Pascarelli, baseball correspondent for the Sporting News, has selected a title that suggests a scope which his book does not have. Essentially, this is the story of one manager, the Pittsburgh Pirates' Jim Leyland, who developed his mediocre team into the National League East champion. Although the problems that beset managers are presented, with observations on Earl Weaver, Tony LaRussa, Sparky Anderson et al., the focus is on Leyland as a personnel director best known for his rapport with his players. The book makes clear that he is a highly emotional man, and readers will feel Leyland's dissapointment when the Pirates fail to make the World Series. (May)
Pascarelli, a Sporting News correspondent, follows the 1992 season of Jim Leyland, field boss of the Pittsburgh Pirates. He provides a behind-the-scenes look into the highly pressurized occupation known to be the ``toughest job in baseball.'' Today, baseball is a multimillion-dollar business that is very profitable when one's team is winning. Hence, the manager's job is precarious. Pascarelli describes how these pillars of the sport thrive on maintaining a balance between satisfying the demands of the media, coaching staff, and 25 athletes with differing personalities, backgrounds, and salaries. An entertaining study guaranteed to delight baseball enthusiasts.-- L.R. Little, Penticton P.L., B.C.
What is a baseball manager's job really like? Pascarelli tries to give some insight into the position by following the career of Pittsburgh Pirates manager Jim Leyland during a three-year period. We watch over Leyland's shoulder as the harried manager must deal with superstars' egos, player injuries, front-office problems, free agency, and the dismantling of a contender. Along the way, Pascarelli compares the different tactics employed by various managers, including Tommy Lasorda, Earl Weaver, and Tony Larussa. It soon becomes clear that today's manager is sandwiched between the front office and the players, having very little actual control and always being in a state of flux. The book's lack of structure is sometimes annoying--topics wander in and out in no particular order--but, overall, the conversational approach works fine. This look at the contemporary manager pairs nicely with Koppett's recent "The Man in the Dugout" [BKL F 15 93), which profiles mainly great field generals of the past.