Most helpful positive review
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Excellent book, and not just for Phillies fans
on April 18, 2012
I have to admit that I was a little skeptical upon beginning this book, expecting another team-focused book that would be all sunshine and positives without providing any depth. Fortunately that was not the case, and instead the authors have provided an insightful look into the assembling of that staff while providing great insight into the pitchers themselves.
The structure of the book works well. The authors provide chapters on each of the big four (Halladay, Lee, Hamels, Oswalt) as well as a chapter on the possible fifth guys (Blanton, Worley) before reviewing the season chronologically in a month-per-chapter format. The chapters on the individual pitchers are, to me, the best part of the book because we get to learn about their motivation for coming to the Phillies, their work habits, and some of their personalities. It's clear that the authors admire the work habits of a pitcher like Halladay, but I appreciated that they didn't leave out issues like Hamels' bar fight during his early years, or the tough negotiations and temporary hard feelings between Lee and the ballclub. Including things that some might construe as negative just gives the book more credibility.
We all know how the season ended for the Phils, but that doesn't make the review of the season any less enjoyable. It's a credit to the authors that they can make a season review interesting, again by including details that go well beyond the boxscores. There's no shortage of books focusing on one team or one particular season, but among that group this one is a standout. I'm a Jays fan, and I couldn't put this book down. I would recommend this to any fan of the modern game, Phillies fan or not.