Saturday, August 28, 2021

Talking with Locked On Rays about Rays attendance


I had the pleasure of talking to the folks at the LockedOnRays podcast recently. I had a great time talking with host Kevin Weiss. They divided the interview into three parts. 

We talked about Rays attendance, the Rays stadium situation, and of course my novel Curveball at the Crossroads.

Interviewing Rays Stadium Expert Michael Lortz (Part 1)

Interviewing Rays Stadium Expert Michael Lortz (Part 2)

Interviewing Rays Stadium Expert Michael Lortz (Part 3)

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Letter to the Editor of the Tampa Bay Times

Recently, Tampa Bay Times sports columnist John Romano wrote a piece in which he asked several prominent Tampa Bay leaders why the Rays struggle in attendance. I have stated for years that the Tampa Bay Times has a grudge against me - I seriously don't know why, but they do - and of course, Romano didn't ask me my opinion.

Despite the fact that this website is full of facts on Rays attendance. But what do I know?

So in my frustration, I wrote a letter to the editor of the Tampa Bay Times. I typically do not like doing this as it is hard to show credibility among the other letters to the editor. Any Joe the Plumber with an opinion can write in and it incredibly hard to be seen as an expert in less than 300 words. No offense to Joe the Plumber, who I am sure is an expert in plumbing.

But I wrote the editor anyway. Here is the link: No movie ending

Pennant race and sparse crowds? Gotta be Rays | Romano column, Aug. 15

Saturday, August 21, 2021

Vote Curveball at the Crossroads for Best Book of Tampa Bay


I am super excited to announce that my debut novel Curveball at the Crossroads was nominated for Best Book by a Local Author on the Creative Loafing Tampa Bay contest. Creative Loafing holds this contest every year and winning it is a big deal.

There is some stiff competition for Best Book of Tampa Bay but I am sure I can gather the votes to win. After all, how many of the books on the ballot have to do with a pitcher from a St Petersburg baseball team making a deal with the Devil?

One. Mine

So please take a moment and vote Curveball at the Crossroads for Best Book by a Local Author. Thank you and I appreciate your support!

Friday, August 6, 2021

Selling Curveball at the Crossroads at Fergs Sports Bar

Last Saturday, 7/31/2021, I had the opportunity to set up shop and sell some books outside Ferg's Sports Bar in St. Petersburg, FL. I have set up there before, but have never had the success I had last Saturday.

I walked away with over $150 and sold over 10 books. I sold 6 copies of Curveball at the Crossroads and 7 copies of my previous joke book, The Man Makes You Work, written under the alias Jordi Scrubbings (Long story. See my creative blog The Serious Tip for an explanation.)

Saturday was a long day. I started by chatting on the radio with my friend Mike Rickard on the St Pete Sports Connection. I followed former Major League pitcher Anthony Telford on air, which was really cool. Mike and I talked baseball current events and of course Curveball at the Crossroads.

After I get off the air with Mike, I went to visit my friend Nick Major in his inpatient care facility. Shout out to Nick Major. Always good to visit friends who can't make it out to see you, especially for health reasons.

When I returned to Ferg's, it was slammed with people. Only an hour and a half remained before game time and people were flocking to Fergs for fermented hops and barley and fine pre-game cuisine. I slide back in my spot outside the bar and set up my book array.

I decided to bring copies of my first book, The Man Makes You Work, this time. This is the first time I brought The Man Makes You Work, but I figured I had a box of copies and for $5 each, maybe I'll make some extra money. I was right.

Marketing The Man Makes You Work as "the funniest book you've never read", more people bought my first book than bought Curveball at the Crossroads. Albeit Curveball at the Crossroads is $20 and The Man is only $5, but I thought people's interest in the latter over the former was interesting. People don't mind supporting for a few dollars, but if you get into their beer money, then you may sell less books.

Perhaps the most interesting patron I talked to during the game was a man who appeared to be homeless. He wore rough clothes and wasn't carrying himself well. He looked through my books and then dug into his pocket and gave me a dollar. Then he walked away. I can't give books away for a dollar, but he also didn't give me the opportunity to give it back to him. So appreciate the support.

Sales slowed down dramatically once the game started. From first pitch to the final out, I think I might have sold one copy of Curveball at the Crossroads and one copy of The Man Makes You Work. But that is to be expected when most baseball fans are inside the bar or inside the adjacent stadium. But this is when I had lunch, a few beers, and watched the game on an outside TV, all of which is what I would be doing anyway when the Rays game is on.

After the game ended, I knew I had to be ready. Rays fans were in a good mood, there was alcohol in many people's bloodstreams and a generally good mood was in the air.

Soon after the final out, folks started gathering at the long bar where I was stationed. I immediately made a few sales of The Man Makes You Work. Then I sold a few more copies of Curveball at the Crossroads. One group of patrons sat by me and were reading The Man Makes You Work aloud, laughing amongst themselves. Awesome advertising.

All in all, Saturday was a fantastic day for book selling. I walked away with over $150, after buying a few beers, lunch, and parking. It was the best day I have ever had for book sales. That makes me feel like this endeavor is worth it. Creative writing and selling books is so much different from my day job that it is a fun and welcome hobby. When it pays decent, it is even more fun.

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Talking with the St Pete Sports Connection Again

Once again I was on the St Pete Sports Connection with my friend Mike Rickard outside of Ferg's Sports Bar in St Pete. I was on last Saturday, 7/31/2021. We talked Rays, baseball, and of course my book, Curveball at the Crossroads.

Check it out!