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  • Jim Gerard: DFA: A BLOG ABOUT LIFE ON THE BASEBALL MARGINS

    Jim Gerard is a journalist, dramatic writer and author of four books, including Yankees S**k, Beam Me Up, Jesus and Who Moved My Secret? His website is www.gangof60.com. He lives in New York City. “DFA” is the blog of lifetime minor league catcher Ric Grieff. It is a work of satirical fiction that will survey the landscape of contemporary professional baseball from the perspective of one of its most underprivileged participants.

    August 7, 2008: DFA, chapter 34: Harry Kurtzman, King of the Obscure Punchline

    … Because that part wasn’t going well. The team announced some cuts today, and I was one of them. Which meant I got sent to the minor league “gulag” (Letty’s word for the Yankees’ Tampa minor league complex), although it was far supe...Read More

    July 28, 2008: DFA, chapter 33: Purple Blotto

    The team managed to inject some levity into my life earlier tonight when they brought in the security rep from MLB to lecture us “youngsters” (as well as the vets) on the potential "professional" dangers ballplayers face.

    His name was Harrigan and he was a real straig...Read More

    July 13, 2008: DFA, chapter 32: The Postmodern Dilemma

    We lost again today – twice. They’re called “split-squad” games. Pacheco Perez, a Colombian infielding NRI who no habla the espanol, cowered beforehand in the clubhouse; he thought “split squad” meant the team was going to cut all of the players in half. Something that he claimed he saw ...Read More

    July 3, 2008: DFA, chapter 31: Enter Letty

    I wonder if those stathead guys could come up with a stat that could tell you what’s in a woman’s heart…

    Yeah, Kara is still occupying too much room in my brain, where space is limited and should be reserved for things like learning how to recognize Matsuzaka’s gy...Read More

    June 17, 2008: DFA, chapter 30: Some Clicks from Ric

    Working on the old Blog Monster while trying to win a backup catching job with the New York Yankees is exhausting. Somehow I don’t think that saying I need a couple days off to update my blog would go over well with Read More

    May 30, 2008: DFA, chapter 29: God Has a Betting Pool

    Now dudes, I admit that you don’t know anymore about this Kara dude now then you did, oh, a couple dozen posts ago. And I don’t know that you even care. But if you do, I’m sorry to say I can’t help you much.

    Kara was a fortune cookie wrapped in a cellophane noodle and rolled ...Read More

    May 22, 2008: DFA, chapter 28: Big Stein Gets Conked, My Ex Gets Tossed

    Today we played our first exhibition game, against a local squad – Spring Break University. Needless to say, I wasn’t in the starting lineup. The buzz was that Big Stein was in the house, so the regulars were expected to start and at least play a few innings. Posada would play the fir...Read More

    May 15, 2008: DFA, chapter 27: How Much is Ric Grieff Worth on the Open Market?

    Today I read in the New York Times that both Jeter and A-Rod had websites. And – get this – Jeter updated his site four times the entire year, and A-Rod just once! Remember this the next time you don’t like something I wrote here. You may not get quality, but you’ll mos def get quantity....Read More

    May 2, 2008: DFA, chapter 26: Supa Dupa

    Today, we practiced covering first on balls hit to the first baseman. For some reason all our first basemen made perfect throws to all the pitchers but me. In fact, the entire team was sending out a weird, derisive vibe. A couple infielders talked behind cupped hands, eyes in my directio...Read More

    April 29, 2008: DFA, chapter 25: The Captain Stole My Gal

    Girardi has us all running our butts off. Apparently, the New York Yankees aren’t used to running. You might find this surprising, since they are baseball players, and running is part of the job description. But most of the players g...Read More

    April 24, 2008: DFA, chapter 24: Nasty Boyz

    Day one of spring training. They don’t call it “the complex” for nothing. There’s about half a dozen levels of security surrounding Legends Field (which sounds like some kind of Greek temple). The Yankees didn’t send me a formal invitation – I was like that distant relation you really d...Read More

    April 16, 2008: DFA, chapter 23: Spring Awakening

    Pitchers and catchers. Three words that jazz baseball fans everywhere and that prompt wheezing old scribes to pen odes to spring, horsehide sonnets that drone on about winter’s thaw, eternal youth, birds returning from wherever they go for the season (Vegas?). This column is the same one ...Read More

    April 9, 2008: Chapter 21: Reader Questions and Comments

    I want to take a timeout to thank all you faithful readers of the Blog Monster for, well, reading it. And I thought it was about time I answered some of your questions, so here goes:

    From Bryan Gumby, Davenport, Iowa:

    Ric, I thought this blog was supposed to be about baseb...Read More

    April 3, 2008: DFA, chapter 20: Viva La Revolucion!

    As I walked out of the studio and into the street, slowly, heavily, like a bear who got lost in the woods and ended up in midtown Manhattan, the first thing I perceived, after the rain pelting down like a spit in your face from Mother Nature – and dimly, through my brain hazy an...Read More

    March 25, 2008: DFA, chapter 19: Somebody Owes Me Ten Minutes of Fame

    The day of my appearance on Larry King arrived. I admit it, dudes, I was so nervous my entire body froze up. I felt like I was outside of my body and could only make it move by giving it explicit orders.

