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Feeding the Monster: How Money, Smarts, and Nerve Took a Team to the Top

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Seth Mnookin was given access never before granted to a reporter for this fascinating inside account of the Boston Red Sox. As a result he has written perhaps the best book yet about a professional sports team in America. Feeding the Monster shows what it takes to win a championship, both on and off the field. Seth Mnookin spent mornings in the front office, afternoons in Seth Mnookin was given access never before granted to a reporter for this fascinating inside account of the Boston Red Sox. As a result he has written perhaps the best book yet about a professional sports team in America. Feeding the Monster shows what it takes to win a championship, both on and off the field. Seth Mnookin spent mornings in the front office, afternoons in the clubhouse, and evenings in the owners' box. He learned how the Sox persuaded Curt Schilling to sign, why Nomar Garciaparra resented his teammates, and what led to Pedro Martinez's acrimonious exit. He knows the real story behind Theo Epstein's brief departure and witnessed the development of his rift with Larry Lucchino. And in a new epilogue, Mnookin examines the 2006 offseason, including the negotiations for Japanese phenom Daisuke Matsuzaka. In a juicy narrative that is filled with thrilling detail, Feeding the Monster peels back the curtain to show what it means to be a part of a major league sports team today.


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Seth Mnookin was given access never before granted to a reporter for this fascinating inside account of the Boston Red Sox. As a result he has written perhaps the best book yet about a professional sports team in America. Feeding the Monster shows what it takes to win a championship, both on and off the field. Seth Mnookin spent mornings in the front office, afternoons in Seth Mnookin was given access never before granted to a reporter for this fascinating inside account of the Boston Red Sox. As a result he has written perhaps the best book yet about a professional sports team in America. Feeding the Monster shows what it takes to win a championship, both on and off the field. Seth Mnookin spent mornings in the front office, afternoons in the clubhouse, and evenings in the owners' box. He learned how the Sox persuaded Curt Schilling to sign, why Nomar Garciaparra resented his teammates, and what led to Pedro Martinez's acrimonious exit. He knows the real story behind Theo Epstein's brief departure and witnessed the development of his rift with Larry Lucchino. And in a new epilogue, Mnookin examines the 2006 offseason, including the negotiations for Japanese phenom Daisuke Matsuzaka. In a juicy narrative that is filled with thrilling detail, Feeding the Monster peels back the curtain to show what it means to be a part of a major league sports team today.

30 review for Feeding the Monster: How Money, Smarts, and Nerve Took a Team to the Top

  1. 5 out of 5

    Dan

    The Red Sox....everything changed for The Nation in 2004. "A Red Sox fan" is a totally different animal now: trendy, spoiled. The book starts with a quick history of a mostly lackluster team that had the misfortune of being chronicled by a press corp determined to create a tragic tale. Revealed: Tom Yawkey, Hall of Famer, was not a benevolent, caring owner but a playboy drunk who did a poor job running his franchise. Enter new owners John Henry, Larry Lucchino, and Tom Werner. Everything changes. The Red Sox....everything changed for The Nation in 2004. "A Red Sox fan" is a totally different animal now: trendy, spoiled. The book starts with a quick history of a mostly lackluster team that had the misfortune of being chronicled by a press corp determined to create a tragic tale. Revealed: Tom Yawkey, Hall of Famer, was not a benevolent, caring owner but a playboy drunk who did a poor job running his franchise. Enter new owners John Henry, Larry Lucchino, and Tom Werner. Everything changes. The incredible drama of 2004 is recounted. Perhaps most interesting is John Henry's and Theo Epstein's reliance on statistics to guide their baseball decisions, aka their investment . This rational approach is not foolproof---injuries, drug problems and psychiatric trouble always lurk---but when employed consistently a pattern of success emerges. These men explored and redefined the concept of "value"----why do teams win? This approach has brought two World Series titles to Boston, and the method is analogous to other areas, such as medicine. In any endeavor we must be careful of how we define value. If we limit our definition to that which we know how to measure we overrely on those measurements and become rigid.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Brian

