Trade Deadline and Crappy Baseball Magazines

Creative carte blanche.

Here is a cover I “designed” for a little-known and now-defunct baseball magazine (this was around the time magazines were on the cusp of dying, but were still relevant to the average Luddite, tactile enthusiast, or collector of things) that never ran. The editors, or powers that be, said it was too abstract or artsy, but I didn’t care as they had already bestowed the 200 clams for the idea–no questions asked. In the end, I presumably decided that this working relationship probably wouldn’t progress my ideas or disciplines as a creator and in the process did some serious dampening on my ideas of the publishing world.

I met the founder/owner/head honcho for dinner one night in a Chinese restaurant, and all the other writers/designers/shit workers wore a suit jacket or tie of which I was obviously exempt. One of the wives asked the server if the rice was “the type with plastic in it.” I was dumbfounded until she explained to me that she had read somewhere that the Chinese put plastic in their rice. I was then assured that my meal would be less than hygienic once the cooks were informed of this deranged idea.  

There is something about an ostentatious dinner party that is equivalent to watching the entire life cycle of a drowning house fly. This excursion was an example of wealth without inhibition, leading to projects done on a whim because someone had money to burn, and because of their ineptitude and lack of knowledge of the (dying) industry, their layman cracks were starting to show major gaps between ideal and actuality.

Insider jargon was being thrown around fast and furious, more or less centered around the male, mass media, basic-bitch sphere of cologne, beer, and cars–and the lines between fantasy and reality were laughably blurred. I decided in an instant to make the shittiest cover I could possibly throw together just to see if it would, by some miracle, get green-lighted. The “project” was a simple cut and paste that was done hastily in about a minute on my laptop while folding laundry…not bad work for a couple of Benjamin Franklins on a sleepy Saturday.


Dude’s got his hard nipples game on lock.

The A’s finally acquired some bullpen help in the form of Andrew Chafin, and the green and gold zealots were predictably overjoyed. Here are some of the complaints that A’s fans have relished this season: bullpen, bullpen, bullpen, Chapman can’t hit, bullpen, bullpen, Andrus can’t hit, bullpen, bullpen, John Fisher is the human equivalent of a festering boil, bullpen, bullpen, bullpen. 

Chafin has the look that A’s fans embrace–that of the badass dad with a handlebar mustache and a beer belly that sometimes parties with his Hells Angels friends on the weekends. He conjures up visual memories of a favorite of this blog–Rod Beck, (RIP Shooter) and will hopefully bring a left-handed dominance that the Oakland ball club has desperately needed. This guy is like bringing water to someone who has been crawling around, lips cracked and sun-baked in the desert. Remember that scene with Clint Eastwood in The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly? Blondie can finally drink. Not to be greedy, but I would be ecstatic if we could also acquire a stick before the deadline, because this offense smells worse than diarrhea on a hot tin roof and doesn’t even remotely resemble a team of contention.

8 thoughts on “Trade Deadline and Crappy Baseball Magazines

  1. Mark Tomasik

    Your description of the dinner with the magazine people had me laughing aloud. It reminded me of so many business dinners with corporate plutocrats that I had to smile through while wanting to scream.

    The privileged queen who worried about Chinese plastic in her rice no doubt today is sitting in front of a Fox News program that is warning about Chinese microchips being slipped into the CoVid vaccines.

    Kudos on the art skills. As someone who could not draw a straight line with a pica pole, I am jealous.

    1. Gary Trujillo Post author

      Wow, Steve. I didn’t know that until you told me! I’m sort of shocked they would send Luzardo for a player that will only stick around for a few months. This trade could come back to haunt us if we don’t go deep in the playoffs and/or Luzardo becomes a stud.

  2. SeaGuy


    The first little bit about magazines… reminds me of a friend who is definitely a (happy-go-lucky) luddite who LOVES all things baseball. (he is particularly fond of the obituary section of “Baseball America”… wherein anybody who played 3 games for the Toledo Mud Hens in 1946 is qualified to be listed in the “Death Notices” there).

    This friend astutely points out that printed sports media has now sunk far into “Preview” (crap) {vs. the good old days when The Sporting News would offer in-depth box scores for every MLB game that took place during the prior week, and would summarize what went on}.

    *** now, of course, the internet can offer you the details in minutes for free (as well as alert you when some guy from the Marlins has a no-hitter going through two-thirds of an inning), SO it makes sense that various publications changed things up to attempt to remain relevant.

    Today the printed sports media would rather wax on about nostalgia:

    “there was a game, it wasn’t just any game, and my father took me, yes ME (his only child, who ELSE was he likely to take?)… it was between the Brooklyn Dodgers, and the New York Giants… at the Polo Grounds… it was billed to be a pitcher’s duel for the ages… the game was incredible, my father groused at the price of a hot dog in his 1946 way, I sat in awe of what I witnessed that afternoon… I could barely believe what I saw… still can’t hardly imagine my good fortune. My father would be reminded of that fateful baseball moment we witnessed were he alive today to see what transpired in this 2021 season”

    My (very nice, very polite) friend gets SO MAD about supposed media like that focusing on every pointless detail right down to what brand of cigarettes that ‘father’ smoked, WITHOUT bothering to inform the reader anything about WHAT HAPPENED in the GAME itself.

    BUT I have great fun mocking this friend and his longing for the old days by anticipating the next sporting publication’s headline:

    “in our NEXT blockbuster issue, we PREVIEW the previews!!!”

  3. hellosamanthadear

    “I decided then and there to make the shittiest cover I could possibly conceive just to see if it would, by some miracle, get green-lighted. The project was a simple cut and paste that was done hastily in about a minute on my laptop…” oh my gosh that is GOLD!!!!!! Love the art creation by the way! The way you described the dinner party literally had me laughing out loud!


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