An insider’s look at the Washington Nationals’ breakout season and their unique strategy to piece together a contending team, this work shows how the team combined once-in-a-generation talent with an experienced manager and a roster of other talented young players to lead the team to the top of the National League East. Anchored by a pair of number one draft picks—the steady, serious Stephen Strasburg and the brash, bold Bryce Harper—the Nationals have been elevated to first place in the National League East. Beltway Boys dives into Strasburg and Harper’s preordained journey to the major leagues and the challenges they faced once they arrived, including Strasburg’s recovery from Tommy John Surgery and Harper’s misperceived persona. Also included are several never-before-told stories about the budding superstars, manager Davey Johnson, and general manager Mike Rizzo, making this the perfect reference for any baseball fan.
|Product dimensions:||6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.90(d)|
About the Author
Elliott Smith is a freelance writer who previously served as the Seattle Mariners beat writer for the Olympian for six years. He has covered the Washington Nationals for several outlets, including the Associated Press and MLB.com. He also covers Georgetown basketball for the Washington Times and the Washington Redskins for Express. He lives in Falls Church, Virginia. Bob Carpenter has been the Washington Nationals' play-by-play announcer on television broadcasts since 2006. He calls games on Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (MASN) with color analyst F.P. Santangelo. Carpenter resides in Washington, D.C.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Elliott Smith pens an interesting, detailed account of the early years of the Nats. It bogs down into too many details in a few places, but the pace picks up nicely towards the end. As a Nats fan since they came to D.C. in 2005, I learned some things about the team. For instance, in the much-publicized 2011 incident in which Harper blew a kiss to an opposing pitcher after hitting a HR, I didn't know that the pitcher had previously showed up his teammates and seemingly dared them to get a hit off him. ESPN's Mike Schmidt and others lectured Harper on "playing the game the right way" but said nothing about how pitcher Zachary Neal glowered into Harper's team's dugout before that. Now, Harper is NL MVP, and Neal is still stuck in minor-league hell. A big problem for me with this book was the sources for quotes and certain details. I would have liked to have seen endnotes with numbers and who actually obtained the quotes, not just vague references and a link. If you're quoting someone for a book, the fair thing is to reference that quote, such as "Chipper Jones told an AP reporter," not just "Chipper Jones said." This book acts like Smith obtained all the quotes when he obviously did not. A check of five source links shows all stories were by someone other than Smith. For instance, the quote by Jones that starts, "Everybody knows he wants to pitch," is from a story by AP reporter Joseph White [see http://bigstory.ap.org/article/nationals-strasburg-shutdown-dcs-big-debate]. But it's written in the book with no attribution like Smith obtained it. This is sloppy at best. Some might say it borders on plagiarism, even if there is a link. It raises questions about other quotes, even if the rest that aren't sourced with links came from Smith. Perhaps Smith tried to put more detailed sources, but the publisher wanted it written without that, feeling as if it bogged down the story or made it less legitimate. But you do want to stay away from even the appearance of plagiarism.
Elliot Smith’s debut book is an efficient and educational story of the National’s rise from expansion-team doormat to division champs. My favorite part was the Ecstasy and the Agony, including the description of the Werth at bat. Although there were times when I felt like it was becoming an apologia for the Nationals (for example, the author seems to suggest that the reason why other GMs criticized Mike Rizzo for the decision to shut down Stephen Strasburg was guilt) it covers all the bases and is a good introduction to the team for Nat’s fans and fans of other teams.