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You're Missin' a Great Game Mass Market Paperback – March 1, 2000


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley; Reprint edition (March 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425174751
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425174753
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 4.1 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,593,071 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Herzog didn't earn his nickname as baseball's White Rat simply because of his hair color. Former manager of the Royals, Angels, and Cards, Herzog is one of baseball's great tacticians and blue-collar philosophers. He's tenacious and volatile; when the game's on the line, he's never held back, all of which is good news for the reader. For the fan, the color is less rosy. From Herzog's knowledgeable vantage point, baseball's integrity, despite a marvelous '98 season, is very much on the line these days, in danger of striking itself out as it loses touch with its fundamentals. Power is in, and subtlety's out. Singles hitters swing for the fences. Finesse, like bunting, is on the verge of extinction. Small-market teams can't compete. Free agency destroys loyalty. The wild-card, six divisions, and the extended playoffs undercut the pennant races. The game is in chaos.

Naturally, all of that--and more--has the Rat looking back at the good old days, gnawing over what worked; he's not afraid to show his teeth. His passionate screed raises questions, chews on problems, and spits out interesting solutions in a colloquial breeze that blows air more fresh than hot. Circling the bases of this personal-insider's journey, he examines why his baseball heroes--Casey Stengel, Ted Williams, Tom Seaver, and Ozzie Smith, for starters--are just that, and why the game needs more of them. "Baseball itself is a little nearsighted right now," he complains, "and there ain't any harm in riding it some. Maybe we can be the bench jockeys." Why not? Herzog's certainly shown a knack for bringing home winners from that position before, and the fun of Missin' is the ease with which it invites us all to join him for the ride. --Jeff Silverman --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"Herzog hits a home run...sheer fun to read." -- The Fort Worth Star-Telegram

"If, in the flood of baseball books coming out this spring, you don't read Herzog's, you're missin' a great book." -- Chicago Tribune

"The gossip alone makes the book a must." -- The Kansas City Star

Baseball Rants And Raves from "one of the greatest minds ever involved in the National Pastime." -- Chicago Daily Herald

Customer Reviews

Too bad this book isn't better for a broader audience.
Tom
This book is a wonderful rehash of baseball in the '80s, notably Cardinals baseball.
G. Maske
Professional baseball people and fans alike should read this book.
makovsky@fas.harvard.edu

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By D. Giesen on January 1, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Whitey Herzog's book absolutely savaged contemporary baseball. His roadmap for constructing the 1982 Cardinals was a path all too forgotten. Just ask whoever signs Texas Ranger Alex Rodriguez's $250.0 million paycheck.
Whitey's essential theme is that wining baseball begins with complementary chemistry, good defense and the ability to move over and ultimately drive home a run in a close game. All feed into the basic premise that a good quality pitching staff, managed well ensures pennants will fly.
Some of the stories are priceless. Trading Ted Simmons; dealing with Gary Templeton; and, understanding Joaquin Andujar are "geez, I can't put this down" stories. Don't read too fast -- the "Pete Rose moment" in this book is priceless.
The most compelling read, however, is how Whitey destroys the concept of statistics for statistical purposes. Winning baseball and certain good statistical performance from key players, notably home runs, do not always correlate -- a theme that runs through this book over and over again.
While this book should be the bible for gerenal managers and others constructing baseball teams, it gets occasionally carried away in excessive collequialisms. Whitey at times forgets substance is more important than style.
But the style excesses are far overwhelmed by the substance that Whitey offers into the business of baseball. It's a must read, especially if you're a Cub fan trying to understand why your team hasn't won a World Series in nearly a century.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By W. Wayne Marlow on January 28, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
What keeps this from being a thoroughly splendid read are the frequent errors. In a reference to football, it has Bud Grant losing three Super Bowls. The actual number is four. It claims G. Templeton is the only player to get 100 hits from each side of the plate in a season. Yet Willie Wilson (one of Herzog's prize pupils) did the same. It has Lou Brock's highest base stealing total for a year at 114, when the real number is 118. And in the craziest of them all, Herzog has St. Louis leading KC 2-1 going into the ninth inning of Game 6 in 1985. It was 1-0; 2-1 was the final score. The Denkinger call is one of the defining moments of Herzog's career and the facts are still wrong!
However, IF one can get past the false information, this is a quick, insightful read. True, Herzog inevitably comes out looking good in his dealings with owners and players. But the main focus of this book is on what's wrong with baseball.
While baseball types have been complaining about the "modern game" since the 1850s, Herzog cites specific examples as to why the game today is hurting. From agents to the gutting of the scouting system to millionaires throwing to the wrong cutoff man, Herzog tells us what's wrong with baseball and how to fix it.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By C. R. Fontana on February 25, 2000
Format: Hardcover
The title refers to what baseball players often say to umps when they get calls wrong, but has a double meaning on the way the game is changing. Whitey weighs in on:
Little ball vs. home run/ team budgets/revenue sharing: he played little ball with the Cards and went to the world series. He sees the home run chase as not very good for the game, as it puts the whole attraction on one player as opposed to the team. The cards and the cubs are uncompetitive. This has to do with the large market issue, and here I think he's got it wrong. The leagues are creating all these teams in a quest for revenue, but there are so many teams, a lot of them are in markets that can't support them. It's not the fault of the big market teams (most of whom predate the expansion era) that this overexpansion occurred, and there are markets that can't support teams. The answer is simple, slow down the expansion, let teams move, and if there needs to be fewer teams on an economic basis, so be it. But his idea of big market teams forking over 15-20 million is just comic.
Player salaries: The players make an awful lot of money, and it goes to the beginnings of free agency, and critical moves that were made early on to strengthen the players' position. Player salaries are a reflection of the overall economic condition of the game, and won't go down unless business starts turning bad which is unlikely. But he's in favor of lessening the players right to arbitration, and requiring them to stay with teams longer earlier in their career, which is a good idea.
DH/difference between NL and AL: He's cockeyed about the DH. He thinks that the NL is better because there's more strategy for the manager. Well, it's more interesting from a manager's perspective, but more boring for the fans. Hello-o!
Read more ›
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 1, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I hate to rain on everyone's "Whitey parade", but I was disappointed with the book. Maybe my expectations were too high; knowing Herzog to be a baseball "lifer", I was expecting a book filled with insights about today's game and "inside baseball". While there are some gems , they are hard to find. Too much of the book is filled wth Herzog's rants about almost every facet of the game today and anecdotes that often are not amusing nor insightful except to expose Herzog's enormous ego.His constant self aggrandizement detracts from his message. Maybe self aggrandizement is his message.
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