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The Wrong Stuff

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  458 ratings  ·  31 reviews
The return of a sports classic with a new foreword by the author

Finally back in print after many years, here is Bill Lee’s classic tale of his renegade life on and off the mound. Whether walking out on the Montreal Expos to protest the release of a valued teammate or telling sportswriters eager for candid and offbeat comments more about the game than his bosses wanted anyo
Paperback, 272 pages
Published December 18th 2007 by Three Rivers Press (first published June 11th 1984)
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Average rating 3.88  · 
Rating details
 ·  458 ratings  ·  31 reviews

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Aug 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: baseball
4.5 stars. The best of the tell-all baseball books that I’ve read.
Jan 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone tired of A-Roid.
"You're supposed to sit on your ass and nod at stupid things
Man, that's hard to do;
And if you don't they'll screw you,
And if you do they'll screw you too.

When I'm standing in the middle of the diamond all alone:
I always play to win, when it comes to skin and bone.

And sometimes I say things I shouldn't, like..."

"Bill Lee" by Warren Zevon

Since opening Fenway in 1912, the Boston Red Sox have displayed a remarkably cavalier attitude towards developing and holding onto left-handed starters, f
Travis Hoskin
Jul 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
The first memoir I ever read. It was actually a lot of fun to read, though it's definitely better if you're a fan of the game. Bill Lee goes through his entire baseball career: the ups, downs, and his aversion to navy blue pinstripes. This book actually made me a Red Sox fan.
Aaron Sinner
Dec 24, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: baseball
#9, Esquire’s list of The Twenty Best Baseball Books Ever

Briefly: Ball Four-lite

Had The Wrong Stuff come out in 1965, it would have been a revolutionary look at the inside of the game from a player’s perspective, the sort of tell-all for which publishers salivate. As it stands, Bill “Spaceman” Lee’s book was published over 15 years after the release of Ball Four, and as such, it reads like a pale imitation.

Lee’s book suffers from its placement on the Pareto Frontier: that’s the economic principl
Jul 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The Wrong Stuff was one of the more entertaining baseball books I've ever read. It is the true story of ex-Red Sox pitcher Bill Lee's time in the majors and life just after it. Lee is eccentric, to say the least, and not shy about relating the realities of life on the road: the boozing, drugs, and women. He doesn't write about these shenanigans with puffed up bravado. He is more interested in conveying the circus atmosphere of professional sports, and does so with bemusement and humor. Also, hav ...more
Mike Reuther
Apr 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
One of the funniest baseball books ever written. Lee was an iconoclast and goofball, but that's okay. He's got plenty of stories to share in this book, from his days with the Boston Red Sox to his time with the Montreal Expos. Lee reveals his philosophy on life, which I guess is Zen Buddhism with a touch of cannabis. He makes no apologies for the great times he had both on and off the field and shares some interesting insights about some of his teammates over the years. Of course, for all his sh ...more
Greg Kelly
Without a doubt, Bill Lee’s behind the scenes look at what goes on beyond the white lines, or while they snort white lines, is a riot. Baseball fans that grew up in the 1970s will especially appreciate this book due to its portrayal of certain personalities of that era. Pete Rose, Carl Yastrzemski, Bernie Carbo, Dwight Evans, Thurman one is off limits.
Shay Caroline
If you open the side door to this book, a clatter of beer cans and empty bottles will fall out on the ground, along with a baggie and a roach clip. This an autobiographical book about 1970's left-handed pitcher Bill "Spaceman" Lee, and there are at least 30 pages in it that don't mention intoxicants at all, and 15 of those that aren't silly hooey that goes on in his head. But that doesn't leave much at all of what I was hoping for--a window into a sport and an era in that sport, that I like to r ...more
Nov 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sports
I grew up as a Yankee fan during the time Lee was pitching for the hated Red Sox. Didn't like him because he was a "spaceman", and he played for the Red Sox. Then I saw him on Burns' documentary on baseball. I loved the interviews with Lee, so I decided to read this book. What a treat. I love baseball, and Lee's love for the game came through in his highly humorous story telling. And, he knows baseball. I don't have much in common with Lee other than the love of the game, but I feel like I found ...more
Michael E.
Oct 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A must read for Baseball fans of wannabe Zen practitioners

