Has anyone read this? It is Buzz Bissinger (Friday Night Lights author) telling the story of a 3 game series in 2003 between the Cubs and Cards through the mind of Tony LaRussa, who I consider to be the best manager in the game.
The book is a touch on the dry side, but it is LaRussa so I don't know why I would expect much else. Bissinger spent a few weeks with the Cards during spring training, then about 50 games on the bench and in the clubhouse to get a feel for the people that would be involved and flashes back to earlier moments, events, and conversations to convey different points.
Three of my favorite parts. First, Tony LaRussa hates JD Drew. He showed nothing but contempt for this pampered, injury prone elitist. Probably enjoys it at least a little every time Drew does something stupid or gets "injured".
Second, Kerry Robinson. He was a part time player for the Cards who thought he should play everyday. Well LaRussa spends an awful lot of time busting on thsi guy, then Robinson saves the day. Pretty funny little exchange between LaRussa and 3rd base coach Jose Oquendo.
Third and this is more Bissinger, but you get the feeling it is from LaRussa just as much, and probably the part of the book that I enjoyed the most, since it my exact way of thinking. In the "Afterword", Bissinger writes in 2005, he pretty much attacks Moneyball and there entire way of thinking. Explains why the game of baseball, while being all about statistics is really not about statistics, but it is about situations, human nature and feeling. There is no better way to evaluate players than with your own two eyes, and one on one contact.
I definitely reccomend this book to anyone who enjoys reading. If you are a "purist" you will love it. If you are a stat, Moneyball guy, it will give you another perspective. Overall, the book is 100% better than Moneyball in every category!