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Bullpen Diaries: Mariano Rivera, Bronx Dreams, Pinstripe Legends, and the Future of the New York Yankees Hardcover – April 26, 2011

2.9 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In his newest book, Rosen (More than a Game) follows the ups and down of the New York Yankees bullpen over the course of the 2010 season, focusing on game recaps in which he evaluates how each reliever performed. He gives a solid overview of the scouting system used by Major League teams to rate and scout pitchers, and interviews players and coach. Rosen's affection for the sport is infections, though by focusing specifically on what happened when the relievers were pitching makes his narrative feel incomplete. Also many of the conversations with or about the players revolve around stock answers about the pitching mechanics of arm action and foot placement so that readers get little insight into each pitcher, except for minor leaguer Jason Hirsh. His narrative is highlighted by charming personal pieces titled "Memory Lane," in which he recounts his life growing up a Yankee fan, as well as offering fun, historical facts that bring the game to life. Photos. (June)

Review

“Rosen does a wonderful job weaving in the evolution of relief pitching, the fortunes of the 2010 Yanks, and plenty of good old baseball talk in this terrific book.” (- Marty Appel, author of Munson: The Life and Death of a Yankee Captain)

“The great joy of this wonderful book comes from its layered structure, in which plays and players of long ago float in, around, over, and under every current game. A delightful and insightful book.” (- John Thorn, editor of Total Baseball, and author of Baseball in the Garden of Eden)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Harper (April 26, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062005987
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062005984
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,490,643 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By David Zampino VINE VOICE on May 12, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
. . . inside the bullpen of one of the most storied franchises in baseball history.

In "Bullpen Diaries", author Charley Rosen takes the reader through the entire 2010 season with the New York Yankee bullpen, month-by-month, relief pitcher by relief pitcher, and in some cases (literally) pitch-by-pitch. The baseball knowledge of the author is encyclopedic, as is his ability to spin a good yarn and relate an amusing anecdote. I've been a baseball junkie for decades and thorougly loved this book.

The only caveat -- and one that cost the book a 5th star -- is that there is simply too much information for anyone OTHER than a baseball junkie to absorb. The author anaylzed literally EVERY GAME of the 2010 season (not all games are analyzed in the book -- but dozens are). For the casual reader, this is overkill.

In other words, the reader needs to know what he (or she) is getting into before picking up this book. If you're looking merely for the casual anecdote about relief pitching -- go elsewhere. But if you REALLY want the inside scoop, you're going to love this book.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
If you absolutely love baseball, you may love this book. If you don't love baseball you may not care for this book at all (but then why did you buy it?). The book does a good job of taking you behind the scenes of a day-to-day operations for a baseball team. Specifically how the bullpen works.
If you are a sabermetrics believer than this book will have more appeal for you. I think that we can get lost in the numbers and sometimes lose the beauty of the game. To be fair, this book did not lose the beauty, sometimes it just muddied it up a bit. It is a day by day account of the Yankees 2010 season mostly from the pitchers point of view. As a Yankees fan, I enjoyed that aspect of the book.
I enjoyed the almost conspiratorial way Rosen shares how pitchers are graded and different people's take outside the Yankee organization on pitchers like Joba Chamberlain. At some level though this book just reminded me of a research book though. It has its place but the appeal is going to be limited.
There is a lot to enjoy in this book and there is a bit to dislike. It is an OK to good book. It does a good job of jogging down memory lane to yesteryear and coming back to the moment.
Above all else baseball is a game of counting and remembering. This book does both. Perhaps the biggest drawback to me was the predictions for the 2011 season, almost all of which have proven to be incorrect. Having read an uncorrected proof I am hoping they were all removed before the actual book came out. Buy this book if you love baseball, if you like the Yankees or like sabermetrics. If you are just a so/so fan or a casual fan this book probably is not for you.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is fun!! Great anecdotes about Yankee greats, from Yogi to Don Larsen, cool inside baseball scoop on player grading systems and scouting reports, exclusive interviews with current players, and a bittersweet visit to the Yankee bullpen. The author knows his stuff, and while, yes, this book is primarily for Yankee fans, there's Yankee strategy here that other teams should know about. Among the book highlights: tales of the author's Bronx childhood, his talk with Yogi about knuckeballs, and a very, very interesting AAA game in Scranton. Can you say secret baseball mud?
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Format: Hardcover
This book will only be of interest to the most hard core dedicated baseball fan. If you are not into baseball, especially the statistical side of baseball, you should skip the book. Rosen, an ex-basketball player and coach known primarily for his co-written biography of Phil Jackson and his (former) basketball writing for Fox Sports web site, has written a detailed analysis of the New York Yankees bullpen in the 2010 season. I say detailed because the relievers are given grades for every one of the games played in the 2010 season. Rosen discusses the grading system that baseball scouts use for grading pitchers, which takes into account things such as velocity, movement, control, etc. He then supplements this with a subjective, A through F grade for each pitcher's performance in a given game. This detailed, game by game analysis makes up the bulk of the book. Rosen also provides other insights based on his interviews with unnamed scouts and pitching coaches, encounters with baseball legends, along with well written memories of his own youthful struggles playing baseball.

One of the minor lapses for the hard core fan is that the game descriptions occasionally need a tighter edit. Sometimes the number of innings he lists the bullpen pitching or the number of outs recorded don't add up. Though he states his editor is a baseball fan, it appears he didn't catch these mistakes or that the book was actually edited by a typical editor with little knowledge of baseball. These mistakes reduce a four star rating to three stars.
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By e_j_buster on September 22, 2013
Format: Hardcover
The title of this book is misleading. "Bullpen Diaries" is not a diary at all. In a true diary, each chapter starts with the words, "Dear Diary". But in this book, the words, "Dear Diary" never appear.

In fairness, it's a pretty good read if you like baseball stats (which I do), so it does merit a solid two star rating. Just don't expect a diary.

If you are looking for a 5 star book about baseball, I recommend Ball Four by Jim Bouton or maybe The Bronx Zoo by Sparky Lyle. Both of those books are more like real diaries than "Bullpen Diaries" (though neither is a true diary because the chapters don't start with, "Dear Diary,").
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