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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ACES- A MUST READ
Tony Huang's review is as far off base as Eric Byrnes was when attempting to score in the 2003 ALDS. In fact, his review chafes me so much that I feel like I need to do Amazon customers justice by standing up for an outstanding piece of baseball literature. I've read every one of Mychael Urban's articles on MLB.com the last four years, so I have the credibility to say...
Published on April 12, 2005 by Willem Suyderhoud

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay for fans...but not too illuminating
I was looking forward to this book, as I'm a big fan of the A's system and was intrigued by the possibility of the story of the last season these three spent together. However, author Mychael Urban is kind of all over the place; he says that it's not a "team" profile or the profile of the season, but in fact that's prety much what it is. He tries to write around major...
Published on October 17, 2005 by Jason D. Scott


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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ACES- A MUST READ, April 12, 2005
This review is from: Aces : The Last Season on the Mound with the Oakland A's Big Three: Tim Hudson, Mark Mulder, and Barry Zito (Hardcover)
Tony Huang's review is as far off base as Eric Byrnes was when attempting to score in the 2003 ALDS. In fact, his review chafes me so much that I feel like I need to do Amazon customers justice by standing up for an outstanding piece of baseball literature. I've read every one of Mychael Urban's articles on MLB.com the last four years, so I have the credibility to say that "Aces" doesn't read anything like what Huang calls a "string of daily recaps." The book flows smoothly and the quotes from Hudson, Mulder and Zito are extremely insightful. I've read some great baseball books in the past, including Roger Kahn's "Boys of Summer" and David Halberstam's "The Teammates," but I've never learned so much about the game of baseball than I have from Urban's book. Urban's reporting gives us fans an inside look at what goes on inside a pitcher's head when he toes the rubber. When reading Aces, I felt as if I was sharing the mental problems Barry and Mark were experiencing throughout the 2004 season. This book brought me closer to the playing field, just as all great sports works should. Pick up a copy of Aces. It's worth every word.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good, not as good as moneyball, March 23, 2005
This review is from: Aces : The Last Season on the Mound with the Oakland A's Big Three: Tim Hudson, Mark Mulder, and Barry Zito (Hardcover)
This is an interesting look at the 2004 Oakland A's. Not as colorfully written as Moneyball, but with a more journalistic style, fitting as Mychael Urban is a columnist for oaklandathletics.com. However, it is fun to get a behind the scenes look at Mulder, Huddy, and Zito as they occasionally truimphed and often struggled over the course of the 2004 season. A must read if you are an A's fan.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A true inside look, April 14, 2005
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This review is from: Aces : The Last Season on the Mound with the Oakland A's Big Three: Tim Hudson, Mark Mulder, and Barry Zito (Hardcover)
Urban's look inside the Big Three is well done and entertaining, even for the non-baseball junkie. If you're looking for more detailed insight on how a splitter is thrown, you may want to buy Tom Emmanski's videos, but if you want to know what's inside the heads of these guys while on the mound and in the dugout, as well as what it's truly like to be a big leaguer, look no further. He takes the reader through the flow of the season, but doesn't bog them down with the details of every game, all while explaining the emotions, relationships and interactions that happen on the team bus, in the clubhouse and at the watering holes where these guys hang out.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars even a yankee fan enjoyed it, April 13, 2005
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Plotz (New Jersey) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Aces : The Last Season on the Mound with the Oakland A's Big Three: Tim Hudson, Mark Mulder, and Barry Zito (Hardcover)
i've never been much of a fan of the a's--beyond having some of them on my fantasy teams--but i am interested in pitching, so i found myself tasting it via the search function. it got to the point that i was so engrossed, that i had to buy it. it's an interesting story that lets you better understand the the strategy of pitching, as well as lets you understand that characters of pitchers. i've recommended it to my friends, too.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Some kind of monster...., May 17, 2005
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This review is from: Aces : The Last Season on the Mound with the Oakland A's Big Three: Tim Hudson, Mark Mulder, and Barry Zito (Hardcover)
This book is awesome. It goes deep into the minds of these "Big Three", as pitchers and people. Through early season bullpen woes, to the dogdays of summer, to their slim loss of the division lead in the end of the season. The pitchers minds are dissected, from Zito's quirkiness and tendency to get too deep into his thoughts, to Mulder's calmness, to Hudson's aggressive "bulldog" mentality. This book is for anyone who loves sports, espessialy baseball, and anyone who respects the A's dominant run through the early 2000's. It is masterfully written, and a beautiful recount of, not only the "big three" we have grown to love, but the 2005 season, and the A's playoff hopes. It shows the breakdown off a pitchers mind before his start, and the other 4 days in between, and how these supposed "super humans" are just people. Mychael Urban's quick wit, and smooth style of writing make this memoir much more than just the report on each game's happenings, and make it into something special to share and read.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars After you read Angell's "A Pitcher's Story" -- read this!, April 28, 2005
This review is from: Aces : The Last Season on the Mound with the Oakland A's Big Three: Tim Hudson, Mark Mulder, and Barry Zito (Hardcover)
This book was a delight to read as I love to see inside the world of the players, and Urban does it with a breezy and fun style that is worth reading out loud (as I often did to my boyfriend, or whoever was nearby if they knew about baseball). The "big three" in Mulder, Hudson and Zito provide a study in contrasts that illuminates everything from what goes on inside a pitcher's head (or doesn't) while he's on the mound, to the importance of pitching coaches. I found myself wanting to copy out various sentences from the book to make sig quotes out of, sometimes from what the players said, sometimes from Urban's pithy and hip take on modern major league life.

