Friday, August 12, 2011

Sports Illustrated Pieces: Dustin Pedroia / Toomer's Corner Trees / Pitching Prospect Trevor Bauer

Three excellent stories from the latest issue of Sports Illustrated.

Cover story was "The Muddy Chicken Hits It Big" on Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia. Solid piece by Senior baseball writer Tom Verducci that really gets into Pedroia, who he is and what he does. The story does a good job of covering both Pedroia's personal and professional lives, with the professional being grounded in his love of the game and how that helps him be a leader on a team full of personalities. Lot of ground written about well by Verducci.


Another profile piece from this issue was "Trevor Bauer Will Not Be Babied" by Lee Jenkins. No slight at all intended towards the writing, but what stood out here was the subject covered. Similar to Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper (SI cover stories about each posted on here and here, respectively), Bauer represents the idea of potential greatness in baseball. As Jenkins details, the 20 year old Diamondbacks prospect could see Major League time as soon as September for the Arizona Diamondbacks.

What makes the story even more interesting is Bauer's single-minded ownership of and contrarian approach to his pitching development. Pretty fascinating content both in terms of what Bauer has done and how baseball thinking has adjusted somewhat in his direction around training and conditioning practices.


Final story that stood out in this SI was the Tommy Tomlinson feature "Something Went Very Wrong At Toomer's Corner". About the University of Auburn oak tree poisoning, the piece features the type of compelling writing that can often be found in the last feature of each SI issue. Tomlison goes beyond the crime itself and delves deeply into football in Alabama and what it means to people... both for better and much much worse. Excellent "slice of life different than known by many" prose.