- Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: HarperPB; Reprint edition (March 15, 1991)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0060973722
- ISBN-13: 978-0060973728
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 141 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #740,863 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Men at Work Paperback – March 15, 1991
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In Men at Work, political pundit George Will breaks baseball down, parsing it into essential tasks: hitting, fielding, pitching, and managing. Why do some succeed grandly while others are more apt to whiff? By analyzing the way Tony Gwynn, Cal Ripken, Orel Hershiser, and Tony LaRussa approach the game and do what they do, he finds striking similarities in intelligence, dedication, drive, and desire.
From Publishers Weekly
In this book for the hard-core baseball fan, Will persuades such notables as Tony La Russa, Orel Hershiser and Tony Gwynn to offer details on the finer points of the game. "The author tends to retell well-known baseball history a little too often," said PW. "But as a sports journalist, he shows himself to be a master at enticing players into particularly enlightening discussions."
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Admirably, I found Will's train of thought easy to follow throughout, which I cannot routinely say about his regular columns.
I found Will's book, "A Nice Little Place on the North Side" much more enjoyable. That book focuses on Wrigley Field and the Chicago Cubs.
"Men at Work" appears on more than one top 20 or 25 baseball books lists. If you prefer intense immersion in baseball techniques, history, and statistics to reading a good nonfiction baseball book, then "Men at Work" will find a place on your top 25 list as well. I've probably read 20-25 nonfiction baseball books, and it would fall into the bottom 20% for me. Still, I'm glad I read it, because I learned so much.
Had I already finished reading the book I might well have given it 5 stars. (And it came as advertised--a fine clean copy, well-wrapped and on time!)
Will looks at the day to day preparation of each of these athletes, and how they approach their sport 162 days a year.
He has chosen fine models for his investigation. Gwynn had a cerebral and focussed hitting approach that was so thoughtful, and so advanced, that he could have come from several decades in the future. Ripken set a standard for high level consistency that may never be challenged. And Hershiser, like Ron Guidry before him, may never be a Hall of Famer, but soared to heights for a few a seasons that few have ascended.
Tony LaRussa, as of this writing is still an active manager, and is still in the elite of baseball dugout management.
This is a highbrow look at professional baseball, and is a precursor to Michael Lewis' excellent book, "Moneyball."
Will has a passion for baseball, and I am glad he shared this book. It is a highly worthwhile read.