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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: 9.2 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #750,204 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.

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Customer Reviews

Posnanski writes very well.
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
He needs to add something to the conversation, but there's very little in the book that hasn't been covered before.
DWillis

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Crosley Fan on August 20, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Posnanski has written an ode to the 1975 Cincinnati Reds, lavishing the sort of attention on one of the modern era's greatest teams (dare we say *the* greatest team?) that would have already been the fodder for dozens of books had Morgan, Bench, Rose, Perez and Co. played in New York or Boston. As it is, most books relating to 1975 dwell on that memorable sixth game--and the Red Sox's magical victory--while relegating the inevitable Cincinnati seventh-game triumph to footnote status. But I come to praise Posnanski, not to stomp sour grapes.

The story of the 1975 Reds is fun. Larger-than-life baseball heroes playing the game better than it's ever been played since. Sure, there's some dirty laundry: the disrespected "turds," the even less respected pitching staff, the slighted Ken Griffey. And Posnanski doesn't whitewash his subjects. Rather, he allows us to observe with humanity and clear-colored glasses the day-by-day unfolding of this magical season, and the wart-by-wart and hit-by-hit blossoming of these unique players. Although I came of age with the Big Red Machine, I met in Posnanski's pages a Bench and Morgan and Perez and Rose and Griffey and Geronimo and Concepcion and Foster I knew only one-dimensionally. These were men who loved the game--each in his own way--and who seduced me and spoiled me into a lifelong love (and respect) for the game and the way they played it.

I can quibble with "The Machine's" repetition of small details (Geronimo almost became a priest, got it) and the general absence of memories and insights from the maligned pitchers (except Gary Nolan) and over-looked "turds" (role players).
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