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The Best Team Money Can Buy

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3.98  ·  Rating details ·  2,147 ratings  ·  176 reviews
News-making, inside revelations about the tumultuous years when the Los Angeles Dodgers were remade from top to bottom—from the ownership of the team to management to the players on the field—becoming the most talked-about and most colorful team in baseball.

In 2012 the Los Angeles Dodgers were bought out of bankruptcy in the most expensive sale in sports history. Los Angel
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Hardcover, 336 pages
Published July 14th 2015 by Simon Schuster
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Average rating 3.98  · 
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Brina
Mar 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: baseball
The Best Team Money Can Buy by Molly Knight is the March 2017 group read in the baseball book club. Knight is a veteran writer of ESPN the Magazine for eight years and has covered her beloved Los Angeles teams during that time. In her dedication, Knight cites female reporters who preceded her in locker rooms, allowing this book to be possible. As a woman who has loved baseball for her entire life, I appreciate Knight's sentiments, making The Best Team Money Can Buy an appropriate selection for w ...more
Carolyn
Jul 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The only thing I didn't like about this book was having to re-live the last two Dodgers' playoff series.
Fred Shaw
Mar 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"The Best Team Money Can Buy" by Molly Knight, is a revealing story of how big time money bought the best players available to rebuild the LA Dodgers. In 2011, the Dodgers were bankrupt due to mismanagement by the owner, and attendance was way down. Magic Johnson believed that LA deserved a baseball team that could draw fans like the Lakers and the Kings and began a search for investors. Magic found the right owner and backers under The Guggenheim group who bought the team and infused the franch ...more
Jim
Jul 15, 2015 rated it it was ok
The saving grace of The Best Team Money Can Buy is Molly Knight's ability to seamlessly weave from anecdote to anecdote within the context of a larger piece. This keeps the book moving at a quick, easy, and mostly enjoyable pace. There are a few interesting anecdotes in this book, such as Ned Coletti's "Burn the Ships" speech gaffe and the moment Kershaw received word that he finalized his mega contract extension. However, these are too few and far between.

Overall, this book doesn't really have
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Harold Kasselman
Aug 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed this book for several reasons-not the least of which was the easy style of her writing. It is smooth, clear, and without pretense. It is written so that even the most casual fan can understand and appreciate the history of the Dodgers in recent years.The book follows the evolution of a large market Dodgers team with a relatively small budget to the biggest spender in all of MLB. You get to know the major figures in the transformation of ownership with the goal to end the 25 ...more
Matt Jimenez
Aug 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Worth reading for the Greinke anecdotes alone.
Kyle Magin
Aug 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
"I’ve got something to say,” he said. The room was quiet.

"Some of you guys have been doing the number two and not washing your hands. It’s not good. I noticed it even happening earlier today. So if you guys could just be better about it, that would be great."

Greinke sat down. The team wasn’t sure if he was serious. When they realized he was, they laughed.

--That's a quote from Zack Greinke in a team meeting before a big game against the Arizona Diamondbacks toward the end of the 2013 season. It a
...more
Whitney
Sep 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sports
Molly tells a really interesting story. But her style is choppy. In fact, her sentences trip across the page like machine-gun fire. She occasionally reaches for a lovely turn of phrase that works. But in general her style is frustrating.

If the style of the previous few sentences annoyed you, so will Molly Knight’s book. It’s not that the writing is /bad/ exactly, it’s that it’s very suited to a specific place, and that place is not narrative nonfiction. Her insight into the Dodgers is terrific -
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Karen Sindayen
Aug 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015-books, library
I am a Giants fan so naturally I hate the Dodgers, so it came as a surprise to me how much I liked this book. The story here is pretty compelling, the Dodgers went from bankruptcy to the most expensive sale in sports history. The cast of characters Molly Knight introduces us to, the glimpses of the culture of the team, and the sheer drama of rebuilding a team will keep anyone who enjoy sport for the narrative up nights tearing through this book. If you're a Dodgers fan (why?) you need to read th ...more
Pablo Romero
Nov 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
The behind the curtain look at The Dodgers from the mid 2000's to 2017. A must read for any Dodger fan.
Jay
Mar 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: baseball, audiobook
I found this a wonderful audiobook revolving around the 2013 season for the LA Dodgers. I am used to reading books about teams and players of the more distant past, where the anecdotes have had a few decades to simmer and, likely, expand. I’m sure the anecdote aging process helps to weed out the weakest anecdotes and helps “leaven” the ones left. I was surprised to find this book covering just a few seasons back had the same kind of anecdotal feel of some recent books covering, say, seasons in t ...more
Longfellow
Jun 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sports
My favorite baseball books in recent years have been ones that focus on a sabermetric angle: Moneyball, The Extra 2%, and Big Data Baseball are probably the best known of these, and I’ve listed them in order of my favorites.

