The prolific and best-selling Feinstein here spends a year (the 2012 season) with the players and managers (and others) of the Triple A International League, the apex of minor-league baseball. But, as Feinstein makes clear both explicitly and with the telling detail and quote, it is a wholly different culture and a long way from the majors, which remains the dream of all participants—newcomers, those who have made it there previously (in a few cases as stars), and those who, in the course of a season, make the trip up and back, sometimes with astounding frequency. It is a frustrating experience, far from luxurious, and there is a sameness and a sadness to the individual lives. They are rivals rather than pals, all looking to go up, and the primary function of the teams is player development more than winning. As Feinstein’s focus is on a cross section of the league, including the Durham Bulls and the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, rather than on a particular team, the book lacks the drama of, say, a pennant race. Like the players, Feinstein’s account has its ups and downs, but it is sure to interest true fans of the game. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Feinstein gets a level of marketing support and media attention unknown to most authors of sports books; his latest will be no exception. --Mark Levine
About the Author
John Feinstein is a columnist for The Washington Post, Golf World and Golf Digest. He also hosts a daily radio show on the CBS Sports Radio Network, is a contributor to the Golf Channel, and is an essayist for CBS Sports Television.