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The Game from Where I Stand: A…

The Game from Where I Stand: A Ballplayer's Inside View

by Doug Glanville

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Doug Glanville spent nine years playing center field in the Major Leagues. This is his first book, and it is slightly disappointing. Glanville, an Ivy League engineer, writes an occasional column for The New York Times, in which he has shown both a clear, comfortable voice and a (publicly) rare insight into baseball’s workings. This work created unrealistic expectations.

The problem is simply that From Where I Stand tries to do too much. Glanville is both reflecting on his own career, including how losing his father affected it, and laying out descriptions of (or guidance for approaching) various off-field elements of the game such as preparation, relationships, and integrity. Both are interesting, but the final effect is a bit jumbled. Discussions of steroids also play too prominent a role. While the book is easy to read and provides a wee glimpse of lifestyle behind the scenes -- complete with Tyra Banks and Michael Jordan -- it does not really add anything to our understanding of the game.

Glanville has more than a personal story to share, though, and this conflicted structure, mixing his own narrative and reflections upon various subjects, comes from wanting to say everything at once. It didn’t quite work here -- in fact, From Where I Stand does the opposite. It demonstrates that Glanville deserves another book. Having gotten the memoir out of his system, perhaps now he will tell the story of the 2002 negotiations between Major League Baseball and the Players’ Association over their expiring Collective Bargaining Agreement. Or delve into social issues in the system, like inter-racial differences in treatment, or the impact extreme income distribution between Majors and minors has on minor league performers and their development. We can expect good things from Glanville, should he decide to continue writing.
  EverettWiggins | Feb 14, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Doug Glanville always stood out as one of baseball's friendliest and most intelligent players (even if he did play most of his career with the Phillies) and in his retirement has taken up a second career as an insightful sports writer. I was eager to read this book about his life in baseball which I received through the Library Thing Early Reviewers program.

Glanville breaks up several aspects of baseball - on and of the field -- into different sections to give the insider perspective on the mundane details of a ballplayer's life. While this has some interesting insights at times, unfortunately the mundane detail makes for a mundane book. I'm also disappointed that when it comes to performance enhancing drugs, Glavine condemns them but really holds back on saying anything the might be even slightly controversial. Still, I appreciate Glanville's effort to try to do something different and make a thoughtful effort at letting the fan in on the behind-the-scenes part of the game.

If your looking at a detailed look at the life of a baseball player this may be the book for you. On the other hand there are plenty of more entertaining books about baseball. ( )
1 vote Othemts | Oct 16, 2010 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I first watched Doug Glanville as a raw centerfielder from my season ticket seat watching the Winston-Salem Spirit. After we switched teams, I saw Doug as the wise polished veteran rehabbing from my season ticket seat watching the Oklahoma Redhawks. In between I managed Doug as a platoon CF on my Strat-O-Matic team. I was surprised that the impatient Spirit CF made it to the show (unlike the sure stars Corey Kapano, and while the star Ozzie Timmons made it to the majors, his career was shorter than I predicted). I was surprised that the veteran CF didn't stick around longer. I am more surprised that Doug isn't currently high in a major league front office.

This path of surprises matches The Game From Where I Stand. Doug grows as a ballplayer and as a man. Doug was a ballplayer that was aware of his skills and his limitations, and how those fit within the game. This insight is not unusual in a player's baseball book. Doug was also aware of the world outside of baseball and how that world fit around the game. This insight makes this book a step above the usual. ( )
  DromJohn | Aug 24, 2010 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
The title of Doug Glanville’s perceptive book on major league baseball has a double or triple meaning. It refers first to standing at his position out in centerfield, for the Chicago Cubs, Philadelphia Phillies, and Texas Rangers over a nine-year career, and how the game was played. At another level, the title suggests that Glanville was watching more than the coaches’ signs, or the numbers on the scoreboard; he was also taking in the sights and sounds of the stadium, the crowd, the whole spectacle and how it felt to be there. Finally, the title works at an analytical level as well, as Glanville is retired now (not voluntarily; the Yankees released him in 2005 and he could not find another team that would give him a contract) and uses the book to search for meaning is this most American of games.

