Author Megan Ryder Geeks Out About Baseball Research

Reading Time: 3 minutes
Image: Melanie R. Meadors

I’ve always believed that we are all geeks about something. We’re used to seeing people geek out about comics, and gaming, and sci fi. But I think folks who are sports fans, and Thomas Kinkade commemorative plate collectors, and hikers, and anyone else who is passionate about something are just as qualified to be called geeks as well. This week on Geek Speaks…Fiction! I change things up a little bit. My guest is romance author Megan Ryder, who is a big Lord of the Rings and fantasy fan, but who also is just a teeny bit of a baseball geek as well. 

I love baseball. The crack of the bat. The sound of the ball hitting the leather of the glove. The roar of the crowd. But what I really love is the game behind the game of baseball.

Wait, what?

Image: Tule Publishing

Yes, I am a total geek about baseball business and strategy. I love reading about the business side of the sport – the moneyball game, the trades, the injuries, how players rehab. I also love when the color analysts talk about how the defense might play a certain situation and how the offense might try to counter that. I love analysis; it’s part of my job in everything I do. So when I started working on my Knights of Passion romance series about a baseball team, I knew I was going to love the research.

Here are five things I geek out about with baseball:

  1. Strategy: There’s nothing like predicting if someone is going to bunt, steal or be intentionally walked. I love trying to figure out what each side is going to do in a situation. And to do this, you really have to understand the players involved and the game situation. Then sit back and see if you’re right.
  2. Injuries: I went to school to be an Athletic Trainer and I love figuring out how an injury happened and how to fix it. Not that I like seeing anyone injured, but it’s satisfying to assess an injury and rehabilitate it successfully. I hate seeing anyone injured but watching it happen, I immediately go into trainer mode to figure out what happened and what to do next.
  3. Trades: Is there anything better than the trade deadline and figuring out what or who your team needs or wants? Sometimes, who you think you want on your team, may not actually work out. It could be personality, type of hitter they are, or fielder. I love the trade deadline and the offseason trades too.
  4. The Business Side: When I was researching my second book, I read a lot about the changing financial side about the sport. The Moneyball affect, if you will. I remember when Billy Beane and the Oakland A’s started that experiment, then to watch the movie was so cool too. Of course, I preferred to read the book, and so many others like Big Data Baseball etc. Reading how teams adapting the theories to their situation and made adjustments fascinates me. The combination of understanding baseball and the business side gets my geek juices flowing.
  5. The beauty of the game: There’s something beautiful about the sport. I know the games are long and drawn out, but I love the game within the game. The subtle powerplay between the pitcher and hitter. The teasing action between first base runner and the pitcher. The faking of the runner with the first or second baseman. The catcher directing the action. There’s so much going on. I could just sit and watch it for hours without talking. To me, it’s soothing and relaxing and so complicated on a subtle level.

So, this is how I see baseball. How do you see the sport?

Photo: Julia Gerace

About Megan Ryder:

Ever since Megan Ryder discovered Jude Deveraux and Judith McNaught while sneaking around the “forbidden” romance section of the library one day after school, she has been voraciously devouring romance novels of all types. Now a romance author in her own right, Megan pens sexy contemporary novels all about family and hot lovin’ with the boy next door. She lives in Connecticut, spending her days as a technical writer and her spare time divided between her addiction to knitting and reading. 

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