Book on Professional Baseball Player: A day in the life...?

I'm looking for a book that describes a day's, months, years activity of a major leaguer. I see a book called, "Inside Pitch" and will be getting that from the library, but after going thru 10 Google pages, I've not really found anything else. (if that book actually has what I'm looking for). I see of course lot's of bio's and autobio's, but from some perusal mostly old or fail to describe day to day life.

What I'm curious about is when they usually get up, where they eat (if they can go their seperate ways or stay together as a team (something maybe to do with home or away game?); have a roomate; when they get paid (once a month, twice, yearly etc.); meetings; Clubhouse ambiance (goings and doings); what they have to do for themselves versus what the organizatioin must provide. Perhaps this is all wrapped up to some degree in their player's association by-laws. But hard (at least for me) to dig out any of the 'nut's and bolt's' of it all. This can also (but secondary) be about AAA players too (this would be most interesting for I perceive there is a big(!) seperation of 'comfort level' between the two.

Thanks.

Have you watched Bull Durham? Go watch Bull Durham.

Nah, seriously though. Playing baseball is their job, so they have a set time that they're supposed to arrive at the stadium, usually 2 or 3 hours before start time. Some guys show up earlier to work on things solo or with coaches. Some guys show up late and get fined. Where they eat and whom they eat with is entirely up to them. Just like a group of office workers, some guys are going to be pals with others, some aren't. A lot of the younger players room with a teammate, particularly if they're not entrenched in the big leagues yet (no sense buying a house if you're 25% or more likely to be traded or shuttled between say Chicago and Charlotte, NC).

Equipment companies usually provide stuff in exchange for testimonials. Star players are given stuff by their sponsors to use. If a player needs, teams usually have gear to use, but it's a lot like using the rental bowling shoes. Pros generally don't do it. Clubhouses are social environments and hence, the goings-on are determined by the official and unofficial leadership. Managers have rules for their guys to follow. If they don't want loud music, it's out. If they don't care and the veterans or team leaders don't want it, it generally stops happening. It all depends on the team and the players involved. Obviously a clubhouse with a lot of huge stars is going to have a different atmosphere than a group of young, unproven guys. I'm not sure about payment, but I want to say they're paid monthly. A recent interview Tim Kurkjian did with Heath Bell led me to this conclusion.

Also, go watch Bull Durham. Even if you have before.

(And I'm afraid I have no help for ya about the books.)

O.k. Thanks Blind'. I've seen Bull many times and the last one not too long ago. It gives a feel for it to some degree. There was a great multiple episode TV 'special' I ran across last year too that I mentioned here:

'...
"The Show"

I was channel surfing and ran across this series. Narrated by Joe Mantegna(sp? from 'Searching for Bobby Fischer' fame among others), it tells the story of 5 real minor leaguers with interviews, on-field clips of minor and major league play etc. It is quite an enjoyable show. It's about 2 years old and has Carlos Quentin, Chris Young (both now doing quite well), Brian Barden, Nippert, and Murphy (sorry, out of town using someones laptop and connection and hard to bounce around for information, so can't find full names). The script is well written in my opinion with real insight of not only how tough it is to make it to 'The Show', but what it takes for skill, mindset and fortitude. Not sure how many episodes, but I've seen about 6 seperate ones so far. Just wanted to do a 'heads up'. Or if anyone has been watching this show what their opinion of it is. I found it on a HiDef station, MOJO.
...'

This was pretty cool in the struggles of a minor league player (and now look at what Quentin is doing!). I think it was made around 2004, but not sure.

Quite an old book, but what about Jim Bouton's "Ball Four" ? That has a lot of that stuff in.

I'll have to check that out. I'm a White Sox fan and needless to say anything Carlos Quentin related (and Chris Young, for that matter, he came up with the Sox and went to AZ in the Javy Vazquez trade) should be really interesting.

