Tuesday, December 20, 2011

One Pitch From Glory, By Lou Gorman

Lou Gorman was the general manager of the Red Sox for a decade. During his watch, the Sox came closer to winning the World Series than they had in decades. Unfortunately, he wasn’t quite able to get it done. He presided over several playoff teams, and several truly awful teams. This book discusses both with equal candor, and looks to give a behind the scenes look at those seasons.

My one regret when reading this book is that I didn’t remember enough about the teams Gorman was discussing. He did a great job of saying why he made the moves that he made. I just wish I knew more of the other side of the coin. When he says that he acquired Danny Darwin because he thought he would help the club, I don’t know enough to say, “But you passed on so-and-so!” Which is really an important part of it. Was Frank Viola the best pitcher available? Or, did Gorman misread the market, or gloss over another player? Even with that drawback this was a wonderful read. It sometimes has a feeling of an apology. Or, at least an explanation. Why he did the Bagwell trade. Why injuries killed the team. Things like that. It was great to see the behind the scenes inter-workings of a GM. How did the signing of Jack Clark come to be? It’s also interesting to read this now, after watching Theo and Company for so many years. Gorman was certainly from an older generation of GMs. He was much more people orientated than business. He also gave his all every season to win that championship. He didn’t talk much about building an organization. He talked an awful lot, though, about winning for Jean Yawkey. It’s an obvious difference, and makes for a great read.

Rating: 3 bases

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