Men at Work: The Craft of Baseball Hardcover – Mar 1990
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In Men at Work, political pundit George Will breaks baseball down, parsing it into essential tasks: hitting, fielding, pitching, and managing. Why do some succeed grandly while others are more apt to whiff? By analyzing the way Tony Gwynn, Cal Ripken, Orel Hershiser, and Tony LaRussa approach the game and do what they do, he finds striking similarities in intelligence, dedication, drive, and desire. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
In this book for the hard-core baseball fan, Will persuades such notables as Tony La Russa, Orel Hershiser and Tony Gwynn to offer details on the finer points of the game. "The author tends to retell well-known baseball history a little too often," said PW. "But as a sports journalist, he shows himself to be a master at enticing players into particularly enlightening discussions."
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Men At Work is faintly scholarly in tone - use a dictionary if you must (I didn't need one). For us non-scholars, though, if the mechanics of baseball is of interest, this book is for you.
An Example: Tony La Russa outlines nine basic ways to run the double steal - and the defense's proper response to them all. I had no idea! We didn't get this in Little League (on the other hand they don't call it the Big Leagues for nuthin')!
Here's another: An explicit split second analysis of stealing second base - it demonstrates almost beyond doubt that you steal on the pitcher - not the catcher (which perhaps shows that Will is biased against pitchers or in favor of catchers - a form of Baseball Politics?)
Will shows that when Gywnn is (no, WAS) pulling the ball, his timing was off, and why this was true.
Men At Work is not sentimental - if you want the Boys of Summer you won't find it here. What you will find is uncommon insight from some of baseball's best presented by a clearly devoted and talented writer.
Many books are available today that focus on the game of baseball. There are all sorts of reading material obtainable if you are looking for such things as history of the game, pitching strategies, tips for hitting and the list goes on. Nobody else but George Will can bring all of these elements into one clever written piece of literature.
Will breaks his book down into four main branches of baseball. He focuses on the managing, pitching, hitting and defending aspects of the game. This is done with the help of some protracted interviews with some of baseballs legends. In the managing section he interviews Tony La Russa, one of baseballs' great all time managers. He provides insightful details on getting the winning edge over the opponent. "He is responsible for wringing the last drop of advantage from the situations that will occur in each game. To do this he must know the abilities his players have revealed in their past performances and he must have similar knowledge of the players in the opposite dugout" (Wills 7). With his vast knowledge of the game, Will certainly communicates to us how meticulous managers have to be to become successful.Read more ›
At times the book bogs down into a tech manual, giving even the most enthusiastic readers a little too much detail; at other times Will's rightwing political bias does emerge in the guise of a discussion of a strong work ethic, individual initiative for personal gain, and nostalgic idealization of the past.
But taken as a whole, "Men at Work" is a paean to what used to be called "America's favorite pastime". Will demonstrates why baseball appeals on many levels to a wide range of people. As a lifelong fan, someone who has never tired of the game because however lopsided the score, there is always something to pick up on (see Tony LaRussa's quote above), I recommend the book to readers of all ages.
Most recent customer reviews
Hey George from Florissant, how about those Cardinals now??? Still bashing LaRussa??? Why don't you get over your Whitey Herzog obsession and enjoy the fact that the Cards play... Read morePublished on July 15 2004
This is a great book, largely because George Will is a conservative. I am obsessed with ensuring that everything in life - every book, every movie, and even my own miserable life -... Read morePublished on June 18 2004 by Steve Thulen
"Men At Work" is a great, great baseball book. Is it as good as "The Summer Game", "Five Seasons", "A False Spring"? Read morePublished on June 11 2004 by Steven R. Travers
George Will is a pompous ass who knows even less about baseball than he does about politics. In this rag, he states something to the effect that Tony LaRussa is the perfect... Read morePublished on April 19 2004
I originally picked up this book on the strength of Will's political writings. I didn't expect an awful lot, but was very surprised when I found that Will actually knows the... Read morePublished on July 9 2003 by Chris Frost
As the feeling of pain and disagreement comes across me, I sit to read the baseball book by the ultra left-winger and bad bow-tie wearer, George Will. Read morePublished on July 3 2003
So insightful and so true, even 10 years after the book was published. A must for any fan of THE GAME.Published on Nov. 15 2002 by Azim Jessa
Picking players such as Orel Hershiser, Tony Gwynn, and Cal Ripken Jr to analyze made the book extremely enjoyable for me as two out of three of them were players I was able to... Read morePublished on Aug. 18 2002 by Ron