Living on the Black
Two Pitchers, Two Teams, One Season to Remember
By John Feinstein
(Little, Brown and Company, Hardcover, 9780316113915, 544pp.)
Publication Date: May 2008
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Pitchers are the heart of baseball, and John Feinstein tells the story of the game today through one season and two great pitchers working in the crucible of the New York media market. Tom Glavine and Mike Mussina have seen it all in the Major Leagues and both entered 2007 in search of individual milestones and one more shot at The World Series-Glavine with the Mets, Mussina five miles away with the Yankees. The two veterans experience very different seasons--one on a team dealing with the pressure to get to a World Series for the first time in seven years, the other with a team expected to be there every year. Taking the reader through contract negotiations, spring training, the ups of wins and losses, and the people in their lives-family, managers, pitching coaches, agents, catchers, other pitchers--John Feinstein provides a true insider's look at the pressure cooker of sports at the highest level.
John Feinstein is the bestselling author of Let Me Tell You a Story, Caddy for Life, Open, The Punch, The Last Amateurs, The Majors, A Good Walk Spoiled, A Civil War, A Season on the Brink, Play Ball, Hard Courts, and two novels. He writes for Inside Sports, Golf, Tennis Magazine and Basketball America and commentates on NPR and CBS.
"As always, Feinstein guides readers into a world with which fans have only surface familiarity, revealing in the process multiple substrata of nuance and meaning. Baseball fans who read this wonderful book will come away with a deeper understanding of the game in addition to having encountered a pair of fascinating men who just happen to play a game for a living."
-Booklist (starred review)
"When Feinstein gets [Glavine and Mussina] talking about the art of pitching, the book comes alive."
-New York Daily News
"An absorbing read. Feinstein takes a pair of opinionated veterans and picks their brains all season about the art of pitching, also relying on the thoughts of teammates, coaches, managers and families to present well-rounded, intimate portraits....What makes the book so engaging is that each pitcher faced adversity during the season, creating unexpected drama that helped give an edge to Feinstein's narrative.....another excellent story, told by one of sports' best storytellers."
"Strong on human drama-both players come across as noble, bloodied warriors...Feinstein captures [Mussina and Glavine] artfully."
-Washington Post Book World
"Feinstein achieves a double play fans should savor for its scrupulous look at what life is like for the 21st-century major leaguer."
-Christian Science Monitor
"This one's about the pitchers Tom Glavine and Mike Mussina, but it is really about the art of pitching and the poetry of baseball. Which is the whole point. Really good sports writing--and no, that's not an oxymoron, like "military music."