The Best Team Money Can Buy does not focus on sabermetrics at all, but it nonetheless ranks among my much enjoyed baseball books. Molly Knight is a good writer, and she has weaved a compelling narrative of the Dodgers 2012 - 2014 seasons, with the bulk of the content coverin
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victor harris
Sep 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: baseball
Quite good timing as the baseball playoffs are ready to begin, and the Dodgers, who are featured in the book, are among the participants. This is a fun and informative read on the inner-workings of the baseball operations at the major league level. The Dodgers were reeling under the disastrous ownership of Frank McCourt and had to be rescued from bankruptcy by the Guggenheim group. Once the new ownership was installed, they spared no expense in restoring the Dodgers to a competitive level, in f ...more
Marcus Gilmer
Jul 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Fans of baseball
I think one of the best compliments one can pay to a writer is how much their writing inspires you to do the same thing and that's what Molly's book did: made me want to right now do my baseball book idea, no matter how hard it might be to accomplish.

It's a smart, deep look at a historic franchise at an absolutely remarkable time in the franchise's life. What helps is that Molly's tone walks a very fine line so well: an objective viewpoint on a franchise that only hints at an affection that giv
...more
Matt Ely
Jul 11, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: baseball
A serviceable and intermittently memorable entry in the "follow a team for a year" genre.

The bulk of the book follows the lead up to the 2013 Dodgers season and the season itself. There's a lot of interesting background on the players themselves. The author runs through the season itself at a brisk pace, occasionally dwelling on specific games but mostly dwelling in the injuries and personal challenges that define each player's experience.

And then the season ends. But look, there's still a qua
...more
Cindy Mcmahon
Nov 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
I'm a die-hard Dodger fan and absolutely LOVE a window into the inner-workings and dynamics of my team, the coaches, and the front office. That being said, I thoroughly enjoyed this book about the Dodgers -- a deep look into their 2012-2015 seasons. It contained some locker-room surprises, some new insights about the front office, and confirmation about what I already suspected about several strained locker-room personal situations. If you're a fan of the Dodgers and MLB, and are the kind of per ...more
Ryan Hock
Jul 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
The only way I can start this review is what a great book! There was not one story being told that was un-interesting. Molly Knight does a phenomenal job of showing that you can be a fan of a team and still cover the team with integrity.

The story about Zack Greinke getting up during a club house meeting and urging people to wash their hands after going to the bathroom is one of the genuine times I have laughed out loud while reading.

The only complaint I have is that the chapters sometimes jump
...more
Oliver Bateman
Oct 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
tons of team access led to a surprisingly gripping and well-research account of a slice of baseball history that doesn't really matter that much: the end of the mccourt and then the ned colletti era in los angeles. an interesting companion to big data baseball, one that focuses on the new-look dodgers eating salaries and flailing about before hiring tampa bay's andrew friedman and beginning a full-scale movement toward cutting-edge baseball analytics. not exactly a gripping tale, and so much of ...more
Lloyd Aquino
Jul 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very insightful inside look at the inner workings of the Dodgers, from the front office assembling the team to the players themselves trying to balance personal and team success. It reminds me a lot of similar books I've read about the Showtime and Shaq-Kobe Lakers, The Jordan Rules, and Moneyball. I came away with a better understanding and appreciation of what it takes to build a championship-level team.
Sandi
Dec 20, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks, read-2015, sports
I am by no means a close follower of baseball anymore and really only watch at playoff time but found this an entertaining look at the Los Angles Dodgers organization during the 2013 and 2014 seasons. My favorite part was the beginning and the details of the sale of the Dodgers but the in season parts were well written enough that I never became lost in the details.
Douglas Graney
Jul 26, 2015 rated it liked it
Nice page-turner. You usually read stories like this for a championship team. Not a fan of the Dodgers but enjoyed the personalities on the team. Makes me think that a "year in the life of" of bad team might be more interesting than a good team. Whaddya say Molly?
Zach Koenig
Feb 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Over the past 5-6 years, the Los Angeles Dodgers have had quite the rollercoaster existence, from essentially bankruptcy to the highest payroll in all of major league baseball. In "The Best Team Money Can Buy", Molly Knight chronicles this crazy period with some of the best, most insightful sportswriting one will ever read.

