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Phillies Confidential: The Untold Inside Story of the 2008 Championship Season Hardcover – November 1, 2008

2.8 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"These guys have a tremendous amount of respect for each other, and that comes from Charlie Manuel. They never put the blame on anybody else.... When Charlie makes a move, they pat the other guy on the back and say, `Go get 'em.' That comes down from Charlie. That's the effect he has."

--Gary Matthews, on the chemistry within the Phillies clubhouse

About the Author

Gary Matthews is a former professional baseball player who spent 16 seasons in the majors with the San Francisco Giants, Atlanta Braves, Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago Cubs, and Seattle Mariners. He was the NL Rookie of the Year in 1973 and MVP of the 1983 NL Championship Series. He is currently a television analyst for the Philadelphia Phillies. He lives in Chicago. Scott Lauber is the Phillies' beat writer for the Wilmington News Journal. His work has appeared in Sports Illustrated, and he won an Associated Press Sports Editors Award in 2005.
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Product Details

  • Series: Confidential
  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Triumph Books (November 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1600782027
  • ISBN-13: 978-1600782022
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.8 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,837,088 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Christian G. Heinrich on April 29, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Inside story? You got to be kidding me. I thought I would be getting an inside view of the team, learn more about what the players were going through, etc., and this book is nothing like it purports to be. I am a lifelong Phils fan (from Scranton) and follow them religously. I was even at Games 3, 4, and 5 of the NLCS (as I now live in So Cal) and I even make an appearance on the Perfect Season DVD's shots of the celebrating crowd after Game 5. I devour everything written about the Phils and have all the DVDs. I re-watched all the Phils games on the DVD set. I still have post game celebration on my DVR. Why am I telling you all this? Because I am bored out of my mind reading this book. It's just Gary's ramblings that took 5 minutes to do a few nights over the course of the season. There's no analysis, no inside look. A lot of it is just his reflecting on his time with the Cubs years ago. I've really lost interest. I can barely force my way to get through it even though I am a diehard. That should tell you to not waste your time.
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Format: Hardcover
Gary Matthews must be one of the nicest, most personable men in baseball. I mean, he'd have to be for writing of this caliber to actually be published.

I was very excited when I heard about this book, and to be honest it is laid out very well. The story is told by month, and it alternates between a well-written newspaper-style summary of a particular game or story and a not-so-well-written Gary Matthews' first-person take on that particular story. What ruins it is Gary Matthews himself. I am convinced that all Matthews did for his piece was speak into a tape recorder after a selection of games or evenings and then transcribe his thoughts word for word into the book. It was obviously done as the season progressed and not retrospectively, and it is purely his opinions with very little about his conversations with players, experiences, or behind-the-scenes trivia. I'm also convinced that the process of editing was forgone in favor of getting the book to press, as no editor in his right mind would have let this go without at least correcting some grammar and repetition. Often times, Matthews doesn't even provide a coherent opinion.

Case in point -- Gary Matthews talking about Jimmy Rollins' early season injury: "I'm sure it's tough on him. I'm sure he wants to play. But no, I haven't really talked to him about it--having gone through injuries myself, you're either in the party or you're not, you're either playing or you're not. Period. You can do all of the talking in the world, but you're either out there or you're not. Sure, guys sympathize with you when you're hurt, but the sympathy really comes from wins and losses. It's a hard fact, but that's just how it goes." What in blazes is the point of this paragraph? What insight is revealed?
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By PJC on January 6, 2009
Format: Hardcover
It's a fun read for Phillies fans looking to relive the championship season, but Gary Matthews' "writing" is clearly just transcribed talking. Matthews repeats himself frequently and occasionally contradicts himself, but more annoying is the focus he puts on his own playing days and stories about the Cubs that are barely relevant.

Thankfully, the portions written by Gary Matthews alternate with better-written portions by journalist Scott Lauber. (For some reason, Lauber's passages are typeset in a condensed sans serif font that is difficult to read. Matthews' passages, while barely coherent, are at least set in a traditional serif font.)

It's written as a diary, which lets fans experience the highs and lows of the season as they happen, rather than from the perspective of knowing that they've won it all. If you can get past (or just skim) Matthews' sections, it's a lot of fun.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is a nicely written book that is a bit of two books really. The first story would be one from the Phillies beat writer, Scott Lauber, from The News Journal in Wilmington, Delaware. This is a well written excerpt from the press point of view. The other prospective is by Gary Matthews. He's a former Phillies ballplayer, and a fan favorite over the years and now has several years as broadcaster for the Phillies. His story is told along with Scott's and it brings you inside the season when the Phillies were trying to put all of the pieces together to win it all in 2008.

I interviewed Scott on this book for an internet show I do called, 'Phillies Talk' which you can find at [...] on the net. You can also go here and replay the show from December 2008 when Scott tells us all about this project and how it was written. I really like this book, it's one of my favorite Phillies books ever because it is a true account of what happened the year the Phillies won it all, and what it took to get them the World Series championship.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love the Phillies and will always cherish the 2008 World Series Championship, however, this book added nothing to the experience or memory. There is nothing in the book I haven't heard or read many times over through basic outlets like newspapers. The book contained nothing that was confidential and clearly nothing that was close to untold.

Nice keepsake. Looks good on the bookshelf but really lacked in content.
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