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Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011 at 2:37 pm  |  49 responses

Links: I Wrote A Book

And so did Alan Paul…

by Lang Whitaker | @langwhitaker

OK, many things to cover today…

• I mentioned a few years ago that I’d signed a book deal and was working on a book. Since then, I’ve spent many, many, many late nights on the couch, writing. Wifey would go to bed around 10 or 11, and I’d stay up until 2 or so, watching NBA games from out West and working on this book.

And now it’s done. It’s in stores now, or you can order it online from sites like Amazon, or Borders, or Barnes and Noble or Books A Million.

The book is called, In the Time of Bobby Cox: The Atlanta Braves, Their Manager, My Couch, Two Decades and Me. The book is a memoir, which basically means it’s autobiographical. So in that sense, it’s the story of my life — how I got to where I am today — and the big part in my life that the Braves, specifically Bobby Cox, played in that journey. It’s the things I learned about life from watching Bobby Cox manage the Braves, and what various Braves players from the last two decades have meant to me.

This is a book about life, living, learning, love and death. It’s about the ways I connected with a specific manager and particular franchise. It’s about all the things that sports can mean to a fan, and the life lessons I extracted from watching someone manage a baseball team on television.

So, in broad strokes, that is what the book’s about. I talk about basketball a bit, but I also talk about…well, lots of other stuff.

The good news is, I think it all makes sense. My father-in-law emailed yesterday and called it “a charming little book,” which is about the best review I could have asked for from one of the toughest critics I know. I also got a great review from Atlanta magazine that surfaced over the weekend, but the review from my father-in-law was the best because he never says anything nice. Which is why I love him.

Anyway, I am not vain enough to think that because I write for SLAM and SLAMonline, and because you read SLAM and SLAMonline, every one of you will immediately run out and cop this book. But if you do buy this book, thank you, thank you very much.

And most of all, I hope you enjoy it.

• Speaking of SLAM and books, there was a terrific coincidence yesterday: Not only did my book hit yesterday, but so did a book from longtime SLAM writer Alan Paul. Alan’s book is called Big In China, and it’s the story of his recent stint in Beijing with his family. He kept a blog while he was over there, which I read religiously, and it’s great to see all those stories and experiences come to life in a book. You can get Alan’s book at Amazon or any of the online booksellers I mentioned earlier, and also in bookstores everywhere. Go get it.

• A couple of weekends ago, Ben and I were out in L.A. for All-Star Weekend when we heard rumors that Troy “Escalade” Jackson had passed away. Terrible, just terrible news.

Thought maybe I should share this one story that always make me laugh whenever I think about it. I started full-time at SLAM right as the whole And 1 Tour was just blowing up, and it was really fascinating to watch it happen. One afternoon, Escalade and A.O. were in town for a game or something, so they came by the SLAM Dome. I’d never met either guy before, but they were both personable and funny and just great to be around. They hung out for about an hour, and then had to bounce. I walked them out of our office, which means leaving the SLAM Dome and going down two really long hallways, and walking past dozens of offices and cubicles from different magazine, to get to the front desk.

So we were about halfway to the front desk and walking past an office that just happened to be the SLAM advertising office, although there wasn’t really any way to tell that from the hallway — it just looked like two guys sitting at computers with their backs to the hallway. Right as we reached the door, Escalade suddenly turned and gave A.O. a huge shove into the office, knocking him a good five feet into the room. As A.O. went flying into the office, Escalade yelled, loudly, “Hey guys!”

I stuck my head into the room just in time to see the two guys at their computers spin around to find streetball star A.O. randomly and awkwardly standing there behind them, forced to introduce himself. Recalling the looks on all three of their faces still makes me grin.

Rest in peace, Escalade.

• A couple of weeks ago I stumbled upon this computer game called Continuity. I was actually looking for a new iPod game, as I’d finished the latest level of Angry Birds. Continuity is a flash game, so you can’t play it on an iAnything, but play it on your computer and you will quickly discover that it is one of the most addictive games on the internets. Fun to play, simple, etcetera, etcetera.

Now, to the crowd! What other games should I/we be checking out?

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  • http://nobulljive.com/ Enigmatic

    Congratulations on the book, Lang!
    I’m not a baseball fan at all, but I might still check it out.
    Especially since it is more autobiographical than anything else.