    A fascinating inside look at the Yawkey Trust's sale of the Red Sox to Tom Werner and John Henry, and what followed from it. It's all there--the sometimes shady dealings during the sale, the big trades, the front office squabbles, the clubhouse conflicts, and the success that the new management brought to the team in spite of the bumps in the road. Particularly interesting are the thought processes and inside stories behind the Nomar trade, Manny being Manny, and Theo Epstein's brief absence fro A fascinating inside look at the Yawkey Trust's sale of the Red Sox to Tom Werner and John Henry, and what followed from it. It's all there--the sometimes shady dealings during the sale, the big trades, the front office squabbles, the clubhouse conflicts, and the success that the new management brought to the team in spite of the bumps in the road. Particularly interesting are the thought processes and inside stories behind the Nomar trade, Manny being Manny, and Theo Epstein's brief absence from the organization. Seth Mnookin doesn't pull any punches, and he presents a view of the Red Sox largely untouched by the filter of the team's PR department. Feeding the Monster is a revealing book that will help Red Sox fans and others understand exactly what the team is about and why some things happened the way they did. Recommended.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Quinn

    First, a confession. Although I was born a third-generation Yankee fan, I switched my allegiance permanently when I moved to Boston in 1975 and have been a diehard member of Red Sox Nation ever since. So of course I loved this book. If you're a Red Sox fan, you will too. But it's a must-read for every baseball fan, I think, because it takes readers inside the modern game with all of its complexities -- from superstar athletes, arrogant owners, and impossible fans to team-owned TV networks, arcan First, a confession. Although I was born a third-generation Yankee fan, I switched my allegiance permanently when I moved to Boston in 1975 and have been a diehard member of Red Sox Nation ever since. So of course I loved this book. If you're a Red Sox fan, you will too. But it's a must-read for every baseball fan, I think, because it takes readers inside the modern game with all of its complexities -- from superstar athletes, arrogant owners, and impossible fans to team-owned TV networks, arcane union rules and the playoffs-or-bust mentality -- and offers a case study of how new owners with deep pockets and fresh ideas can make big changes happen fast.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Doreen Petersen

    A must read for any Red Sox fan or for that matter any baseball fan. Would definitely recommend it.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Robert P. Hoffman

    This remains one of the best books written about the rise of the Red Sox. The author seems to have talked to everyone and he tells wonderful stories. He can in a few pages summarize key points that others take chapters to discuss. He avoids cliches, he doesn't romanticize the events he describes, and he doesn't try to be funny or cute in his writing. What he does is tell a story as to how the Red Sox reached such a dsyfunctional state and how the new owners changed the attitude of workers and fan This remains one of the best books written about the rise of the Red Sox. The author seems to have talked to everyone and he tells wonderful stories. He can in a few pages summarize key points that others take chapters to discuss. He avoids cliches, he doesn't romanticize the events he describes, and he doesn't try to be funny or cute in his writing. What he does is tell a story as to how the Red Sox reached such a dsyfunctional state and how the new owners changed the attitude of workers and fans. He is quite good in demonstrating (not that there was much need to demonstrate this) that Dan Shaughnessy, the sports writer for the Boston Globe, is one of the worst sports writers in the world. Shaugnessy is lazy, repeats stories that many others have shown to be false, plays favorites, lashes out at players, and brings almost no insight into anything he writes about. How he lasted as long as he did is a mystery of mysteries. The author of this book, who is the antithesis of Shaugnessy, makes many good points. Among the best: pointing out that David Ortiz was someone who took his job seriously. He was researching pitchers, between at bats would watch clips, and was successful because of all the research he engaged in. The author's account of what happened after the Red Sox won in 2004 is excellent. Bob Kraft had warned Henry that victory created many problems but Henry thought the Red Sox were such a tight group that they could overcome the problems. But 2005, as the author relates, was an unhappy time for almost everyone (except maybe Ortiz). Bill Millar comes across the worst, vastly overestimating his value. Theo Epstein made clear that he believed that the Red Sox could not make long run sacrifices for short term gains. His relationship with others in the organization became tense. And once again the person who comes across a knowing nothing, acting as if he was somebody, and doing everything he could to run down Epstein (based of course on a complete ignorance of baseball and what Epstein had done) is Dan Shaughnessy. I think it is telling that Bostonians who believe that they are such astute sports fans and know everything about baseball put up with someone of Shaughnessy's limited abilities. My cats know more about baseball than he does. It is also telling how few players stayed with the Red Sox, only eight were left by 2006 All in all this is an excellent book. I wish the author had written more books.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Chris Wilson