The book's only possible drawback is that I wanted more! There are some great personal moments (that also give insight into baseball), as with Zito using his guitar case as an illustration of Gary Sheffield's 'hitting zone', but I wanted more of them. The book was designed to cover just one season, but honestly I could have used a little bit less of a chronicle of the A's ups and downs in a season that wasn't that memorable and more of the pitchers talking pitching. Perhaps Urban will write another book that will satisfy me on that score later--I would buy it in a second. He's definitely one of the up an coming baseball scribes worth watching.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great insight into the minds of 3 very good pitchers, May 3, 2005
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This review is from: Aces : The Last Season on the Mound with the Oakland A's Big Three: Tim Hudson, Mark Mulder, and Barry Zito (Hardcover)
Aces is a great insight into the minds of three very good pitchers who have different personalities. Tim Hudson, Mark Mulder and Barry Zito are known as the Big Three, three fantastic young pitchers on the Oakland A's staff. This book, by a daily newspaper beat writer, covers the three pitchers through the season. Although its about the A's, and Billy Beane wrote the foreward, its not like the famous book by Michael Lewis, Moneyball, at all. There's little in it about Beane's approach to baseball, except how the Big 3 feel about the A's lack of spending money. They aren't happy about not bringing in free agent talent due to their limited funds. The book goes through the mental aspects of the game, how Mulder and Zito both dealt with failure at different points in the season. Mulder had a great start but faltered in the 2nd half of the season, while Zito had a bad start but pitched well in the latter part of the season. After reading this book, its hard not to root for these three pitchers, even though they pitch for three different teams now. Urban did a great job.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Big Three's last hurrah, March 12, 2006
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This review is from: Aces : The Last Season on the Mound with the Oakland A's Big Three: Tim Hudson, Mark Mulder, and Barry Zito (Hardcover)
Mychael Urban's book takes a different view than Michael Lewis' "Moneyball" does. Urban goes in-depth to show you what goes on in the minds of Tim Hudson, Barry Zito, and Mark Mulder. Hudson, Zito, and Mulder are about as different as three men can be, but all three have one big thing in common: They are all driven to be the best.

Urban's book discusses the trials and tribulations of the Big Three's and the A's 2004 season. It was a unique year for the A's, as they missed the playoffs for the first time since 1999. Urban had earned the trust of the Big Three, therefore all three let their guards down and talked about what makes them all tick. You'll read about Hudson's battle through an injury-plagued season, the always confident Mulder struggle through his first moment of self-doubt, and Zito's various musings.

The book wraps up with the frantic few days during the 2004 off-season in which Hudson and Mulder were traded within two days of each other. This book is both a nice look back at the A's 2004 season and an excellent look at an interesting topic in the Big Three. A's fans will likely hang on to this book and look back in upcoming years on what a fantastic trio Hudson, Mulder, and Zito were.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars GOOD BUT NOT GREAT, November 27, 2010
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COOL JEWEL (MACEDONIA, OHIO USA) - See all my reviews
IF YOU ARE AN A'S FAN THEN THIS FOR YOU. IT GIVES A REAL NICE CLOSE UP LOOK AT THE 3 ACES THAT HELPED THE A'S IN THE EARLY 2000'S WIN 3 DIVISION TITLES. THE BIG 3 WERE ALL QUITE DIFFERENT PERSONALITIES AND DIFFERNT IN THEIR APPROACH TO PITCHING. ALL WERE GOOD PITCHERS AND ALL WENT TO DIFFERENT TEAMS BECAUSE OAKLAND CLAIMS THEY COULD NOT AFFORD THEM. PART OF THE MONEYBALL PHILOSOPHY. THE READER GETS A VERY DETAILED START BY START LOOK AT THE ENTIRE 2004 SEASON. I LIKE THIS BOOK AND HIGHLY SUGGEST IT FOR ALL BASEBALL FANS BUT ESPECIALLY FOR OAKLAND FANS.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars GOOD BUT NOT GREAT, November 27, 2010
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IF YOU ARE AN A'S FAN THEN THIS FOR YOU. IT GIVES A REAL NICE CLOSE UP LOOK AT THE 3 ACES THAT HELPED THE A'S IN THE EARLY 2000'S WIN 3 DIVISION TITLES. THE BIG 3 WERE ALL QUITE DIFFERENT PERSONALITIES AND DIFFERNT IN THEIR APPROACH TO PITCHING. ALL WERE GOOD PITCHERS AND ALL WENT TO DIFFERENT TEAMS BECAUSE OAKLAND CLAIMS THEY COULD NOT AFFORD THEM. PART OF THE MONEYBALL PHILOSOPHY. THE READER GETS A VERY DETAILED START BY START LOOK AT THE ENTIRE 2004 SEASON. I LIKE THIS BOOK AND HIGHLY SUGGEST IT FOR ALL BASEBALL FANS BUT ESPECIALLY FOR OAKLAND FANS.
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