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The Machine: A Hot Team, a Legendary Season, and a Heart-stopping World Series: The Story of the 1975 Cincinnati Reds Hardcover – September 15, 2009

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow; 1st edition (September 15, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061582565
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061582561
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #124,337 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

A senior writer at Sports Illustrated, Joe Posnanski has twice been named the Best Sports Columnist in America by the Associated Press Sports Editors for his work at the Kansas City Star. He is the author of The Good Stuff and The Soul of Baseball: A Road Trip Through Buck O'Neil's America, which won the prestigious Casey Award for best baseball book of 2007. His work has also been anthologized in Best American Sports Writing, and he lives with his family in Kansas City, Missouri.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

Well, I got this book in the mail today, just finished, reading it and loved it but feel hungry for more.
James Tetreault
"The Machine", Joe Posnanski's book about the 1975 Cincinnati Reds, is a fascinating look at one of the most interesting and greatest teams to ever play the game.
J. Knudtson
All the personalities, and their great Manager, Sparky Anderson, are covered in this very informative book.
One Zero

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By G. Michael Green on October 13, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Joe Posnanski's new book, "The Machine" might be the best baseball book of the year. Like the author, I grew up idolizing the Big Red Machine as a youngster. As a nine year old, I remember listening to Marty and Joe call the Reds games on WLW nearly every night from my small southern Indiana town. The team was unbelievable and Posnanski's book captures the excitement of the Reds 1975 championship quest. It is clear that the author used in-depth interviews with many member of the Machine. He gives the reader fascinating insights into the lives of Sparky Anderson, Joe Morgan, Johnny Bench, Tony Perez, and Pete Rose at the height of their professional success. I found Sparky Anderson's class system interesting - his stars (Bench, Rose, Morgan, and Perez) had their own set of clubhouse and training rules. The rest of the players, who Sparky called his turds, answered to another set of rules (Anderson's) while all the time trying to claw their way into Anderson's favored elite class. The system worked because the four Reds superstars would not allow anyone, including themselves, an overly inflated ego. Pranks, jokes, and razzing kept the Reds a loose bunch of superstars. No one's ego got too carried away.

Posnanski correctly describes the team's slow start in '75 and the desperate lineup adjustment by Anderson - moving Rose from left field to third base, thus free up LF for a young, blossoming George Foster - that sparked the Reds amazing summer run. There has been no team as talented or good as the Reds since 1975 and Posnanski does a masterful job telling the entire season's story. Including a great job describing the infamous '75 World Series.
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20 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Best Of All on September 15, 2009
Format: Hardcover
"Bunch of losers," (Pete) Rose shouted. "We can't lose this game. We will not lose this game!"

It was the top of the sixth inning in the seventh game of the 1975 World Series, and the "Big Red Machine" was running on fumes in Fenway Park. Trailing 3-0 to the Boston Red Sox, the club was lucky to still be batting, since Pete Rose broke up a possible double play by sliding hard into second base. With Johnny Bench on first, Tony Perez stepped into the batter's box to face Bill "Spaceman" Lee; the same Perez who - months earlier - was nearly traded to Kansas City, Boston, Oakland or the Yankees.

"Pete turned from his yelling to watch Tony Perez hit," writes Joe Posnanski, in The Machine: A Hot Team, a Legendary Season, and a Heart-stopping World Series: The Story of the 1975 Cincinnati Reds (September 15, 2009; William Morrow: An Imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers). "Bill Lee began his windup, and then unleashed it one more time, his slow curveball, and Perez saw it, his eyes widened, and he did something funny in his swing. He buckled like a car trying to jump into second gear."

And as the batted ball arced into the sky, a World Series for the ages was poised to take yet another dramatic turn, which already included "The Armbrister Incident" in Game Three, the iconic pose of Red Sox star catcher Carlton Fisk as he watched his Game Six winning homer in the 12th inning at 12:34 a.m. in Fenway Park and three days of rain that only created more intrigue and excitement as both clubs stood toe-to-toe and landed incredible haymakers from October 11 to 22.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Todd Stanley on March 25, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Big Red Machine has gotten a lot of press in its day. Even 35 years later, two books come out at the same time; Game Six and this one, The Machine. Even though I am a lifelong Reds fan, I must say my expectations were not high going in reading this book. I think that is why it was such a delight to read. Joe Posnanski brings a fresh approach to a subject I thought had been done to death. He does an excellent job at taking all the anecdotes and stories I have heard about the Big Red Machine, and told them in such a way as to be entertaining and funny as hell.

I found myself laughing outloud a lot while reading this, not something I do that often. When Rose makes fun of Joe Morgan's height by telling him not to stand close to the bat rack because someone was liable to mistake him for a bat and use him, I was guffawing. The one thing Sparkey Andersen was always given a lot of credit for was juggling the many personalities of the Big Red Machine from Bench and Rose, to Morgan and Perez, and Griffey and Conception. The same can be said for Posnanski. He juggles all their stories, all their perspectives, all their talents.

A well written baseball book is hard to find. I find myself having to read at least ten of them to find one gem and this would be my latest. I think the author's best talent is showing instead of telling. Like when Joe Morgan is talking about how close the Big Red Machine still is and yet he is the only one of them to attend the funeral of Bob Howsam, the man who put them together. Or when Pete staunchly denies being sorry for betting on baseball, and then turns around and signs what is termed an apology ball at the autograph place he works where he signs it "I'm sorry I bet on baseball". Most authors would add their own commentary or make the point with a ton of bricks, but many times Posnanski lets these scenes speak for themselves. He does something most authors don't have the courage to do; give the reader a little credit.
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