Dirk Hayhurst was one of the first people I followed on Twitter, way back in 2009, and I’ve been keeping a keen eye on him ever since. I absolutely adored his first two books, The Bullpen Gospels and Out of My League, and I was very excited for this one too. When it first came out, I already had a to-read pile longer than my arm, so I left it for a little while before I bought it, but I really wish I hadn’t!
And as I expected, I finished the book within a day, just like the last two. Dirk is the first ballplayer to really let you inside the clubhouse and show you what the world of baseball is really like, and this book shows more of the struggles associated with being that person than the last two books did. During the time period of this book, Dirk is publishing his first book and it’s common knowledge within the clubhouse of his new team. And not everyone is happy with that, in fact, some people are downright angry.
This book contained a lot less baseball than the first two books, and as a result it felt a whole lot more personal. It’s very brave of Dirk to let us in so deep to his life and the struggles he was going through, it’s rare for someone in the public eye to be quite so honest and I found it endeared me to him a whole lot more. Obviously because the events in this book were a couple of years ago and since I’ve been following him on Twitter all this time, I knew how the book was going to end, but I still loved reading the journey.
Living in the UK, it’s kind of hard to get hold of good books about baseball, the local library definitely doesn’t have any. So I’m so glad that I’ve been able to read Dirk’s three books, and I really hope he writes more. His style of writing is so personal that it drags you in so that you feel like you’re experiencing it all along with him.
I’d really recommend this book to anyone who enjoys seeing inside a world that they know nothing about. And I don’t think that you necessarily have to be a baseball fan to enjoy Hayhurst’s books, although you definitely need to have an appreciation of juvenile humour – if an entire chapter devoted to a blocked and rapidly overflowing toilet rapidly turning into a ‘porcelain volcano’ doesn’t sound like your thing, then probably best to steer clear.
The trade deadline is coming up rather quickly this year (Sunday at 9PM). I thought that we might slip through without any major moves this year, especially with the payroll being so high, but I got home from work today to the news that we traded Edwin Jackson and Mark Teahen to Toronto, in return for Jason Frasor and Zach Stewart. I’m still not 100% sure about the move. Jackson and Teahen were never my favourite players on the team, but they have been pretty good (despite the injuries to Teahen), and I’ll need to have a look at some stats before I make a decision about Frasor and Stewart. It will be nice to have Frasor as another arm in the bullpen to help out Jesse Crain, and it also looks like Stewart will make it to the big league club at some point this year.
The best news today was that we brought up Alejandro De Aza from Charlotte. First at bat, 2 run homer! Not a bad first impression. We seem to be going in the right direction after the All Star break, and catching up quickly to the top of the division – I’m looking forward to seeing what we can do…
The autobiography of Joe Torre that I just read was fantastic! I was quite lucky that I had a train journey to London and back on Friday, so I read the entire book in one day. The first part of the book was about his life – his upbringing and the start of his career (his playing days). I didn’t know too much about him before I started reading, but I was interested to learn he had quite a tough childhood, that he almost didn’t get to play baseball, and that he had an older brother (Frank), who was also a baseball player.
The second part of the book was about his managing career. I had only associated him with the Yankees, so it was quite surprising that he managed for a long time before the Yankees (and not very successfully either). The Yankees must have been the right fit for him, as the last part of the book was an in depth description of the 1996 World Series. It was fascinating to get inside the mind of a manager as he makes all the decisions, like when to take a player out of the game, and when to let them try and rescue themselves. It was highlighted because Joe Torre was previously a national league manager, and gave us descriptions of that mindset.
I’ve definitely got a different opinion of Joe Torre (and to some extent the Yankees), after reading this book, and it will definitely be one I read again.
The next book is another of the baseball books I just bought from Amazon. I didn’t realise that Amazon had some ‘Preferred Partners’. Basically this means that you buy a used book from another company, but it gets dispatched by Amazon, from the Amazon warehouse, and is still eligible for free shipping. It means you can gets books for £1-2 instead of £7-15. The condition is stated up front, and was pretty accurate when the books came. I’m the kind of person that likes to enjoy reading (as you may have noticed), so I don’t worry about keeping books in immaculate condition anyway.
I’ve heard some stories about David Wells, so I’m interested to see if his reputation is true!