Pitchers are the heart of baseball, and John Feinstein tells the story of the game today through one season and two great pitchers working in the crucible of the New York media market. Tom Glavine and Mike Mussina have seen it all in the Major Leagues and both entered 2007 in search of individual milestones and one more shot at The World Series-Glavine with the Mets, Mussina five miles away with the Yankees.The two veterans experience very different seasons--one on a team dealing with the pressure to get to a World Series for the first time in seven years, the other with a team expected to be there every year. Taking the reader through contract negotiations, spring training, the ups of wins and losses, and the people in their lives-family, managers, pitching coaches, agents, catchers, other pitchers--John Feinstein provides a true insider's look at the pressure cooker of sports at the highest level. ... Read more
Customer Reviews (17)
It has been over a month since I ordered this book and still have not recieved it.
Season to Remember - Audio Version to forget
I listen to a lot of audio books on my trips to and from work and generally enjoy most of them.I esp. like how the audio "performance" can greatly enhance the book.And that, in a nutshell, is what's wrong with this book.
But to begin with, this story, itself, is not a strong one.There is little drama, too much background (2/3's of the book talk about seasons past for both pitchers) and not a lot of inside detail about the "season to remember," especially in Mussina's case. OK, you get a little insight into Joe Torre, almost none into the Mets management, some into Will Nieves, Paul LoDuca and precious little about the other players.Lasting Milledge does gets blasted by Glavine, as do a couple of umpires.But that's it for "tell all." Mussina doesn't even go that far.
And teh author goes off on tangents into backgrounds of other players that have nothing to do with the Season to Remember, and may have only briefly crossed Mussina's or Glavine's path.It's almost like filler. It is filler.
You get the picture.The worst of this book is the audio recording.The narrator doesn't know baseball and apparently no one who knew baseball was involved in the making of it.He pronounces many, many names of player incorrectly, mostly hispanic players names, but not all. Steve "Trays-skell) This is terrifically aggravating to a real baseball fan and its hard to believe that a narrator, recording engineer, a tape editor, and proofers could simply miss all the names. Obviously, Glavine, Mussina or even the author never listened to it. That,in itself, says a lot about it.
If not mispronouncing, the narrator makes some major gaffs such as introducing Milledge, an outfielder, as a "pitcher who can hit, run, throw, and cover the outfield." Quite a pitcher indeed. No one picked this up?
And if not gaffing, the narrator voices the book like he is reading to a 5 year old.
I could go on and on.I would have quit listening to this book early on but 2007 was a unique year for the Mets and Yanks and I continued onward just because of that. I think this might have been a good story because the author has turned out some decent books, but I think he didn't get a lot to work with from either of the two players, esp Mussina.
Should stick to golf
Feinstein should definitely stick to golf.His baseball knowledge is so limited (He describes Derek Lowe as "the Dodgers' veteran lefty.") that he is unqualified to write anything about the game, let alone about the nuances of pitching in the majors.Descriptions are dull.One would be better off going back to that season and looking at the box scores for every game Mussina and Glavine pitched.I continue to be amazed that this man gets access to some great stars.He must have a great ability to suck up to these people.
Right on the Money
The book came in timely fashion and in great shape. And at a great price. Right on as advertised!
A year in the life
Of all sports, there are none that have as many great books as baseball.Books like Ball Four, Summer of '49 and The Boys of Summer are just a sampling of the many books about baseball.Why is this the case?In part, it's because of baseball's long history and its huge cast of colorful characters.Also, the action in baseball is relatively easy to describe and follow; a play-by-play narrative of a baseball game is much simpler to grasp than that of a basketball game.
These reasons help make John Feinstein's Living on the Black is a good book, though it also not one of the classics.It is a book about a single season, 2007, in the life of two major league pitchers, Tom Glavine and Mike Mussina.Although both are veteran pitchers with Hall of Fame potential, in many ways, they're opposites.Mussina is a right-hander, Glavine a southpaw.Mussina went to college, Glavine went pro out of high school.Mussina spent his entire career in the American League, while Glavine was only in the National League.
The first hundred or so pages (of500+ pages) of Living on the Black describe the lives and careers of the pair up to 2007.At that point things slow down and we follow the two through spring training and then the regular season.For Glavine, the season would be personally successful - he would get his 300th win - but also disappointing:his Mets would have one of the most famous collapses in baseball history at the end of the year.Mussina's personal success would be more moderate (he'd get win 250), but his Yankees would at least make the postseason, however briefly.
Although only discussed briefly, for both pitchers, there'd only be one more year in their careers after 2007.Mussina would retire at the top of his game with his only 20 win season; Glavine would fade away with injuries and be released by the Braves in 2009.
Feinstein's book is good reading, as he gives the reader a look inside the lives of two baseball players that is both in-depth and entertaining.Unfortunately, he is also careless in places, making errors that any baseball fan (the most likely reader of this text) would catch.For example, he incorrectly states that the Rockies (instead of the Diamondbacks) were an expansion team in 1998.This carelessness diminishes the book a little, but overall, this will be a nice read for fans of the game.
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