The books starts off by examining the fiasco of the McCourt pair, whose marital split put the Dodgers in limbo during the early part of the 2010s. Once that mess is sorted out
...more
Robert
Feb 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: baseball
My reading process with this book was unusual. I was a big fan of Molly Knight's reporting on the Dodgers during the fraught Frank McCourt era and bought this book as soon as it came out. I started reading immediately but it soon became apparent that the Los Angeles Dodgers teams of 2009-2014 were still too fresh in my mind (and my heart). I decided, rightly, that distance via time would benefit my reading experience, so I put it on hold for a few years.

The Dodgers reached the World Series for
...more
Lincoln Hertzler
Oct 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The most interesting thing I learned from The Best Team Money Can Buy by Molly night was the story of Yasiel Puig making it to the MLB. Puig was definitely one of my favorite players to watch when he played for the Dodgers. His nickname is “The Wild Horse” and it does not surprise me one bit. He plays the game of baseball with such a passion that others don’t have which makes him such a fun player. The one thing that I think really makes him unique is he will lick his bat sometimes when he is u ...more
Jeffrey
Jan 18, 2020 rated it liked it
Knight offers a rare glimpse behind clubhouse doors into the Los Angeles Dodgers' baseball operation. She covers the twilight years of the McCourt Ownership and its transition to the amenable Guggenheim group. Knight writes like a baseball color commentator, seamlessly weaving between player anecdotes with an overabundance of metaphors and baseball colloquialisms.

Although Knight's intended readership is baseball fans with an appreciation an insight to America's pastime, she displays with a relax
...more
Natalie Bohonsky (readswithnatalieb)
As an avid baseball fan and current employee in the sports world, I loved this book. I wouldn’t be mad if Knight wrote a “behind the curtain” type book for the other 29 teams!

Knight details the rise, fall and upswing of the Dodgers organization, explaining the difference in style each front office had and how that affected the success of the team. She truly lets us take a look into what the Dodgers endured with McCourt as their owner and how the team essentially fell apart at his realm. Then, we
...more
Larry Hostetler
Jun 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
As I thought about needing to do this review I pondered how the book must have come to be. I suppose the concept is "bought" and the project begun with the ownership change of the Los Angeles Dodgers (or shortly thereafter), rather than (as other similar baseball books seem) as a retrospective after a great or monumental season.

The seasons covered in this book, 2013 and 2014, were not World Series Championship seasons for the Dodgers. In fact the Dodgers have not played in the World Series sinc
...more
Bruce Jones Jr
May 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wow. Seriously, such a good book. I thought Molly Knight wrote splendidly, and as a huge Dodgers fan, she made it very easy for me to relive every moment. She provided deep insight into the games, decisions, press-conferences, and many other events that I remember quite vividly.

My heart breaks every year when the “Best Team Money Can Buy” still fails at bringing home the only trophy that matters. The book stops short of the 2016 season, two seasons prior to the Dodgers first World Series appear
...more
Ryan Norton
Dec 16, 2016 rated it liked it
Nice baseball book, fun to get the inside story of all of those STL-LAD postseason battles over the last 3-4 years. Honest look at how a lot of the team members were selfish, and the anecdotes about Hanley, Puig, Greinke were very fly-on-the-wall, very cool. I like Greinke a lot more than I did before. The parts about the Dodgers ownership were perhaps the strongest part of the story. One complaint--I really got the impression that the author's goal was to make Clayton Kershaw look as positive a ...more
Robert
Jun 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A modern masterpiece of in-depth sports reporting, Molly Knight's The Best Team Money Can Buy accomplishes what few books about baseball are capable of at their best, which is to take the reader beyond the green grass and reddish brown dirt of the playing field at Dodger Stadium and into the hallowed organization's clubhouse, locker room, boardroom, and the minds, hearts, and souls of its managing personnel and an ever-revolving roster of players with conflicting personalities and painful injuri ...more
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