    What a thoroughly enjoyable and unique book! I appreciate the angle Seth Mnookin took in recounting the Red Sox building up to and ultimately winning the World Series in 2004. “Feeding the Monster” doesn’t give chunk recaps of the 2004 season for the Red Sox. Mnookin goes back and opens the book with a brief history of the Red Sox and highlights owners and others who played a role in creating the ethos and institution that is Red Sox baseball. I always enjoy brushing up on the history of this te What a thoroughly enjoyable and unique book! I appreciate the angle Seth Mnookin took in recounting the Red Sox building up to and ultimately winning the World Series in 2004. “Feeding the Monster” doesn’t give chunk recaps of the 2004 season for the Red Sox. Mnookin goes back and opens the book with a brief history of the Red Sox and highlights owners and others who played a role in creating the ethos and institution that is Red Sox baseball. I always enjoy brushing up on the history of this team. However, the unique and main thrust of the book surrounds the sale, in 2001-2002, of the Red Sox to a group led by John Henry and Tom Werner with Larry Lucchino serving as the CEO. While stories involve the players and managers who played in the actual games, the focus of the book is on understanding how the front office with GM Theo Epstein constructed a team that could topple the Yankees and deliver a World Series. One of the more interesting aspects around the Sox of 03-05 is how much winning the World Series changed the disposition of players (Kevin Millar) and the character of the clubhouse (losing Pedro and D Lowe). As strong as the Sox were on the field they were as fragile as faberge eggs off. Also, I found it interesting just how much the media, especially news paper reporters, influenced or tried to influence the direction of the team. It was eye opening to see the ways in which men armed with a pen tried to takedown and undermine the very team they were paid to cover. It was a joy to read this after having experienced the gut punch of 2003, the joy of 2004, and subsequent World Series titles in 2007 and 2013. Here’s to getting another title soon, although it feels cheap to complain only four years removed, rather than 86!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Zachary Arnold

    Very interesting approach and a great read for someone looking for a glimpse into the behind the scenes of the franchise. Reads fairly quickly and the side notes provide some really interesting facts of ongoing negotiations that were happening during prior and post the historic '04 win. I think the greatest strength of the book is that it doesn't overload its reader with details and statistics and maintains a decent pace throughout while at the same time staying true to its focus on the manageri Very interesting approach and a great read for someone looking for a glimpse into the behind the scenes of the franchise. Reads fairly quickly and the side notes provide some really interesting facts of ongoing negotiations that were happening during prior and post the historic '04 win. I think the greatest strength of the book is that it doesn't overload its reader with details and statistics and maintains a decent pace throughout while at the same time staying true to its focus on the managerial relationships a few steps removed from the day to day happenings of the game itself. Even for someone who is a die hard fan of the game or the sox I still would recommend this because of the attention it pays to the out of spotlight work that try to bring some rational to this american past time.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Robert

    As a life long Red Sox fan, I wanted to explore a topic that was near and dear to my life-long existence in high school: how the Curse ended leading up to 2004! Seth had unprecedented access to the Sox organization and lacked the major bias that many journalists had towards Boston and the Red Sox during this time period. His review of the anachronistic Red Sox of the 20th century was painful but necessary but his work on the sale of the Sox and the relationship between Lucchino and Epstein was o As a life long Red Sox fan, I wanted to explore a topic that was near and dear to my life-long existence in high school: how the Curse ended leading up to 2004! Seth had unprecedented access to the Sox organization and lacked the major bias that many journalists had towards Boston and the Red Sox during this time period. His review of the anachronistic Red Sox of the 20th century was painful but necessary but his work on the sale of the Sox and the relationship between Lucchino and Epstein was outstanding. A great read for Sox fans and even non baseball fans a like.

