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The Last Nine Innings: Inside the Real Game Fans Never Seeby Charles C. Euchner
Synopses & Reviews
?The Last Nine Innings is the last word on the inside of baseball. It's full of wonderful revelations and perceptions that help us understand the game in ways that we might never have imagined. Charlie Euchner has done a marvelous job in getting players to talk, simply, about how they play, and we?re the wiser for it.?
?Charlie takes an unorthodox approach to an emotional week and succeeds at finding the heart of both the tension of the World Series and the technical foundations of the baseball profession. This is a different book, in a very good way.?
-Howard Bryant, the Washington Post, and author of Juicing the Game: Drugs, Power and the Fight for the Soul of Major League Baseball
?The lengthy description of game 7 makes for dramatic reading, and the interviews with key players from that game add a human dimension.?
?I enjoyed Charles's book. It's an interesting read, rich in thought-provoking detail and context, in the manner of Malcolm Gladwell. He deftly pulls off a difficult double play: educating the serious fan while entertaining the casual one.?
-Tom Verducci, Senior Writer for Sports Illustrated
?The Last Nine Innings is entertaining, engaging and enlightening. You?ll never watch a baseball game the same way.?
-Andrew Zimbalist, author of Baseball and Billions: A Probing Look Inside the Big Business of Our National Pastime and Robert A. Woods Professor of Economics at Smith College
?Memo to ESPN analysts, FOX color announcers and daily baseball scribes: stop telling us about who had a haircut, who didn?t have a haircut and who collects stamps. Rip out the red thread on the baseball, peel back the cowhide and talkabout all the stuff that's wound up inside the game. That's what Charles Euchner does in The Last Nine Innings and it's fascinating.?
-Leigh Montville, author of Ted Williams, Biography of an American Hero and Why Not Us?: The 86-Year Journey of the Boston Red Sox Fans from Unparalleled Suffering to the Promised Land of the 2004 World Series
The Great American Pastime has changed. For the first time in the history of the game, the three major forces that drive the evolution of modern pro baseball-The Triple Revolution-is revealed:
The Triple Revolution:
(1) Globalization of Recruiting and Business
(2) Scientific Analysis & Reduction of Physical Baseball Movements
(3) Evolution Effect of Modernized Stat-Crunching
Charles Euchner uses a dramatic moment-by-moment narrative of the seventh game of the 2001 World Series between the Yankees and the Diamondbacks to display the Triple Revolution; and to reveal the hidden dimensions of the ?game within the game?: From pitching motions to batting styles, from fielding and base-running, to training and strategy.
Euchner uses extensive interviews with all the players from this modern classic to produce a comprehensive view of the game that will fascinate casual fans, and stimulate baseball experts. The insider narrative includes Mariano Rivera, Jorge Posada, Derek Jeter, Tino Martinez, Luis Gonzalez and Curt Schilling, along with the game's coaches, managers, support staff, even medical researchers and top game stats experts.
Among the questions answered: What is the ideal pitching motion? How can we judge defensive performance? What makes managers succeed and fail? What changes the odds over the course of the game?And much more. Whether a recreational fans, or serious student of the game, The Last Nine Innings enlightens; as baseball author Andrew Zimbalist writes, ?You'll never watch a baseball game the same way.?
"Ted Williams, who made baseball look easy, once remarked that it is actually the hardest game to play. Euchner shows just how difficult and complex this 'kids' game' is, marshalling an impressive array of interviews with players, coaches, managers, umpires, former players, statisticians and broadcasters to describe the inner workings of the national pastime and the changing ways insiders and outsiders approach the game. He presents all of this via game seven of the 2001 World Series, an emotional contest played against the backdrop of 9/11 in which the Arizona Diamondbacks defeated the New York Yankees. Each play of this game provides a jumping-off point for a discussion of some aspect of 21st-century baseball: the thought processes that guide a pitcher as he decides what to throw, the split-second calculations that fielders make to track batted balls, or the thinking of the managers as the contest unfolds. Unfortunately, Euchner's approach makes the book read like a series of digressions, and the drama of the World Series game dissipates amid the author's extended ruminations and interviews (it takes three pages for the first pitch to reach the plate). Nevertheless, readers will come away from this book with a good overview of the trends driving the game today and renewed appreciation for just how tough a game baseball is." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Using as background the moment-by-moment drama of the seventh game of the 2001 World Series between the Yankees and the Diamondbacks, Euchner reveals the hidden dimensions of baseball--from pitching motions and batting styles to base running, fielding, training, and strategy.
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