Just Tell Me I Can’t

Just Tell Me I Can’t

At 49, Jamie Moyer’s Pitching Career Goes Into Extra Innings
October 02, 2013

We don’t often think of professional athletes improving with age, but Jamie Moyer was a better pitcher in his 40s than he was in his 20s. Moyer became the oldest pitcher to win a Major League Baseball game when, in April 2012, at the age of 49 years, 150 days, he pitched the Colorado Rockies to a 5-3 win over the San Diego Padres.

Moyer chronicles his journey in a new book, Just Tell Me I Can’t: How Jamie Moyer Defied the Radar Gun and Defeated Time.
The memoir, is full of inside-baseball tales: how he got inside hitters’ heads, worked umpires to get a better strike zone, and learned to use his teeth — yes, his teeth — to tell his catcher he was changing the location of the pitch he was throwing.

… paralysis by analysis.
I think sometimes we can get too much information and paralyze ourselves with all of the information and forget the task at hand.

On using psychology to frustrate batters
So now take that ego that they have and use it against them. … If I can throw a hard pitch — maybe it’s just off the plate — but [then] I throw the same pitch or a pitch looking just like it, but it’s 8-10 miles an hour slower … and they swing like it’s the hard pitch, now all of the sudden they’re thinking it’s a fastball and they’re swinging way ahead of the ball, and now they become frustrated.
And that’s where the game of chess, of cat and mouse in baseball really comes into play.

Andre Aciman on Memoir and Memory

Andre Aciman on Memoir and Memory

Writer Andre Aciman says a good memoir can capture emotional truth even when certain historical details are fictionalized.
He describes the art of the memoir, and how writers draw on their memories to conjure up literary worlds.

When you’ve lost something that you believe is important, you always revisit that loss.
You tend to look back more than you look forward because you are always trying to recreate the narrative that brought you here, you’re trying to understand, you know, “What is this trajectory?
What is the itinerary that brought you to where you are today?” Not to have that, is to feel completely lost.

You long for something that was in the past, that was very important, and then you spend your whole life trying to recover it.
Most people have that when it comes to their childhood, even if it was a bad childhood, they long to recover lost footsteps.

if you’re in a place… let’s say you’re in jail and you don’t like the jail and every day in jail you kept thinking of places outside the jail that you’ve never even visited but you imagine them… well guess what… you’ll have memories of those places that you never visited and wished.
So, wishes have a long history and most people cannot tell a wish from an actual event in the past, because they get conflated.

If there is one writer who seems to hover over own writing, it would be Proust

I think that the ultimate trick of literature is to tell you a story that you never heard but is your story.