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Bullpen Diaries: Mariano Rivera, Bronx Dreams, Pinstripe Legends, and the Future of the New York Yankeesby Charley Rosen
Baseball is the only game where the defense has the ball. So begins an inside look at baseball's most scrutinized group of players--relief pitchers--and life in the most intriguing bullpen of all, that of the New York Yankees. Second-guessed and overstressed, the manager finds his use of the bullpen the most debated topic after any game, but the reliever is the guy in the spotlight, game on the line, alone on a raised mound of clay. Bestselling sportswriter Charley Rosen takes the reader on the wild journey that is the evolution of relief pitching over the years and examines the eccentric characters who have taken on the pressure of closing out games or not. Bullpen Diaries is full of interviews with key players, coaches, and scouts from around the league; replete with the drama of blown plays and walk-off grand slams; and laced with funny anecdotes about Yankee greats throughout the years. To underscore the drama and difficulty of being a reliever, Rosen uses key games in the 2010 season--acknowledged now as the Year of the Pitcher--to highlight strategies and mistakes, examine relievers on the rise or on the way out, and analyze the teams and the pitchers the Yanks faced. Bullpen Diaries also takes a look at Yankee strategies for success--past, present, and, most important, future. Lastly, Rosen reveals his predictions for 2011 and beyond for baseball's most storied franchise. With insight on current players from around the league and tales of Yankee legends, Stadium history, and the author's Bronx childhood, Bullpen Diaries is a love letter to baseball and a pure joy for all fans of America's favorite pastime.
The history of the Irish in baseball is much richer than anyone realizes. From early discrimination to later domination, from Mike Kelly, a society star in the 1880s, to the managerial fame of Connie Mack (nÉ McGillicuddy), early Irish players and managers helped shape the game of baseball in every way. From the first curveball to the first players' unions, Irishmen took America's national pastime and made it their own, turning it into the glorious game we know today, as more recent players have kept alive the Irish tradition of setting records. A wild, fun, fact-filled celebration of the Irish in baseball, The Emerald Diamond intersperses interviews with current players with tales of such players as Dan Brouthers, who at 6'2" and well over 200 pounds, was the game's home-run king until Babe Ruth came along; and includes lively anec-dotes about such colorfully nicknamed ballplayers as Tony "the Count" Mullane, Mike "King" Kelly, James "Pud" Galvin, Hugh "One-Arm" Daily, Frank "Silk" O'Loughlin, and "Iron Man" Joe McGinnity. Just a few of the great Irish athletes featured as well are Mickey Cochrane (for whom Mickey Mantle was named); Charles Comiskey; Ed Walsh, the last pitcher to win 40 games in a single season; and Ed Delahanty, whose prodigious life and mysterious death continue to be a source of intrigue. With decade-by-decade profiles of exciting Irish figures on the field and off, The Emerald Diamond also offers important discussion on cultural and political themes relevant to their times.
Here is the story of an all-Jewish basketball team traveling in a hearse through Depression-era America in search of redemption and big money. A hilarious road novel, The House of Moses All-Stars is a passionate portrayal of a young Jewish man, Aaron Steiner, struggling to realize his dreams in a country struggling to recover its ideals. The former college basketball star has watched his dreams of becoming a successful player fall apart, his marriage disintegrate, and his baby die. In desperation he accepts his friend's offer to join a Jewish professional basketball team -- The House of Moses All-Stars -- which is travelling in a cross-country tour in a renovated hearse. Aaron's teammates -- a Communist, a Zionist, a former bank robber, and a red-headed Irishman who passes for a Jew -- are, like Aaron, trying to escape their own troubled pasts. As the members of this motley crew travel West to California through an anti-Semitic land that disdains and rebuffs them, they discover that their nation is as confused as they are -- torn between its fears of foreigners and poverty, and its belief in democratic ideals of tolerance and opportunity. Told with a rueful eye, The House of Moses All-Stars looks critically and lovingly at what it means to be an outsider in America.
More than a Game is the odyssey of Jackson's journey--from New York Knick and world champion, to CBA coach, to six-time Chicago Bulls world champion, to this year's L.A. Lakers world champion--and the lessons in leadership he learned each step of the way. It is the tale of Rosen's journey as well, carrying the torch for the game of basketball through careers as star college player, CBA coach, and preeminent novelist of the game. It is also the story of the system Jackson coaches, the power triangle, as put forth by Lakers assistant coach Tex Winter. The triangle can be understood as a philosophy of basketball and life--one that values role players almost as much as star players, and where fundamentals rule. More Than a Game is also a story of the friendship between Jackson and Rosen, forged in the sacred brotherhood of the hoop.
Jason Lewis is a star college basketball player just back from World War II. He's a hero, missing two fingers on his shooting hand. He can't play any longer, so he makes the ultimate ballplayer's sacrifice: he becomes a referee. Set in postwar New York during the founding of what will eventually be the NBA, No Blood, No Foul is the story of a man who must come to terms with a debilitating injury and chase after dreams of perfection in a decidedly imperfect world. Charley Rosen gives us not only a lovingly faithful insider's look at the game of basketball, but a passionate story about what it meant to face life in an America that had lost its innocence.
Sammy Wong, All-American tells the tale of a very talented Asian basketball player's rise and stumble in the all-American sport of basketball--among the most international of team sports, yet one where until very recently Asians were completely unrepresented. The novel unwinds in spectacular fashion. On his high school, college, and professional teams, Sammy isn't given much of a chance. Then when he does get into games, he turns out to be the kind of player who can turn a losing team into a winning one. Wong's career turns on chance opportunities and unexpected twists as much as on talent, persistence and hard work. There are great scenes describing pivotal plays on the hardwood floor as only Charley Rosen can. Like all Rosen's novels, this is about more than basketball. Sammy Wong, All-American is a book about identity in multi-ethnic American culture and the cost of innocence in the modern world. Sammy Wong, All-American will delight basketball fans and fiction readers alike, a sports novel that delivers on multiple levels.
Rosen brings us for the first time the full life story of Jack Molinas, one of the greatest basketball players of his era, a man whose gambling addiction and hubris caused his ultimate demise. Drawing on numerous, previously unavailable first-person accounts, including Jack Molinas's own journal and trial transcripts, Rosen presents the true saga of a man who perhaps better than anyone around him understood the weaknesses of the system in which he lived--so much so that he convinced himself that he could manipulate that system to his advantage with total impunity, in a life's journey that took him from NBA play to the Mafia and the pornographic film industry, and to an ultimate tragic destiny.
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