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Michael Shapiro
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Michael Shapiro is the author of five books, including "The Last Good Season: Brooklyn, the Dodgers and Their Final Pennant Race Together." His newest book, "Bottom of the Ninth: Branch Rickey, Casey Stengel and the Daring Scheme to Save Baseball From Itself" will be published in May. His work has appeared in such places as The New Yorker, The New York Times, Esquire and Sports Illustrated. He teaches journalism at Columbia University.

Blog Entries by Michael Shapiro

(Un) Happy Anniversary: 45 Years Since Baseball Debuted on Pay-TV

Posted July 29, 2009 | 11:59:29 (EST)

The Los Angeles Dodgers will be in St. Louis tonight to play the Cardinals, and it is only fitting that the game will be available only to those who pay to watch.

For this month marks the 45th anniversary of baseball's first pay-to-view major league baseball game, and with whom...

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Tom Glavine and the Fate of the Aging Athlete

Posted June 4, 2009 | 12:22:55 (EST)

Tom Glavine did not wish to retire and so the Atlanta Braves, who did not want him anymore, did him the courtesy of releasing him.

Perhaps another club, in need of left-handed pitching will sign him. There is talk of interest from the Dodgers and Phillies. But Milwaukee, in...

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Why Sotomayor Couldn't Really Save Baseball

Posted May 28, 2009 | 10:45:28 (EST)

Let me add my voice to all the many others -- the President's included! -- who have declared their eternal gratitude to Judge Sonia Sotomayor for doing what she could to save baseball from its self-destructive ways.

Sotomayor, as the world now knows, acted swiftly and decisively in 1995 when...

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There Is No Joy in Metsville -- Thank Heavens!

Posted May 21, 2009 | 12:28:20 (EST)

The New York Mets, my Mets, have lost four in a row and I am avoiding tuning into WFAN, the local sports talk radio station, for fear of being made to feel even worse about things than I already do.

I listened for a while yesterday as listener after listener...

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Break Up The Royals; Damn (the) Yankees

Posted May 12, 2009 | 15:20:49 (EST)

The feel good story of the young baseball season is unfolding in Kansas City, and the timing could not be better, not with Manny's suspension, A-Rod's confession and the steroids story that never seems to go away.

The Royals are in first place! -- okay, as of this morning tied...

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Ebbets Field, Redux

Posted April 14, 2009 | 10:43:37 (EST)

Superlatives ran amok at last night's opening of the Mets' new ball yard in Queens, but ironic was not among them.

A pity, really, because there is a wonderful, if little known tale that explains a great deal about the new and handsome Citi Field -- how and why it...

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Opening Day, and the Madness of Fandom

Posted April 6, 2009 | 16:13:45 (EST)

It is Opening Day and a show of hands, please, from all those sitting at their desks, and deluding themselves into thinking they are working while A BALL GAME IS ON.

Let me be the first to confess.

Endless tasks await me. And yet, in the corner of my screen...

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The (Dark) Patron Saint of Japanese Baseball

Posted March 13, 2009 | 13:04:36 (EST)

Maybe the Japanese will repeat at champions of the World Baseball Classic.

And maybe they too will fall, as the Dominicans did, to the juggernaut that is...the Netherlands?

Japan will have to defeat, among others, Cuba and the United States, which was last seen losing to Venezuela. There is also...

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Can Suffering Redeem Alex Rodriguez?

Posted March 6, 2009 | 10:30:48 (EST)

The path to redemption has revealed itself to Alex Rodriguez and in comes through pain.
A-Rod is hurt and his injury is far more extensive than the Yankees had imagined. He has torn the labrum on his right hip, an injury that often requires surgery that would sideline him...

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The Mystery of Manny

Posted March 2, 2009 | 09:09:14 (EST)

The great and enigmatic Manny Ramirez has rejected yet another offer by the Dodgers, this one for $25 million, with an optional second year for $20 million. The Dodgers, in turn, have cut off talks.

Only Los Angeles has shown much interest in Ramirez, a reflection, reports ESPN's Buster Olney,...

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Heads in the Sand (And Why Baseball Survives)

Posted February 24, 2009 | 10:39:26 (EST)

Donald Fehr, who heads baseball's players' union, launched his spring training barnstorming tour yesterday by assuring one and all that just because 103 players in addition to Alex Rodriguez tested positive in 2003 for banned substances, this by no means taints the reputations of everyone else.

A foolish claim, but...

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Shea Stadium, RIP

Posted February 19, 2009 | 09:16:53 (EST)

The last pillars of Shea Stadium dissolved into slag and dust yesterday and the mourning will be brief. Shea was not a well-loved place, except among those who take such pleasure in the masochistic exercise of Mets fandom that they could see beauty in a stadium that most everyone else...

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A-Rod: Ah, Youth

Posted February 17, 2009 | 15:20:40 (EST)

It took no time at all to see at this afternoon's much-awaited press conference where Alex Rodriguez hoped to land the good ship Public Image. Yes, he said, quickly and little mournfully, he and he alone is to blame for the shame he has brought upon himself, the game, and...

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Drip, Drip, Drip: Baseball and Steroids, Redux

Posted February 10, 2009 | 16:54:45 (EST)

Baseball's chattering class is well along in working through the meaning, the fallout, the lasting impact, the pain, the betrayal, the possibility of forgiveness that is booming around the sordid business of Alex Rodriguez's now-admitted use of performance enhancing drugs.
The rending of garments -- say it ain't...

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Baseball's Pattern of Denial

Posted February 9, 2009 | 18:19:40 (EST)

The issue before baseball is not Alex Rodriguez. It is the other 103 names on the list of players who for reasons that boggle the mind were assured of confidentiality if testing revealed that they had used performance-enhancing drugs.

The issue cuts to the heart of what has ailed baseball...

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