You know that this is not your typical baseball book when it begins with a pleasing poem, dedicated to his late father. But Glanville was not one of your typical baseball players: he has an engineering degree from the University of Pennsylvania and was one of the first ballplayers to lug a laptop from city to city. His father, from Trinidad & Tobago, went to medical school; his mother was a long-time teacher. Post-baseball, he has been writing a sometimes column for the New York Times and appearing on ESPN, sharing his insights on the game.

These insights are spotted throughout the book, which is a good read for the hardiest of long-term fans or those just being introduced to the game. He tells funny stories about major league stars, and comments on the game’s continuing issues (such as racism, inflated salaries, and steroids/other performance-enhancing practices). But he also writes about things not usually covered in the literature of baseball. A nice passage, for example, describes preparation for the game, and explains the system underlying the pre-game drills that teams undergo every day while fans are purchasing their hotdogs or finding their seats. Knowing the logic of these drills makes them more interesting for fans attending games. Glanville devotes a chapter to the structural difficulties professional ballplayers have in establishing relationships; with their team managers, teammates, and the many women who hang around the ballparks. His own experience with a woman known as the Atlanta Stalker is itself a story worth re-telling. And Glanville also explains why many major league players were sad to see the Montreal Expos get moved to Washington, D.C.; apparently Montreal was a great playground for ballplayers and their post-game activities. Finally, fans might not know that major league teams provide “family rooms” for players and their families where fans and others cannot go. These family rooms have a pecking order and rules of acceptable behavior that are established by the wives of the most senior players; woeful are the chances of the young player of staying with the team if he does not learn these rules and abide by them!

This is not your typical baseball book, and this is its charm. Doug Glanville was paying attention during his time in the “bigs,” and his readers will be grateful for it. He hit a homer with this one!
  bookwalter | Aug 15, 2010 |
Doug Glanville wrote a series of wonderful essays on baseball over the last several years for the New York Times. It was always fun and illuminating to read his take on the game. However what reads crisp and literate in a newspaper column has become treacly and sophomoric in a 304 page book.
A good baseball book needs the grit and the grass stains. The mud and curses and wonder. This book feels like a brand new uniform, never been worn. Glanville is incredibly intelligent, respectful and was a relatively talented ballplayer but this tale of his life in baseball is a touch too ivy league. It needs a little more sweat and passion. ( )
  abealy | Jun 30, 2010 |
Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
Unfortunately, Glanville's book is heavy with such detail and light on deeper insights...Where he succeeds is in revealing his own fears and insecurities. He questions his ability to sustain a loving relationship, to deal with the death of his father, to come to grips with the inevitable ending of his career. And he shares the bitterness he felt at losing opportunities (and money) to players who cheated with steroids.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0805091599, Hardcover)

An insider's revealing look at the hidden world of major league baseball

Doug Glanville, a former major league outfielder and Ivy League graduate, draws on his nine seasons in the big leagues to reveal the human side of the game and of the men who play it.

In The Game from Where I Stand, Glanville shows us how players prepare for games, deal with race and family issues, cope with streaks and slumps, respond to trades and injuries, and learn the joyful and painful lessons the game imparts. We see the flashpoints that cause misunderstandings and friction between players, and the imaginative ways they work to find common ground. And Glanville tells us with insight and humor what he learned from Jimmy Rollins, Alex Rodriguez, Randy Johnson, Barry Bonds, Curt Schilling, and other legendary and controversial stars.

In his professional career, Glanville experienced every aspect of being a player—the first-round pick, the prospect, the disappointment, the can't-miss, the cornerstone, the veteran, the traded, the injured, the comeback kid. His eye-opening book gives fans a new level of understanding of day-to-day life in the big leagues. 

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:05 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Offers insight into the human aspect of professional baseball, including how players deal with family and teamwork issues, prepare for games, cope with slumps, and manage the competitive trade.

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