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Change Up: How to Make the Great Game of Baseball Even Better
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Change Up: How to Make the Great Game of Baseball Even Better

3.39  ·  Rating details ·  147 ratings  ·  21 reviews
In the spirit of Moneyball, the voice of the Toronto Blue Jays offers cutting insights on baseball

Buck Martinez has been in and around professional baseball for nearly fifty years as a player, manager and broadcaster. Currently the play-by-play announcer for the Toronto Blue Jays, Martinez has witnessed enormous change in the game he loves, as it has morphed from a grassro
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published March 15th 2016 by HarperCollins Publishers
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 ·  147 ratings  ·  21 reviews

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Brandon Forsyth
Mar 07, 2016 rated it it was ok
This book did get me excited about the start of the baseball season, but it's a weird amalgam of memoir and long-winded complaint. The best stuff is about Buck's life in professional baseball, but it's pretty surface stuff. You never get a real feel for the man, even when he's talking about getting fired as manager or his last time on the field. Coupled with the rambling anecdotes about how things were better when players were abused and taken advantage of, it's a mixed message. Buck has fond me ...more
Lifespicer Tapps
Dec 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Great book! A lot of powerful and convincing insight! Unfortunately, there were a few errors in spelling and grammar, so it was not edited very well.
May 09, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: canada-sports, sports
This could have been a good book, because Buck has lots to say about baseball player development and the state of the game today. It's stuff I agree with; the swing and a miss and radar gun/pitch count mentality is at the heart of many of baseball's problems today. An MVP striking out 184 times a year is ridiculous. Buck reminds readers that the current wave of new age statheads don't have all the answers, in fact Casey Stengel and his ilk knew more about the game than all those people combined. ...more
Matt Simpson
Mar 24, 2016 rated it it was ok
"Old man yells at cloud"
John “Buck” Martinez could be considered a “baseball lifer”, considering he has been around the game in some manner for six decades. He writes not only about his career as a player, broadcaster and (briefly) manager but also shares his thoughts on the status of the modern game and its strengths and weaknesses.

The book does have a few flaws – some of the sentences could have used a grammatical make over and Martinez does jump from topic to topic at times. He does keep the chapters on his playing
Jul 28, 2017 rated it it was ok
This book is the baseball version of "when I was your age, we walked to school uphill- both ways!" I know there are a lot of Buck detractors, but I've always enjoyed his broadcasts because of his obvious reverence for the game. This book, unfortunately, does him no favours. The editing is non-existent and desperately needed, as Martinez is not a natural wordsmith.

His actual thesis for the "change" that today's Major League Baseball needs, is to go back to the way that they did it in his day. Th
Dec 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Having gotten into the sport two years ago and starting to read at the beginning of this year I thought, "why not get a book related to baseball?"I ended up getting three including this one and I really enjoyed this one. I love some of the idea's Martinez has on how to make a winning team and while he says that the new way of finding talent (pretty much the "moneyball" way) is effective, using some of the old ways (strategies that past managers have used in the past) is also necessary in creatin ...more
Dave Cottenie
Aug 04, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: baseball, canada, owned
Although it seems to be more of a baseball autobiography rather than a commentary on the current situation in baseball, Buck does make some interesting conclusions about what has made certain teams successful. A glimpse into his short tenure as the manager of the Blue Jays was really too brief and he alluded to some events that seemed to have more meaning than he gave them credit. Nonetheless, Change Up is entertaining and easy and compared to his previous book, Martinez has grown as a writer.
Hon. Peter J. Murphy
A Mediocre Baseball Book

