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A Press Democrat Blog

Cohn Zohn

Lowell Cohn's pertinent and impertinent take on sports

Cynthia Ozick doesn’t like baseball

Cynthia Ozick has a sterling reputation as a writer of fiction and essays. I can’t attest to this reputation as I’ve read none of her fiction and only a handful of her essays. But I believe she’s a good writer. Two weeks ago, she wrote an essay about Bernard Malamud in the New York Times Book Review because the Library of America has published two volumes of a projected three-volume, complete-Malamud collection. It was a well-crafted essay, intelligent, respectful of… Read More »

Baseball vs. Football, which is better?

Here is a link to my Thursday column. The full text also appears below. Baseball has advantages over football. Baseball is probably a better game. I believe what I just wrote, even though I love covering the NFL and wrote a book about Bill Walsh, by far the most fascinating person I’ve met in more than three decades of covering sports. I’ll say it again: Baseball has advantages over football. Baseball players are average-size people like you and me, although… Read More »

Major League Baseball goes after the bad guys

Here is the opening to my Thursday column about Baseball’s latest attempt to suspend drug cheaters: Major League Baseball is trying to get the bad guys. Good for Major League Baseball. By the bad guys, I don’t mean crooks or murderers or spies, nothing as sinister as that. I’m talking about the drug-cheating liars who are messing up the national pastime. Some are repeat cheaters. Some are the biggest names in baseball. They are bad guys. To read the entire… Read More »

Odds to win World Series

Betting service Bovada provided me with these odds on who will win the World Series. I print them for your enjoyment and edification: Odds to win the 2013 World Series          Detroit Tigers                            13/2 Atlanta Braves                           8/1 St. Louis Cardinals                    8/1 Texas Rangers                          17/2 Cincinnati Reds                         12/1 San Francisco Giants                12/1 Washington Nationals               12/1 Boston Red Sox                       15/1 Baltimore Orioles                       18/1 New York Yankees                   18/1 Tampa Bay Rays                       18/1 Arizona… Read More »

I don’t like inter-league games

I’m here at AT&T Park for the finale of the four games between the A’s and Giants and I have to say this series has been fun. But I don’t like inter-league games. I like keeping the leagues separate. That makes the All Star Game and the World Series more special and unique. I don’t believe a series between the A’s and Cardinals has any bearing on the A’s position in their division and league or the Cards’ position in… Read More »

World Baseball Classic, Feh!

I am flying home from Arizona Tuesday, just as the weather down here is heating up. Here is the opening to my Tuesday column about the so-called World Baseball Classic: The World Baseball Classic is all wrong, and as far as I can tell, it isn’t so classic. It’s mostly a big interruption. I wrote that paragraph knowing I contradict Bruce Bochy — highly risky — also knowing I will cover the WBC when it arrives in San Francisco next… Read More »

Spring training is here

Here is the opening to my Tuesday column about spring training, a rather nostalgic look — I’ve covered spring training more than 30 times: Spring training is here and spring training is like no other sports tradition. I am talking about Arizona. I don’t know about Florida. When Roger Craig was managing the Giants, he would meet the beat writers after spring games and play pickup basketball at a nearby playground. His wife Carolyn brought the beer. Bruce Bochy plays… Read More »

American League vs. National League

At Media Day, someone asked Brian Sabean if the National League is underrated. “I think so,” he said. “If you watch our games much like our series against Detroit, you have to play baseball in this league. There are a lot of close games. When you play a lot of one run and two run games, you have to do a lot of things fundamentally right to win them. We’re used to playing that kind of baseball. We don’t have… Read More »

Barry Bonds — a note

Some readers of this blog — and some sports fans in general — have expressed outrage that Barry Bonds flopped on his first Hall of Fame ballot. Bruce Jenkins of the Chron said the Hall of Fame is ludicrous without Bonds. I didn’t vote for Bonds. I don’t feel ludicrous. I don’t think the voters are ludicrous. I didn’t vote for Bonds because I don’t want to condone cheating. I do not vote for cheaters and I believe Bonds was… Read More »

On the screws

Many of you kindly offered explanations to my query — when someone says a pitcher pulls the string what string is he talking about? Here’s another one. When the announcer says a batter hit the ball on the screws, what screws is he talking about?