Book Give-a-way!

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“Bissinger, whose “Friday Night Lights” celebrated high-school football in Texas, here explores baseball through the eyes of the St. Louis Cardinals’ current manager, Tony La Russa. A three-game series against the Chicago Cubs in 2003 frames the narrative, and provides an opportunity to explore the quirks of the contemporary game; clubhouses offer four flavors of sunflower seeds, for instance, while a Cardinals’ relief pitcher performs his pregame rituals in the nude. La Russa comes across as a passionate, conflicted man. He’s an animal-rights activist who drives an Escalade, and an information omnivore prone to misusing baseball statistics; and, while he’s the sixth-winningest manager in history, he still gets so upset about losing that he has been known to stomp off the team bus and walk in solitude back to his hotel after a defeat. Granted complete access to La Russa and the team, Bissinger has studied closely, but he betrays a weakness for platitude and for odd turns of phrase, as when he ascribes to one hitter “the slightest oregano of arrogance.”
Copyright © 2005 The New Yorker”

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