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Three Nights In August: Strategy, Heartbreak, And Joy Inside The Mind Of A Manager
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Three Nights In August: Strategy, Heartbreak, And Joy Inside The Mind Of A Manager

3.86  ·  Rating Details  ·  5,432 Ratings  ·  242 Reviews
The must-read sports book of the year, Three Nights in August captures the strategic and emotional complexities of baseball's quintessential form, the three-game series. As the St. Louis Cardinals battle their archrival Chicago Cubs for first place, we watch from the dugout through the eyes of legendary manager Tony La Russa, considered by many to be the shrewdest mind in ...more
Published (first published April 1st 2005)
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Bob Schmitz
I like sports but have never been a follower of baseball. It has seemed boring to me. In my one year as a 9 year old little leaguer I would sit down in the outfield because nothing was happening. Baseball lovers have contradicted me on this opinion and this book settles the question once and for all not in my favor. I had no idea how complex, complicated, subtle the game was. 3 Nights in August chronicles a 3 game series between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Chicago Cubs sometimes pitch by pit ...more
Mar 15, 2016 Lance rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rating is more 3 1/2 as while it was great insight into the traditional three-game series, I felt is was a little too rah-rah and that readers who are not Cardinals fans would get a little tired of it. While listening to it, it seemed like even when the Cubs won a game, manager Tony LaRussa and pitching coach Dave Duncan could do no wrong. If anything did go wrong, it was the player's fault. But for hardcore baseball strategy and action, this book is very good.
Zach Herman
Buzz Bissinger is a tremendously unlikable author, and Tony La Russa is an equally unlikable baseball manager. But somehow, Bissinger's book about La Russa is likable -- or, at least, entertaining enough to fill the afternoons of a chilly offseason.

The buzz upon its release pegged "Three Nights" as a fawning tribute to La Russa's tactical and philosophical genius, but this is not a hagiography. Bissinger clearly admires La Russa and agrees with most of his old-school baseball principles, but he
May 11, 2010 globulon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: baseball, wish-list
I give this 4 stars because the stars are about subjective reaction and I enjoyed reading it. On the other hand, I can definitely see you getting less mileage out of this book if aren't a fan of LaRussa, the Cardinals, or baseball, or even if you know a lot about the game. I also don't see this as having much staying power over time.

That being said, I think I would describe this book as "effectively wild" a term he uses to describe Cubs pitcher Kerry Wood. There are plenty of overwritten sentenc
Jason Phillips
Feb 09, 2013 Jason Phillips rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
You should buy this book for what it is, and not for what many of these reviews say it is. It is not anti-Moneyball, it is an insiders look at a baseball game in the context of the baseball world and the career of one man, Tony LaRussa. Sabermaniacs have brought a deeper understanding of baseball to the layperson, and have challenged conventional thinking about our great game. This book does not set out to refute ther tenets of sabermetrics, in fact, Moneyball is mentioned only three times in 27 ...more
Aug 24, 2012 Niral rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
If you are (as I am) a Cubs fan, this book won't be much fun to read. And yet, although I'm sure part of my dissatisfaction with this book stems from the fact that it's an unabashed shrine to Tony La Russa and all things Cardinal, I think we what really bugged me about it was how blatantly biased it is. Certainly, La Russa is a great manager. Any Cubs fan will agree. The problem here, though, is that the author is so genuinely in the tank for La Russa that every move described in the book frames ...more
Jan 14, 2013 Dan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Before the glossing over of Tony La Russa's reputation inevitably takes place when he is enshrined in Cooperstown, it is important to note that he was perhaps the most polarizing manager in baseball during his career (with Dusty Baker also being a strong candidate in my mind).

3 Nights in August chronicles a 2003 Cardinals-Cubs series near the end of the season. However, the book does not solely focus on those three games, as it also chronicles La Russa's career with the Carlton Fisk and Tom Seav
Sep 02, 2009 Paul rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tony LaRussa is one of the greatest managers in the history of Major League Baseball. This book offers a unique glimpse into the mind of a baseball genius.

"Buzz" Bissinger, the author of the football classic turned box office hit "Friday Night Lights", follows TLR and my favorite team, the St. Louis Cardinals, around during a series against the much-maligned Chicago Cubs towards the end of the Cardinals extremely disappointing 2003 season.

