This book is about baseball, but don’t expect a romance about the boys of summer or the field of dreams.Baseball, it turns out, is a business and a rather cut-throat one at that. The front office, where every trick imaginable is dreamed up to bring a team to the World Series, is not motivated by the love of the sport.In some cases the powers in the office don’t know anything about the sport.
Evan, along with Ken Rosenthal, broke the story about cheating going on at the Houston Astros. This story acquainted the public of the shenanigans designed to skew the results of the game.First the team deciphered the signals catchers on opposing teams used to communicate with pitchers, and then they alerted batters by banging on garbage cans.Apparently, knowing what sort of pitch was coming his way was a big advantage for the guy at the plate.
This book shows that this form of cheating is the tip of the iceberg, and the Astros were not alone at all in bending and breaking rules.Technology has tempted general managers and players to devise new, dishonest ways of outwitting rivals.The anti-hero of this book is Jeff Luhnow, a man of dubious ethics and Astros’ General Manager at the time of the scandal.But the book is packed with characters who put money above the game and winning above everything. If you wonder how principles erode in a culture like baseball, you will gain insight here.
The most astounding thing about this book to me is how Evan gets so many players on the field and players behind the scenes to confide in him.This book is thoroughly researched mainly because people tell Evan things.
On a personal note– I gave the last book I read by Evan to my brother.He was a huge sports fan. That book was about the Red Socks, and at that time my brother was going through chemo.He said that the book was perfect.It occupied his mind as nothing else could. The last time I spoke with him just a day or two before he died, I told him about this book.I said that Evan had broken the story about the Astros cheating with the code.“No kidding!” he said, very impressed.Thelast words I ever heard my brother say were, “When you finish that book, send it to me.”