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The Game: Inside the Secret World of Major League Baseball's Power Brokers
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The Game: Inside the Secret World of Major League Baseball's Power Brokers

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  607 ratings  ·  83 reviews
The incredible inside story of power, money, and baseball's last twenty years.

In the fall of 1992, America's National Pastime is in crisis and already on the path to the unthinkable: cancelling a World Series for the first time in history. The owners are at war with each other, their decades-long battle with the players has turned America against both sides, and the playe
Hardcover, 592 pages
Published May 5th 2015 by Little, Brown and Company
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Average rating 4.18  · 
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Harold Kasselman
Jun 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is a fascinating and comprehensive look at the behind the scenes machinations of the major actors in the MLB from the calculated ouster of Vincent Faye up through the installation of Rob Manfred as the new commissioner. This is a must reference book for any baseball historian or fan of the game.
Mr. Pessah focuses on the major labor issues of those days including revenue sharing, a salary cap, building new stadiums, cable television revenue, lockouts, strikes, and PED usage. The story is l
Steven Z.
Jun 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
When I picked up a copy of THE GAME: INSIDE THE SECRET WORLD OF MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL’S POWER BROKERS by Jon Pessah I expected an exploration of the world of baseball between 1992 and 2010 from financial and labor perspectives. What I read encompasses those general themes, but the book also evolved into a prolonged discussion of Bud Selig and George Steinbrenner’s roles in baseball during that time period, and bringing with it an excellent reporter’s knowledge of baseball and the personalities i ...more
Tim Fischer
Aug 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Good book except too much about the NY Yankees!
Jan 05, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
At first I thought this was a worthy sequel to John Helyar's classic The Lords of the Realm, about how the economics of baseball changed from the 1960s onward. The discussion of the conditions resulting in the 1994 strike certainly picked up where Helyar left off. However, as the book went on, it became clear that a) Pessah is better at simply recording events instead of analyzing and b) there's way too much about Steinbrenner and the Yankees at the expense of everything else. The summaries of g ...more
Dorothy Fischer
Jun 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I love baseball! I love being at a ball park with hot dog in hand, and although some would say I can not be a true fan because I do not like beer, watching amazingly athletic players warm up. I love the statistics, the scoring, the strategy of pitcher and cathcher, the signs, the squeeze plays, the walk offs...okay! I love baseball! I wanted to read this book and get a true representation of the years I have lived through. I have lived in both New york and Milwaukee, born a Yankees fan, but beca ...more
Pamela Montano
Nov 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Between 1992 and 2010, baseball went through many changes. This book takes a look inside the men who created those changes, Bud Selig (Commissioner), Donald Fehr (head of the players union) and George Steinbrenner (owner of the NY Yankees). Bud Selig, one-time owner of the Milwaukee Brewers almost lost the job of Commissioner to George W. Bush. Luckily for baseball fans, that didn't happen. Donald Fehr, hero to the union and villian to the owners, clashes with Bud at every turn. Steinbrenner, on ...more
May 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic book, well researched and pulls no punches. Full review is posted at my blog:

Joe Frake
Jun 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
If you’re looking for a book that relives the great baseball moments of the past twenty years, this isn’t the book for you. The book isn’t about the playing of baseball, it’s about the machinations of the organized sport and the people who pull the strings behind it.

The book is all about three men - Bud Selig, Don Fehr and George Steinbrenner. All were essential figures during baseball’s growth in the 90s and 00s and saw the game through its biggest controversies (labor strikes and steroids). Yo
May 15, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"The Game" covers events occurring during the two-decade reign of Allan H. "Bud" Selig over Major League Baseball and might more appropriately be titled "Hating on Bud".

The book is an enjoyable read, well-written and researched. But by the end of the book the author's biases become obvious. Bud Selig was portrayed as a schemer, Don Fehr as a saint, and George Steinbrenner as a living legend.

I'm no Bud Selig apologist, but the author seemed focused on tarnishing Selig's legacy. Which is fine. .
May 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
The history of Major League Baseball over the last two decades can be boiled down to three stories: the crippling strike of 1994 whose effects are still being felt today, the wide payroll disparity that led to revenue sharing and the luxury tax, and steroids. The Game is a painstakingly researched and riveting portrait of the three men who played the biggest roles in making that history: MLB Commissioner Bud Selig, Players Union leader Donald Fehr, and Yankees owner George Steinbrenner.

Jun 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed the book. The structure of building the book around the relationship between Selig and Steinbrenner wasn't something I was sure about at the start, but it really showed the complicated nature of both men. Both succeeded in spite of themselves...

Selig being the ultimate backroom politician who is able to completely ignore all of his failures and shortcomings with a self-preserving myopia that allowed him to succeed.

