Our very own Jason Collette recently contributed to the hottest new item available everywhere that you can get a wi-fi signal. Of course I’m talking about The Process Report 2011. Unlike past editions, you won’t be reading what appears to be a table of P-values with random numbers scattered around and words like “degrees of freedom” or “confidence” forcing you to run to your nearest library to purchase a dictionary (Yuck, words).
Of course Collette isn’t alone in this endeavor, so even if you don’t think he’s the bestest you can rest assured that he’s joined by some of the heaviest hitters in the Rays-centric universe (roughly the size of a small animorph on Rigel 7). Don’t worry if you don’t like reading authors with perceptions colored by their undying love for certain geeky, flexible players that define the word “religionite” you won’t have to as he wasn’t invited. People that were included bear such names as R. J. Anderson, Tommy Rancel, Bradley Woodrum, and man-of-many hats Steve Slowinski. Additionally, in the interest of being fair and balanced, sworn enemies Joey Paws and Patrick Sullivan were also invited to share their feeling on John Damon and Manny Ramirez, respectively.
The real star of the show, however, is my friend, my confidant, my golden girl, Nick Macaluso. He has two pieces in this fantastic collection of essays, one that comes in the front and one that comes in the back. You can read his first piece HERE, and if you can’t relate to this, then please take off your skirt and go make me a sandwich. Seriously, and no lettuce either. The second piece recounts a day that will live in infamy if you care about this team at all. I don’t want to ruin the surprise, but you won’t have to worry about a bunch of incredibly stupid people shouting “KARMA” as if they have any grasp on the word 50 years from now when Nick ends up in a shallow grave.
Not one to miss a marketing opportunity, noted carpet-bagger and Rays fan for about ten minutes, Jonah Keri writes an absolutely fabulous foreword that reminds us that you can complain about an outcome, but make sure you do your homework on the “why” a decision was made whether The Decider is Joe Maddon, Andrew Friedman, or any of the illustrious writers here. I agree whole-heartedly that before you spout your opinion on something you should put in a bit of work. Luckily, Keri is a maestro in that regard at this point after spending two years of his prime toiling in the sewers under the Trop waiting for Stu, Andy, and friends to give him any kind of insight.
I really enjoyed #Rancel’s piece about Branch Rickey. I think that’s a good read whether you’re familiar with the man or not as it illuminates the reader on some of the things that we might consider cutting edge that actually show the Rays Front Office as efficient garbage men recycling great ideas that fell out of favor for whatever reason. My second favorite essay was Stevesie Slowinski’s look at how ESPN shapes the opinions of their viewers by presenting a very narrow lens with which to view the world.
As mentioned, Collette has a riveting piece as he looks back on how the heck we turned Lance “No Pants” Carter and Danys “Crazy Train” Baez into Matt Joyce. It’s heavy on the history, but well worth the read as he touches on what to expect from Matt Joyce, and all the tradeoffs that have been made to get the Rays to this point.
There are some other pieces that run the gambit in whom they will appeal to, but you can also look forward to an American League East preview that looks at all five teams, albeit briefly. You’ll also find 45 different player profiles featuring strengths and weaknesses so that even the casual fan can sound smart at the park. Last, but certainly not least, Josh Frank has made a couple of images that I think were made by precision lasers. It’s hard to tell, but I’ve never seen so much information crammed into an 8.5 x 11 area before. Seriously.
In this author’s opinion there are a lot of worse ways to spend ~$10. I found The Process Report 2011 to be a very informative read without being overly dry. It should appeal to both the casual fan and those that wear their Rays pajamas to work underneath their lawyer outfit. Additionally, this is the one time of the year that a group of guys from all over the place can get together and lay down some ideas together. These guys work tirelessly throughout the year and receive little to know compensation. This is your chance to essentially make a donation and get a free great book out of the deal. The choice is yours, but I was given a free copy to review and I’m still going to purchase one to see that a bunch of people that I consider friends are compensated for their hard work. Also, Nick Macaluso is my baby’s daddy and I want him to get caught up on child support payments.
Jason Hanselman, esquire, Illiterate Data Hound