  • Bruno

    same thing right here, not a baseball fan but definitely have to read that book. I guess I have found my birthday present so I will tell my sister who lives in NY to send me one copy. I almost forgot … congratulations Lang!

  • http://www.boogliewillaims.com Boing Dynasty

    Gary Sheffield: OG

  • http://slamonline.com Lang Whitaker

    @Boing: Ben’s favorite Brave of all time.

  • Homie

    All “Thursdays with Bobby” jokes aside, sounds a bit like Spike Lee & Ralph Wiley’s “Best Seat in the House”, which is a compliment, because I really liked that book. I will put it on my list…is it available on iBooks?

  • Riggs

    CONGRATS LANG. if you want a good iPod game, check out infinity blade (its on sale right now actually) pretty dope action game and its rated highly.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    Lang, do you know if the book’s going to be at Barnes & Nobles locations before I place an order with Amazon?

  • http://slamonline.com Lang Whitaker

    @Homie: Not sure about iBooks — I know it’s definitely on Kindle.

  • http://slamonline.com Lang Whitaker

    @EBoy: I would think so. I went to a B&N in NYC last night for Alan’s book launch and they had copies of my book there (in the baseball section).

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    I’m going tonight then. Congrats again and don’t think I was joking about sending you my copy for an autograph!!!!! I’m going to check out Alan’s book too.

  • http://slamonline.com Chris O’Leary

    Congrats, Lang. Gonna try and pick up both at Chapters (no B&N or Borders in Canada and I’m too ADD to wait for an online order to get here). How cool was it to go to the store last night and see your book on the shelf?

  • http://idunkonthem.blogspot.com/ albie1kenobi

    big ups to Lang and AP. it’s always cool to have a book with your name on the front.

  • http://www.sonicbids.com/shaemorin Mr. S

    I wrote a mid-length fiction novel and I have no idea what to do with it now. It’s sitting in a drawer at home. I will auction it off to the highest bidder and you can put your name on it and try to sell it to a publisher.

  • Maurice Bobb

    Congrats on the book Lang. As someone who has always “wanted” to write a book, I know how hard it is just to finish a book at all, much less finish one that’s worth reading. I’ll def pick up my copy from the bookstore. And congrats to AP, too

  • price

    I dont know how long I’ve been reading the links for, I mean until you stopped doing it daily, to weekly, to like not very often. Congratulations on your book. Now you have time for the links?

  • Joe

    Definitely available on iBooks. Just copped it for 10.99. Have loved Lang’s writing since the old school Links. Especially the long form vacation recaps and the like. I imagine this book will be great. Congrats Lang.

  • http://www.stonesthrow.com Michael NZ

    Well look at that, my local book ordering website just got your book in Lang: http://www.fishpond.co.nz/Books/Time-of-Bobby-Cox-Lang-Whitaker/9781439148389. Order: placed. Always been a fan Mr Whitaker.

  • http://www.stonesthrow.com Michael NZ

    Joe nailed it. The longer form pieces are always great. All Star stories, vacation recaps. Best one, imo, was the Africa trip – which I think was published in some travel mag wasn’t it? Was top stuff. AP has been must read for the longest time too, shame he isn’t in SLAM as much these days.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Lang Whitaker

    Thanks to everyone for the congrats.
    @price: Hope so!
    @MichaelNZ: I wrote a little thing about the Africa trip in the book, too.

  • http://www.nba.com That Dude

    Love your writing style Lang will defintely cop the book. How about a link to Alan’s blog?

  • http://slamonline.com/ Tzvi Twersky

    You know what it is, Lang. Happy, proud and all that good stuff. May this be the first of many successful books for both you and Alan.

  • http://www.twitter.com/TheDiesel Anton

    Congrats on the book, Lang.

  • aotearaw

    Congrats Lang, I imagine it must’ve been hugely gratifying seeing your book sitting proudly on the stands at B&N :)

    RIP Sean Marks.

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    Kudos on the book Lang. Regarding the game Continuity I can’t get past level two. Epic. Fail.

