3 Nights in August: Strategy, Heartbreak, and Joy Inside the Mind of a Manager by Buzz Bissinger
A Chicago Tribune Best Book of the Year
“Plenty of books have taken us inside baseball, but August takes us directly inside players’ heads.” —Entertainment Weekly
3 Nights in August captures the strategic and emotional complexities of baseball’s quintessential form: the three-game series. As the St. Louis Cardinals battle their archrival, the Chicago Cubs, we watch from the dugout through the eyes of legendary Tony La Russa, considered by many to be the greatest manager of the modern era. In his thirty-three years of managing, La Russa won three World Series titles and was named Manager of the Year a record five times. He now stands as the third-winningest manager in the history of baseball.
A great leader, La Russa built his success on the conviction that ball games are won not only by the numbers but also by the hearts and minds of those who play. Drawing on unprecedented access to a major league skipper and his team, Buzz Bissinger portrays baseball with a revelatory intimacy that offers many surprisingly tactical insights—and furthers the debate on major league managerial style and strategy in his provocative afterword.
“Superb . . . Will be devoured by hard-core strategists.” —The New York Times Book Review
Three Nights in August: Strategy, Heartbreak, and Joy Inside the Mind of a Manager
You love him when he squeezes 86 wins despite having three parking cones as a closer as he did in You love him when he manages to win a game with So Taguchi hitting in the three hole. Another interesting aspect of watching Tony La Russa over the last 13 years has been how easy it is to tell when he dislikes or is annoyed by a player. In the next labor contract, there needs to be a clause in there on the minimum standards a player must meet in order to demand a trade. Kennedy had two atrocious years in St. Louis, and with one year left on a terrible contract, he asked to be traded. He hit.
Please type in your email address in order to receive an email with instructions on how to reset your password. Bissinger chronicles the process by which the manager leads his players to victory and distills the essence of the game from locker room and front office to dugout and field of play.
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Two big winners team up for an inside look at baseball and the men who play it. The St. Louis Cardinals' Tony La Russa is the sixth most winning manager in history. Tony La Russa definitely saw things that kept him up at night: changeups without change, sinkers lacking sink, curves refusing curve. The explanation for his sleeplessness was simple, maybe. Another explanation was his own personality: intense, smoldering, a glowing object of glower.
Cubs fans should also apply, as well as anyone who appreciates some of the finer strategy in baseball. I consider myself well-versed for a casual baseball fan, perhaps somewhere on the border between a casual and an obsessive fan. Bissinger weaves an impressive, labyrinth-like narrative that tells the story of the three-game series while frequently pausing to follow individual threads to their point of origin, then zooming back out to the overall narrative. These threads often consisted of the background of an individual player, or a specific type of player, and these were the parts where it was most rewarding to be a Cardinals fan, to learn some of the inside dirt on my favorite players from a decade ago. But still, I think most objective readers can agree that some of his word choices, analogies and dated pop culture references are oftentimes distracting, which should never be the effect of good prose.