Friday, November 20, 2009

Something To Read Over The Weekend

The work week is winding down, but there's one thing you should probably do before you attempt to sneak out of the office early. Print off a copy of the new e-Ticket over at by Patrick Hruby. It's 12,000 words and once printed out turns into a healthy 16 pages of prime weekend reading material. Use the company's printer and save your eyes from reading it off your computer screen. Heck, once you print it out, you can even take it places with you just like one of those "newspapers" they used to sell.

The article is about a Cambodian man who goes by the Americanized name "Joe Cook" and his efforts to bring baseball back to his home country. That's where the story starts, anyway.
Yes, I definitely thought this would be an elevating assortment of words, a triumph of the human spirit with lots of pretty prose and a bright, happy ending. Sports. Uplift. An emotional shot in the arm. Tonic for a world forever going wrong. But that was before this. Before I ventured halfway around the planet to drink from a half-empty glass of half-curdled joy, before I discovered that a tale too inspiring to be true -- Cambodian refugee escapes the Killing Fields, comes to America, takes hope and baseball back to his homeland (and yeah, someone already is filming a documentary) -- is probably too deranged to make up.
After you're done reading, there's an 11 or 12 minute video embedded in the article.

Woven into a story about baseball are the sad realities of power, greed, abuse, dishonesty and lust, all underpinned by poverty. If you've spent some time in the third world, the descriptions of what goes on in Cambodia will be less shocking, but it won't make them any less sad. The silver lining is that after this article, fewer people are going to hand over their money to "Joe Cook" thinking with the assumption he's using it for the development of baseball in Cambodia.

The writing is heavy on style but there's more than enough substance to go around. I'm not sure if "enjoy" is the right word, but it's a piece that's certainly worth reading.


  1. I will definitely check that out, Cambodia has a very dark, yet interesting history.

    Here is a complimentary article about the Killing Fields that I read a while back that is really good. But I will warn you that it does get graphic about what went on there.

  2. This is a great sports blog you have here. I have two sports blogs myself. I'd like to exchange links with you to help spread some traffic around. We sports bloggers have to stick together.

    Let me know if this is possible.