    Astrud called and told me that Larry was shooting that week in New Yo...Read More

    March 17, 2008: DFA, chapter 18 -The Creative Process

    The next few weeks were hectic. I hadn’t heard from Kara, and after several unanswered messages, I stopped calling her. But Pomade was lining up TV appearances and relaying offers from the marketing departments of various companies asking me to shill for their products. Or, I should...Read More

    March 12, 2008: My Transaction History, part 2

    2002: Let go by the Burlington Bees after I accidentally mention that I knew two of the guys accused of pulling off 9-11 from working at the flight school where they trained, I am first interrogated by the FBI. When they realize that I don’t know anything about the terrorists, one ag...Read More

    March 6, 2008: DFA, chapter 16: The Toys of Ignorance

    Later that night, there was a knock on my door. My heart leapt at the thought it was Kara. Nobody else knew I was here, except for Rick and Pomade. But when I opened the door, I was greeted by a brunette maybe in her late 30s who, while she was not unattractive, was someone you’d pass i...Read More

    March 2, 2008: DFA, chapter 15: Remember Jim Umbrecht

    After telling me that “Larry’s people wanted” me for next week, Pomade sent me home in a town car, but I was so glumly inert, I felt more like a piece of furniture being delivered. When the driver pulled up in front of the Martha Washington, he said, “You live here?”

    “Yeah...Read More

    February 25, 2008: DFA, chapter 14: The Great God Larry King

    The room Astrud took me into was dark; in the shadows it looked like a sound stage or a photo studio. Video cameras. Monitors. Computers. Movie lights. But when she flipped on the lights, looming over me was the most frightening sight I’d ever confronted in my life: a cardboard cut-out of Larry K...Read More

    February 22, 2008: DFA, chapter 13: The Media Coach

    I couldn’t sleep that night, as my thoughts were swirling around my head like condom wrappers in a stadium cross-wind. If my mind was a multiplex, Kara’s face loomed on the big screen in high-def, while a smaller, watery image of some faceless escort or chippie (that Pomade all but p...Read More

    February 21, 2008: DFA, chapter 12: Living High on the Hog

    The next night, I showed up at this fancy French joint called Le Cochon Doré. The kind of place where the chef told – ordered – the patrons what to eat, you had to know a senator to get a reservation – and the senator might be sitting at the table next to you. You know, dudes, the kin...Read More

    February 15, 2008: DFA, chapter 11: This Is (Not) Your Life, Ric Grieff

    The next day, Kara called me, said she missed me terribly and pleaded with me to meet her for dinner. I was ecstatic!

    Then she stood me up. What was wrong with me that I should be so stuck like a fly on one of those Insect Guard No Pest Fly Strips they put in the rooms a...Read More

    February 7, 2008: DFA, chapter 10: ESPN Zone Dance


    For the next two days I mostly slept, going out only to buy some warm clothes – hoodies and sweaters with stenciled outlines of a country cabin or a deer – from the sidewalk vendors, and so much curry-in-a-hurry that the turbaned curry-disher-outer already was calling me “Mr. Green.”

    ...Read More

    January 30, 2008: DFA, chapter 9: Living on the Yankee Dollar

    When I got inside the airline terminal, you were probably expecting me to book the first flight to Miami and then head to my home in Sarasota. I intended to do that, too.

    But I didn’t, and here’s why: In an earlier post, I said that I didn’t have a steady girlfriend. Tha...Read More

    January 21, 2008: DFA, part 8: Escape from Caracas

    After weighing my options – that’s agent talk – I decided I had no choice but to play along with the gamblers. After infield practice, I went into the clubhouse to get fitted into my taco costume. The teammates who I would be racing – Manuel, the burrito; Mojave, the chimichanga, an...Read More

    January 14, 2008: DFA, Chapter 7: Between a Taco and a Hard Place

    It didn’t take long for my Microbial fever to drop. We were the ’62 Mets, the Italian army and the Democratic party rolled up into a big ball of losing. We were losing squared. We not only lost 18 straight games, but we even lost 15 straight taco races that the Microbios PR people put on before e...Read More

    January 5, 2008: DFA, part 6: Pitching to Chavez


    A Note from Ric’s Attorney, Randy “Perp Walk” Simoleon

    The headline that preceded my client Ric Grieff’s last post on the Baseball Library website stated: “Ric Grieff of Jim Gerard's DFA Reports From Somewhere in Caracas (Or So He Claims...).” This was clearly not written by R...Read More

    December 26, 2007: DFA: A novel in blog drag -- Part 5: Caracas

    In the last post, I ragged on guys who juiced up out of a desperation to reach the Show. But who am I to rag them when here I am in Caracas, Venezuela, where I flew down on the throwaway, probably three-quarters b.s. suggestion of a bush-beating ...Read More

    December 20, 2007: DFA, Part 4: Juicemen

    I’m probably the only ballplayer in the world who wishes he was in the Mitchell Report. Hell, I’d settle for a footnote.

    Don’t be shocked. It’s simple: If I was on the list, it would mean I was in the Show – where I hear that the drug testing is so weak, it’s multiple choi...Read More

    December 7, 2007: DFA: A History of My Transactions, part 1

    I had insomnia before my head hit the pillow, so I tried my usual relaxation technique, which was to ponder what life would be like if I was, say, Johan Santana, who was the lead story on every back page and radio and TV jo...Read More

    December 6, 2007: Live From Nashville - Our Man Ric Grieff Submits His Second Post


    Here I am in Nashville, at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center, so sprawling that’s it’s like an airline hanger with potted palms or a humongous glassy mall with Delta river boats, a waterfall and some cornball “Country Christmas” show that actually had Jesus in overalls and S...Read More

    December 5, 2007: DFA: A BLOG ABOUT LIFE ON THE BASEBALL MARGINS - Post # 1


    I guess before I start, I should tell you a little about myself and how this whole blog thing started.

    My name is Ric Grieff and I’m a professional baseball player. But unless you happened to catch the Charleston River Dogs or the Burlington Bees or the High Desert Mavericks (...Read More

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