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The Bullpen Gospels: (Anglais) Broché – 1 avril 2010

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Présentation de l'éditeur

From the humble heights of a Class-A pitcher's mound to the deflating lows of sleeping on his gun-toting grandmother's air mattress, veteran reliever Dirk Hayhurst steps out of the bullpen to deliver the best pitch of his career--a raw, unflinching and surprisingly moving account of his life in the minors.

I enjoyed the visualizations, maybe a little too much, and would stop only when I felt I'd centered myself. . .or after one of my teammates hit me in the nuts with the rosin bag while my eyes were closed.

Hilariously self-effacing and brutally honest, Hayhurst captures the absurdities, the grim realities, and the occasional nuggets of hard-won wisdom culled from four seasons in the minors. Whether training tarantulas to protect his room from thieving employees in a backwater hotel, watching the raging battles fought between his partially paralyzed father and his alcoholic brother, or absorbing the gentle mockery of some not-quite-starstruck schoolchildren, Dirk reveals a side of baseball, and life, rarely seen on ESPN.

My career has crash-landed on the floor of my grandma's old sewing room. If this is a dream come true, then dreams smell a lot like mothballs and Bengay.

Somewhere between Bull Durham and The Rookie, The Bullpen Gospels takes an unforgettable trot around the inglorious base paths of minor league baseball, where an inch separates a ball from a strike, and a razor-thin margin can be the difference between The Show or a long trip home.

"It's not often that someone comes along who is a good pitcher and a good writer." --King Kaufman, Salon

"After many minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years spent in the bullpen, I can verify that this is a true picture of baseball."
--Tim McCarver

"There are great truths within, of the kind usually unspoken. And as he expresses them, Dirk Hayhurst describes himself as 'a real person who moonlights as a baseball player.' In much the same manner, while The Bullpen Gospels chronicles how all of us face the impact when we learn reality is both far meaner and far richer than our dreams--it also moonlights as one of the best baseball books ever written."
--Keith Olbermann

"A bit of Jim Bouton, a bit of Jim Brosnan, a bit of Pat Jordan, a bit of crash Davis, and a whole lot of Dirk Hayhurst. Often hilarious, sometimes poignant. This is a really enjoyable baseball read."
--Bob Costas

"Fascinating. . .a perspective that fans rarely see."
--Trevor Hoffman, pitcher for the Milwaukee Brewers

"The Bullpen Gospels is a rollicking good bus ride of a book. Hayhurst illuminates a baseball life not only with wit and humor, but also with thought-provoking introspection."
--Tom Verducci, Sports Illustrated

"Dirk Hayhurst has written a fascinating, funny and honest account on life in the minor leagues. I loved it. Writers can't play baseball, but in this case, a player sure can write."
--Tim Kurkjian, Senior Writer, ESPN The Magazine, analyst/reporter ESPN television

"Bull Durham meets Ball Four in Dirk Hayhurst's hilarious and moving account of life in baseball's glamour-free bush leagues."
--Rob Neyer, ESPN.com

"If Holden Caulfield could dial up his fastball to 90 mph, he might have written this funny, touching memoir about a ballplayer at a career--and life--crossroads. He might have called it 'Pitcher in the Rye.' Instead, he left it to Dirk Hayhurst, the only writer in the business who can make you laugh, make you cry and strike out Ryan Howard."
--King Kaufman, Salon

"The Bullpen Gospels is a funny bone-tickling, tear duct-stimulating, feel-good story that will leave die-hard baseball fans--and die-hard human beings, for that matter--well, feeling good."
--Bob Mitchell, author of Once Upon a Fastball

Dirk Hayhurst is a part time professional baseball player who enjoys comic books, video games, and a good sugar high. Dirk is a former member of the San Diego Padres, and currently a member of the Toronto Blue Jays where he is temporarily on the disabled list. He makes his home in Twinsburg, Ohio, with his wife Bonnie and their pet garfoose.

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Amazon.com: 184 commentaires
54 internautes sur 58 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Buy this book now! 31 mars 2010
Par Mark Ahrens - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
One of the greatest baseball books of modern times hit North America's books stores this week. Shockingly, it was written by a guy who was more interested in growing up to be Trevor Hoffman, not Peter Gammons. Those aren't my words. They are the opening sentences of ESPN baseball analyst Jayson Stark's review of The Bullpen Gospels by Dirk Hayhurst.

The book is receiving rave reviews not only for its baseball-related content, but also for Hayhurst's pained, personal story. But don't be confused. This story is neither an over-the-top expose on today's players, nor a "aw shucks" feel-good tale. In fact, it is not easy to put this book into a single category.

The book centers around the 2007 season when Hayhurst moves between different levels of the San Diego Padres minor league system. Hayhurst use pseudonyms and composite characters (e.g. Pickles, Rosco, Slappy, & Maddog) to protect his teammates' identifies. This is raw stuff, some times cringe-worthy, sophomorphic fun, other times cringe-worthy pain, delivered in machine gun bursts by a gifted writer. A particular passage about an octopus copulating a bagpipe had me laughing so hard I couldn't catch my breath.

Bullpen is compelling because of the style, or "voice" with which it is written. Hayhurst's style is disarmingly conversatinal and self-deprecating; exposing the reader to the lighter side of baseball, but also to his inner most fears and demons. He does so in a manner that makes you feel like you are in the room with him and his teammates shooting the breeze. The style draws you in, his stories are intoxicating, and the result is a spellbinding read.

The grit and realism starts right from the prologue.

