. [Sports Illustrated]

-- Considering how big a role Twitter plays in my life (professionally and personally), I often forget how little it matters to people who don't necessarily live online or consume media 12-16 (or more) hours a day. So that lack of importance may have finally caught up with it. [NY Times]

Sunday
Feb072016

The week's writes and reads, 02-07-16

I adore my little niece. She's one of the truly good things in my life and I cherish every bit of time I can spend with her (and her little sister). But when she's around (as she was Wednesday through Friday), even when she's sick, it's hard to get work done. I managed to fit some in between coming up with ways to entertain her, but it was a struggle. 

Oh, and I was able to hide in a room to take a couple of radio calls, including this one from Iowa:

Marty & Miller Show in Des Moines, IA - Thursday (02-04, Hour 2, 37:00 mark)

This week, I started my weekly recaps for FX's The People v. O.J. Simpson, which I volunteered to write. Hope I don't regret that. That, along with more writing and reading links from this week are below. Thanks for stopping by! 

WRITTEN:

Monday
The Finest Hours starts slow, but strong cast saves Coast Guard rescue story - The Comeback
Video: Jeremy Lin's hair has attracted plenty of attention from NBA announcers - Awful Announcing

Tuesday
Louis C.K.'s Horace and Pete shows ambition, but tests fan loyalty - The Comeback
Charlie Rose loses bet, wears Cam Newton pants on CBS This Morning - The Comeback

Wednesday
The People v. O.J. Simpson recap: The Juice did it, right? - The Comeback

Friday
Serial recap: What, you guys couldn't shave? - The Comeback
Katie Nolan's response to Gronk's FS1 lapdance might surprise you - Awful Announcing

Saturday
After NESN departure, Don Orsillo encouraged by Yankees manager Joe Girardi - Awful Announcing
Wayne Rooney meets Deadpool in ad, Manchester United and Fox form partnership - Awful Announcing

READ:

-- If he hasn't already, Daniel Norris is going to become a favorite of Detroit Tigers fans. He's certainly piqued my interest. And he's a pretty damn good photographer! I won't jinx him by buying his jersey t-shirt. [ESPN.com]

-- This is the second time I've linked to a story about New York Knicks rookie Kristaps Porzingis. And as usual, I've been slow to watch the NBA. But I'm intrigued by this guy. Now I just have to watch him play more. [Sports Illustrated]

-- One of my favorite memories of going to the University of Iowa is being in that state during an election year. I wish I'd have participated in a caucus, but it was enough to be visited by every candidate and several celebrities. Ryan Lizza captures the atmosphere well. [The New Yorker]

-- I confess I haven't been enamored with Trevor Noah's version of The Daily Show. Noah is funny and talented, but I just want Jon Stewart during this election. Apparently, I'm not the only one who feels that way. [Slate]

Sunday
Jan312016

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! 

WRITTEN:

Monday
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

Wednesday
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

Friday
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

READ:

-- 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]

Sunday
Jan242016

The week's writes and reads, 01-24-16

January is typically a thin month for writing about baseball. Maybe more so this year, as the free agent market for position players has been slow to move. And the NFL is currently ruling the day. (Well, it rules every day, but especially during the playoffs.) But I got to write something about support growing for the designated hitter in the National League, which stirred some passion among baseball fans. 

Editorial and writing duties for The Comeback have also been keeping me busy, often in a good way. But it was a particularly sticky week that occupied more of what would have been writing time. Hopefully, that changes in the week to come. Here are this week's writing and reading links. Thank you for checking in! 

WRITTEN:

Sunday
Ronda Rousey to star with Tina Fey in comedy "Do Nothing Bitches" - Awful Announcing
Disney looking to develop movie about TCU backup QB Bram Kohlhausen - Awful Announcing
Report: Netflix developing Punisher series, spinoff from Daredevil season two - The Comeback

Monday
Netflix renews Jessica Jones for second season - The Comeback

Tuesday
As support grows for designated hitters in National League, rule change is inevitable - The Comeback
MLB offers single-team packages, lower MLB.tv rates in antitrust suit settlement - Awful Announcing
Watch: Neighbors 2 trailer teams Seth Rogen, Zac Efron against new sorority - The Comeback

Wednesday
Gawker sells minority stake to outside investors due to risk of upcoming Hulk Hogan trial - Awful Announcing
Watch: The memories come back in FX's The People v. O.J. Simpson trailer - The Comeback

Thursday
James Franco plays twins in David Simon's HBO series set in porn industry - The Comeback

Friday
Watch: Seth Meyers is wicked pissah in Boston Accent trailer - The Comeback
Serial recap: Trying to find Bowe Bergdahl from the United States - The Comeback

READ:

-- I know I shouldn't stick Q-tips in my ear, but I do every morning. I like to flirt with danger. [Washington Post]

-- One of the reasons I liked Glenn Frey (and the Eagles) is his Detroit connection. I've always enjoyed that part of his story, and enjoy hearing as much about it as I can. [Detroit Free Press]

-- I'm still trying to decide between Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders, but this brings up some concerns I have about the Sanders campaign. [Vox]

-- "Our food is not healthy; we will be healthy if we eat nutritious food. Words matter." Guilty as charged. [Washington Post]

-- Obviously, Olympic sports will draw more interest with the Rio Games this summer. But Pat Forde's piece on more color making its way into swimming is intriguing. [Yahoo Sports]

-- I'm often fascinated by adaptation, turning books into movies or TV shows. Adapting The Big Short into a film is something I could read a whole lot more about. [Creative Screenwriting]

-- John Heilemann and Will Leitch doing a podcast? On the intersection of politics and pop culture? Yes, I will probably listen to that. [Bloomberg Politics]

Sunday
Sep272015

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: 

WRITTEN:

Monday
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

Tuesday
'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

Wednesday
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

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

Friday
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

READ:

-- 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]

Sunday
Sep202015

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: 

WRITTEN:

Monday
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

Tuesday
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

Wednesday
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

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

Friday
'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

READ:

-- 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]