Hank Azaria is better known as the voice of Apu, Moe, and Chief Wiggum, but he's used his cartoonish voice to create a very funny human character for us to laugh at on his new show Brockmire. Brockmire is a former baseball announcing legend who has fallen on hard times due to a very public meltdown and a tendency to slide headfirst into various vices. It's a funny show about baseball, which is pretty rare and it also casts Amanda Peet who can still reach back and throw high 90's heat like we remember from her during the late 90's. It's on IFC on Wednesday nights and we're four episodes into the first season so it's easy to catch up on a promising show about baseball.
Tom Verducci wasted little time capitalizing on the historic Cubs championship and while the book isn't overly deep or critical, this is a very good account of a team that waited 107 years to celebrate a world series title. Theo Epstein and Joe Madden get enough praise as it is but it's easy to see why these guys are so liked and so respected within the game. I expected stories about Theo to be mostly data driven but he's evolved yet again and surprisingly focuses quite a bit on intangibles when it comes to building his Cubs core. The core players are young, fun, and talented as you already knew, which makes for good storytelling as well. Verducci outlines how Cubs ownership and Theo laid out their curse-breaking plan and how it played out about as good as they ever could've imagined. Reading stories from within the front office and dugout is the shit I can't get enough of and even though this book could've dug a little deeper, it delivers just like the Cubs did in the end.
I'm pretty sure you, like most of North America have Netflix so you might've plugged this documentary into your queue already but if you haven't, Fastball is a nice scientific approach to the oldest and most effective pitch in baseball. It recounts the players who have thrown and batted against serious heat and it takes a very interesting look back at the quest for the fastest fastball and the methods used to record them. Everyone knows Aroldis Chapman throws harder than anyone ever has but you will be surprised to see that maybe we overlooked some flamethrowers from the black-and-white days when we talk about the pitchers that lit up the radar gun.