  9. 4 out of 5

    James Vaughn

    I loved it! It fed every part of my baseball and Red Sox fandom. It was nerdy and gossippy at the same time. I do wish the book had explored the New England reaction to the win in 2004 from an outside perspective, but that’s my only critique. And finally, Dan Shaughnessy is the worst and I don’t like him.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ben

    I’m a diehard Red Sox fan. Definitely not a bandwagon fan but didn’t get into them until 03-04. This book was a nice look back on those early years with lots of detail and drama and players I’d either missed or forgotten. A certain blast from the past.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sophia Patrick

    An excellent companion to Michael Lewis' 'Moneyball' but with added history about the origins and mythology of the Red Sox. An excellent companion to Michael Lewis' 'Moneyball' but with added history about the origins and mythology of the Red Sox.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jason Oliver

    Baseball, one of my favorite topics. This is a book about the Boston Red Sox, their history, and finally winning the World Series in 2004 after a 89 year drought. For non-baseball fans. Do you know of Babe Ruth? The famed New York Yankee and long time home run king? He started his career with the Boston Red Sox as a pitcher. The Red Sox traded Ruth to the Yankees in 1920, who become The Great Bambino and Sultan of Swat that we know of today. Until 2004, the Red Sox never won another world series Baseball, one of my favorite topics. This is a book about the Boston Red Sox, their history, and finally winning the World Series in 2004 after a 89 year drought. For non-baseball fans. Do you know of Babe Ruth? The famed New York Yankee and long time home run king? He started his career with the Boston Red Sox as a pitcher. The Red Sox traded Ruth to the Yankees in 1920, who become The Great Bambino and Sultan of Swat that we know of today. Until 2004, the Red Sox never won another world series, leading to the belief of the Curse of the Bambino. This book covers the history of the Red Sox, corrects some misconceptions, such as the Red Sox owner traded Ruth away to produce a play and the Curse of the Bambino did not become commonly accepted until years later, and the Red Sox owner Yawkey, who until recently has been renowned in baseball, fought against integrating baseball. The book covers some of the Red Sox greats, then the story really starts. The focus starts with the sale of the Red Sox to the current owners, back in 2002, how Boston did not want Henry and his group to purchase the team, and the struggles and drama involved. Then these new owners revamping a broken system. Before Moneyball was released, the Red Sox has hired Bill James the creator of saber-metrics, and promoted Epstein to GM (who also recently was GM of the Cubs when they broke their own curse to win the World Series) to start a new era, not only for the "Sawks" but also baseball. The book delves into the clubhouse and dealing with manager problems and player problems. Difficult players like Manny Ramirez, Pedro Martinez, and Nomar Garciaparra. How Epstein rebuilt the Sox, and most importantly, How they broke long MLB records to finally get past the "evil empire' of the Yankees to make and win the World Series. Lastly the book focuses on the difficulties that arises in an organization after finally reaching the ultimate goal. How its not happiness and bliss after a World Series, but as Robert Kraft (owner of New England Patriots) warned, watch out for the infighting. As a baseball fan, this book was amazing. Its real inside access to a team from top to bottom. It is also written to where a non baseball fan can read and possibly enjoy. I watched these moments in history, I remember the media stories, but this book brought a side you don't get to see and it was wonderful to experience the World Series win from that side of the game, even years later. Every baseball fan should read this book for sure.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Todd Stockslager

    What I hoped for was a sort of "Moneyball, the sequel" about the 2002 sale of the Red Sox and the building of the 2004 (and now 2007) World Series champions. What I got was an OK look at those topics, but tainted by an author who is a rabid and admitted Red Sox fan for whom this book was "the chance of a lifetime." Mnookin does mention the hiring of baseball stat king Bill James and briefly talks about the Moneyball-theories of Billy Beane and his short-lived hiring as GM of the Sox, but he never What I hoped for was a sort of "Moneyball, the sequel" about the 2002 sale of the Red Sox and the building of the 2004 (and now 2007) World Series champions. What I got was an OK look at those topics, but tainted by an author who is a rabid and admitted Red Sox fan for whom this book was "the chance of a lifetime." Mnookin does mention the hiring of baseball stat king Bill James and briefly talks about the Moneyball-theories of Billy Beane and his short-lived hiring as GM of the Sox, but he never explains how subsequently-hired young GM Theo Epstein used those stat theories to build the Sox. For example, Mnookin introduces the "hustle" stat that James worked up for the team, but then never shows how that stat was ever used to bring in new hustling players, let current slackers go, and shape the game-management decisions of Manager Francona. Again, Mnookin says that Francona was hired as a new-thinking manager open to Moneyball theories (unlike old-school Grady Little), but gives no examples. This is a shame, because the opportunities were apparently there for Mnookin to write that book, as he was given an all-access inside pass to Fenway and team offices, short of exposing any proprietary financial documents. Mnookin's fanhood limited his conception and scope. He seemed too much enthralled with his insider status to shake free of gee-whiz season and series recaps to write the much better book that was available to him. Red Sox fans may enjoy this "insider" look from one of their own. Baseball fans who hoped like I did for a more serious look into the application of stat-driven management should be forewarned. Maybe Michael Lewis can be convinced to write a proper sequel from his more-dispassionate stance.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Maura

