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The Machine: A Hot Team, a Legendary Season, and a Heart-stopping World Series: The Story of the 1975 Cincinnati Reds

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  1,534 ratings  ·  112 reviews
Award-winning sports columnist Joe Posnanski hits a grand slam with The Machine—a thrilling account of the magical 1975 season of the Cincinnati Reds, baseball’s legendary “Big Red Machine,” from spring training through the final game of the ’75 World Series. Featuring a Hall of Fame lineup of baseball superstars—including Johnny Bench, George Foster, Joe Morgan, Cesar Ger ...more
Hardcover, 302 pages
Published September 15th 2009 by William Morrow (first published 2009)
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Average rating 4.07  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,534 ratings  ·  112 reviews

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Start your review of The Machine: A Hot Team, a Legendary Season, and a Heart-stopping World Series: The Story of the 1975 Cincinnati Reds
Mar 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
If Pete Rose ever slides from the outcast villain category over to the forgiven side of the ledger, he’ll owe at least some small debt to Joe Posnanski’s The Machine. After two decades of reading and hearing only about the myriad ways Rose destroyed his legacy, we are reminded how he built it up in the first place. Here’s Rose, flying at us straight out of the cover, cocky, confident, and competitive, driving his teammates to glory in one of the greatest seasons in baseball history.

Posnanski, wh
Harold Kasselman
May 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Sparky Anderson a no nonsense, conservative and old school manager addressed his 1975 Reds team as the "royalty and the turds". He pointed to Johnny Bench, Pete Rose, Tony Perez, and especially Joe Morgan as royalty. The rest were just turds unless and until they became superstars like the former. Well that club became arguably the greatest lineup in baseball history.(it was in my opinion). This wonderfully easy to read and entertaining work emphasizes that season and the diverse personalities t ...more
Sep 04, 2011 rated it it was ok
I have been a student of baseball my entire life. Sometimes I think that's the curse of being not-athletic. Off the top of my head I can tell you that George Brett had 1,595 career RBIs. That said, I could have named the 1975 Reds lineup before cracking this book. I knew of the unrelenting drive that made Pete Rose 'Charlie Hustle', the brash ego and abrasive personality that made Joe Morgan so easily hated during his playing days -and later his announcing days, the cocky front and country boy h ...more
Oct 26, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
There's a pretty wide consensus that Joe Posnanski is the best sportswriter in America today, and I think that's probably right--more than that, though, he's just a plain good writer. No one else captures a poignant moment better; no one else dispatches with stupidity with more verve and grace; no one else offers his unique balance between cutting edge sabermetric geekery and deep historical appreciation, especially when it comes to baseball. And what I love best is when Posnanski writes about o ...more
Dec 28, 2009 rated it really liked it
I will start by saying that I don’t care about the 1975 Reds. They had played and retired by the time I was old enough to follow baseball, and I’ve only ever known Pete Rose as a gambler, and Joe Morgan as an announcer. For that reason I wasn't sure I would find this as enjoyable as Joe Posnanski's other writings. I needn't have worried. As you read, you feel like you’re on Joe Poz’s shoulder as he interviews these players for the book. It definitely reads like a memoir, not a documentary – and ...more
Emily L
May 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Joe Posnanski is the author of The Machine.He was named the best baseball writer in the business by Jim Callis who is the executive editor of Baseball America. Before Joe wrote The Machine, he wrote the book The Soul of Baseball which won the Casey Award for the best baseball book of the year. The Machine is based off the 1975 Cincinnati Reds and their trip to the world series.

I would reccomend this book, but only to people who are in love with the game of bseball or just have a general concept
Mar 26, 2015 rated it did not like it
Just want to say out of the gate I am 45 and remember this team The Big Red Machine and I hated them. With that out of the way, this is possibly the worst baseball book I have ever read. And I have read a lot of them. Dont know if the author has an axe to grind. He claims to think this is the greatest team ever but he sure goes out of his way to trash almost everyone except Pete Rose. I love in the locker room type books, but this book gave no insight what so ever. All it was was having the big ...more
Rob O'd
Nov 21, 2009 rated it it was ok
Joe Posnanski is one of my favorite baseball/sports writers, but this book was pretty disappointing. He did not do a very good job developing the main character's back stories with any sort of depth. It was a lot of "Joe yelled at Pete. Pete made fun of Tony. Sparky's stomach was upset." The book followed the Reds' schedule, and did not really waver from that. The only person of interest whose background that was really explored was Pete Rose, but most of it was already public knowledge. ...more
Jan 21, 2014 rated it it was ok
For a writer who I like and a team that I find fascinating, this ended up being a pretty disappointing book. Posnanski may just be better in column length form (I've never read any of his books before.) or maybe the cliches that the Reds players spout here are really true. I enjoyed some of the inside stories and lived the baseball history pieces but ultimately feel let down. ...more
May 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This was an excellent book on one of the best teams in recent baseball history. Full review to come...
Aug 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a fun, quick trip down memory lane and a delight for anyone who remembers the Big Red Machine. Posnanski is well qualified to tell this story. He is a talented sports writer who does his homework interviewing all the main characters. He places the season in the larger context of baseball and culture in 1975. He reminds us of the pressure on the Reds that season. As good as they were, they had never won the World Series (losing in '70 and '72) and Sparky Anderson was feeling it. He also s ...more
Rodger A. Payne
Posnanski is a talented writer and I generally enjoyed this book. I was a young teen during the summer of 1975 and the Big Red Machine dominated much baseball media coverage. It was fun to be reminded of contemporary historical events and pop culture phenomenon. Posnanski's writing is somewhat informed by contemporary baseball analytics, but this is not emphasized in the work. For example, he briefly discussed Joe Morgan's great ability to get on base and wrote frequently about Sparky Anderson's ...more
Jul 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: baseball
Very good book about one of the best teams of all time, and certainly my lifetime. Posnanski is a great writer who really lets you feel like you are hearing the banter between Rose, Morgan and the rest that drove this team. Learned a lot about the team too, including when (and how) the lineup came together, and how Sparky used the bullpen which I had always credited to LaRussa much later (who really took the use of the bullpen to L-R matchups).

