27 July 2013
Review: The Last Night of the Yankee Dynasty: The Game, the Team, and the Cost of Greatness
The Last Night of the Yankee Dynasty: The Game, the Team, and the Cost of Greatness by Buster Olney
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
As a diehard Red Sox fan, I came to this book for the anti-Yankees schadenfreude. I left, however, with a greater appreciation for exactly what the Yankees accomplished in the second half of the 1990s, for baseball in general, and for Buster Olney.
Olney, in the introduction to the Kindle edition (at least), talks about how the title of the book is a little misleading given the Yankees successes beyond the early 2000s. Granted, they only won one World Series past 2000, and while they contended throughout, they never really hit the mark, it's fair to say that the title itself might have been a little misleading in a way. However, the book also does a solid job showing that the problems that the Yankees faced (and it's a problem the Red Sox recognized, thankfully) and what has effectively lead them to their right-now-fourth-place muck and mire.
The book flips back and forth between a detailed game log of the 7th game of the 2000 World Series against the Arizona Diamondbacks and biographies/baseball histories of some of the key Yankee players in that game. So we get a lot of biographical information on folks like Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera, but also of Yankees I had frankly forgotten about, like Tino Martinez and Paul O'Neill. Plus, the game itself was a good one anyway, and the detail is excellent. A great reminder of how good a writer Buster Olney is.
I knew I'd like this book because I enjoy good baseball writing and the game itself. I didn't expect to love it as much as I did, and this will quickly go down as one of my favorite baseball books.
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