  • http://www.angryarab.net Tariq

    Congratulations, Lang!
    For me, baseball is as exciting as gingivitis, but I will definitely read your book. I’m sure– at the very least– it has to be a million times better than Ryan Jones’s pile of crap:

    http://www.amazon.com/King-James-Believe-Hype-LeBron/dp/0312349920/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1299124646&sr=8-1

  • http://www.slamonline.com Lang Whitaker

    @Tariq: Thanks, but Ryan’s book is good.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Alan Paul

    Lang,
    Congrats. I ordered mine today. would have bought it last night if I had thought of it. Those events tend to make you a little self centered.

    Thanks for the shout out. I love that our books came out on the same day. What a strange and beautiful world.

    @Dude, My sites: http://www.alanpaul.net, http://www.alanpaulinchina.blogspot.com

    Excerpts, audio book sample, etc. Thanks.

  • http://www.angryarab.net Tariq

    Lang:
    I know, but I’ll never admit it.

  • http://www.basketbrasil.com.br Rubens

    Will pay for the import taxes Lang. Your writing is worth it. Congrats and good luck

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    Huge congrats Lang! Look forward to buying my copy tonight. Also appreciate the Escalade memories…

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    Dear Lang: Today on the way home I locked my keys out of the car…infect my wife has to drive half an hour to bring the 2nd set….in the meantime I’m playing continuity and I’ve worked out how to play it…. you are a life saver.

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    I just realised I said ‘locked my keys out of the car’…which would be appropriately THE thing to do. What I meant to infer was that I don’t have the keys….

  • T Bone

    good stuff Lang…. hey guys, am i the only one that noticed Starbury got onto the cover?!?! all the OG linkstigators should know what im talking about.

  • http://slamonline.com Sam Rubenstein

    Infinity Blade is indeed the best iphone game. The console game I’m excited for is Dragon Age II.
    I think all proceeds from this book should be donated to the NY Mets. THey need it more than you do.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Cheryl

    Can you autograph a Kindle copy? Good to know it’s available on Kindle, before I made it to the Borders. Downloading it today. Do you make as much on e-books as on physical books? I just thought about that. Let me know, I want you to get the most bang for my buck! That sounded rather sensual, huh?

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/category/blogs/farmer-jones/ Ryan Jones

    How dare you say that about my book, Lang.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Lang Whitaker

    @Cheryl: Not sure about that…I say do whatever’s most convenient for you. I appreciate the support either way.

  • http://www.lacuevacrosscountry.com Slick Nick Da Ruler

    Lang, congrats on the book! I work next door to a Borders, so my lunch break will be spent there. I feel like I’ve seen your book references and updates for years already. Great to finally see your hard work and Braves fandom pay off with a memoir. I expect it to be wonderful. Thanks, congrats, and big up to Alan Paul!

  • Pete

    You mean the author of “Maximum Limp Bizkit: The Unauthorised Biography of Limp Bizkit” has another book out? Consider this thing ordered.

  • Will Lee

    congrats Lang. I remember I used to ask for email printing on the Slam html website.

  • Double J

    Continuity so insane

  • http://www.twitter.com/hurstysyd Hursty

    Congrats on the book Lang. Awesome stuff.

    If you’re talking games… and I’m talking video games, “Dragon Age 2″ looks incredible.

  • robato

    Congrats on your book, Lang.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Congrats to Lang AND Alan Paul!

  • STEVE

    I also just completed a Book, THE GOLDEN AGE OF BASKETBALL; THE NBA IN THE DECADE OF THE EIGHTIES,a retrospective of the Showtime Era and the Characters who made the NBA unforgettable. on Blurb.com, soon to be released on Amazon.com

  • matt the jazz fan

    congrats lang. will try to get it if i find a bookstore close to madison square garden where (insert touristy thrilled somewhat too highly pitched shriek here) i am going to see my jazz play your (or would that be the hawks? well at least most of the slam fam’s) knicks! if not tomorrow or next time i’m in town. i remember you writing you were gonna write a book in the links. been reading this for ages just not commenting very religiously. love the site and the mag. o.k. enough fawning!

  • http://www.twitter.com/notebooknick NotebookNick

    I hate the Braves, but I like Lang’s writing. SUPPORT. Just copped. Alan’s too.

  • http://thephotoriot.com davidR

    congrats, lang and alan! btw, alan, i’ll always remember you as the guy in china that works for the dunk magazine

  • http://thephotoriot.com davidR

    also, i’ve been waiting for a long while to hear the next story about jesse dunn (i think that’s his name?), aka damn, aka neo. any word?

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