Blind_Evil wrote:

I'll have to check that out. I'm a White Sox fan and needless to say anything Carlos Quentin related (and Chris Young, for that matter, he came up with the Sox and went to AZ in the Javy Vazquez trade) should be really interesting.

Sorry, I didn't make it clear, but I found this last year. I've not spotted it this year, for MOJO seems to syndicate out to several HD channels. Here's some clue I've not followed completly:

http://baseball.about.com/od/basebal...

Gives a link to the site and such. But again, from last year I believe. (and the name, 'The Show', really makes it hard to search.

And dave', thanks for the 'Ball Four'. You jogged my memory and I'll take a look back at it again. It is a classic, but if I remember right, not the nut's and bolt's.

I can't help you with the book search, but 'The Show' sounds like a good find, Donan. We'll have to give it a watch.
I've been really pleased with Brian Barden so far this year, so I'd be interested to see how he was doing last year in the farm system.

I've looked around and evidently MOJO's plug was pulled Dec.1, 2008. I've searched around for the program and come up empty. But here is another review with some links and interviews about, 'The Show' that could be useful...or not.

http://tinyurl.com/c9ecjp

I'm not sure if this fits what you are looking for exactly, but Three Nights in August may be up your alley. It details everything Tony La Russa goes through in a three game series with the arch rival Cubs. It's pretty darn good. It was written by Buzz Bissinger, the author of Friday Night Lights.

http://www.amazon.com/Three-Nights-A...

Jayhawker wrote:

I'm not sure if this fits what you are looking for exactly, but Three Nights in August may be up your alley. It details everything Tony La Russa goes through in a three game series with the arch rival Cubs. It's pretty darn good. It was written by Buzz Bissinger, the author of Friday Night Lights.

http://www.amazon.com/Three-Nights-A...

Man, how did I forget that one!? I bought this for Dad a couple years back, but haven't got the chance to read it.

I second Moneyball. I was going to make that suggestion but felt it wasn't quite the 'daily nuts-n-bolts' in a player's day that you are looking for.
But like Jayhawker said, it's a fascinating read and was one of the few books I finished reading last year.

Now I'm gonna check if my library has that 'Three Nights in August' book.

Thanks Jay' and everyone. I will be looking for those in my local Library. Sound good!
I was reading, Mark Harris, 'The Southpaw'. Interesting read. I wish, oh gads, I forgot his name now, but this writer who would join professional teams and then write about his experiences. He wrote a great one on hockey.

Just for those interested, the book that really went into all aspects of the baseball players life and those around him was in George Gmelch's, 'Inside Pitch: Life of the Professional Baseball Player'. He was a former AA player of 30 years ago and now a University anthropologist, his book is readable and interesting. A bit of his scholastic training can creep in at times that makes parts dry, but on the whole, a good read.

Next, 'Three Night's in August' and 'Moneyball'.

I don't know if its interesting for you or not, but Ed Smith (a batsman who has since retired from county cricket) wrote a book called Playing Hard Ball about the years he spent in spring training with the Mets down in Florida. He spends alot of time comparing and contrasting baseball and cricket, but he does touch on how baseball works as a professional sport.

I enjoyed it, but it might be too esoteric for your purposes! Thought of it the other day, but wasn't sure if you were still looking.

Haakon7 wrote:

I don't know if its interesting for you or not, but Ed Smith (a batsman who has since retired from county cricket) wrote a book called Playing Hard Ball about the years he spent in spring training with the Mets down in Florida. He spends alot of time comparing and contrasting baseball and cricket, but he does touch on how baseball works as a professional sport.

I enjoyed it, but it might be too esoteric for your purposes! Thought of it the other day, but wasn't sure if you were still looking.

Thanks for the tip. I'll look for it and check it out.

There is a movie called Sugar that came out recently. It trails a fictional Dominican ball player. There is a PBS documentary in the same Vein. It tracks the player from playing in the minor league park, to the US.

