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Mychael Urban @ Livermore Civic Center (updates)

Hey everyone!!! I don't know if you guys remembered, but yesterday, Mychael Urban was at Livermore Public Library for a book signing. I has soooo much fun! I took notes the entire time and I learned a lot about the book and about the team. He even gave me some advice. :) Here are some of the key points from the signing... I have a pretty good memory, so I got some quotes word for word. Yays. :)

  • He was thinking about writing a book just about Zito. I thought this was sooo cool.

  • "Sports media these days is so negative and I try to stay away from that..." -Mychael Urban

  • "A simple word can change the meaning of a whole sentence like if you say 'Jason Kendall is 1-for-20 in his past 20 games' compared to 'Jason Kendall is only 1-for-20 in his past five games.' It just piles on."

  • Urban takes notes and refrains from using a tape recorder unless it's an after game 'press conference' where it's chaos everywhere. People like Barry Zito trust him enough that Urban can quote him without having it word for word because Barry knows Mychael won't change things around.

  • Billy swears he doesn't read the papers, but as soon as he reads something negative about him, he makes sure to call the writer. This made me giggle. :)

  • HE LIVES IN LIVERMORE. As a matter of fact, he wrote most of the book in the Livermore Public Library. I swear, I never saw him there. Gahh! I would've flipped. :)

  • Mychael got the idea about writing a book about the Big Three after he read Moneyball. He thought, "Why aren't Barry Zito, Mark Mulder and Tim Husdon part of this book?"

  • Out of the three guys, Barry was the most outgoing and had all the things the media connected with. But I bet y'all already knew that. :) Even though the media was ga ga over Barry, Timmy and Mark were just as interesting as Z.

  • TH, MM and BZ's backgrounds couldn't be more different. While Tim grew up in the deep south, admitting himself that he was a hick, Mark grew up in the suburbs in Chicago while Barry, true to his eccentricness (is that even a word?) was born in Vegas and grew up in SoCal.

  • When Barry was about two, Joe Zito walked into the room Barry was lying in his crib in and found young Sexy Man bouncing and catching a ball off the wall with one hand. At two. Wowness.

  • Barry didn't know that Joe read books about baseball and then taught Barry all he had learned. He didn't know that his father was completely clueless about baseball but put his whole self into learning the game because that's what his son wanted.

  • Mark Mulder was the typical millionare ballplayer. All he worried about was girls, baseball and golf. Z called him Johnny Ballplayer.

  • Since Barry already got so much media attention, Urban wanted to branch out and write a book about all of the Big Three together but apart.... if that makes sense. That's what got processed into my head. :)

  • When Billy called Urban at the beginning of the offseason last year and said, "Hey, if I traded a couple of these guys, would it kill your book?" Urban smartly answered, "If I say yes will you not trade them?" Classic. :)

  • Mychael and Barry first got to be good friends when Barry's best friend on the team at that time, Eric Hiljus, got sent to the minors years ago and Barry went up to Urban and said, "Hey, my best friend...just got sent to the minors and highly reccomended you." That's my Z.

    [editor's note, by GreenNGoldGirl]Thanks to grover and captainamerica for helping me with my brain block... Eric Hiljus... I couldn't remember!

  • Mychael's got three book ideas bouncing around in his head, the first (and my personal favorite) being "Baby's First Baseball Book". According to him, most baseball fan parents will look at the book and buy it even if there's just scribbles in it. So, so true.

  • Baseball players are the most immature group of guys ever. Whenever there is free time, a practical joke is baisically meant to either embarrass, scare or temporarily maim a guy.

  • The second book idea was a book about all the practical jokes players play on their teammates. He wants to get every one on the thirty teams represented in his book getting practial jokes even from HOFers.

  • The third idea was a novel about baseball with each character being a spinoff or based on someone or something that had happened in baseball. For example, there would be a guy like Barry Zito, but he would be someone who took eccentric to a new level. He would give flowers to his teammates and such... [giggle]

  • The sequel to Moneyball, the book Underdogs, is coming out in 2007. It's a book following the players of the 2002 draft.

