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They Call Me Oil Can: Baseball, Drugs, and Life on the Edge Hardcover – June 1, 2012

3.3 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A must-read for all baseball fans, never mind Red Sox fans."  —Providence Journal 


"Interesting, amusing, puzzling and at times unsettling... [a] blunt, honest and sometimes painful work."  —The Tampa Tribune 

About the Author

Dennis Boyd played for the Boston Red Sox, Montreal Expos, and Texas Rangers during his 10-year Major League Baseball career. He lives in East Providence, Rhode Island. Mike Shalin covered the Red Sox during his 22-year career with the Boston Herald and is the author of Donnie Baseball: The Definitive Biography of Don Mattingly. He lives in South Easton, Massachusetts.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Triumph Books; First Edition edition (June 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1600786820
  • ISBN-13: 978-1600786822
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.9 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,095,661 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love baseball, so when I saw this book for sale I bought it. I did not finish it. Honestly, I couldn't stomach it. I've never not finished a book before...this is a first for me.

"Oil Can" spent every chapter I read (I completed five) not really talking about baseball, rather, blaming others for everything bad that occurred in his life. I was looking to be inspired by someone who overcame racism. I wanted to read about someone who overcame adversity and personal challenges. I wanted to know how he thought about the game. What he thought about his opponents. How he approached pitching. Maybe even hear from a man who's been humbled by his own mistakes, by life, to teach others not to do the same.

Instead, I read mostly about how he smoked pot and admittedly used cocaine, yet blamed "whitey" for his short career in the game when in the end it was his fault. He quit the game. The game didn't quit him. He had so many God-given talents, yet wasted them on drugs. He's bitter, and the book is a total reflection of bitterness. If you are looking for a book that is a great example of someone blaming another for their bad decisions in life, this is it.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
OK, so I haven't read the whole book yet but I am probably "two-thirds" of the way through. Whenever trying to approximate a number, Oil Can says "two-thirds"..every time. This little nuance alone makes me believe that his facts are off, just because how can every single situation with numbers in his life involve "two-thirds". All joking aside, I really am about two thirds of the way through the book and I have some very strong opinions so far.
Oil Can talks about race, a lot. He grew up in the South and was called names and discriminated against, so I have to keep that in mind. I grew up in the middle class mixed suburbs and I am hardly familiar with the ghetto, so I try to keep that in perspective while evaluating what this man has written. It doesn't take away from the fact that this man blames every single failure in his life on the fact that he was discriminated against because he is black. He readily admits that he has a terrible temper and was quick to lash out at people but the second he starts to feel any of the repercussions of his actions, he blames it on the fact that he is black, not that he was a loose cannon or the fact that is a total drug addict.
Here is my other problem. He seems completely outraged by the "fried chicken and beer" incident with the Red Sox during their collapse in 2011 (which was one of the greatest things I have ever witnessed). He goes on to blast those involved for drinking during the game and seems like he is SOOO offended by this. However, just a couple chapters earlier he is bragging about how he never once pitched without smoking weed. He even says that he would go to his car during games to get high between innings in games that he was pitching. Give me a break.
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Format: Hardcover
This book was hard to read. Oil Can was one of my favorite players until I read this book. I just feel that someone who has a lot of talent and has been given a lot of opportunities should spend less time blaming people for how his life turned out and more time enjoying the success he had. I like it when people are accountable for their own actions, if you feel the same you will not like this book.
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By Eric Kirk on December 3, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I really did not care for the writing style of this book and it did not have a good flow. The content is excellent but the delivery is poor.
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