KingGorilla wrote:

There is a movie called Sugar that came out recently. It trails a fictional Dominican ball player. There is a PBS documentary in the same Vein. It tracks the player from playing in the minor league park, to the US.

Oh, cool. Thanks for the information. I really wish the folks that put out, 'The Show' (another thread her) would put those, what, 8 episodes, out on DVD. Probably not worth it, but some sort of downloadable media then. I really enjoyed that series. And now with Carlos Quentin doing so well, it's interesting to see his ups and downs in the minors.

Jayhawker wrote:

I'm not sure if this fits what you are looking for exactly, but Three Nights in August may be up your alley. It details everything Tony La Russa goes through in a three game series with the arch rival Cubs. It's pretty darn good. It was written by Buzz Bissinger, the author of Friday Night Lights.

http://www.amazon.com/Three-Nights-A...

Thanks to Haakon' for backing this book up. I just have a few pages left and it's just a great, great book. Lot's of 'what's going on in baseball now and then' besides all the decision making etc.etc. a manager makes during a game. Just a great book.

Thanks Jay'!

Great, Donan. Glad you enjoyed it.
But of course you would, considering its about the best franchise in baseball.

Not sure if you guys are still on the baseball reading kick, but I just found this book Odd Man Out by Matt McCarthy, an Yale-educated southpaw who pitched rookie ball in the Angels' farm system for only one summer.

I found the book in my local library and I'm only halfway into the first chapter, but it seems to be exactly what Donan was looking for.

Haakon7 wrote:
Jayhawker wrote:

I'm not sure if this fits what you are looking for exactly, but Three Nights in August may be up your alley. It details everything Tony La Russa goes through in a three game series with the arch rival Cubs. It's pretty darn good. It was written by Buzz Bissinger, the author of Friday Night Lights.

http://www.amazon.com/Three-Nights-A...

Man, how did I forget that one!? I bought this for Dad a couple years back, but haven't got the chance to read it.

Another not so obvious one could even be Moneyball. I know it gets slammed because its premise is wrapped up in how Billy Beane uses Sabermetrics to run the Oakland A's, but the book is just chock full of stories that explain how Billy Beane came to be this way. The story of his time in the minor leagues while Lenny Dykstra was his roommate had some great stuff. The meetings he held with scouts before a big draft was pretty hilarious. Not to mention the really cool story about a trade he was trying to pull off, and what all he had to do to convince the Mets GM to pull the trigger.

Even if you put the Moneyball elements off to the side, it really is a fascinating look into the behind the scenes of a front office, even if it is not your normal front office. Also, I think if you read the book, you might understand that this whole notion of Moneyball is much less strict about what constitutes a quality player than what people ascribe to it. But the book is really well written and fascinating. Michael Lewis really tells a good story.

Novocain wrote:

Not sure if you guys are still on the baseball reading kick, but I just found this book Odd Man Out by Matt McCarthy, an Yale-educated southpaw who pitched rookie ball in the Angels' farm system for only one summer.

I found the book in my local library and I'm only halfway into the first chapter, but it seems to be exactly what Donan was looking for.

Unfortunately it's been criticized for being factually inaccurate. Sounds like McCarthy made some stuff up.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Odd_Man_Out:_A_Year_on_the_Mound_with_a_Minor_League_Misfit#Controversy

Great thread.

Tony Gwynn has written a book or two about his approach to hitting that I found to be invaluable. I was probably 10 when my dad bought me the first one but I continued to reread it even when I played in college and afterward. Whenever I hit a slump, I'd spend a night reading through it and be a different player in the next game. All kinds of slump buster goodness in there :). I'm not sure if his other books actually talked about his daily routine outside of baseball practice.

Lost Son of Havana (about Red Sox pitcher Luis Tiant) is supposed to be really good. My brother saw it at the Tribeca film festival and liked it. Tiant was in the booth during an espn telecast about 2 weeks ago, if anyone saw the interview. Apparently his father pitched in the negro leagues and struck out Babe Ruth during an exhibition game. Fun interview.