Jonah Keri is the author of the new book Up, Up, and Away: The Kid, the Hawk, Rock, Vladi, Pedro, le Grand Orange, Youppi!, the Crazy Business of Baseball, and the Ill-fated but Unforgettable Montreal Expos (that's a long title, yo). Odds are if you're a baseball nerd you've been hearing a lot about this, and the early reviews are that it's well worth the anticipation. I wouldn't know because Jonah's yet to send me a copy-- SACREBLEU!!!!
Despite the slight, I've decided to finally give this New York Times Best-Selling writer and Grantland columnist the type of A-Level public reach his work deserves. Check out the exclusive interview below and enjoy!
(Interview Legend: "ZWR" = Zoo With Roy, "JK" = Jonah Keri)
ZWR: Dude the Expos totally got hosed with that strike in 1994. That must have stunk, huh?
JK: Stunk so much I actually gave up on baseball when the announcement came that the season was cancelled. That ban lasted exactly six days...until my 20th birthday, when my girlfriend at the time bought me a Felipe Alou rookie card and urged me to reconsider punting on the game I love. (She and I have now been married for 16 years.)
ZWR: Do you hate the Nationals? It’s okay if yes, because we do, too. God they're so dumb.
JK: Nah, I don't hate any teams. Actually, having lived in DC for two years after leaving Montreal, I've grown to like the city and thought it would make a very good baseball town. Not DC's fault things didn't work out in Montreal.
ZWR: (Translation: The Nationals suck a butt.)
ZWR: I don’t like to tell people what to do, but how have you not purchased the Nationals Baseball Reference page (it’s available!) and used it to praise the Expos and plug this book? That’s marketing 101, baby, and sure to drive literally millions of sales. Tell Bill Simmons you’re expensing it.
JK: I've already sponsored the '94 Expos B-Ref page with a book plug. Being Canadian, I'm not nearly subversive enough to pull off that bit of Nats chicanery.
ZWR: You mean you don't have the #NATITUDE
ZWR: Tim Raines provided the following blurb for your book: “A special book that gives an under-appreciated time and place in baseball its due.” Admit it, Tim Raines never said that, and you wrote it yourself.
JK: It was actually written by Razor Shines.
ZWR: Gimme your top three favorite Expos, in order. The correct answer is Pedro Martinez at #1, FYI.
JK: Tim Raines, Larry Walker, Pedro Martinez.
ZWR: It’s funny the things we remember about certain events we observed as children. As a kid, I used to love watching Phillies games against the Expos because they had that crazy reflective glass behind home plate. What are some “quirky” recollections we can expect in your book?
JK: There's a story about how players used to have to fulfill their military duty even during the season. So pitchers Bill Stoneman and Dan McGinn would have to wake up at 4 am, drive 2 hours to Vermont, serve on a base all day, then race back for that night's game. One time Stoneman got caught in traffic, was due to start that night, and ended up racing through the dusty parking lot in full uniform to make it in time for (his own) first pitch. There are MANY other stories, by the way. The book is just a giant collection of fun tales.
ZWR: Have you noticed that Roy Halladay and I are total BFFs on Twitter now? When does your Roy Halladay book come out OKAY FINE YES I WILL CO-AUTHOR IT STOP BEGGING.
JK: I did not notice that (Editor's Note: wait what you could have lied), but that's amazing. You don't need me to co-write it! I'd read a ZWR Roy book in a heartbeat.
ZWR: Why don’t you just use this space to write anything else you’d like, “Tim”.
JK: You should totally buy the book, because it's incredibly fun. If you don't like it, I'll come to your house and cook you dinner.
There you have it, kids! Be sure to purchase Jonah Keri's new book today. Don't borrow it from a friend, and for heaven's sake don't wait for it to be in the library.