This short book is full of interesting insights into the work it takes on the part of players, executives, officials and employees to get a baseball team through a 162 game season Is it particularly perceptive Not really, and I think it is better suited to its original genesis as a series of newspaper pieces than as a book but it s well written and pretty enjoyable. Were I not a regular listener of the podcast of the Tony Kornheiser Radio Show, I would not be aware of Washington Post baseball writer Barry Svrluga, a regular guest on the show, nor would I be aware of his new book, The Grind, released earlier this week and that would be too bad, because it is a book well worth reading for every baseball fan I read it in two days.Svrluga follows the Washington Nationals throughout the grind of the 2014 baseball season, by covering certain members of the Nationals and certain people within and around the organization who are all involved in what goes into and around a baseball season The Veteran, The Wife, The Scout,The Starter, The Twenty sixth Man, The Glue this is two people the traveling secretary and the clubhouse manager , The Reliever, and The General Manager And if you are thinking, I don t want to read a book about the Washington Nationals consider this passage from Svrluga s introduction This book, it would seem, is about the Washington Nationals But the characters in it and those around them will invariably agree It could be about any of the thirty major league teams In baseball, these themes are universal.Ever wonder about the life of a baseball wife with two young children and a third one on the way goes through Chelsey Desmond, wife of infielder Ian Desmond will let you know.When does the season start for a ball player For Ryan Zimmerman, it starts before the Christmas holidays.Ever wonder what a starting pitcher does between starts For Doug Fister, preparation for the next start actually begins before he leaves the clubhouse after his current start.How about traveling and moving equipment on road trips in 2014, the Nats travel schedule included 33 flights, 2 train trips, and 5 bus charters From the book The last of the Nationals 12 road trips in 2014 would go through 3 cities and involve 1 train ride, 3 flights, 46 bus rides, 78 passengers, 25 equipment trunks, 6 sets of golf clubs, 70 equipment bags, 1 massage table, 125 pieces of luggage, including 2 guitars What could go wrong As Ryan Zimmerman said of the clubhouse travel staff He s got to deal with twenty five prima donnas that get paid a lot of money that want everything that they want, and he s got to make them all happy That can t be easy.And when does next season become this season for the General Manager For Nats GM Mike Rizzo, it began on the plane ride back to Washington after the Nats were eliminated from the playoffs by the Giants.No, I am not going to feel sorry for ball players making millions of dollars while putting up with the grind, but I do have a new level of respect for them and for every one within an organization after reading this book.And if you are still thinking that this book is only about the Nationals, consider this post season quote from Zimmerman when he contemplates the future After this year, the landscape can change If a couple of guys are gone, the goal would be the same again, but the situation would be different It s almost a lotemotional for the fans than for us If it was up to me, I d keep everyone and pay everyone and have the same team for ten years, but we understand that that s just not how it works You can t keep everyone.As a Pirates fan this season when the long term futures of fixtures like Neil Walker and Pedro Alvarez have been topics of discussion, that quote hits home.Really good book. This is a warts and all account of the efforts required to keep a team in top shape to play 162 games each year, with accounts from the players, managers, grounds crew, player s wives and logistics staff A real eye opener for those who only ever think about the game at hand and the money the players receive. The casual baseball fan really does not know what goeson day to day, hour by hour, mile by mile, in order to make a baseball team run.The Grind, takes the reader behind the closed locker room doors, to see the part of the game the TV cameras don t cover.You are also taken on a ride along with a team scout, as he crosses the country, looking for future players in both the minorleagues and in college.It indeed is an endless job.You are there on the field and in the locker room, when the team iseliminated from the playoffs And for a few players, ending their time with the team.But, for the team s General Manager, the endless season, is just that, endless.Good job, Barry Svrluga. Baseball may be a non contact sport, but it takes a toll on the body and the mind Svrluga, a sportswriter for the Washington Post, uses the 2014 Washington Nationals to humanize players, their families, scouts, the 26th man on the roster who is seemingly on a shuttle between the big league club and AAA, andFrom spring training to the playoffs, players and staff can go as long as 9 straight months working 6 and 7 day weeks A very good read for baseball fans. I absolutely loved this book, mainly because I am such a huge baseball fan I thought all of it was extremely interesting because this is such an inside look at all that goes on within a major league season The family, the job of playing, the travel, the pressure, the jobs other than being a player within the organization, and I could go on and on Everyone outside the game thinks that playing in easy and is what the players like to do, but i quickly found out it is not that easy For a baseball fan, like myself, I think you will find this a very enjoyable and informative read I am glad i made this selection. Built On Material That Appeared In The Washington Post, This Is A Raw, Inside Look At The Wear And Tear And The Glory And Impermanence Of Baseball Shortlisted For ThePEN ESPN Award For Literary Sports Writing AtGames, It Is The Sports World S Longest Season Grueling Thrilling Routine Lonely Exhilarating Major League Ballplayers Even Have A Name For This Relentless, Unmatchable Rhythm The Grind In The Grind, Barry Svrluga, The Washington Post S National Baseball Correspondent, Zooms In On TheWashington Nationals, Reporting Not Just On The Roster S Star Players, But Also On The Typically Invisible Supporting Cast Who Each Have Their Own Sacrifices To Make And Schedules To Keep There S The Wife, Who Acts As A Full Time Mom, Part Time Real Estate Agent, Occasional Father, And All Hours Dog Walker The Th Man, A Minor Leaguer On The Cusp Of Job Security Who Gets Called Up To The Majors Only To Be Sent Back Down The Very Next Week The Reliever, One Of The Most Mentally Taxing, Precarious, And Terribly Exposed Positions On Any Pro Squad These And Many Players, Scouts, Equipment Managers, And Even Travel Schedulers Create The Fabric Of Svrluga S Intimate And Unusual Book They Could Be From Any Team Or Any Big League City As He Writes There Is No Other Sport With An Everydayness, A Drum Drum Drum Beat Like Baseball Sure, I am a baseball fan, but muchso an avid reader at least a book a week My bar is high when it comes to quality writing Excellent book,I read it in one sitting Baseball fans will love it as it truly gives a fresh, serious, yet entertaining view of the game I can recommend this book to sports fans in general and , also non fan readers who enjoy stepping into another world to which we would otherwise never have access This is not a generic rah rah baseball book It truly focuses on The Grind Its a really well written excellent book no need to add a baseball qualifier.