Bullpen Diaries: Mariano Rivera, Bronx Dreams, Pinstripe Legends, and the Future of the New York Yankees

Overview

Baseball is the only game where the defense has the ball.

So begins an inside look at baseball's most scrutinized group of players—relief pitchers—and life in the most intriguing bullpen of all, that of the New York Yankees.

Second-guessed and overstressed, the manager finds his use of the bullpen the most debated topic after any game, but the reliever is the guy in the spotlight, game on the line, alone on a ...

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Bullpen Diaries: Mariano Rivera, Bronx Dreams, Pinstripe Legends, and the Future of the New York Yankees

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Overview

Baseball is the only game where the defense has the ball.

So begins an inside look at baseball's most scrutinized group of players—relief pitchers—and life in the most intriguing bullpen of all, that of the New York Yankees.

Second-guessed and overstressed, the manager finds his use of the bullpen the most debated topic after any game, but the reliever is the guy in the spotlight, game on the line, alone on a raised mound of clay.

Bestselling sportswriter Charley Rosen takes the reader on the wild journey that is the evolution of relief pitching over the years and examines the eccentric characters who have taken on the pressure of closing out games—or not. Bullpen Diaries is full of interviews with key players, coaches, and scouts from around the league; replete with the drama of blown plays and walk-off grand slams; and laced with funny anecdotes about Yankee greats throughout the years.

To underscore the drama and difficulty of being a reliever, Rosen uses key games in the 2010 season—acknowledged now as the Year of the Pitcher—to highlight strategies and mistakes, examine relievers on the rise or on the way out, and analyze the teams and the pitchers the Yanks faced. Bullpen Diaries also takes a look at Yankee strategies for success—past, present, and, most important, future. Lastly, Rosen reveals his predictions for 2011 and beyond for baseball's most storied franchise.

With insight on current players from around the league and tales of Yankee legends, Stadium history, and the author's Bronx childhood, Bullpen Diaries is a love letter to baseball and a pure joy for all fans of America's favorite pastime.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

Relief pitchers are a strange breed, separate and different in many ways from even their teammates. (They don't even sit in the dugout.) Foxsports.com journalist Charley Rosen decided to learn more about these outfield exiles by tracking a full season in the life of baseball's most famous bullpen, the New York Yankees nest of Mariano Rivera, a future Hall of Famer and arguably the greatest reliever of all-time. Bullpen Diaries uses anecdotes, statistics, and insiders' insights to illuminate not only the Bronx bailout boys, but also the entire ever-changing enterprise of "firemen" pitchers.

Publishers Weekly
In his newest book, Rosen (More than a Game) follows the ups and down of the New York Yankees bullpen over the course of the 2010 season, focusing on game recaps in which he evaluates how each reliever performed. He gives a solid overview of the scouting system used by Major League teams to rate and scout pitchers, and interviews players and coach. Rosen's affection for the sport is infections, though by focusing specifically on what happened when the relievers were pitching makes his narrative feel incomplete. Also many of the conversations with or about the players revolve around stock answers about the pitching mechanics of arm action and foot placement so that readers get little insight into each pitcher, except for minor leaguer Jason Hirsh. His narrative is highlighted by charming personal pieces titled "Memory Lane," in which he recounts his life growing up a Yankee fan, as well as offering fun, historical facts that bring the game to life. Photos. (June)
Marty Appel
"Rosen does a wonderful job weaving in the evolution of relief pitching, the fortunes of the 2010 Yanks, and plenty of good old baseball talk in this terrific book."
John Thorn
"The great joy of this wonderful book comes from its layered structure, in which plays and players of long ago float in, around, over, and under every current game. A delightful and insightful book."
- Marty Appel
“Rosen does a wonderful job weaving in the evolution of relief pitching, the fortunes of the 2010 Yanks, and plenty of good old baseball talk in this terrific book.”
- John Thorn
“The great joy of this wonderful book comes from its layered structure, in which plays and players of long ago float in, around, over, and under every current game. A delightful and insightful book.”
Library Journal
Rosen (NBA analyst, FOXSports.com; The First Tip-Off) sought to craft a detailed game-by-game look at how the Yankees bullpen fared during the 2010 season, including analysis by different MLB scouts on the relievers' stuff. Rosen's occasional personal stories about the Yankees and growing up in New York are as effective as they can be in breaking up a narrative that, while often dramatic in describing close game situations, can also drag because the game and relief stories start to sound repetitive. While this book will strongly appeal to Yankee fans, there are times when general baseball fans may yawn.—R.L.
Kirkus Reviews

A look at the performance of the New York Yankees' relief pitchers during the 2010 season, featuring interviews, game recaps and anecdotes.