    i've been reading Seth's blog for a few weeks now, so i wasn't surprised that i also enjoyed his book. i rather like his style of writing. it gets a lot of facts in there, but it feels like a conversation -- just how i like my nonfiction to be. it gives a good look into the bidding process for buying your own ballclub (in case any of you were planning on doing that), and gives a few insights into the clubhouse as well as the front offices of the Red Sox since 2002 or so. he did have one bit in t i've been reading Seth's blog for a few weeks now, so i wasn't surprised that i also enjoyed his book. i rather like his style of writing. it gets a lot of facts in there, but it feels like a conversation -- just how i like my nonfiction to be. it gives a good look into the bidding process for buying your own ballclub (in case any of you were planning on doing that), and gives a few insights into the clubhouse as well as the front offices of the Red Sox since 2002 or so. he did have one bit in there that totally threw me (a reference to Bill Mueller not being as much of a team player as i had assumed), but it's not enough to make me doubt the rest of his sources (and who knows, maybe Mueller was all about getting as much playing time as possible no matter what; however, i will choose not to believe it and go on with my previous image of him). so i give this a thumbs up as well.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kevin Buckley

    Boy am I glad this book is finished - I admit, in perhaps a personal failing, I LOATHE books that use a constant series of footnotes to interrupt the flow of a story, paragraph or even a simple sentence. After 2/3 of this book, I began to realize you could read the book without consulting the footnotes -- they rarely included something new or informative for anyone who is a baseball fan. Now, the time between its publication and me reading this book may have contributed to the "yawner" quality I f Boy am I glad this book is finished - I admit, in perhaps a personal failing, I LOATHE books that use a constant series of footnotes to interrupt the flow of a story, paragraph or even a simple sentence. After 2/3 of this book, I began to realize you could read the book without consulting the footnotes -- they rarely included something new or informative for anyone who is a baseball fan. Now, the time between its publication and me reading this book may have contributed to the "yawner" quality I found with this book. I can't imagine if I read this five years ago if it would have wow'd me anymore than it did now. I would not recommend this book unless you had trouble sleeping...

  16. 5 out of 5

    eric

    feeding the monster is an interesting and detailed look at the recent history of the boston red sox. mnookin starts out with a relatively succinct history of the sox before the team was purchased by out of towners in 1999 and then nicely chronicles the handful of years that lead up to the hometeam finally winning the world series. there are details about how the boston sports media interacts with the team and insights from the clubhouse both before, during, and after the 2004 title run. there ar feeding the monster is an interesting and detailed look at the recent history of the boston red sox. mnookin starts out with a relatively succinct history of the sox before the team was purchased by out of towners in 1999 and then nicely chronicles the handful of years that lead up to the hometeam finally winning the world series. there are details about how the boston sports media interacts with the team and insights from the clubhouse both before, during, and after the 2004 title run. there are new stories and it was generally worth my time, but i would only confidently recommend the book to moderately (at least) fanatical fans of the red sox.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    A fantastic, all-encompassing look at a)the history of the Red Sox, b)the ownership change earlier this century, and c)what the new owners did to make the Sox the most successful franchise in baseball. Seth Mnookin, he of the great Feeding The Monster Red Sox blog, had unprecedented access to the Sox during the 2005 season. Great interviews and behind the scenes stuff. Still relevant 2 years later. I found myself tensing up as he recounted certain games from 2003 and 2004, even though I remembered A fantastic, all-encompassing look at a)the history of the Red Sox, b)the ownership change earlier this century, and c)what the new owners did to make the Sox the most successful franchise in baseball. Seth Mnookin, he of the great Feeding The Monster Red Sox blog, had unprecedented access to the Sox during the 2005 season. Great interviews and behind the scenes stuff. Still relevant 2 years later. I found myself tensing up as he recounted certain games from 2003 and 2004, even though I remembered every detail from those games. Even if you've read Red Sox Century, another great book, the first quarter of this book is worth a read.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ken

