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Friday, November 18, 2005

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personally, i am not dying in peace just yet. that title reads like so much hyperbole at this point.

also, why would i spend $24.95 hardcover when i can just read http://search.espn.go.com/keyword/search?searchString=bill_simmons>the simmons archive online?

Beth, the title is a reference to countless Red Sox fans who never thought they'd see a world championship. Those of us youngsters (and at 37 I still consider myself reasonably young) may not have quite reached the "I will die never having seen a title" mentality, but I know that my mom felt that way, my dad may have (but been too proud to admit it), and many friends and relatives thought the same thing, at least intermittently. "Now I can die in peace" was a constant claim of what could transpire if the Sox ever did win one; to me the title is perfectly appropriate, even if it doesn't mean the same thing to everyone.

Regarding your question, the book is heavily footnoted, the footnotes are voluminous, entertaining, enlightening, often hysterical re-assessments of some of Simmons' own claims about the Red Sox and baseball, and they are unavailable anywhere but in the book. The footnotes alone are worth at least 1/2 the price of the book.

I admire Simmons and his writing a great deal, but I'm less than enthusiastic about this book. I found the footnote gimmick tiresome, a perpetual elbow in the ribs. I'd rather have a through-written book on a single subject. Despite its immense success (and more power to him), this is a parochial book of old material, and it seems like he's capable of a lot more. I look forward to seeing just what that might be.

I hear Red Smith's Heaven Is Right Here On Earth In The Bronx is about to be reprinted.

Simmons is a great writer, too bad he's a Sox fan otherwise I'd buy the book. But I'll be damned if I'm gonna shell out good money to hear a Sox fan bash the Yankees, I don't care how funny he is.

Well that's darned open-minded of you. One of the prized possessions of my library to this day, and a book I read countless times as a kid, is "The Bronx Zoo" by Sparky Lyle. I never thought that I should get rid of it, and never thought to refuse to read it, just because it was by a Yankee and about the Yankees. Entertainment is entertainment.

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