Bill Lee, is well I own and loved to baseball fans and Absurdists everywhere. This is his story, in his words with an insight into the great American sport in the turbulent 70's. It is peppered with recollections, far out tales and enough reasons why baseball now has mandatory drug testing!
Mark Bunch
Dec 26, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: sports, baseball
A chance to go backstage at the MLB park. Find out what the dugout is all about. I enjoyed learning of the shenanigans of 1970's Boston Red Sox. This book like Ball Four before it tells it like it was. I enjoyed his style of writing. entertaining.
Kenneth Flusche
Jul 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A humourous return to my youth, when Baseball and the world in general turned upside down.
Rick Harris
Wonderful, unique sense of humor. Observations and commentary could only spring from a left-hander. Highly recommended.
Chris Schaffer
Nov 19, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: sports
A cool look back at his baseball career. Some good stuff on the life of a baseball player - partying, carousing with women, getting ready for a game, the mindset during the game. Does a good job of chronicling time with Boston and Montreal without 'naming names' a la Jim Bouton in Ball Four. And cool stories from time with Boston such as AL East division races of the early-mid 1970s, the 1975 post-season and of course the collapse of 1978. Can see Lee has some lingering bitterness about the way ...more
May 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bill Lee's "The Wrong Stuff" looks like on the surface just to be another cut and dried quick biography of a former sports star. But after reading this, I was amazed that this book did not garner the same kind of negative attention that Jim Bouton's "Ball Four" did. Lee talks frankly about his drug use, his indiscretions with women, and his general disdain for the powers that be in baseball. If a star today shared similar revalations, I can't imagine the furror it would cause. Lee pitched a litt ...more
Aaron Novak
Jul 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
I totally dig books about baseball, and this was a great one. Bill Lee's 'The Wrong Stuff' (1984) is right up there with Jim Bouton's 'Ball Four' and Dirk Hayhurst's 'The Bullpen Gospels' as one of the most truthful, entertaining, insightful, funny, and brutally honest baseball memoirs of all time. Lee doesn't hold anything back, including his thoughts on such baseball figures as Don Zimmer, Luis Tiant, Carlton Fisk, Carl Yastrzemski and an endless list of others.

A highly recommended read for ba
Nov 26, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In the wake of the Red Sox loss to the White Sox, I decided to revisit the past and read Bill Lee‘s autobiography, written with Dick Lally. Lee pitched for the Red Sox during the years that I became a baseball fan. This twenty-year old book is a breezy, amusing recollection of baseball in the seventies. Lee and Lally just wrote another book that will also go on my list of books to read.

Published in hardback by Viking Press.
Chris Dean
Dec 22, 2016 rated it liked it
One of the tag lines on my copy is "funnier than 'Ball Four' ." I don't feel that this book has held up as well. Lee tells the story of his life and career well and shines light on Don Zimmer, Rodney Scott, marijuana and Luis Tiant, but that's all they were...stories. He has since told some of these stories often and his irreverent tone was no act - what you see with Bill Lee is what you get
chris baker
Dec 09, 2007 rated it liked it
spaceman might have been too stoned to write a book. but whatever, it hasn't stopped any other old hippie from writing their memoir. go sox!
Kevin Gallan
Sep 23, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: sports fans,
Shelves: sports, own, signed-copy
this is a very good book ...bill lee was a entertaining ball player..and his book is entertaining also...funny,sad and at times it will make you mad but well worth the read.
Nov 19, 2015 rated it liked it
sex, drugs and rock 'n the ball...
Patrick Barry
Apr 05, 2017 rated it it was ok
Parts of this will be of interest to a Red Sox fan. However, the author comes off too full of himself and his attack on Dom Zimmer seems a bit too callous for my taste.
Apr 20, 2011 rated it liked it
Bill Lee was one of my favorite players. This book is entertaining but spotty, without the detail I hoped for. Best, I think, for those who grew up during the time. which would be me.
Lauren Krueger
Jan 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Clearly my kindred spirit.
Apr 29, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: baseball
Maybe the best of the second wave of tell all/locker room story baseball books to come out in the wake of Ball Four. Funny stuff. ...more
Paul Maclauchlan
Mar 04, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: baseball fans with an imagination
The other great baseball autobiography. From the mind of the man that imagined the perfect pitch as being the one that vanished from the pitcher's hand and appeared in the catcher's glove.
Robert Scalzi
Jul 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Spaceman RULES !!!
Wendy Roberts
Dec 22, 2009 rated it it was ok
I love a good baseball book. This one, although a bit of a classic, just didn't measure up for me.
Steve Mulcahy
rated it it was amazing
Aug 01, 2014
rated it liked it
Sep 04, 2012
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