Bigger Than the Game: Restitching a Major League Life

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In a word, no. The story starts with the same fun, playful, optimistic but somewhat self-deprecating mood that its predecessor does, but gets pretty dark and gloomy pretty quickly. Hayhurst goes through some real serious issues, including seemingly insurmountable physical and mental duress. The former makes sense: The latter also makes sense: I am not faulting the author for either. Nor am I faulting him for wanting to write about it. But I will say that he seemed about as self-absorbed and unlikable as some of his surly teammates that he spends ample time griping about.

The problem is, first you have to care about the protagonist. In the end, though, I read it all the way through, and even found a few nuggets of wisdom in there. For those of you who are afraid of taking risks or trying something new or different from the crowd, this quote should at least get you thinking:. We all wind up and deliver our pitch, and what happens after that — strike three, home run, or shoulder injury — is out of our control.

Kind of reminds me of a quote by late Hanshin Tigers pitcher Shigeru Kobayashi: In the end, this one still left a less-than-satisfying aftertaste in my mouth. Turns out athletes don't like weakness -- really? So, two stars for teaching us all how to be frugal when we make the Show. Feb 23, Teena in Toronto rated it it was ok Shelves: My husband had read "The Bullpen Gospels", which the author wrote a couple years ago, and enjoyed it.

We are fans of the Toronto Blue Jays Hayhurst spent most of his career playing in the minor league. In , he was signed to Toronto's farm team and spent part of the season "in the bigs" playing for the Jays. He hurt his shoulder in the spring of and spent the season o My husband had read "The Bullpen Gospels", which the author wrote a couple years ago, and enjoyed it. He hurt his shoulder in the spring of and spent the season on the disabled list.

This book covers the time he was on the disabled list getting rehab for his shoulder. Some parts of this book were interesting There are not so flattering stories about some of the players on the Jays' team and minor league teams their names have been changed.

I thought, though, that the writing could have been tighter. There were many many conversations that were really really long. For example, rather than the author saying he had a conversation with his trainer about something, we read about it word-for-word-for-word for pages.

It seemed to be like this with everyone he talked with. As a head's up, the language is for a mature reader I didn't find him overly likeable. Yes, I know he had problems dealing with his being in rehab and out of the game when he really wanted to play, but I found him arrogant, self-centered and whiny. At any opportunity he was sucking up to the media to promote his previous book which was just coming out when this book takes place or going on and on about what a hard time he was having adjusting and being shut out by the other team members. If you are a fan of baseball, you may like this book.

I like baseball and had a hard time getting through it. Feb 28, David Drysdale rated it liked it. I'm a fan of Dirk Hayhurst's. I don't think he's a phenomenal writer or anything but I think he has good insight into a side of baseball that is rarely seen, whether it is the struggles of minor league players, the pleasure and the pain of just barely cracking a big league roster as a peripheral player, or, in this case, the mental struggles that come along with being a highly tuned athlete whose career can end with one workout. This is where the book is the strongest: But after that, this one loses steam pretty quickly.

Structurally, it felt weak. The primary crisis is resolved about half-way in and then the rest feels like a lot of hurrying up to wait.

Alt F4 #1: E-Sports are becoming bigger than Major League Sports

There's just no climax. The second half of the book is pretty funny--though sometimes I think Hayhurt has a bit of an inflated sense of his own comedic skills--but it's not as good a story. I feel a bit guilty saying this because the first half is so raw--I don't want it to sound like I'm disappointed that Hayhurst got better eventually.

Holdings: Bigger than the game :

But I could have tolerated less of the book being about goofing around in rehab and hearing more about the effects of mental illness and addiction. I think that's the more important part of the story, too. But this is set aside in the second half of the story. People disappear, notably Hayhurst's wife, whose deep concern for her husband in the first few chapters is quite moving.

But once he returns to Ohio from Florida, she's a non-entity. I think I'm being a bit tougher on this one than I have been on his other books because I think the issue of mental illness is so important and I am glad when athletes do address the effects it can have on even people who seem, by all appearances, to have it all. I wish Hayhurst had done a bit more with it.

Mar 10, Scott Foshee rated it really liked it Shelves: Where the first three predominately focused on the lighter side of baseball with terrific background into his troubled family, his supportive romance and subsequent marriage , "Bigger Than the Game" takes a slightly different tack. Dirk gets injured and his experiences move to the trials and tribulations of dealing with rehab, teammates resentful of his writing, and Broken Athletes and What it Means to be Human I have read all four of Dirk Hayhurst's books now and have enjoyed each one of them. Dirk gets injured and his experiences move to the trials and tribulations of dealing with rehab, teammates resentful of his writing, and the realization that what makes one good on the field of competition is not necessarily what gives one an acceptable quality of life.

