Monday, September 12, 2022

Site Update and Recent Reviews of Curveball at the Crossroads

I have been thinking about re-composing my spreadsheets on Rays attendance. I might do that in the offseason. Unfortunately, in late 2019, I lost a giant spreadsheet that had all the games of all the Tampa Bay-area baseball teams - both Major League and Minor League - from 2005 to 2019. Somehow I saved a postseason spreadsheet as the same name as the regular season spreadsheet and lost years of work.

I started cataloging 2022 games earlier this season. Unfortunately, life got in the way and I have been unable to keep up with the daily effort of updating the spreadsheet. So re-creating a spreadsheet from 2005 to 2022 might be the offseason project.

Meanwhile, I am still promoting my debut novel, Curveball at the Crossroads. After being named runner-up, Best Book by a Local Author by Creative Loafing, my novel has garnered several awesome reviews by various writers and websites across the web.

Here are a few of the sites that have written about Curveball at the Crossroads:

The Guy Who Reviews Sports Books: Curveball at the Crossroads

The last characteristic of the book I liked was how Lortz’s story had a lot of elements of good baseball movies and stories woven together.  He clearly didn’t steal anything from them, but if a reader has seen any of these baseball movies, then they will see how JaMark or others are just like some of the people in scenes of these movies: “The Scout” (where I remembered the above mentioned perfect game), “Rookie of the Year”, “Field of Dreams” and “Major League.”  This is not to say that one had to see those movies to enjoy the book, but fans of them will look at parts of this story and remember them.  Not to mention I kept hearing the song “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” throughout the story – even though it takes place in Mississippi.

Review of Curveball at the Crossroads in NINE: A Journal of Baseball History and Culture

"Curveball at the Crossroads is a quick read that blends a familiar Faustian story arc with sports fiction. Detailed accounts of JaMark’s games and stats will transport baseball fans to the scene, but all readers will be compelled by first-time author Michael Lortz’s character-driven plot. Lortz uses dramatic stakes for his characters and a dry sense of humor to keep the reader entertained. He pays close attention to developing his characters, with adjectives and other descriptors woven within each moment of dialogue. The brief chapters and simple language keep the story moving toward the final swing. This page-turner adds a supernatural aspect to the idea of flash-in-the-pan athletes and keeps the reader wanting to know more."

The Devil is in the Details: Review of Curveball at the Crossroads by Tampa sports writer Bob D'Angelo

"Some of JaMark’s feats are simply unfathomable, but Lortz pulls it all together in a crisp, believable story. There are several currents flowing in this book, but they inevitably swirl around JaMark. ... The final sentences will really get you thinking. I have a theory, but I will keep it to myself. Even if I am wrong, I am correct in saying that Curveball at the Crossroads was a fine debut."

Thursday, July 7, 2022

Selling some Rays merch on Ebay

I have some Rays memorabilia I am looking to part with. Most of this was acquired from 2009 to 2012 when I had Rays season tickets. I have posted several items on ebay. However, if you contact me on twitter or other social media, we can arrange a sale through cashapp, venmo, or cash in person.

$5 discount if you also purchase a signed copy of my novel Curveball at the Crossroads for an additional $15.

This list will be updated as needed. Click the title to see the ebay listing. Shipping cost not included. If the picture is of the box, the item has never been opened.


Price: $15

Joe Maddon Tampa Bay Rays Piggy Bank ReMAX MLB Bobblehead

Price: $20

Johnny Damon Tampa Bay Rays pro wrestling bobblehead unopened

Price: $15

EVAN LONGORIA - Tampa Bay Rays 2010 replica gold glove still in box

Price: $15

Evan Longoria autograph - Southern League baseball from pre-rookie year 2007

Price: $45

Saturday, April 9, 2022

Talking with Mark Moses on SportsRadio 1560


As I mentioned before, I always jump on the opportunity to do media appearances. So many media people follow Tampa Bay Baseball Market on twitter and other platforms, it is an honor when they reach out and want me to chat with them. 

Mark Moses is the host of the Mark Moses Show on SportsRadio 1560 in my hometown of Melbourne, Florida. We have corresponded on twitter for years and with my roots in Melbourne but being on the ground in Tampa Bay, I can help get that "ground level" news. And being on his show also exposes me to my hometown friends and family, which is always cool.

Last week, Mark had me on again. We talked about the Rays, the Rays stadium situation, loving baseball, and my upcoming Curveball at the Crossroads signing in Cocoa, Florida - just north of Melbourne.

Many thanks to Mark for having me on!

You can listen to the show here:

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Calling out former FL CFO Alex Sink in Creative Loafing Tampa


Seeing my name in print never gets old. It happens kinda often enough that I should be used to it by now, but it is still a cool feeling.

The image above comes from a recent article in Tampa's Creative Loafing newspaper. In an article entitled, Tampa rich guys, who benefit from new Rays stadium, sign letter supporting new Rays stadium, writer Colin Wolf cites a recent tweet I posted regarding former Florida CFO Alex Sink.

Without going into the details of the article and discussing the group of non-baseball fan elites of Tampa who want to rob baseball fans of half the games of their favorite team, let me discuss where the tweet came from.

Former Florida CFO Alex Sink was one of the 36 Tampa elites who signed a letter to the Tampa Bay Times claiming half a season of Rays baseball is acceptable because it is better than no baseball. I looked up Ms. Sink on twitter and found a few of her tweets regarding her opposition to giving money to corporations. The Rays are definitely a corporation and would definitely receive public money from the building a new baseball stadium in Tampa. That sounds like something Ms. Sink would be against. Instead she is publicly supporting it.

No rich person is going to tell another rich person they aren't wearing any clothes.

But anyway, I am in Creative Loafing Tampa. Check it out.