I admit that I am totally biased in giving this book fiv
Nov 19, 2015 Donofalltrades rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
To me, baseball has always been a beautiful game, but I always thought that teams could be managed by Phil in accounting or anybody else who knows even a little bit about baseball, and still be the same.

I was incredibly wrong.

The amount of work that LaRussa put into a Pre-season, a season, and even single games is incredible. It was always reassuring to me, as a Cardinal's fan, that he was never going to be out prepared by the other team's manager. For anybody who thinks they could easily coach
Michael Friedland
Nov 12, 2015 Michael Friedland rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Steven Belanger
Written in 2006 about games that took place in 2003, this book is a blast from the past--albeit a past that has slowed to the pace of extremely slow motion, so slow that you a 95-mph fastball takes maybe 20 pages of writing to make it to the plate. Before it does, you'll know every thought of the pitcher, the hitter, the catcher, both managers, every fan in the park and both batgirls. So you'd better have a passion for the minutia of the game, because you're going to know more about everything y ...more
Willie Deuel
Oct 14, 2014 Willie Deuel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I finally got around to reading this great book. The subtitle, "Strategy, Heartbreak, and Joy Inside the Mind of a Mamager" is surprisingly accurate. The reader gets a great behind-the-scenes look at baseball strategy and the decision-making processes of a baseball manager who has to deal with player injuries, egos, temperaments, strengths, vulnerabilities, and even tragedies.

As a St. Louis Cardinals fan, I already had emotional ties to many of the events described in this book. I remember watc
Jack Cheng
I am not a "Sports Guy" although I like to read good sports books (I guess that makes me a "Book Guy"). I loved Friday Night Lights, the book written by Bissinger, and decided I was a fan of his writing. Then I read his admission that he is addicted to buying Gucci leather goods ( and I decided he is deranged.

Three Nights in August is about a three game series between the St Louis Cardinals and the Chicago Cubs in 2003. It began as a collaboration with Ca
Robert Ballinger
The author’s purpose of writing this book was to show how hard it is to coach and be a family person at the same time. This author wants to show how Tony La Russa saw the game through his eyes during their 3 game series against the Chicago Cubs. The author also wants to portray the strategy, heartbreak, and the joy inside the mind of a manager and show what kind of hard decisions he has to make to win baseball games.
What was the theme of 3 Nights In August? The theme of this book was to show y
Joshua Jacobson
Feb 06, 2013 Joshua Jacobson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a fantastic read. It was made even more fantastic because I started reading it within minutes of putting down "Moneyball." This is a great contrast to "Moneyball" in that it focuses much more on the beautity and historic love of baseball. It's about players and managers and how they go about their daily lives in the game. Just a great read about classic baseball.
Jan 20, 2008 Holly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great book for anyone who is interested in baseball. As a Cardinals fan I loved it. I really understand much better what the role of a manager is. I don't think that someone who doesn't care for baseball would enjoy it, but I think that even a casual fan would get a lot out of it. Buzz Bissinger's style is easy to follow and entertaining to read.
Aug 03, 2014 Barb rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Somehow this book was on my books to read list. I am not a baseball fan, but the author's writing was engaging enough for me to finish the book. The book is about Tony LaRussa, the manager at the time of the St. Louis Cardinals. The book details the three game series between the Cardinals and the Chicago Cubs in 2003. The book gave me a better understanding of baseball, and a respect for intricate strategies and the complex study of statistics used in each game. I learned about the importance of ...more
Dec 10, 2015 Jb rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this book an interesting way to put together a biography -- or is it an autobiography? At any rate, it comes across as a much better read than as if it were a typical ghost-written "as told to" tome. Subject is legendary St. Louis Cardinal baseball manager Tony La Russa. His life and personality is revealed via in-depth narrative descriptions of him in action, his thoughts and decision-making processes. La Russa was Cardinal manager between 1996 and 2011; main action described takes plac ...more
Lane Cornell
Oct 06, 2015 Lane Cornell is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
The authors purpose for this book is to show how hard it is to be a coach for a team and still be apart of a family. Tony La Russa had to be a coach of the St. Louis Cardinals and still had to be apart of his family. The author wrote this book to show how hard it is.
The theme of this book is about baseball. Tony is the head coach of the St. Louis Cardinals at this time.
It is narrative its about his personal life and his baseball life. Its from when he became the coach to when he has his family.
Aug 15, 2014 Jeff rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A must-read for anyone who considers themselves a real baseball fan, especially if they followed the game closely in 2003.
Jul 07, 2014 Matt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've always been a Cardinals fan, dating back to when my dad took me to games when I was still in my single digits. I lost interest in college and only started wearing a Cardinals hat because I had moved to Chicago after college. I figured that I'd have to know my stuff if I was going to parade around in THE rivals' cap. This book not only got me back into baseball, it taught me about the intricacies of the game, the countless decisions that need to be made in a game, and the unique, computer-li ...more
Aug 15, 2013 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, baseball
Beautiful. Just beautiful baseball.
Matt Fitz
May 30, 2014 Matt Fitz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've grown up a Cardinals fan since the 70s and my fondest memories of the sport all center around the Cardinals, through the Whitey Herzog era, the Torre Era and the LaRussa years. All great eras in baseball for different reasons.

