DEBUT PHIL ROSS VOLUME SEES RESURGENCE WITH O.J. TRIAL ANNIVERSARY, OSCAR-WINNING DOCUMENTARY BY EZRA EDELMAN, & 'HIDDEN' INTERVIEW WITH HIM BY JUDITH REGAN FROM 2006 (Download Cover Now)
ONCE A TROJAN ALWAYS A TROJAN enjoys renewed interest, with the 20th anniversary of O.J. Simpson's original trial, fueled by an Oscar-winning documentary, and "hidden" 2006 interview (Download Now)
BLUE HOMBRES, BOTCHED BLOODING Only $8.50 Each in Ongoing Price Cut
- Apr. 8, 2018
Looking for an informative, entertaining book on an offbeat subject at a reasonable price? The print versions of the the two latest books by Colorado Author Phil Ross continue indefinitely at a reduced price. The lower price initially had been implemented temporarily for a week in conjunction with the author's milestone 70th birthday on Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, and received a reader response worthy of maintaining the discount?
The reduced price of only $8.50 per copy is available on the Phil Ross Author Page @ https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_1_5?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=mr+phil+ross&sprefix=mr+ph%2Cstripbooks%2C207&crid=B16MINYT7D7U or by entering keywords: mr phil ross after selecting Amazon.com on your browser. The special price applies to BLUE HOMBRES: The Life and Times of Major League Baseball's Latino Umpires (First of a Trilogy) and BOTCHED BLOODING: They Tried to Kill Me ... and Then They Stole My Livelihood (A Fictionalized Account of Compelling Actual Events).
Keep an eye out later in spring 2018 for the next Ross book launch: BLUE HOMBRES 2.0: Major League Baseball's Latino Umpires and Their Crew Mates Embrace the High-Tech Revolution with Much Gusto (Second of a Trilogy).
Phil Ross is more than happy to sign your personal copies or those of family, friends or professional colleagues. Contact information for the author is on the last page of this website.
BOTCHED BLOODING Generates Early Plaudits
- Apr. 13, 2017
Other authors, including a best-selling one, give BOTCHED BLOODING a thumbs-up in early assessments of the just-released corporate health care whistleblower book.
Download Below to Read the Other Authors' Take on the New Phil Ross Volume
ESPN 30 for 30 'O.J.: Made in America' Earns Oscar for Best Documentary
- Feb. 28, 2017
Ezra Edelman-Created Series Includes Interviews with 2 Ex-Teammates of Simpson Who Are Prominent in Phil Ross Debut Book
Steve Lehmer, the athlete-turned-orthopedic surgeon who bumped O.J. Simpson twice on the latter's 1967 national-title-creating run, was interviewed exclusively for Phil Ross's 2013 debut book, 'ONCE A TROJAN ALWAYS A TROJAN.' He also is one of two O.J. '67 teammates interviewed for 'Made in America.' The five-part film project -- written, produced and directed by Ezra Edelman -- won the Academy Award for Best Documentary earlier this spring.