There’s definitely some stories repeated early in t
Justin Sanders
Jan 29, 2020 rated it liked it
Never meet your heroes, and never read about them, either, apparently. Pete is Pete; you know what you're getting with him, and overall, I like him, love his attitude toward the game, and wholeheartedly believe he belongs in the Hall. Otherwise, what I learned is, Johnny was a jerk (actually knew that, from a personal encounter), Joe is a jerk, and Sparky is a jerk. He called all of his "non-star" players "turds," if that gives you any idea.

Tony Perez was a good guy, though.

I enjoyed how Posnans
Andrew Spencer
Mar 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
It was like spending a season in the dugout with Sparky Anderson and one of the greatest Baseball teams ever. It gave me a new appreciation for Joe Morgan, Johnny Bench and especially Pete Rose. I was really touched by the Afterword, where Joe talked about why he wrote this book. Beautifully written.
David Blankenship
Aug 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
The mid-1970s Reds were my older brother's favorite team. I memorized their lineup (Rose, Griffey, Morgan, etc) and they became my favorite team, too. While I grew up and moved on in my fandom, this team has stuck with me. This book tells the story of their legendary 1975 season. While at times it is a bit repetitive, it is still a good telling of what made that season great. ...more
Mike Glaser
Mar 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: baseball
Perfect book to read for a Red’s fan just before the baseball season starts. Great anecdotes and it was just so much fun to go through that season again. Best quote: Pete Rose - I ‘ve written more books than I’ve read.
Frank Murtaugh
Apr 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A fun trip back to 1975 and a summer well spent with the best baseball team of my lifetime. Posnanski loves baseball almost as much as I do, so the story is told with proper reverence and appropriate respect for the outsized talent (and personalities) that made the Big Red Machine unforgettable.
Thomas Ashman
May 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book about the way baseball used to be

Loved all the inside stories about the team. Gave it 5 stars because it makes it seem like I was watching the team that my dad has told me all about.
Bret Eubank
Aug 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
If Joe is writing about baseball and has time to do this amount of research, you know it's gonna be good. Rose, Bench, Perez and others come to life in this page-turner that captures the magic of a dynasty and life off the field as well. ...more
May 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Great read for anyone interested in baseball, particularly those of us with much to learn regarding the detailed history of the iconic teams and personalities.
May 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
If you love the Reds, love to read about baseball or just love the game-- this is a great read!
Jun 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic book about the team I grew up watching in Riverfront Stadium!!!
Bill Freil
Aug 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good book

You do not need to be reds fan to enjoy this book. Jts about the authors recollection of the 1975 Reds about the moments, rhe team and that year.
Edward Morton
Mar 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I love this book it gave great insight on one the best baseball teams of all time.
Apr 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Obviously I very much enjoyed this. Along with the read, we’ve been watching the 1975 world series on youtube, which makes it even better.
Robert James
If you can't watch baseball, you might as well read about it. ...more
George Girasa
Jan 12, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: baseball
Although interesting. It was a lot of stories I had heard. I was hoping for more stories on the lesser players. The backups etc.
Josh Duggan
Nov 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
I feel like I should set this entry up just a little by stating that before I go anywhere else on the internet I check my RSS tab on my browser to see if Joe Posnanski has written anything new. More often than not, he has. If there isn't a new entry in the feeder, I go to the blog anyway to make sure the RSS is up to speed. If the first step fails to turn up a fresh entry, the second step almost always does.

This is somewhat remarkable in that he is so prolific in his writing that one would think
Aug 30, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I almost always enjoy books about baseball history. At first glance, the subject of this book--the 1975 season of the Cincinnati Reds, one of the great teams of baseball history--seems like a surefire winner. However, both the subject matter and the book itself have some real problems.

First, the team: This was not a particularly likeable group of guys. And while Posnanski is sympathetic, the portrait that emerges can't help but be somewhat off-putting with respect to most of the key members of t
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Joe Posnanski is national columnist for NBC Sports. He has been named National Sportswriter of the Year and twice was awarded the best sports columnist in America by The Associated Press Sports Editors.

He has written five books:

“The Good Stuff,” was a collection of columns.

“The Soul of Baseball: A Road Trip Through Buck O’Neil’s America,” won the Casey Award as best baseball book of 2007.


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