"The Bullpen Gospels" -- a brief excerpt

April, 11, 2010
4/11/10
12:24
PM ET
"Coaches tell Little Leaguers 'heart' is the most important thing a player possesses, yet when money mixes into the equation, heart slides to the bottom of the list. Heart has this do-gooder, patriotic nature to it, like George Washington had a lot of it and so did Gandhi. What about Lars, pushing through agony to get his arm back in shape, and how bad he wanted to make it, no matter how much pain he had to endure? I guess sometimes heart doesn't look as warm and cuddly as we expect it to. Sometimes it looks like a tattooed maniac who listens to Rammstein. And sometimes, it doesn't matter how much of it you have. On days like this one, a person could swear the meaning of life is as simple as making a roster.''

"The Bullpen Gospels: Major League Dreams of a Minor League Veteran" is raw, sometimes outrageously vulgar, as when it dwells for a painfully long time on bowel movements. But Dirk Hayhurst, a minor leaguer for the Padres and Jays, has written what catcher Tim McCarver calls "a true picture of baseball," for the legions of ballplayers whose big-league aspirations come at a real price. You may never look at players quite the same after reading it.

Gordon Edes

Red Sox reporter, ESPNBoston.com

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