Friday, September 23, 2005

Its that time again

Book Review - this month Twice Around the Bases by Kevin Kennedy.

A quick note. Apologies for not getting to the last 6 perfect games. As I had continuously noted, the book was bugging me. So I said screw it. Move on. Life is too short to be frustrated with one’s own leisure activities.
-continued in comments


  1. So with that being said, I embarked next on this piece of crap. If this does not prove that I will read anything, I have no idea what would. I can’t stand Kevin Kennedy. Never had and never will. This goes back to when he was coaching the Sox and lived in the same building as me (and Jose Canseco as well). He was a pompous arrogant guy back then. He is a pompous arrogant SOB on Fox. And in this book? You guessed. Lots of pomp. Lots of arrogance.

    I mean is it just me or is his every word a tale of how he:

    Was recently talking to so and so and gave him whatever insight.
    What he did when he was coaching.
    Is so smart.
    Has been saying this or that all season. Or for 5 years.\
    Blah, blah, blah.

    The book is filled with tales of his “career.” You know Kevin Kennedy was second team all-city Los Angeles in high school. And he would have had a great, long major league career if he had not been injured. I believe we used to hear the same thing about another pompous arrogant guy – Bobby Valentine. Why can’t these guys just admit they weren’t that good. Never stopped Zim from having a long professional career in other capacities. Or Lasorda. Sad.

    Okay so the book is filled with lots and lots of stories. His views on coaching, development, in game strategy. Much like “Tony Larussa’s book.” Except of course there is no humility. And Kennedy claims a managers in game strategy is responsible for the outcome of up to 50 games per year. Funny Larussa said 6-8, max. Seems a big delta. Of course when Kennedy got fired from TEX and BOS he had excuses. Big time. Neither firing was his fault. The players laid down in TEX and management under cut his authority in Boston. And he whined about getting fired after 94 because he was the only manager that ever got fired after a first place season. Of course that was the strike season. And TEX was under .500. Which is repeating itself this year in SD, but I digress. He took all the credit for guiding the Sox to the playoffs in 95 but no responsibility for 96 and coming in 3rd. And showed he was so much better because the Sox got 7 games worse and came in 4th the following year. Of course losing Clemens had nothing to do with that….

    So the defining moment in the book (for me) was in a chapter on stealing signs. Kennedy gives a great account of how he was the bench coach with MON and they were playing the Cubs in 1992. MON was down 1-0 in the eighth. Grissom on first and Deshields on third. Darrin Fletcher at the plate. Two outs. The catcher had given the signals on what to do on a stolen base. But when the pitcher got to a 2 strike count, the catcher came out and changed the signs. Kennedy “knew” that the catcher had changed from throwing through to faking the throw (i.e., not throwing down to second). Kennedy told Alou to put the steal on and that Grissom could walk into second. Alou said “are you sure?” and Kennedy said “definitely.” Of course Grissom did steal – and did walk into second. And on the next pitch, Fletcher blooped a single into left, both runners scored and the Expos won the game 2-1. Woo hooo!!! Great story. Except one small thing. Its not true. I checked retrosheet. MON did not beat the Cubs 2-1 at any point in 92. I even checked the other close games – no similar situation (Grissom with a SB and Run, Deshields with a run and Fletcher with 2 RBI.) He could not have had the year wrong. Fletcher’s first year with MON was 92 and in 93 Kennedy was managing TEX. So why lie? I don’t get it. And he has no editor to check any facts. Am I the only one that thinks this guy is full of crap? I doubt it. Ugh.

    All in all. A bad book. No real glimpses at anything new. A lot of “I’m great” by Kennedy. And no real revelations on steroids, which is what I was actually reading it for – to see if he would fess up to knowing Jose was on the juice. He denied. So I guess he is not as smart as he claims.

    Okay, so that is two bad choices in a row. I think I will need to look real hard at my next purchase……

  2. Wow. So what you're saying is: you really liked it.

    Seriously, nice job on the fact checking. That's awesome. All I can say is: be glad you're up in Northern CA. Because down here...he's got a local sports gig. Southern California Sports Report. On every night. Awesome, huh?

    Of course, he's national as well. But I'm convinced Fox has him on just to make Jeanne Zelasko look good. And in that, he succeeds mightily. Good job Kevin K.

  3. He also does a show on XM where they take calls. I should call the show and ask about it a bit.

    I always thought he was full of crap. Bult I was truly amazed at the audacity to publish something so blatantly wrong. Maybe I expected to see something slightly off in his story, but that one was truly amazing. He also had a number of tidbits from when he was a minor league manager and devlopment *expert.* I wish the internet would allow fact checking on some of that stuff. There were also a few questionable details from his BOS days that I wanted to check but I was reading in bed and frankly don't care that much.

    Does Zelasko change her hair everynight on the local show like she does nationally?

    Here is a prediction - Wells will last less than 3 innings Sunday. He had a cortisone shot yesterday, but insists he is fine. The last time a grizzled big game vet pitcher took the mound while coming back from an injury was, what, game 1 of the ALCS last year. I think Wells is trying to be a hero. I hope I'm wrong.

  4. Negativity will get us nowhere.

  5. I know. I try to stay positive. But I also try to be a realist. I'm not trying to be neagtive - I just have a bad feeling about it. Like I said I hope I'm wrong.