Kirkus Reviews QR Code
BULLPEN DIARIES by Charley Rosen


Mariano Rivera, Bronx Dreams, Pinstripe Legends, and the Future of the New York Yankees

by Charley Rosen

Pub Date: May 10th, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-06-200598-4
Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

A look at the performance of the New York Yankees’ relief pitchers during the 2010 season, featuring interviews, game recaps and anecdotes.

Sportswriter and longtime Yankees fan Rosen (The First Tip-Off: The Incredible Story of the Birth of the NBA, 2008, etc.) argues that “no team player in all of sports is more on the spot than a relief pitcher.” With this informal diary of the Yankees’ 2010 bullpen, he attempts to give these athletes more of the spotlight. The bulk of the narrative consists of game-by-game recaps of the Yanks’ season, with Rosen assigning an A-F letter grade to each relief pitcher's outing. Interspersed with these are statistics and historical factoids about the position and interviews with players, coaches and scouts. The latter elements are the highlights of the book, in particular the profiles of the team’s pitching coaches, who offer a little-seen perspective and grant real insight into the peculiar life of the bullpen inhabitant. Coverage of training camp and a visit to the Yanks’ Triple-A club in Scranton for a game against the Pawtucket Red Sox provide additional color. Rosen also includes some personal reminiscences from a lifetime of following the team, from saving his pennies to go to games as a child, to his humiliating tryout to be a Yankee pitcher himself. His love for the game, and the team, is clear, and this spares the book from being just a dull compendium of statistics and game summaries. Rosen provides final grades for each of the relief pitchers used by the team during the regular season, (the bullpen as a whole rates a C+), along with analysis of the Yankees’ 2010 playoff failure and predictions for the upcoming season and beyond.

Contains elements of interest to the serious baseball fan, but this one is for Yankees die-hards only.