    Good book. Makes me look at how some sports stories are reported. Behind the scenes of a major baseball team in the early 2000's Red Sox, forever the bridesmaid, never the bride. Went 80+ years without winning a world series and suffered through some mismanagment but eventually a for sale sign appeared and the adventure begins. Reporters with their own bias who should own the team, players who are unhappy or think they are better than they are and new owners who haave some problems of their own. I like Good book. Makes me look at how some sports stories are reported. Behind the scenes of a major baseball team in the early 2000's Red Sox, forever the bridesmaid, never the bride. Went 80+ years without winning a world series and suffered through some mismanagment but eventually a for sale sign appeared and the adventure begins. Reporters with their own bias who should own the team, players who are unhappy or think they are better than they are and new owners who haave some problems of their own. I liked the book, gave ne a new insight into a major leage team. It also has me second guessing the news stories witers publish about teams.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Scott Vout

    I am as big a Red Sox fan as there is out there so I do have a slight bias to this story. I enjoyed this book. It was interesting to read the behind the scenes events that happened during the 2004 season. You see the events unfold but you don't know the who what whys of the event. Now you do. There are some dry spots in this read, that is why I only rated it a three. 3.5 would have been a better rating I think but this is Goodreads and you cant do that here. If you are a Sox fan you should enjoy i I am as big a Red Sox fan as there is out there so I do have a slight bias to this story. I enjoyed this book. It was interesting to read the behind the scenes events that happened during the 2004 season. You see the events unfold but you don't know the who what whys of the event. Now you do. There are some dry spots in this read, that is why I only rated it a three. 3.5 would have been a better rating I think but this is Goodreads and you cant do that here. If you are a Sox fan you should enjoy it. If you are a baseball fan you should like it. Especially if the front office decisions of a major league team interest you.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea

    Interesting and well written, Mnookin follows the Boston Red Sox through their World Series season. He was given pretty much free reign behind the scenes, and there are a ton of great anecdotes scattered throughout. (Want to know what Papi's favorite swear word is? It's in here.) Even fans who don't really know the game should be fine - he does a great job at explaining the numbers and business side of baseball, the parts that I'm less familiar with. A must read for all Red Sox fans, and a truly Interesting and well written, Mnookin follows the Boston Red Sox through their World Series season. He was given pretty much free reign behind the scenes, and there are a ton of great anecdotes scattered throughout. (Want to know what Papi's favorite swear word is? It's in here.) Even fans who don't really know the game should be fine - he does a great job at explaining the numbers and business side of baseball, the parts that I'm less familiar with. A must read for all Red Sox fans, and a truly enjoyable book.

  21. 4 out of 5

    M.E.

    I'm about to move to Boston, so I had to get myself acquainted with Red Sox Nation before I went. This is a fascinating look behind the scenes at one of baseball's most beloved franchises. Most fans don't think about how important the front office is, but this book shows the kind of direct effect that office can have. After reading, I believe I am now fully indoctrinated and ready to go to Fenway and cheer on those Sahwx! I'm about to move to Boston, so I had to get myself acquainted with Red Sox Nation before I went. This is a fascinating look behind the scenes at one of baseball's most beloved franchises. Most fans don't think about how important the front office is, but this book shows the kind of direct effect that office can have. After reading, I believe I am now fully indoctrinated and ready to go to Fenway and cheer on those Sahwx!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Damon

    For anyone interested in the Red Sox this is a must read. It gives some great details about everything leading up to the sale of the Sox to John Henry & Co. It gives some very interesting insights into behind the scenes happenings. All in all the first 150 pages were everything I wanted to read. The next 150 were not what I had hoped. It was almost as if the book needed to be a certain length and that part was thrown in there to get it to the right length.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Charles

    For the Red Sox fan, it's a nice trip down memory lane with some juicy, behind-the-scenes gossip thrown in. After a while, though, it seemed to sag into a rather lifeless and dispirited recounting of events as if the author was actually very interested in moving on to another project. The fact that the narrative cuts out just before the 2007 season is a case of bad luck that seriously cuts into the book's relevance. For the Red Sox fan, it's a nice trip down memory lane with some juicy, behind-the-scenes gossip thrown in. After a while, though, it seemed to sag into a rather lifeless and dispirited recounting of events as if the author was actually very interested in moving on to another project. The fact that the narrative cuts out just before the 2007 season is a case of bad luck that seriously cuts into the book's relevance.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Patrick

