“The Grind: Inside Baseball’s Endless Season” by Barry Svrluga
July 7, 2015
5 of 5 stars (outstanding)
Many kids dream of becoming a big league ballplayer. It must be the luxurious life – after all, a player makes a minimum of about half a million dollars while flying all over the country to play a game. Their wives must live in the lap of luxury with all that money, correct? Or how about the general manager who signs these players? He’s got it made too, right?
If someone’s answer to any of the questions is yes, that person is a prime candidate to read this entertaining and well-written book by Barry Svrluga. He writes about the day-to-day lives of not only the players, but also the perspective of a wife (Chelsey Desmond, wife of Washington Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond), a scout, the clubhouse manager of the Nationals, the traveling secretary, and of course players.
The stories are terrific reading as the reader will soon find out that even though the players are paid handsomely, they will have the same routines and same concerns about fatigue and loneliness that anyone else who travels will have. The wives, much like military spouses, have to keep everything on the home front organized and when a move happens due to a trade, promotion or demotion, the wives are the ones who usually do all the work for moving. Their perspective is covered in great detail in that section.
The less glamorous jobs such as scout or clubhouse attendant makes for the best reading and the most insight for a baseball fan. Svrulga captures the life of the scout on the road, down to the minutest detail of what that scout has to pack in his car. The stories of the clubhouse manager and his staff members are the most entertaining, and the reader will be amazed at how well they know the players’ likes and dislikes as the season wears on.
Capturing the true day-to-day routines and aspects of a 162 game season like only a seasoned writer can, Svrulga will make the reader feel like he or she is part of the Nationals’ family in many different ways. This is an excellent read for any baseball fan.
I wish to thank NetGalley and Blue Rider Press for providing a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Pace of the book:
It is a fast read as each story contains a lot of personal anecdotes by the person interviewed with interesting aspects toward his or her views on the daily routines of the season.
Do I recommend?
Anyone who wants to learn what life is like in the baseball world, especially for those involved other than the players, should pick up this book.
Book Format Read:
(Note: These links are for pre-ordering at the time of the review)