Buck Martinez conveys his love of the game of baseball from his childhood days in California through his years in professional baseball. His description of his very early years was endearing - then he went on to the organization of pro ball which was too long and too boring. Big League Baseball is no longer the national pastime - Football is. However baseball's steep decline was not addressed by the author despite the title of the book.
Apr 18, 2019 rated it it was ok
I love Buck as a broadcaster, but this book comes off as bitter and a bit arrogant. There are some interesting stories and insights, but most of it is washed over with a constant pining for days gone by. This book is basically the anti-Moneyball but also tries to be a memoir, so the book comes off as a bit meandering.
Neil Gaudet
Jan 15, 2017 rated it it was ok
I really wanted to like this book. I'm a fan of Buck's, enjoy his broadcasts, liked him as a manager. But this book was sort of a nostalgic Ball Four without the convincing impact. I appreciated it in moments but was hoping for more Blue Jays content and maybe a different and current look at the game. It wasn't horrible, but since it took me 9 months to plod through I wouldn't call it a page turner.
Skyway to Adventureland
May 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
As a Blue Jays fan I enjoy listening to Martinez cover the team on TV. He brings a similar style to this book but gets more opportunity to do what he does best-tell stories about baseball players. Throughout the book Martinez covers many topics including his own career as a baseball player, broadcaster, and manager. He also discusses how the game has changed over the decades and why, in his view, this isn’t always a good thing. I recommend this book for those that like to read about baseball and ...more
John Weiler
Feb 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A fun read ... for me.

Buck, the author, pulled a little "bait and switch." (I guess all ball players are big on misdirection!). He sold me on the book being his ideas on "How to Make the Great Game of Baseball Even Better." What I got inside the cover was first him scratching the surface of that topic. Then he touched on:
1. Branch Rickey;
2. A few baseball dynasties;
3. His own autobiography;
4. Formation of the Toronto Blue Jays;
5. A manual on how to start a franchise;
6. Any number of other t
Gordon Jones
Dec 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
When it comes to sports books, I enjoy reading ones about baseball. The true stories about individuals in the game and the game itself.

I think Buck Martinez is one of the best announcers in the game today. He is very insightful and knowledgeable about the game of baseball that when I saw he had written a book about it, Change Up, I had to give it a read.

In this book, Martinez is very honest about his own skills and abilities, admitting to mistakes he has made in the past. There are some very hum
John Weatherbie
Jun 06, 2016 rated it it was ok
What a letdown! As a huge Jays fan, I really enjoy Bucks broadcasting, and thought I'd enjoy his book... I was very wrong. About 60 pages in I had to stop. It's basically Buck complaining that high salaries are ruining baseball (while saying that the players deserve them), that players aren't taught old school baseball, and that advanced stats are ruining everything...... While using stories about old time players noticing trends like a certain pitcher always using a Slider when 3-2. Advanced st ...more
Robert Grant
I enjoyed most if this book. I share the same thoughts as Buck does but-they will never go back to the old ways. The professional athletes of today would never tolerate the discipline that athletes of yesteryear had. They don't have to. They make more in half a season than most players of old made in their careers so to suggest that they need to go back to the old ways just won't fly today. I miss the old days too but, yesterdays gone and we can't get them back. Players control the sport these d ...more
Scott Vout
Sep 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
i have always enjoyed Buck Martinez as a broadcaster. he is very knowledgeable about the game of baseball.

I also had the pleasure of watching him play in toronto and even got to meet him once at a game when he was managing the team. He autographed a ball for my kids.

he has some interesting theories about team building and winning baseball.

this book is also a snapshot of his playing career.

very enjoyable if you are a fan of the game.
Feb 24, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: biographies
I love books. I love baseball. I love Buck Martinez. I guess I don't love when you put them all together...a bit of a difficult book to read...a lot of "things ain't what they used to be" with little inspiration for the game. Sorry Buck, I'll have to stick to listening to you calling the games every night.
Aaron Badgley
Aug 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Another book from The voice of The Toronto Blue Jays. Buck knows baseball, and he writes well. This is a brilliant book, where he pulls no punches. Baseball fans will enjoy this book, some may disagree with his assessments, but he backs everything up. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book.
Matthew RC
Jun 06, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: baseball, sports
A trip down memory lane with Buck. Anyone into the 70's and 80's MLB will enjoy his anecdotes.
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