BOTCHED BLOODING: Available on Amazon, bn.com, Other Sources
RECOMMENDED OFFERINGS FROM THE ROSS READER ROOST
INCLUDING THE JUST-LAUNCHED
BOTCHED BLOODING: They Tried to Kill Me ... and Then They Stole My Livelihood (A Fictionalized Account of Compelling Actual Events), has been often delayed by the California judicial system and other factors, but the much-anticipated health care whistleblower book finally was launched and made available to the public in spring 2017. (Launched April 10, 2017)
Spanish translation version of original English First Edition of a trilogy, HOMBRES AZULES: La Vida y los Tiempos de Árbitros Latinos de Las Grandes Ligas, offers a direct presentation in la idioma español to readers in Latin American countries and those in the United States who feel more comfortable reading in Spanish about Latino on-field peacekeepers. (Projected release date: Sometime in 2018)
Versión en español de la primera edición original de una trilogía, HOMBRES AZULES: La Vida y los Tiempos de Árbitros Latinos de Las Grandes Ligas, ofrece una presentación directa en la lengua extranjera a los lectores de los países latinoamericanos y de los Estados Unidos que sienten una lectura más cómoda en español acerca de las fuerzas de paz latinas en el campo. (Fecha de lanzamiento proyectada: mas tarde en 2018)
Part 2 of the ongoing trilogy, BLUE HOMBRES 2.0: Major League Baseball's Latino Umpires and Their Crew Mates Embrace the High-Tech Revolution with Much Gusto (Second of a Trilogy) picks up after the 2016 All-Star Break, and incorporates unique and varied tech practices of constantly traveling Latino and non-Latino umpires alike. (Projected release date: Early 2018)
The final installment of the English-language trilogy, BLUE HOMBRES Numero Tres: Major League Baseball's Latino Umpires and Their Peers Peer Deep Beyond 2018, will be launched later in 2018. (Projected release date: Fall 2018)
No Blue Hombres in Fall Classic, but Connections Abound
- Oct. 26, 2016
There are no Blue Hombres, Latino Major League Baseball umpires, assigned to the 2016 World Series match-up between the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians which began Oct. 25 with a 6-0 win by the host Tribe.
Angel Hernández, Laz Díaz, Alfonso "Fonzy" Marquez and Manny Gonzalez all completed 2016 postseason duties in either league divisional or championship series. Hernández and Marquez teamed to work the National League Championship Series; Díaz officiated in the American League Championship Series, doing home plate in an opening game; and Gonzalez was part of the six-man crew in an NL Divisional Series.
However, the connections between the four Blue Hombres and their six colleagues working the 2016 Fall Classic abound. Here's a brief breakdown, based on umpire positions assigned in the Oct. 25 WS opener:
LARRY VANOVER, Home Plate -- Crew chief the entire regular season of a foursome that included Marquez as No. 2 man.
CHRIS GUCCIONE, First Base -- No. 3 operative on the Vanover crew. The Colorado native and Marquez both were baptized several years ago by traveling baseball preacher, Pastor Dean Esskew. The trio of Vanover/Marquez/Guccione was joined by fourth crew-mate David Rackley last April in administering the verdict on baseball history's only 9-3-2-6-2-5 triple play, by the Chicago White Sox against the Texas Rangers.
JOHN HIRSCHBECK, Second Base -- The 60-something Hirschbeck recently announced his retirement as an MLB umpire and longtime crew chief who helped mentor several current Latino umpires. As a younger umpire himself, Hirschbeck often was on a crew headed by retired Rich Garcia, a 25-year pacesetter whose career still is the longest among all Blue Hombres (as detailed in a chapter in the current First Edition of the trilogy.)
MARVIN HUDSON, Third Base -- As with Hirschbeck, although an infrequent crew chief thus far in regular-season games, Hudson has taken various aspiring Latino umpires under his wing over the years.
TONY RANDAZZO -- Similar to Hudson, a sporadic crew chief but well-respected veteran, Randazzo's last hook-up with a Blue Hombre was in a 2016 season-ending series in Denver with the Colorado Rockies hosting the Milwaukee Brewers; in that three-game set, Triple-A call-up Roberto Ortiz, a native Puerto Rican who now lives in Florida, worked first base, home plate and third base, in that order, on a Randazzo crew that also included Ortiz's current Arizona Fall League colleague, Tom Woodring, and Scott Barry.
JOE WEST -- The venerable "guru" of MLB umpires, varyingly known as Country Joe or Cowboy Joe, West is the longest-tenured umpire among active veterans, with more than three decades in the big leagues.
West, who, as is the case with second-most-tenured umpire Gerry Davis, also has several patents for innovative protective equipment for umpires and officials in other sports, has been the crew chief, at one time or another, for virtually every up-and-coming Latino umpire. West also has recorded country music albums. The most recent Blue Hombres additions as call-ups from Triple-A to West's crew have been Northern California-born-and-bred Gabe Morales and Ramon de Jesus, like Ortiz and Woodring, Arizona Fall League umpires, with de Jesus being the first MLB arbiter from the Dominican Republic.
