clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

PA Book Club: Living On the Black (Part 1)

I'm well along in Living on the Black, our last book club read for the offseason, and I have a few thoughts.

For the moment, let's focus on the first 8 chapters, which takes us to the opening of Spring Training.

1) I believe I read this book.  I was working at a book store in Scranton when it came out, and I'm sure I've at least read the beginning.

2) I must have been unimpressed.  I'm certainly unimpressed by the first 100+ pages of the book.  In a way, I'm not sure it's author John Feinstein's fault; the book is clearly written to give the casual sports fan a deeper understanding of the work that goes into pitching.  I think it does this well.  But there's no second level that makes the book a rewarding read to a die hard.

3) Living on the Black is only aimed at the casual sports fan (or someone who doesn't remember 2007).  This book is for the guy who only tunes into a dozen baseball games a year.  There's not a lot in this book for fans like us-who lived and died with each game, poured over multiple recaps and dissected every quote as it was delivered.

Am I wrong about this? Moose is easily my favorite Yankee pitcher of my lifetime (non-Rivera division).  I spent a lot of time thinking about how he was doing and how he might get better.  I come into the book with a wealth of knowledge and a ton of bias.  But there's nothing in the Mussina chapters that engage me.

I know a lot less about Tom Glavine.  I mean, Hall of Fame, Braves and somehow-Mets, best or second best lefty of his generation, a finesse pitcher.  I wasn't familiar with the details of how he wound up in Flushing, his path to the major leagues, or any of the back story of his life.  On the other hand, I felt like that entire section of the book could have been done in 5-10 pages, instead of the 100 pages it took.

Have you learned anything about pitching from Living on the Black?  What do you see that's wonderful that I'm missing?