Monday, March 2, 2009 Updated: March 3, 12:25 PM ET
If it's spring, it must mean Yankees and Red Sox books
By David Schoenfield Page 2
Dustin Pedroia has spent only two seasons in the big leagues but it's been a whirlwind two years for the diminutive Boston second baseman: a Rookie of the Year Award and World Series title in 2007, followed by the American League's Most Valuable Player Award in 2008.
Sure enough, Pedroia will be a coming out with a book later this year, "Born to Play: My Life in the Game." Let's hope it will be better than "Nails," Lenny Dykstra's book that came out in 1987 after Dykstra had spent just two seasons in the bigs, and is widely acknowledged as perhaps the worst sports book of all time.
Will Dustin Pedroia's new book come covered in dirt?
Of course, if you want a book published these days it helps to have it be about the Red Sox or Yankees. Joe Torre's and Tom Verducci's "The Yankee Years" is a best-seller, and two other anticipated upcoming books include Jeff Pearlman's bio on Roger Clemens, "The Rocket That Fell to Earth: Roger Clemens and the Rage for Baseball Immortality," and Selena Roberts' "A-Rod: The Many Lives of Alex Rodriguez."
In fact, take a look at this spring's list of baseball books and you'll find a surprising number of them were penned by members of the Red Sox or Yankees (of course, you may have a hard time finding these at your local bookstore or amazon.com, since they don't actually exist):
"Fastballs, Fishing and Hunting," by Josh Beckett. A thoughtful three-part philosophical examination that shows there is more meaning to fastballs, fishing and hunting than you would initially believe.
"My Life and Times With the New York Yankees," by Carl Pavano. This tome checks in at just 18 pages of text, followed 847 pages of medical charts and X-rays.
"Mariano Rivera Can Eat My Shorts," by Jonathan Papelbon. The rivalry between the two clubs will surely heat up once this book hits the shelves. Papelbon holds nothing back as he writes about his dislike for his fellow closer, the Empire State Building, the smell of the Yankee Stadium visiting clubhouse and Manhattan clam chowder.
"Idiots," by Mike Mussina. Retiring after eight seasons with the Yankees, the Stanford grad details what it's like playing professional baseball with and being covered by people nowhere near as intelligent as the author.
"Bald is Beautiful," by Kevin Youkilis with Annie Leibovitz. The Boston first baseman teams with the famed photographer in this coffee table glossy celebrating those with no hair.
"The Year I Cost the Yankees the Pennant," by Jose Molina. After Jorge Posada went down for the season, the Yankees entrusted the starting catching job to Molina, who hit .216 with 18 RBIs in 100 games. A touching memoir of failure that reminds one of the brutal honesty of James Frey's "A Million Little Pieces."
"LOOGY," by Javier Lopez. The Red Sox lefty reliever turns sabermetrician as he examines the sometimes controversial history of the left-handed one-out guys, aka the LOOGY.
"Goodbye, Baseball," by Kyle Farnsworth. No, this is not a book about the former Yankees reliever's retirement from baseball. Rather, he examines each of the 11 home runs he allowed in 44 innings with the Yankees in 2008 (before his midseason trade to Detroit) in painstaking detail.
"Tech," by Jason Varitek. The veteran catcher pens various essays on the state of modern technology and its relationship to human interaction and emotions.
"Brett!" by Brett Gardner. The rookie center fielder writes passionately about being the only good defensive player on the team, what it's like to hang out with Wilson Betemit and the horror of seeing Sidney Ponson shirtless for the first time.
"Twilight," by Jason Giambi. Nearing the end of his career, Giambi reflects on his hard-living days with the A's, his up-and-down Yankees years and his love of mustaches, gold thongs and vampires.
"Between a Rock and Hard Place," by Coco Crisp. Sure to draw some criticism within baseball circles, Crisp details the emotional roller-coaster of competing with Jacoby Ellsbury for the regular center field job, and also of playing between Manny Ramirez and J.D. Drew.
"The Yankee Years," by Shelley Duncan. Not to be confused with the title of the Joe Torre book, Duncan (now with the Texas Rangers), writes about his two years with the Bronx Bombers, including memorable tales such as the time Alex Rodriguez let him go first in the postgame spread line, the Bobby Abreu and Hideki Matsui wedgie "incident" and the time Derek Jeter picked up his cab fare after Duncan wasn't allowed to enter a nightclub with Jeter's entourage.
"Rookie," by Jed Lowrie. The switch-hitting shortstop writes about his first year in the majors, from the dream of a midseason call-up, the pressure of performing in a pennant race and, of course, the thrill of turning double plays with Dustin Pedroia.
"A Brief History of Time," by Jamie Moyer. In the one non-Red Sox or Yankees book out this year, the ageless Phillies starter gives a first-hand account of the history of the universe.
David Schoenfield is an editor for Page 2.