So, having finally cleared my life of Roger Clemens, I sat down on my toilet today and began reading “The Yankee Years” by Joe Torre and Tom Verducci.
Well, really by Tom Verducci.
In a word: Killer.
I worked with Tom during my time at Sports Illustrated. He was the No. 1 baseball writer, and I picked up the scraps. He’s a pretty quiet guyâ€”not guarded, but keeps to himself; doesn’t hover with the other writers too often; seeks out his own angles and almost never follows the mob. I paid attention to his work as much as humanly possible, and learned some valuable lessons. He’s a tremendous writerâ€”for my money, the best baseball scribe of my lifetime.
I’m probably 60 pages into “The Yankee Years,” and what blows me away is how Tom structured the narrative. Or, to be more exact, how he didn’t structure the narrative. I can’t figure the damn thing outâ€”it’s not chronological, it doesn’t go player to player or divide its chapters by, say, inning numbers or uniform numbers or anything cheap like that. Yet somehow, against all reason, the book flows beautifully. It really does. All of my books have been chronological (more or less), with pit stops for side stories and notes. But the structure is pretty basic. So if I’m Styx, playing the same chords in every song, Tom is, mmm, Dylan. Just wonderful.
Big thumbs up.