- Oct. 24, 2016
When the Chicago Cubs wrapped up the National League Championship Series by defeating the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 6 on Oct. 22 at Wrigley Field, Blue Hombres Angel Hernández and Alfonso Marquez, respectively, handled umpiring down the left- and right-field lines.
The Cubs thus qualified for their first World Series appearance since 1945, and will face the Cleveland Indians beginning Oct. 25 in the Fall Classic.
Marquez Makes Own Niche at Plate, as Chicago Moves 1 Game from World Series
- Oct. 21, 2016
Adrian Gonzalez, the Los Angeles Dodgers' veteran first baseman, again was at the center of controversy for the second consecutive game in his squad's 8-4 loss to the Chicago Cubs in Game 5 of the National League Championship Series at Dodger Stadium on Oct. 20.
Leading off the bottom of the second inning against crafty Cubs' southpaw Jon Lester, Gonzalez ran the count full and thought he had walked on Lester's sixth pitch to him -- a change-up at the knees -- but was called out on strikes by plate umpire Alfonso "Fonzy" Marquez. Marquez, like Gonzalez a native of Mexico who grew up in Southern California, turned briefly to look at his countryman as Gonzalez gave him a quick earful -- likely in some choice Spanish words -- in passing slowly behind the arbiter en route back to the third-base dugout. Repeated close looks at replays -- in stop-action -- by unofficial observers, such as Blue Hombres author Phil Ross, clearly showed the ball crossing the strike zone at the knee tops.
Hernández patrolled the right-field line after plate chores in Game 4.
The Dodgers faced elimination if they lost Saturday in Game 6 back at Wrigley Field.
Hernández Grabs Plate, Marquez at 1B in Cubs' Game 4 NLCS 'Even-Upper'
- Oct. 20, 2016
Angel Hernández and Alfonso "Fonzy" Marquez, Latino-Americans who respectively were born in Cuba and Mexico but reared in Florida and California, did their usual steady umpiring jobs on Oct. 19 at Dodger Stadium, as the host Angelenos made their stadium seem like the Friendly Confines to the Chicago Cubs. The invaders stopped their offensive drought in a 10-2 win, evening-up the best-of-seven National League Championship Series at 2-2. Angel was stationed at the plate, Fonzy at first base. The former looked at a total of 322 pitches thrown by six pitchers on each side; the out he called on a sliding Adrian Gonzalez at the plate in the bottom of the second inning was confirmed upon review, despite the runner's insistence that his hand touched the plate before Chicago catcher Willson Contreras tagged Gonzalez on his chin.
Hernández + Marquez Exemplify Heads-Up MLB Umpire Coordination
- Oct. 18, 2016
Veteran Blue Hombres Angel Hernández and Alfonso "Fonzy" Marquez executed good umpire coordination on a non-standard double play in the top of the sixth inning of the Oct. 16 1-0 loss by the National League Central champion Chicago Cubs to the visiting NL West-winning Los Angeles Dodgers at Wrigley Field.
With one out in the inning and Dodgers runners at first and second, the Cubs' Puerto Rico-born second baseman Javier Baez fielded a ground ball off Joc Pederson's bat, relaying the ball to shortstop Addison Russell coming across the bag at second. As Russell's momentum moved him onto the base to force L.A. base runner Josh Reddick for the second out, instead of getting the third out at first, the Cub turned suddenly and whipped the ball toward teammate Kris Bryant to nail Adrian Gonzalez, caught trying to head from second to third.
Agile Angel already had flung his close-fisted right arm straight up, indicating the out at second, and was ready to pivot to watch Russell throw to first to complete the routine twin-killing. When Russell, in an eyelash's blink, opted to go the other way, though, Angel reacted by jumping and turning to cover the rundown that resulted in a 4-6-5-6 double play, with Bryant chasing Gonzalez back toward 2B for the tag-out by Russell. Fonzy held his ground at third, then pointed in Angel's direction to signify the second out.