Steinbrenner agreed to Selig's policies that cost him million
Jun 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A behind the scenes and on the field look at baseball from 1992 through 2015, The Game threads a series of stories and narratives together: the rise of Bud Selig as Commissioner, George Steinbrenner and the Yankees, MLB's labor relations, and the rise of PEDs and steroids. Jon Pessah has written a masterpiece, all the more remarkable for the effortless way he keeps a series of stories moving smoothly and coherently, and for the way he is able to create a collage that allows the reader to better ...more
Dec 30, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: baseball
The access and information in this book is incredible, but the execution is somewhat lacking. The author certainly has a disdain for Bud Selig, which is at least understandable, and an obsession with George Steinbrenner. The book reads as much as a biography of Steinbrenner as it does as an examination of the inner machinations of baseball from 1992 - 2010. This book basically focuses on the Brewers and the Yankees while taking shots at George Bush and Jerry Reinsdorf. Steinbrenner is lauded as ...more
Jun 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
One of the reviews I read said this book, while entertaining, had way too much detail about the machinations within baseball during the Bud Selig era (roughly 1990 to 2014). So it probably makes me a geek that I didn't find the blow-by-blow description of labor unrest (I mean, you can't say "strikes" in a review of a baseball book without being confusing) and drug use, home runs, and civic bullying the slightest bit overdone. Terrific book for the baseball geek who wants to relive a fascinating ...more
May 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book is very insightful on the world of Major League Baseball over the last roughly 20 years. It is an interesting perspective from inside baseball discussed from the vantage of the team owners and the commissioner of baseball. It focuses on the stars and organizations, along with the dynamics of what helped baseball grow in popularity and financially over that time period. This is a great read for a baseball fan.
Matt Schirano
Apr 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
Best baseball book I've read since "In the Glory of Their Time". Really well researched, pulls no punches.
May 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Three stars if your not a baseball fan!
Tom Stamper
Sep 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Despite the title this is basically a dual biography of Bud Selig and George Steinbrenner circa 1990-2014. Chapters go back and forth even hitting tangential subjects but it all comes right back to what Bud and George are doing.

There is something about Bud Selig I have never liked, but after the opening chapters of this book I think there is a different side to Selig and it’s a side I like very much. That doesn’t last long though as baseball moves through the 1990s. Selig is just a guy who want
Julian Douglass
Nov 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
One of the best books that I read so far in 2016. Mr. Pessah does a wonderful job writing this modern history of Baseball. The book begins in the early 1990's when the game was in a little bit of crisis mode and chronicles the evolution of the game up until today. Fantastic read for all of the fans like myself, who was born in 1993, who don't remember the labor negotiations of the early 90's.

Then when you think he is done covering the labor side of the game, he does a wonderful job of painting t
Mike Burkle
Jan 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great look into the inner workings of the MLB, especially the labor agreements and strife there. It's very detailed in it's accounts of the backhanded nature of the owners, and to a far lesser extent, the player's union. It gives the perspective of a small market team, a large market team (the Yankees who else), and that of the players union. While it was a great read and I'm sure (knowing the credibility of the author) it's accurate it's account, it does feel very biased. The story always pai ...more
Jul 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting look at baseball during the reign of Bud Selig and the "steroid era". The research was well done and detailed.

One critique I (and many other reviewers) have is the abundance of Yankees information. While the Yankees and George Steinbrenner in particular are important to the era and background of the story, the detailed stats and figures of the teams during the years discussed are entirely unnecessary. Far too much minute detail about the Yankees front office and players that real
Oct 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very interesting look at the business of baseball from 1992 to 2010. The key figures in this story are Bud Selig, George Steinbrenner and Don Fehr. This well-researched book takes the reader from baseball's strike through difficult labor negotiations and negotiations over revenue sharing and a luxury tax that divided big market owners from small market owners. Eventually it moves into the Steroids Era of MLB and how that affected clubs and labor negotiations. If you're into both baseball and b ...more
Kevin Christiansen
Dec 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, sports
An enjoyable book. A little heavy on Steinbrenner, Selig, and Fehr. At least in my eyes, the reputations of these three individuals was not enhanced by the book. I was never a fan of Steinbrenner or Selig and this book did nothing to change that. Nonetheless, I found it to be a nice survey of the recent history of the game from the business perspective.
Richard Canale
Apr 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
a concise and modern history of Major League baseball. Pessah gives us a detailed and well researched look into Bud Selig's ascent and exit as baseball commissioner.
Pessah discusses the steroid era and uses facts and not hearsay. He shows how the Yankees dynasty brings success to the entire league.

John Deardurff
Dec 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
A baseball history of the labor struggles, power struggles, and the relationship between the commissioner, the owners, and the players union. I read this after finishing, "For the Good of the Game" by Bud Selig to understand both sides of the growth and issues of Major League Baseball from 1992 - 2018. Both are great reads and compliments the other.
Eric Parsons
Feb 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An outstanding look at the game of baseball--particularly through the lens of the Yankees and George Steinbrenner. Had this book with me to read while hiking (on know, weight restrictions). Will likely read this one again, very well done.
Jun 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was really interesting! I thought the choice to mostly track Selig, Fehr, and Steinbrenner was inspired - between the three of them you had all the major storylines of league history from the past few decades covered.

Also: unions are good as hell, everyone should have one
Aug 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Scott Seseske
Oct 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Chris Welch
Feb 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gave me a lot of insight to what was really happening in the background during the time that I seriously followed baseball. Great choice Blake Thies, thanks!
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