That's my bias on this book. If you are not a Cards fan, you'll have wished it was another team. If you want to learn some of the "inside baseball" aspects of actual inside baseball, this is a great look into the mind of one of it's greatest...a true baseball man who r
Sam Perlin
Dec 18, 2013 Sam Perlin marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Nights in August, by Buzz Bissinger, is a fantastic book based on a very tough series between the St Louis Cardinals and the Chicago Cubs. I’m a huge Cardinals fan, which is the main reason I loved this book, but one of the other reasons I loved this book is because it connects with me. I’m a pitcher, every pitcher wants to know how fast they’re currently throwing. Its just a common thing throughout all pitchers. Bissinger quoted, “La Russa once ordered the speed section of the scoreboard juiced ...more
This is a baseball book. Some baseball books are really about an era, or nostalgia, or about a particular player. This is a book about baseball. If you don't want to read several pages about the different ways to brings the infield in with a man on third and less than two outs (there are six different ways to do it all with pluses and minuses), don't read this book. If you think a manager should be like Don Zimmer or Bob Lemon who say "here's the line up boys, go get 'em" don't read this book be ...more
Aaron Sinner
Jun 05, 2016 Aaron Sinner rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: baseball
2005 CASEY Award nominee

Briefly: Purple prose

Buzz Bissinger knows how to write, and he wants you to know it. Three Nights in August is Bissinger’s chronicle of a three game series between the Cardinals and the Cubs, as seen through the eyes of legendary baseball manager Tony La Russa.

Well-written baseball books are to be appreciated, and Three Nights in August qualifies—nonetheless, it must be classified as overwritten. Take passages like this one: “[Pujols] makes himself available to his teamma
Jun 06, 2016 Randal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Baseball fans
Shelves: nonfiction, baseball
This had a chance to be a classic ... an inside look at the strategies and thought processes of a three-game series between longtime rivals Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals.
The games did their part -- lots of back-and-forth action to provide grist for the mill. And there are plenty of worthwhile little bits of information that certainly make it readable.
But it's let down by being a complete hagiography of Tony La Russa (not entirely surprising as he is co-author). As a for-instance, the prol
Corbin Tullis
Oct 10, 2015 Corbin Tullis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think the purpose for Buzz Bissinger writing this book is to help us understand what happened during the series of the Chicago Cubs and St Louis Cardinals in 2003. Bissinger describes the series through the eyes of St Louis Cardinals manager Tony Larussa.

There are many themes to this book. One common theme in this book is strategy. Tony Larussa is probably the best strategist that the game of baseball has ever seen. The Cardinals and Larussa needed a great strategy to beat the Cubs in this cr
Jul 11, 2014 Joseph rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I'm a lifelong Cubs fan, which means that I can't really be objective here, but that clearly didn't stop Bissinger, so why should I let it stop me? He's obviously in the bag for LaRussa, which ... well, it is LaRussa's book, so I can't really fault him too much. And yet. It's almost as though Bissinger is throwing his bias in the reader's face, daring us to call him on it. The players he doesn't like, be they Cubs, or just lazy slacker spoiled athletes, are drawn with all the subtlety of Snidely ...more
Rob Kirbach
Feb 09, 2014 Rob Kirbach rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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H.G. Bissinger has won the Pulitzer Prize, the Livingston Award, the National Headliner Award, and the American Bar Association's Silver Gavel for his reporting. The author has written for the television series NYPD Blue and is a contributing editor at Vanity Fair. He lives in Philadelphia.
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“Because Cards' fans are the most knowledgeable and loyal in all of baseball, they booed almost reluctantly, polite as booing goes, what would have passes as a standing ovation in Philly.” 4 likes
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