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Dealing: The Cleveland Indians' New Ballgame: How a Small-Market Team Reinvented Itself as a Major League Contender Paperback – April 14, 2008

4.6 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Fair, honest and insightful throughout . . . The book is a compelling look at the Indians’ organizational thought process in what has become a challenging baseball market. (Anthony Castrovince MLB.com 2006-06-27)

There’s enough new stuff in “Dealing” that even diehard fans will learn something. The days of the sellout streak are over, and it’s often painful to read why . . . Rebuilding a baseball team is no easy task, and the Indians and Shapiro did it quicker than most. This is the story of how, and it’s a pretty good one. (Jason A. Kline News-Journal 2006-06-04)

Pluto’s surprisingly frank interviews with Shapiro, former manager Mike Hargrove, Indians president Paul Dolan and current manager Eric Wedge provide a fascinating glimpse into the gritty business of running a competitive big league club. (Jim Vickers Cleveland Magazine 2006-05-01)

For Tribe fans and serious baseball fans who are intrigued by the business side of the game, the book is a joy. Indians’ officials reveal their reasons for all the significant trades, free-agent signings and other baseball decisions of the past five years. (Jerry Roche Smart Business Network 2006-08-01)

It goes to a few places where “Moneyball” and Bob Costas have gone, but really, it’s almost the bookend for “Weaver on Strategy.” With Weaver, [Pluto] covered the on-the-field stuff, and here it’s behind-the-scenes. It teaches responsibility in a game where I don’t even want to think about the absurdity of the salaries. (Mark Zimmerman WCRF FM Radio 2006-05-30)

About the Author

Terry Pluto is a sports columnist for The Plain Dealer. He has twice been honored by the Associated Press Sports Editors as the nation’s top sports columnist for medium-sized newspapers. He is a nine-time winner of the Ohio Sports Writer of the Year award and has received more than 50 state and local writing awards. In 2005 he was inducted into the Cleveland Journalism Hall of Fame. He is the author of 23 books, including The Curse of Rocky Colavito (selected by the New York Times as one of the five notable sports books of 1989), and Loose Balls, which was ranked number 13 on Sports Illustrated’s list of the top 100 sports books of all time. He was called “Perhaps the best American writer of sports books,” by the Chicago Tribune in 1997.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 222 pages
  • Publisher: Gray & Company, Publishers; 1 edition (April 14, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1598510495
  • ISBN-13: 978-1598510492
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,283,125 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Terry Pluto is as close to a homegrown sports reporter as a region can have. Living in the Cleveland (OH) area, Pluto has aced major sports writing posts for The Plain Dealer and Akron Beacon Journal, along with writing numerous books on sports and other issues.

While he has returned to his roots as it were for recent books on the financial sheets of the new Cleveland Browns and Cleveland Indians, Pluto may be best known for an outstanding oral history on the ABA, Loose Balls.

When you mention the Dolan family to sports fans in NE Ohio, you may be greeted with words that drove Howard Stern to satellite radio. In the late 1990s the Dolan family purchased the then thriving Cleveland Indians from Richard Jacobs, and have been considered cheap, incompetent and having little clue in long-term planning to bring the club back into a contender's slot for the World Series.

Pluto does an excellent job in describing how that myth does not equal the reality of new franchise owners who admittedly got in over their heads in trying to be like cash-cow franchise like the Red Sox and Yankees & have poised the team to make solid division runs in 2006 and beyond with a nucleus of players who will be with the franchise for several years.

As I write this review, though, the Tribe is mired behind the Tigers and White Sox in the AL Central & has been victim to some disturbingly erratic play. With the Cavs recent playoff run and the Browns ready to start soon, the interest level in baseball remains tepid at best. These issues may lead to a new dynamic in the club blueprint outlined in the book.
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Format: Hardcover
This new century's baseball team has different players than those in the good old days:
Moneyball
Fantasy
Reality
Business
Agents
Cable
Free Agency
Arbitration
Revenue Sharing
and of course, that good ol' reliable utility player

Hindsight

You can shuffle your lineup any way you want to, but at the end of the day, the deck is still stacked against the owner(s). Cleveland fans feel so deprived as none of their professional sports teams have won a championship for so many years, most people can't remember the last time it happened! And they're not the only ones.

In the last few years, the rules have changed--drastically. It's hardly fair to blame the new owners (the Dolan family) for not being the previous one--Dick Jacobs. After all, Jacobs did just what he'd done all his lifetime--bought low, sold high. Sold extra-high, actually. That doesn't mean that Jacobs should be blamed for having bought the baseball team in the first place--or selling it twelve years later. Had he not bought it when he did in 1987, the Cleveland Indians might well be some other city's team. Even so, it took the Jacobs family several years to get to the high-flying mid-90s, when the playoffs were the standard by which all other accomplishments were measured. Back then, the Browns were a bunch of nobodies, and so were the Cavs. Things are vastly different now--at least for the Cavs.

Terry Pluto uses his extensive knowledge and the openness of the Dolan family, along with Mark Shapiro, to explain the last few years of baseball in Cleveland. Actually, Paul Dolan, president of the team, should almost qualify for co-author status, he appears so often and so openly, explaining the actions of himself and his family.
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Format: Hardcover
Terry Pluto has a wealth of inside information about the professional sports scene in the Cleveland area. In this book he shows us what goes on in the front office and what goes into some of the decisions about players. If your are even a casual follower of the Indians, or MLB in general, you will be interested in reading this book. You'll get a whole new look at why a team has some of the players it does, and why it doesn't have some of the players it or you may have wanted.

A very, interesting read.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
a great look at how mark shapiro learned on the job and, with a pittance of a budget as compared to the likes of the red sox and the yankees, has created a truly competitive team for years to come.
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Dealing is another fabulous book by Cleveland's owne Terry Pluto. His books always hit the mark and here he pulls no punches on the Dolan/Shapiro era of the history of the Cleveland Indians.
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