TCR Correspondent Coverboy

Since season's bitterly abrupt end I have been busy putting finishing touches on my first book, Far From the Trees: The Troubled Sons of an American Neighborhood. If nothing else the gang hereabouts should like the cover design. You can check that out without even buying the book, though it goes without saying that I hope you do both.

Copies can be ordered through either Amazon or Barnes & Noble online; hopefully a wider distribution is forthcoming - the book has gotten off to a tremendous start here in Des Moines. The local independent bookstore where we held a launch party immediately sold out of its hundred copies and has a waiting list of more than 200 and counting in anticipation of their next shipment. Amazon quickly sold out of its first batch.

Far From the Trees is a composite memoir from the neighborhood where I grew up; sort of a before/after the wild '60's seasoned with Cub angles throughout - forgive this shameless self-promotion offered for your consideration.

Happy holidays everybody - here's to a healthy 2009!



Interesting subject, Mike. I'm ordering a copy now. I've heard your essays on Iowa Public Radio (though I don't live in Iowa) and have really enjoyed them. Keep writing, sir. And best of luck on your new release.

Thanks Andrew! Hope you like the book. I'll tell you this much about it: one of the old neighbors from my childhood just had his life sentence commuted yesterday by President Bush. His story is part of the whole. Feel free to comment here after you've had a chance to read; appreciate your patience in getting a copy!

Mike -- Congrats on the book. I'll be ordering my copy right away. Best of luck.

Thanks to you too, Sweet Lou, and in advance to anybody else who seeks out the book. I'm heading for Christmas Eve church; can't wait to hear 'Silent Night' @ end of the service by nothing but candlelight; merry Christmas everybody; talk to you soon...MW

Thanks mike. Putting a copy on my amazon wish list...good writing

Congratulations, Mike, and the very best of luck.

Most of us here think we can make better moves than Hendry. Here's our chance to do it. Well sort of...


i hope it's as robust as it looks...and the navigation menus aren't clumsy.

Congrats, Mike!!!

Congrats. Sounds like interesting reading. I'll be visiting Des Moines this weekend, is it in stock at any of the bookstores there? Just curious, are you part of the family that owns Wellmans on Ingersal. I lived a year across the street from that joint and helped keep it in business.

Hey Sonicwind! Yes, I owned the pub until I sold it a couple years ago. The book is out-of-stock on local shelves temporarily due to better than anticipated initial demand, but can be ordered online as mentioned in my original post. Hope you get a copy - if/when you do lemme know your impression[s]...

Recent comments

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  • I know it's my own personal dead horse to beat --but Bryant has been a lousy hitter when playing the OF this year. Given that it's his first playoff game, I really hope they keep him in his natural position and don't mess with his routine.

    Lousy as in 8-for-45 with one XBH and no HR. Small sample and all that -- but why take the chance?

  • hard to tell what's up given they'll probably want to stack as many good lefties into the lineup as possible.

    castro being a bit hot doesn't help things. if he was still cool they'd probably stick la stella at 2nd and call it a day.

  • Madden won't announce lineups but Stella is practicing at 3rd and Bryant in LF today. I'd rather see Bryant at 3rd but I guess Stella has been hotter than Coghlan.

    /edit. Though I guess they could be practicing this with the idea Stella would come in as a PH then double switch him to 3rd base and Bryant to LF. Hope that's the plan instead

  • I really like the sound of that idea about expanding the AFL to ten teams. Each org. gets to field more players.
    They should do that anyway, regardless of Adv. Instructs.

  • Dallas Beeler, Corey Black, David Garner, Pierce Johnson, Steve Perakslis, James Pugliese, Duane Underwood Jr, and Rob Zastryzny threw early-morning bullpen side-sessions at Riverview yesterday.  

    Underwood threw last, and received specific one-on-one instruction from pitching coach Mike Mason. 

  • HAGSAG: There are only five advanced instructs squads left, and presently the only "co-op" team operating is the Angels/Cubs.

    The league was originally established as a "parallel" league to the AFL (a sort of "junior AFL"), for players too advanced for traditional ("basic") instructs but who were unable to get placed on AFL rosters due to AFL player-limits.

  • He is but I would think it'd be better to start out with offense and then bring in Jackson and LaStella once they have a lead. Stella has very good PH #s too.

  • most likely cost sharing + the league is short on players anyway. not many teams are chipping in on 'advanced instructional.'

  • I'm glad this is a one game playoff coming up, because McCutchen is one of my favorite MLB players. And as a baseball fan, I rather like the Pirates. I hope we beat them bad, of course. No mixed feelings here. And, I don't want a nail biter. Too old for that shit. The team of moran fans is easy to hate, though, and more suitable for a longer series.

  • A Jurickson Profar sighting!!!!???

  • I'd guess Jackson over Coghlan for the defense.

    EDIT: Now that I think about it, is Jackson a better defender?

  • Less stress on the pitching staff?

  • I recall earlier this season when the Cubs played Bryant in center instead of left due to the weirdness that is the PNC outfield.

  • AZ Phil, what is the reason the Cubs are co-oping this team? They seem to have plenty of talent that would fill a roster.

  • RF is actually easier to play than LF in PNC so I'd guess Schwarber is there and that's why he was playing it Friday but yeah I'd say that's hopefully accurate.

  • Guess for Wednesday's lineup: Fowler (CF), Schwarber (LF), Bryant (3B), Rizzo (1B), Castro (2B), Montero (C), Russell (SS), Arrieta (P), Coughlan (RF)