  • Michael Zagaris, the A's team photographer, helped Mychael out with the pictures throughout the book. He charged Mychael $500 to pick any 25 pictures from his archives to put in his book (which according to Mychael Urban is incredibly cheap!). Zagaris, Zito and Urban all got together one day to go through 5 years worth of pictures to pick the best shots that would describe the situation in the book. It didnt matter what was the best picture taken, but who made the best case for the picture they found. It was all about the creative process that the three experienced in picking the pictures.

  • If there is a Cards/Braves showdown in the NLCS and Mulder and Huddy happen to be pitching against each other, Mychael chooses.... Huddy. He thinks that Mulder's going to have many chances to go for that ring and Huddy isn't. He also has a bit of personal bias for Huddy. :)

  • In next week's ESPN: The Magazine, Urban has an article on how the Big Three still keep in touch during the season through text messaging. That is sooo cute! :)

  • When Urban asked Barry who he'd rather see win in an NLCS Huddy/Mulder showdown, Barry gave the perfect answer. "I want them both to pitch nine innings of shut out ball and let the bullpen decide it." According to Mychael, if the bullpens decided, it would be Mulder's game.

  • When the Winter Meetings happened, Mychael and Timmy were communicating constantly. They talked at least 25 times in three days with 15 of those calls coming in to Mychael from Tim.

  • My favorite part of the whole night. :) "Dan Haren is a mini-Barry Zito." -Mychael Urban... On the road, it's usually Barry, Danny and Mychael hanging out. Danny like, covets Barry Zito. I think that is the single coolest thing ever. :)

  • My least favorite part of the whole night.... Urban thinks Barry is gone after this season. He thinks Billy is going to trade him. After this trade "happens", Danny Haren is going to take over Z's role... after all, they do have the same hair. This makes me sad. So, so sad. :(

    Update [2005-9-24 12:45:12 by GreenNGoldGirl]: I emailed Mychael and he said that "[his] feeling that Zito will be traded is not based on anything other than a gut feeling. Given that the A's survived (so to speak) the trades of Hudson and Mulder, [he has] a feeling Billy might send Barry and his $8.5 million out of town so he can get the big bat the A's so badly need. [He thinks Billy] looks at a rotation of Haren, Blanton, Harden, Saarloos and Kennedy/Meyer and feels pretty good about it." Extremely well said Mychael. :)

  • "Lew Wolff isn't digging through his couch for change." -Mychael Urban

  • There was much discussion about the stadium issue. Mychael thinks that there will be a payroll raise because Lew Wolff isn't here just to make a profit like the previous owners. I wasn't paying much attention here because my sister was bored out of her mind and I was saying "I told you so." Another thing that came up was the A's moving out of Oakland; Urban thinks that there's more of a chance of the A's moving to Vegas that to San Jose because the Giants have territorrial rights that they won't give up. I learned something new, too. He said that Bud Selig has some hidden powers that he never uses; he could use these secret powers to ZAP the territorrial rights into ashes and give the land to the A's but of course, that's never going to happen. He also said that the first team to go to Vegas was going to make some chunk of change!

  • HAIR!!!!! I asked him who he thought had the best hair on the A's and he said.... Kielty. One guy asked why Blanton had the porquipine (sp??) and why all the guys had long hair. Urban responded by saying that the young guys are looking for all the attention the can get. They also want to fit into the mold of the other players; they want to mimick to the coolness of Z. ;)

  • The grossest part of the interview thingy... Barry and Danny get into contests to see who could go the longest without washing their hair. Can you saw, "EWWW!!!"?

AN, I apologize if this is a horrible recap. I am unable to think very coherently because I's sick. No excuse for crappy writing, but oh well. I have an excuse so I'll use it!!!

Enjoy. :)

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