Drew's Reviews > Three Nights in August: Strategy, Heartbreak, and Joy Inside the Mind of a Manager

Three Nights in August by H.G. Bissinger
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Apr 08, 08

bookshelves: junk
Read in February, 2008

Part of my "Spring Training" book series, I picked this up on a lazy weekend, thinking I'd get right into it. What a disappointment.

Here's a few lines from the book -

Like Torre and Cox and
Piniella, his history in the game makes him
powerfully influenced by the very
persuasions the thirtysomethings find so
pointless: heart, desire, passion,
reactions to pressure. After all, these are
emotions, and what point is there
playing baseball, or any game, if you don't
celebrate them?


I thought only Bob Costas was able to spout off such useless hyperbole on the matter of sports. I could only get 10 pages in before I threw this book down in disgust. Sure, you may be the type of person who thinks the sound of a bat against a ball is the sound of heaven. I'd guess most men like the sound of a dress zipper loosening more. Or the sound of a roaring V6 engine.

Look, I agree, baseball is fun, it promotes nostalgia, and gives fathers and sons a way to bond. However, this isn't war. This isn't even politics. It's just a game. Like a dice match in the alley, or marbles at recess, although the stakes are higher. There is nothing that separates baseball from these games. And Buzz Bissinger knows this, I'm sure, but he's smart... he knows there are plenty of simpletons out there who wax nostalgic about this shlock.
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Roger Being told largely from the perspective of LaRussa, that seemed completely reasonable, especially since it was balanced so nicely by the stories of what the families of players and managers have to give up.


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