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Juicing the Game: Drugs, Power, and the Fight for the Soul of Major League Baseball Paperback – February 28, 2006
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Top Customer Reviews
But that has become impossible. Jose Canseco's "tell all" book, the February Congressional hearings, and media coverage have all put baseball's steroid scandal on the front page of the nation's sports section.
Steroids headlines another landmark moment in baseball history-akin to the gambling scandals (personified by the 1919 Chicago Black Sox) as well as the demarcation of an era when power hitting proliferated beyond reason (radically opposite the "dead ball era" of the early 20th century and the "pitchers' era" of the 1960's). But to follow the complicated story through ESPN and print journals only leads to confusion and misperceptions. Thus, Boston Herald sports columnist Howard Bryant comes to the rescue with his remarkably perceptive Juicing the Game that provides the necessary background and historical perspective to understand the issue-making this the most timely baseball book of 2005.Read more ›
The author is also a teacher. He reports important historical baseball information that is critical to understanding the complexities of the crisis today. In particular, he properly dissects the semi-explosive variables that make for a tense relationship between the major league baseball owners and the powerful players union. The owner/union behavior pattern is a key factor in understanding why steroids have been allowed to enter the game.
Bryant demonstrates how players can enhance two elements critical to a hitter...speed & strength. In other words..."the science lab has found its way into baseball," according to the author. The book carefully explains how creatine, androstenedione and anabolic steroids are eating at the game's core. The presence of these drugs have baseball purists coast-to-coast livid that "cheaters" are destroying legendary home run records.
Before 1995, just eleven baseball players in the history of the game reached the magic number of 50 home runs. In 1996, Brady Anderson of the Baltimore Orioles hit 50, he had never hit more than 21 in a single season. Moreover, the 1996 Orioles shattered the storied 1961 New York Yankees (Maris & Mantle) team home run record of 247. Bryant explains that owners and players across the board raised eyebrows...Read more ›
Even if the subject puts you off, I encourage you to read this book. I have to admit that I didn't pay much attention because I figured the users would get busted and disciplined in one way or another... but that never happened. Why didn't it happen? This book tells you why (incompetence on the part of MLB's leadership and obstuctionism on the part of the union are perhaps the main culprits). Bryant takes some significant time in the beginning of the book to set up the context for the decade's debacle, and it's worth it, because the reader needs to know why Selig is commissioner when '94 comes and what his objectives are, as well as the union's position.
The author does a great job with each of the various threads to be explored - the strike, creatine, 1998's pursuit of Maris and the resultant andro issue, and the figure of Barry Bonds. Of course, if nobody used steroids, there wouldn't be a problem, but Bryant does a great job showing readers that the game's leadership (as well as the union's leadership) bears the lion's share of the blame for the rampant 'roid use and the resulting fouling of the record book.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
370 pages of good journalism. 30 pages of Barry Bonds hero worship. How in the world someone could believe Bonds was the greatest player in the history of Baseball with or without... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Gulfport Fan
While this book stops the conversation at its 2005 publication date, that was pretty much when the hubbub died. Read morePublished on January 27, 2012 by G. Henson
Author Howard Bryant writes that the appointment of Bud Selig as Commissioner of Baseball was the move that opened the doors to baseball's tainted steroid era, 1994-2004. Read morePublished on July 3, 2011 by Barry Sparks
Great book. Very underrated in the realm of steroids in baseball, didnt hear much about this. Bryant is a terrific writer, tons of research went into this.Published on November 30, 2009 by JB1031
Most people have heard at least a little about PED in the game of baseball. What most dont know is the origins of the culture that made the rampant use of them possible. Read morePublished on March 11, 2009 by Jeramy Cochrane
Juicing the Game: Drugs, Power, and the Fight for the Soul of Major League Baseball is an extremely broad and wide ranging text on baseball and the steroids era. Read morePublished on January 20, 2009 by Mark
After a brief email correspondence with Bryant, it's easy to see why this was such a boring, poorly written book. Read morePublished on July 10, 2006 by W. Kammerzell
I've read a lot of baseball books over the years, and this ranks as one of the best. While it covers the whole steroids mess in illuminating detail, you also get a review of... Read morePublished on July 3, 2006 by Steven Zawrotny
Howard Bryant has done the baseball world a giant service with his meticulous research and top-notch writing. Read morePublished on June 23, 2006 by D. Greene