They Bled Blue

They Bled Blue Excerpt Now Up At Deadspin

The Dodgers hold back Reggie Smith during a different near-brawl.

Just posted at Deadspin is an excerpt from They Bled Blue, in which Reggie Smith leads the Dodgers to a near-brawl with the Pirates off the field, in the tunnels of Three Rivers Stadium.

Good stuff, that.

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They Bled Blue

They Bled Blue Gaining Momentum

LA TimesSo the Los Angeles Times brought up They Bled Blue in a compendium of new and upcoming baseball books. None of the nine books mentioned got more than a couple paragraphs, but the crux of the TBB section was this:

“Turbow admits ‘it might not benefit my credibility as the author of this book to admit that I am a lifelong Giants partisan, but it’s true.’ Which explains why the first line from the first chapter reads: ‘Tommy Lasorda was always a shill.’ ”

Please. The former sentiment (from the acknowledgements section, after the story had wrapped up) has nothing to do with the latter. This isn’t some fan blog. Authentic reporting is essential to doing my job well. Jerry Reuss’ comment on the book—”Hands down the most accurate portrayal of events and personalities of the 1981 Dodgers that I’ve seen”—supports the point.

Never mind that the quote about Lasorda makes it sound like I’m slagging the guy. In fact, the opposite is true. Here’s the entire paragraph from which the sentence was culled:

“Tommy Lasorda was always a shill. Long before he became a fount of managerial enthusiasm and brand fealty, he was a shill. Back when he was a career minor league pitcher, and then a scout, and then off to manage in remote minor league outposts like Pocatello and Ogden, in the employ of the Dodgers nearly every step of the way, even then he was a shill. The guy loved his team and wasn’t shy about letting the world know it.”

The point was that Lasorda never stopped promoting the Dodgers, for virtuous reasons. That was the first paragraph of the book’s first chapter, the rest of which builds on supporting that thesis.

Book reviews aren’t easy, and it’s not fair to expect a reporter to give cover-to-cover treatment to all nine books in a column. I just want to make sure that Dodgers fans out there know they’re getting an even shake from me. This was a team worth reading about.

They Bled Blue

Publisher’s Weekly Likes They Bled Blue. Like, A Lot

TBB cover small

The latest review for They Bled Blue is in, from Publishers Weekly, and it’s a barn-burner. In part:

“With a heady mix of reportage, biography, and classic play-by-play coverage, Turbow meticulously traces the arc of the team’s rise from the late 1970s postseason failures to the fateful, strike-filled season where the team defeated the New York Yankees in the World Series. Turbow’s reports of behind-the-scenes shenanigans show the cracks in Garvey’s squeaky-clean image and reveal Lasorda’s obsession with celebrities and Steve Howe’s cocaine addiction. But, as Turbow writes, “Whatever those Dodgers did before taking the field was strictly ancillary. It was what they did with cleats that mattered.” Fluidly written and expertly paced, this exciting look at a turbulent team will thrill baseball enthusiasts of all stripes.”

Heading to LA to record the audiobook in April, and looking forward to the official release of everything in June. There’ll be lots on the docket then, from readings to appearances. Can’t wait to share it all.