Browse Articles

Book Review: Becoming Manny

J.J. Cooper -

Of all of today's baseball superstars, is there anyone about whom we know less than Manny Ramirez? "Becoming Manny" tries to step into that gulf, and it largely succeeds by telling the story of how Ramirez' grew up in the Dominican Republic and New York City and how that upbringing shaped the man he's become. Authors Jean Rhodes and Shawn Boburg got to know Ramirez and his family, getting them to open up in a way that we've rarely if ever seen in newspaper or magazine interviews with Ramirez.

Majors | #2009#Book Guide

Book Review: Forever Blue

Everett Merrill -

Conventional wisdom had O'Malley at the center of this perfect storm of two cities, but in "Forever Blue" former journalist Michael D'Antonio offers a co-villain in Robert Moses, New York City's czar of housing, construction and development in the post-World War II years.

Majors | #2009#Book Guide

Book Review: The Complete Game

Matt Eddy -

Few pitchers have been afforded the opportunity to start Game Seven of the World Series. Fewer have capped a successful playing career with an Emmy-winning turn as a broadcaster. Still fewer have offered such an insightful take on the game from the pitcher's perspective as Ron Darling has in his book "The Complete Game."

Majors | #2009#Book Guide

Movie Review: Sugar

J.J. Cooper -

There are a lot of good baseball movies, and even more bad ones. But if you are a diehard fan of baseball, the common denominator of almost all of them is that the better they are, the more the little details ring false. But "Sugar" is one baseball movie that rings true from the first pitch to the final out.<br/>

Majors | #2009#Book Guide

Makers of ‘Sugar’ Focused On The Details

J.J. Cooper -

When Ron Shelton wrote and directed Bull Durham, he created one of the most realistic baseball movies ever made because he'd live the life of a minor leaguer. He'd played in the Orioles organization and managed to take that experience and use the details to capture what life was like in the minor leagues. Ryan Fleck never played minor league ball, and as you would expect, fellow writer/producer/director Anna Boden didn't either. But the creators of "Sugar" have managed to match Shelton detail for detail and even surpass him in many ways, because they showed how well they could listen.

Majors | #2009#Book Guide

Big Book Of Baseball Legends

Matt Eddy -

Like a good joke, a good story has to have an element of the unexpected to have any resonance. Baseball stories are no different. Babe Ruth instinctively knew this, playing coy whenever asked if he really did call his home run off Charlie Root in Game 3 of the 1932 World Series. Rob Neyer, in his "Big Book of Baseball Legends," attempts to get at the truth behind Ruth's infamous gesture, with the help contemporary newspaper accounts, player autobiographies and memoirs—and lots and lots of time devoted to Retrosheet research.

Majors | #2008#Book Guide

The 33-Year-Old Rookie

J.J. Cooper -

We're all suckers for an underdog story. We root for Rocky and Rudy and the Tampa Bay Rays, which is why it's hard not to enjoy The 33-Year-Old Rookie, the story of Phillies catcher Chris Coste. Coste is the ultimate underdog, an undrafted college infielder who spent five years in the independent leagues hoping to get noticed. Along the way he learned how to catch and develop an interesting hitting style that looked ugly but got results.

Majors | #2008#Book Guide

The Sultan Of Stats Returns

J.J. Cooper -

Bill James, the father of modern statistical analysis, is back this year with the Bill James Gold Mine, a book that pairs 17 James' essays with statistical snippets and notes on all 30 major league teams. In addition, James has founded Bill James Online, a subscription site that will continually be updated with additional essays and profiles.

Majors | #2008#Book Guide

CD Review: Ernie Harwell’s Audio Scrapbook

Alan Matthews -

At the age of 89, William Earnest Harwell seems as sharp and spry as he was during his days as a precocious teen in Atlanta, hustling up stories as a correspondent for the Sporting News in 1933. It's Opening Day, 2007, and though Harwell is five years removed from the radio booth, the voice of the longtime Detroit Tigers radio broadcaster remains full of excitement and energy, all of which is captured in the comprehensive, compelling four-disk audio series, "Ernie Harwell's Audio Scrapbook".

Majors | #2007#Book Guide