"I was the team's long relief man. A nonglorious pitching role designed to protect priority pitchers. If the starting pitcher broke down or the game got out of control, I came in to clean up so the bullpen wasn't exhausted. Despite feel-good semantics supplied by the organization, my main job was mopping up lost causes. Why waste a talented pitcher when there was a perfectly useless guy for the job? I could pitch five innings in a blowout or face one batter in the seventeenth inning. Put it this way: if I could have done any other role successfully, I wouldn't have been the long man."

Usually, when I review a book, I take notes to remind myself of things I might want to weave into the review. That approach was hopeless with this book. There are far too many memorable moments to keep track of. Below is an excerpt of a comparatively tame episode amongst the many:

"As we made our way to the pen, fans splashed against the stadium's fenceing, begging us for autographs. We signed everything from hats and programs to ticket stubs and sandwich wrappers. It always boggles my mind how fans will fight all over themselves at a chance to get one of our names scribbled on their souvenirs. If only they knew what we were under these jerseys. Just hours before the game, the team debated the question of when a protein shake should be consumed--before or after sex? During, we decided, if you have a hand free."

Hayhurst is currently with the Toronto Blue Jay organization, but on injured reserve. He has been in the bigs with both San Diego and Toronto after a 4-year up and down minor league career bouncing between A, AA, and AAA.

Mark Ahrens
26 internautes sur 28 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Brought me to tears 1 avril 2010
Par Techno Phobia - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
I have a very large collection of baseball books , and this is one of my favorites. I had been waiting for it ever since I heard an interview with the author, Dirk Hayhurst, 6 or 8 weeks ago. What a gem! It is a rare "baseball book" that even nonfans will love, but this is it. I started reading it while getting ready for work the first day after it arrived. When I glanced up at a clock, I noticed it was over an hour later! I have never been that engrossed. I cover a minor league team for a radio station and maybe have a little better feel for some of the things these guys experience, but no one (even in Ball Four) quite captured the emotional roller coaster players experience, especially when they are not always successful. More importantly, Dirk gave us a lot of insight into how easy it is to lose your "humanity" when you put on a jersey. I will never forget the stories he tells about walking in a homeless man's shoes and fulfilling a dying child's greatest wish by bringing him into the bullpen. I cried a bucket of tears not just from the sheer pathos of some of the stories but also because some of the stories are absolutely hilarious. Hayhurst has this incredibly self-effacing honesty that is so refreshing. Thank God, English majors sometimes wind up playing baseball! When his baseball career is over, Dirk Hayhurst could have a great career as a writer or cartoonist (another field in which he dabbles). I am glad that this long reliever (aka "mopup guy") in the bullpen had a lot of time on his hands to take notes that became this book.
18 internautes sur 20 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
I learned something 16 avril 2010
Par Steven Hugh Wilson - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
I've known a few former minor league ballplayers in my life and have told them how envious I am of anyone who can tell their children and grandchildren that "I used to play baseball for a living" and have always been somewhat surprised when none of them ever seemed to share my enthusiasm. I never understood why none of them seemed as excited about their careers as I was.

After reading Hayhurst's book I now understand. To the overwhelming majority of minor leaguers, professional baseball only represented Failure. Obviously, most of them never make it to the bigs dispite their best efforts.

Few of us have to live with the reality of failing at something we dedicated so much time and effort to, but that is the reality of most minor league ballplayers.

We 'civilians' see them as guys who were playing baseball for a living when the rest of us were doing 9-5 jobs. Most of these guys wind up dead broke and have to start life all over again in their late 20's looking for a 9-5 job.

Hayhurst is a great writer with a great future. I would've given this book 5 stars but for the fact that he seemed to dwell a little too much about his personal problems which were no different than anybody else's problems. A couple of times I found myself thinking "welcome to the world, Dirk". At the same time, I couldn't put the book down.
10 internautes sur 12 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Well written and deeply moving 2 avril 2010
Par Stephanie St Amour - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
To call this a baseball book does the author a disservice. Hayhurst is a baseball player, but more importantly, he's a real person, and he tells the story through the framework of minor league baseball. The writing in the book is powerful, and I found myself laughing out loud at parts while nearly in tears at others. I couldn't help but walk away from the book with a shift in perspective. Technology has made it easier to follow baseball teams and careers, but it has also made it easy to reduce players down to a stat line and a scouting description. Hayhurst shows us the story of one person behind those numbers, and the places where his story intersects with others.

I pre-ordered the book and anxiously awaited for it to appear on my Kindle. Once it did, I picked it up and didn't stop until I had finished the book. Now I can't wait for a follow-up to this outstanding work. The writing is exceptional, with a good sense of pacing and flow.
12 internautes sur 15 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Interesting but over-rated 18 mai 2010
Par Gus Venditto - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
The idea of this books is better than the actual book itself. I would have loved a really good inside story about what life is like for a minor leaguer.

And while Hayhurst gives us a bit of that, he wastes page after page reprinting really dumb conversations that take place among players to kill the time. At the end of these supposedly funny stories, someone should be saying "well, you had to be there."

After I got an idea of the book's pace, I started skipping page after page; because once these supposedly hilarious conversations start, they don't stop for a lo-o-o-ong time.

The good parts were very good. They give you a sense of what it is really like as a minor league player. The harassment the pitches endure from fans, exposed in the bullpen. The minimal support they receive on the single A circuit. The sleazy accomomdations they endure. For someone who follows baseball, this is all good stuff. I wish there was more of it.

But every time Hayhurst gets into a good topic that has real events and real information, he cuts it short, and jumps back to more mindless conversations that were originally designed to fill time. They were intended to be forgotten, not immortalized.

It was a good read for about half the book. But it was frustrating that every time it started to get really good, it dropped the ball.
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