Sportswriter and longtime Yankees fan Rosen (The First Tip-Off: The Incredible Story of the Birth of the NBA, 2008, etc.) argues that "no team player in all of sports is more on the spot than a relief pitcher." With this informal diary of the Yankees' 2010 bullpen, he attempts to give these athletes more of the spotlight. The bulk of the narrative consists of game-by-game recaps of the Yanks' season, with Rosen assigning an A-F letter grade to each relief pitcher's outing. Interspersed with these are statistics and historical factoids about the position and interviews with players, coaches and scouts. The latter elements are the highlights of the book, in particular the profiles of the team's pitching coaches, who offer a little-seen perspective and grant real insight into the peculiar life of the bullpen inhabitant. Coverage of training camp and a visit to the Yanks' Triple-A club in Scranton for a game against the Pawtucket Red Sox provide additional color. Rosen also includes some personal reminiscences from a lifetime of following the team, from saving his pennies to go to games as a child, to his humiliating tryout to be a Yankee pitcher himself. His love for the game, and the team, is clear, and this spares the book from being just a dull compendium of statistics and game summaries. Rosen provides final grades for each of the relief pitchers used by the team during the regular season, (the bullpen as a whole rates a C+), along with analysis of the Yankees' 2010 playoff failure and predictions for the upcoming season and beyond.

Contains elements of interest to the serious baseball fan, but this one is for Yankees die-hards only.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062005984
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/26/2011
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 1,013,500
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Charley Rosen

Charley Rosen is the coauthor with Phil Jackson of the New York Times bestseller More Than Just a Game. He is the author of Bullpen Diaries and fifteen other sports books, and has written more than a hundred articles for publications such as the New York Times Book Review, Sport, Inside Sports, M, and Men's Journal.

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Table of Contents

A Fan's Notes xi

Part 1 Screwballs and Blazers 3

Mighty Mo and the Rating System 7

Mariano Rivera's Childhood 13

The Yanks' Biggest Riddle 17

Pitch Count Phil 23

What Pitch Count? 29

Memory Lane: Bob Feller and the Motorcycle 33

Assembling the Bullpen in the Off-Season 35

Spring Training 45

The Yankees' Minor Leaguers 49

Between the Lines: Why Grades? 57

Behind the Scenes: Visiting the New Yankees' Bullpen 61

Part 2 April 2010 67

Memory Lane: The Home of Champions 101

May 2010 107

Memory Lane: A Truly Blown Save 153

June 2010 157

Memory Lane: Yogi, Joe, and Knuckleballers 189

July 2010 193

July 12-15, All-Star Break 203

July 2010 and Old-Timers' Day 207

A Hot August Night, Triple-A Ball, and Yankee Hopefuls 235

August 2010 249

Memory Lane: Johnny Mize's Bat 283

September-October 2010 287

Part 3 Memory Lane: An Imperfect Day, Don Larsen, and Me 319

Bullpen Grades for the Entire Regular Season 325

The Playoffs 331

The Yankees' Winning Formula: Past 349

The Yankees' Winning Formula: Future 353

My Stadium Misadventure 361

Memory Lane: All the Way Home 365

Acknowledgments 369

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2011

    Buyer Beware

    The description of this book is only half-helpful. It doesn't lie, but it could be more clear that the bulk of this book is the author's game-by-game wrap-up of how the bullpen performed during the 2010 season. Imagine a book of box scores or game wrap-ups that only covers a part fo the game. I can't imagine anyone enjoying this and I certainly did not. It's boring as dry toast. The remainder of the book is a few slightly-informed analyses on the Yanks that any decent Blog on the web can provide and some tired pining for the good old days of baseball essays that any reader under 40 will find dull.

    Save your money.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2011

    I hate it

    It's boring

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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