After winning the American League Cy Young Award in 1977, Lyle, a left-handed reliever, was rewarded with a place on the bench as the high-spending New York Yankees acquired Goose Gossage from the Pittsburgh Pirates. Bad news for him, good luck for us, as the bullpen bench was the perfect perch from which to observe the wild 1978 season, in which the Yankees overcame a 14-game midsummer deficit and a midseason managerial change to win the pennant and their second consecutive World Series. Would Lyle have written the book if he’d had more playing time? It’s an intriguing question. The quality of the prose isn’t great, but it definitely has spark. As he recounts fights, firings, pranks, and even baseball games, offering forthright assessments of Reggie Jackson, George Steinbrenner, and Billy Martin (the last fares best), Lyle seemingly can’t help but offer his honest opinion on all of it. And the following season? Strangely enough, Lyle finally got what he wanted most of all, a trade to another team. Frankly fascinating and forthrightly funny. --Keir Graff
About the Author
Sparky Lyle is a former left-handed relief pitcher who spent 16 seasons in Major League Baseball. A three-time All-Star, he won the American League Cy Young Award in 1977. He was most famous for coauthoring The Bronx Zoo, a 1979 tell-all book that chronicled the dissension within the Yankees in its World Series Championship seasons of 1977 and 1978. Peter Golenbock is a sports journalist and author.