FS1 viewers and a packed house at the Friendly Confines were treated to a rulebook-perfect example of umpire coordination by two of the best Blue Hombres. Read the complete story about the life and times of Angel and Fonzy, and other MLB Latino arbiters, past and present, in Phil Ross's new trilogy.
3 Blue Hombres Among Elite Arbiters Assigned to ALCS/NLCS
- Oct. 16, 2016
The three most senior active umpires of Latino ancestry in Major League Baseball -- Angel Hernández, Laz Díaz and Alfonso "Fonzy" Marquez -- have been assigned as arbiters on the respective six-man crews for either American League (ALCS) or National League (NLCS) Championship Series best-of-seven 2016 match-ups. The winner of the ALCS contests between the Cleveland Indians and Toronto Blue Jays will face the NLCS survivor, either the best-record-in-baseball Chicago Cubs or the Los Angeles Dodgers, in the upcoming World Series.
The ALCS began the evening of Oct. 14, as the host Indians blanked the Jays, 2-0, with Díaz working home plate and Toronto catcher Russell Martin squatting in front of the Miami-born umpire of Cuban descent. (Refer to the Oct. 15 News item on Díaz and Martin on this page which suggests that readers delve further into the relationship by examining Chp. 4 in BLUE HOMBRES First Edition.) Cleveland enhanced its chances with a 2-1 victory on Oct. 15, as Díaz moved to a position down the right-field line.
Hernández started the NLCS series at third base, in an 8-4, come-from-behind Cubs' win, with Marquez a few yards behind him on the left-field line. Both had to battle intermittent wind gusts hitting them right in their faces, as the zephyrs zipped out toward left field. On the game's most consequential set of plays -- back-to-back home runs to right field in the five-run eighth inning by left-handed batters, pinch-hitter Miguel Montero's grand-slam and Dexter Fowler's solo shot -- Hernández's primary responsibility was to watch each succeeding runner clearly touch the third-base bag. Chp. 3 in the initial book of the trilogy chronicles his Blue Hombres journey.
Marquez's life and times are detailed in the book's Chp. 5, including his nearly flawless, 12-inning, four-hour-plus performance at home plate in the decisive fifth game of the 2015 World Series, won by the Kansas City Royals over the New York Mets.
The only other current full-time MLB umpire who is Latino, Venezuelan Manny Gonzalez, also worked in the 2016 postseason -- on a six-man crew that handled the Dodgers' five-game NL Divisional Series triumph over the Washington Nationals. His story is told in Chp. 6 of BLUE HOMBRES.
Blue Hombre No. 63, Laz Díaz, Rings 'Em Up in ALCS Opener
- Oct. 15, 2016
Miami native but Orlando resident Laz Díaz, who author Phil Ross interviewed last summer in Denver for Laz's own chapter of the First Edition of Phil's recently launched BLUE HOMBRES trilogy project, called out five batters on third strikes in a 2-0 shutout by host Cleveland over Toronto at Progressive Field last night. In a best-of-7 ALCS series opener, the Tribe's Cory Kluber teamed with two relievers to scatter 7 hits, only 1 for extra bases. Blue Jays' starter Marco Estrada, a native of Sinaloa, Mexico, went the distance for the loss, giving up only a single extra-base blow -- Puerto Rico-born Francisco Lindor's 6th-inning, 2-run homer. Laz's complex, Shakespearean-worthy, on-field relationship with the Jays' current Canadian-born catcher, Russell Martin, is detailed in the book's Chp. 4. (This page has other exciting discussions of Phil's books.)
BLUE HOMBRES, Late 2016 Book on Amazon, bn.com; ebook on Kindle (Download Image Now; Other Details at Bottom of This Page)
BLUE HOMBRES: The Life and Times of Major League Baseball's Latino Umpires, First of a Trilogy, 2016
ONCE A TROJAN ALWAYS A TROJAN: Timeless Nostalgia on Amazon (Download Image Now; Other Details at Bottom of This Page)
ONCE A TROJAN ALWAYS A TROJAN: A True Story, 2013: Reduced More Than 50% in November Package Deal (Details on Home Page)
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