BULLPEN DIARIES: Mariano Rivera, Bronx Dreams, Pinstripe Legends and the Future of the New York Yankees, coming from Harper Collins Publishers on April 26, 2011.
Growing up in the Bronx, I’m a Yankee fan born and bred, measuring my life in the games he attended each season. My love of baseball has prevailed, and in BULLPEN DIARIES, I give baseball fans an inside look at baseball’s most scrutinized group of players – relief pitchers – as well as life in the most intriguing bullpen of all, that of the New York Yankees. With the all-time greatest closer Mariano Rivera as the focal point, I use the 2010 season to highlight strategies and mistakes, relievers on the rise or on the way out, and the teams the Yanks faced – especially showdowns with the Red Sox and Rays - to illustrate the drama and difficulty of being a reliever.
BULLPEN DIARIES is full of anecdotes and stats, along with my new grading system for relievers. Mixing in interviews with players and coaches – and exclusive insights from scouts around the league – I try to bring to life what it’s like to stand alone on a raised mound of clay inside Yankee Stadium.
The book also has some wonderful lesser-known baseball stories: the first measured fastball, “secret” baseball mud, the very few all-Jewish pitcher-catcher duos, and more.
As the subtitle suggests, here are the travails of Mariano and the present-day Yankees, the author’s youthful Stadium adventures, remembrances of Yogi and Joe, and a look at the potential stars of the future now in AA and AAA. Lastly, I reveal my predictions for 2011 and beyond for baseball’s most storied franchise.
From the book:
“In writing this book, I have conducted hundreds of hours of in-person and phone interviews with people throughout the major league baseball community. Every quote or anecdote you read in these pages comes to me first-hand or from verifiable sources. All of the opposing team scouts spoke to me on the condition of anonymity.
I charted every Yankee reliever’s pitch of every game, but for the sake of my sanity—and yours—I recount in detail only the most important or eventful games in the 2010 season, especially those against the Yankees’ most intriguing foes: the Red Sox, Rays, Rangers, Mets, and Dodgers, as well as the games which were turning points in the season—or in a reliever’s career.
I will also provide several historical perspectives: the evolution of the relief pitcher in baseball, stories about eccentric relievers on other teams, some myths about pitch count, a little Yankee trivia, and true stories about Yankee pitching greats over the years (including a wonderful conversation about knuckleballers between Yogi and Joltin’ Joe.)
Lastly, I have resurrected several personal memories, hopefully for your nostalgic enjoyment, concerning my boyhood proximity to Yankee Stadium.”