Andrew'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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's review
Mar 15, 2010

it was amazing
Read in July, 2005

Bissinger's book, "3 Nights in August," about the Cubs-Cardinals series in 2003 give some clues to his mindset after being hit in the head, using Sammy Sosa as an example:


"When the Cards faced him in May, it was pretty clear to Duncan and Mason, watching the DVD on him, that he was going through something. He was flinching on curve balls as if he were afraid he might get hit, and he began to develop a sizable hole in his swing on pitches down and away.

To (Tony) La Russa, the explanation was embedded in human nature. In May, Sosa had gotten beaned by a pitch, his batting helmet splintering like a dropped glass of water. It was clear that he had gotten tentative after that, with good reason. Few things in sports are more terrifying than a pitch hurtling at a hitter's head with no time for reflexes, the incident only reinforcing to La Russa the urgency of the commissioner's office to stop ignoring the problem and do something about it, such as an automatic three-week suspension for the pitcher involved.

Sosa had become intimidated, as every hitter in the history of the game has become intimidated, after such a frightening moment."

Pitchers start throwing Sosa pitches away -- and Sosa didn't start to hit again in 2003 until he went back to a stance crowding the plate -- and that took from May until July.

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