Charles Silva Silva itibaren Dalmeny, South Queensferry, Edinburgh EH30, İngiltere
For Yankee fans (I count myself as one) who lived through the twelve glorious years that this book covers, there are not many surprises. I would say I knew 80% of it, but it was interesting to hear the manager’s perspective (and surprising to hear the manager curse, will this be in an audio book?) When you watch the daily drama of a baseball season, for six-months (seven , in good years) out of the year, you become very familiar with the faces in and around a team. Going into this, I felt I already knew the major characters: Torre, Jeter, Steinbrenner. What I didn’t know was how certain personality flaws lead some very successful players down the paths of cheating and failing. In this book you get a better reading on those characters. One of the curious things about the book is that Torre chose to write it while he was still managing, albeit with a new team, in the other league, on the other side of the country. He broke one of the cardinal rules, he told about the inner workings of a clubhouse. One of the major, explicit themes of the book is how Torre manages through trust and I don’t think it would be a stretch to say he may have ruined his trust with his players when he broke the code of silence about what was going on inside of the clubhouse. Verducci does a good job summarizing the important moments over twelve long baseball seasons. I think the true value of this book is as an archive for future baseball fans to read, when all of the important little details have faded from the common memory and all of the important players are retired and off the field. Along with a Yankee dynasty, this was the era of ignored steroid abuse in baseball, and so it is a solid primary source for the further debate and discussion of that era. Verducci, however, does a clunky job of explaining the surprising events that took place. He relies on percentages and numbers rather than description to tell why a play or an event was so unlikely or momentous. I watched every inning of the calamitous 2004 ALCS, and it is not enough to say, after game 3 “The Red Sox had a 0.85 percent chance of winning the series.” Those two weeks during that series were an exhausting, torturous, scarring event, and I wasn’t even on the field. I will never forget where I was, how confident I was after game 3, and how low I was when Damon hit the grand slam in game 7. That was no time to rely on historical percentages, those emotional, exhilarating moments are when you need personal accounts, and I did not feel that any of the great or terrible events were properly evoked. I never felt the same pins and needles from those memories that I do when one of those games comes on Yankees’ Classics. This book also fits as an apt eulogy of the Boss. As of this writing, George Steinbrenner is still alive, but he is no longer the noxious force that he used to be. Torre tells of the whithering of the Boss into an addled old man, probably for the better of the franchise, but for the worse of the back pages. This book and Ladies and Gentlemen, The Bronx is Burning, (a far better book that takes on a much broader world view) are fitting bookends to the life and times of the character that is The Boss. I won’t miss him, but he did pay for some great teams.
Very, very freaky. I read it cover to cover.