"The Pride and the Pressure:
A Season Inside the New York Yankee Fishbowl" and Other
There is an entire tradition of "inside
baseball" books and now we have "The Pride and the Pressure: A
Season Inside the New York Yankee Fishbowl" by Phillip Morrissey
(Doubleday, $23.95, 288 pages). The "New York Post" baseball
writer had unrestricted access throughout the 2006 season to all
things Yankee - and he has written an insightful, steamy,
sometimes sordid account of the happenings that year - what went
wrong and why it did, being one of his main themes.
There is gossip galore, embarrassing accounts
of grown men acting like teenagers. We have Joe Torre's feud
with ESPN and YES. We have the struggles of perhaps the worst
Yankee free agent signing ever - Carl Pavano and the enmity he
engendered from his Yankee brothers. We have more info
than we really need on George Steinbrenner's health condition.
We have gossipy treatments of A-Rod vs. Jeter - their
relationship and non-relationship on and off the field.
If you are into Yankee gossip, if you are one
of those who wants a look at the game within the game - this is
the book for you even though reading it in 2007 makes a great
deal of the content which is from 2006, dated.
"Reynolds, Raschi and Lopat: New York's Big
Three and the Great Yankee Dynasty of 1949-1953" by Sol Gittleman
(McFarland, paper, 230 pages) is not at all dated but a winning
look back by the author, a history and literature professor at
Tufts University. We are there in the glory days of the team and
their workhorse hurlers through the momentous winning days and
nights of Bronx Bomber baseball. This slim tome is a real treat.
FOR RED SOX FANS: "Big Papi! My Story of
Big Dreams and Big Hits by David Ortiz and Tony Massarotti (St.
Martin's Press, $24.95, $16.95 Spanish edition) is the rags to
riches story of the Boston strong boy slugger. For BoSox fans
this is the book to go for - for the rest out there - optional
NOTABLE: From Frank Deford comes "The Entitled" (Sourcebooks,
$24.95, 318 pages) about Howie Traveler who had an 0.91 big
league average and now has a shot as a manager of the Cleveland
Indians. About a Willy Loman type character, a book Arthur
Miller would have enjoyed, an inside look at the game
today, "The Entitled" is the kind of tome one would expect
from the man GQ dubs "the world's greatest sportswriter."
BACKLIST: There are two especially wonderful books for Yankee
fans - by Joe Carrieri, former bat boy for the team - "Joe
DiMaggio the Promise (Carlyn Publications, Inc., $22.00,
212 pages) and "Searching for Heroes (Carlyn Publications, Inc.,
$22.00, 214 pages). Both are wonderful reads detailing Carrieri's time with the Bronx Bombers from 1949-1955.