Fred Claire, the former general manager who spent 30 years in the Los Angeles Dodgers front office, offers a look into the inner-workings of one of baseball's most storied franchises.
Steve Springer has taught and developed training programs in the Los Angeles school district for twelve years.
Brandy Alexander has taught in both public and private schools; he is the recipient of a Golden Apple award for classroom excellence.
The book details how Claire got his start in baseball. He began working as a beat writer before taking the position of Director of Publicity with the Dodgers. In 1987, long-time general manager Al Campanis's gave some unfortunate remarks on ABC's Nightline. Within days, Campanis's hand picked successor was Claire. The book gives many fascinating details about long-time Dodger managers Walt Alston and Tommy Lasorda. There are a couple great sections on trades and free agent signings by the Dodgers during Claire's tenure. Needless to say once I started the book, I could not put it down.
The one thing I noticed throughout the book was how Claire handled every situation good or bad with class. Things ran smoothly for so many years for the Dodgers organization. Trade and contract negotiations were held behind closed doors instead of in the media. From the man who drove Claire to the airport to Mr. O'Malley, everyone was treated the same.
The latter fourth of the book details the events leading up to Claire's dismissal from the new Fox Dodgers. The Mike Piazza trade and his final trade involving Hideo Nomo. From working as a beat reporter to General Manager of the Dodgers to working for the new Dodger owners Fox. Claire handled every situation with humility and grace.
Claire's story is a must read for anyone looking to get into the game or simply wanting to know more about the inner workings of a Major League Baseball team. By the end of the book, you will feel like you know Fred Claire. And, if that's the closest you get to the man than you are a lucky person.
I could not put the book down and have actually read it cover to cover twice in the month since purchase. If you like baseball, and especially if you like the Dodgers, BUY THIS BOOK!