Top critical review
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A lot of fluff, yet you have to read it
on April 11, 2011
A hard one! There certainly are not a lot books out on the Rays, and any intelligent baseball book is well worth a read. However, as well-intentioned as this work is, and the fact that if you are a baseball fan you are bound to read it, I cannot give it a great review. Here are a few points:
First, there really is NOT much there. It seems like it would have been a better magazine article. There is heavy repetition that is not really needed.
There are no interesting secrets, no revelations, not even a real idea of how the team works.
Tropicana Field is heavily featured; the general discussion of stadium building is interesting but how many times can the author complain about the Trop? Really, I think a reader would "get it" early in the book.
The history of the team is interesting - perhaps a history of the Rays would be a better work.
Inevitably, this will be compared to Moneyball. Face it, the author's premise/thesis is designed to appeal to fans of that work. However, this work is nowhere nearly as involved, or as interesting as Moneyball.
You do not get a lot of player info; more of this would bring the story to life. Yes, there are some anecdotes, particularly re: Garza and Longoria but not enough to really get an idea of the management mindset.
Overall, I do not regret buying this, and do not want to dissuade you, but it could have really been something great. I feel that a great book could be written about this team, but this is not it. In the meantime, this will have to do.