    Anyone who is interested in how the Red Sox became a model organization (albeit one flushed with cash) and a World Series champion should check this book out. It's full of interesting insights and tidbits that you don't get just from reading the Sports pages. I don't think it has a lot of crossover appeal, a la 'Moneyball', but it's a solid, interesting read for baseball fans. Anyone who is interested in how the Red Sox became a model organization (albeit one flushed with cash) and a World Series champion should check this book out. It's full of interesting insights and tidbits that you don't get just from reading the Sports pages. I don't think it has a lot of crossover appeal, a la 'Moneyball', but it's a solid, interesting read for baseball fans.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Robert

    Covers all the pressure the RedSox's front office had up until them finally winning a championship. Its a good baseball book. I grew to like John Henry (one of the RedSox head guys) even more after I learned about all the work he put into trying to finally own a baseball team, and all the heartache he had with trying to get a stadium for the Marlins. Covers all the pressure the RedSox's front office had up until them finally winning a championship. Its a good baseball book. I grew to like John Henry (one of the RedSox head guys) even more after I learned about all the work he put into trying to finally own a baseball team, and all the heartache he had with trying to get a stadium for the Marlins.

  26. 4 out of 5

    rmn

    A must read for any Red Sox fan, just because you have to. That said, there wasn't alot here for die hard fans, just confirmation of what we already know: Manny is lazy, Nomar is a baby, Larry Lucchino is a jerk, Dan Shaughnasty is an idiot, and David Ortiz is the man. I can only assume Seth Mnookin was added to John Henry's will since Mnookin spends the whole book kissing up to him. A must read for any Red Sox fan, just because you have to. That said, there wasn't alot here for die hard fans, just confirmation of what we already know: Manny is lazy, Nomar is a baby, Larry Lucchino is a jerk, Dan Shaughnasty is an idiot, and David Ortiz is the man. I can only assume Seth Mnookin was added to John Henry's will since Mnookin spends the whole book kissing up to him.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kevin

    This is a great baseball book, especially if you're a Red Sox fan. It covers the whole history of the team but focuses on the period after the new ownership team took over and the Sox won their first World Series in 86 years. It's a must read for every Sox fan, but any baseball fan who closely followed the rivalry with the Yankees during the 2003 and 2004 series would really enjoy this. This is a great baseball book, especially if you're a Red Sox fan. It covers the whole history of the team but focuses on the period after the new ownership team took over and the Sox won their first World Series in 86 years. It's a must read for every Sox fan, but any baseball fan who closely followed the rivalry with the Yankees during the 2003 and 2004 series would really enjoy this.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Nick

    This long detailed look at the 21st century Red Sox focuses on front office politics and relationships as well as on Theo Epstein's success at building a winning team. I read it after attending my first game at Fenway Park, which was perhaps the most intense sporting experience I have had. Mnookin is impartial and the book is a joy to read. This long detailed look at the 21st century Red Sox focuses on front office politics and relationships as well as on Theo Epstein's success at building a winning team. I read it after attending my first game at Fenway Park, which was perhaps the most intense sporting experience I have had. Mnookin is impartial and the book is a joy to read.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sylvia

    Great story well told. Yes, I am a Red Sox fan, but baseball is big business .... and an interesting one at that. There's a lot on the line, big egos, fragile egos, fragile bodies.... especially arms, tendons - yikes!, and a whole lot of heart. I loved it. Seth has a knack for finding a good story, and he does a very good job at telling it. I intend to read more books by Seth. Great story well told. Yes, I am a Red Sox fan, but baseball is big business .... and an interesting one at that. There's a lot on the line, big egos, fragile egos, fragile bodies.... especially arms, tendons - yikes!, and a whole lot of heart. I loved it. Seth has a knack for finding a good story, and he does a very good job at telling it. I intend to read more books by Seth.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Greg

    This is an immensely readable, entertaining look at at a pivotal moment in Red Sox history, a book that even a casual baseball fan will find interesting. Although there are a few passages that get mired in a little too much information, the unprecedented access that Mnookin had to the organization make it unique and well worth the read.

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