Dirk Hayhurst's writing is vulnerable and real. We are privy to the rarely seen shadow world of pro sports rehabbing and psychologists. A particularly funny section of the book takes place at the world famous Andrews Clinic in Birmingham, where Hayhurst encounters sadistic trainers, a baseball crazy nun, a living ghost of the old south, and wrestler Triple H. The world of the injured player can be a difficult one.

Largely separated from the team during their physical rehab regimen, players are suddenly removed from the game they have devoted their lives to from an early age. With time suddenly on their hands basic insecurities often rise and introspection follows. Some cannot handle it. Some become depressed and turn to pain meds, some turn to alcohol, and some face difficult home lives.

Bigger Than the Game: Restitching a Major League Life

Hayhurst finally does go to the psychologist, albeit reluctantly, and works to come to terms with his difficulties. Professional sports is a business, and as a business it is performance based. Players have to learn not only how to play the game, but how to play a role when they reach the elite levels of their sport. Many struggle off the field with this distinction, with disastrous results plucked right from today's headlines.

Hayhurst encounters all of these issues and more. Instead of succumbing to his problems, he uses the time to step away from the intense competition of sport and get some much-needed perspective. To take any of it more seriously than that was a mistake. Players coddled from a young age because of their athletic abilities often forget that there is much more out there that is bigger than the game.

Dirk Hayhurst gives us a rare and fascinating behind the scenes glimpse of broken athletes working out of the spotlight not just to return to form, but to discover and face what it really is to be human. Mar 27, Jay rated it liked it Shelves: It's spring, and I thought a good time to dig into a new baseball book. However, this ended up being much more a medical book. It starts with Hayhurst injuring himself offseason, and follows him through his attempted rehab with the team during spring training. When that doesn't do so well, he rehabs at a couple of sports medicine clinics.

We are treated to some banter in the locker room with the team, but that is mostly about Hayhurst being a writer and the issues some players have with him. Fra It's spring, and I thought a good time to dig into a new baseball book. Frankly, it could have taken place in any other sport or in many other jobs -- there isn't much distinctly baseball content in this one. So this really doesn't meet my definition of a baseball book. As a book about medical and mental health issues, it tends to be overwrought, with quotes of conversations that appear very one-sided sprinkled throughout.

There are lots of monologue moments for Hayhurst that appear as quotes, though no one talks this way in real life. He comes across as very self-centered, but that is to be expected when one of the topics is his mental health. The best aspect of the book, by far, is his interaction with the clinicians in Birmingham, which occurs in the last quarter of the book.

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These are very funny anecdotes for the most part, and although I haven't read Hayhurst's earlier baseball books, I imagine that this kind of practical joker-type anecdotes were the best of them. I suspect this isn't his best book, but it didn't scare me away from being interested in reading his earlier ones. I won a copy of this book in Goodread's First Reads program.

Jan 31, Kristine rated it it was ok Shelves: Bigger Than the Game by Dirk Hayhurst is a free Goodreads Firstreads advance reader copy of a paperback book I read right around the time of the lunar eclipse in April. Not sure what drew me to this book, but my guess that it would have something to do with it being a kind of off-beat sports memoir. Dirk Hayhurst pretty much writes like a man named Dirk Hayhurst would write - with not a lot of poise and a heck of a lot of swagger. It's a quick, sporty read, but not enough story to metaphorically bind together that unraveled ball on the front cover.

Mar 08, Scott Sykes rated it really liked it. Dirk Hayhurst's first book. Dealing with depression, potential addiction, injury and rehab, you follow Hayhurst through some pretty dark, depressing times. It isn't until the final act of the book where you really get a sense of what Hayhurst was trying to accomplish with this book, which is self Dirk Hayhurst's first book.

It isn't until the final act of the book where you really get a sense of what Hayhurst was trying to accomplish with this book, which is self acceptance and personal growth. I'm not an athlete by any means, but hearing some of the stuff he went through, I could relate which made it a very personal read. And as I stated before, it doesn't really pack the punch of "Bullpen Gospels', Hayhurst is still a writer who's work I will always seek out to read.

May 25, Jon Moeller rated it really liked it. A very good book about the struggles of a professional baseball career and the struggles after suffering an injury. A good read, but not nearly as good as his earlier books. May 31, Scott Breslove rated it really liked it. I don't even know what to say Mar 01, Gregory rated it it was amazing Shelves: This is the third book in a baseball trilogy and the previous two were fascinating and funny.

This one is no different, but it's actually much less about playing baseball than about dealing with baseball. It starts with the self-inflicted shoulder injury lifting too much weight he got in the offseason after and how he dealt with injury dur From http: It starts with the self-inflicted shoulder injury lifting too much weight he got in the offseason after and how he dealt with injury during the entire season. That included depression, using pills to make himself sleep and get numbed, having people know about his first book, a run-in with an arrogant teammate who did not like him writing and talking to the media, and rehab with a cameo by wrestler Triple H.

Baseball is a conservative game in many ways--players have their codes, things are done this particular way, and you must not rock the boat. The mere idea of letting people see inside scares baseball players, and seeing inside is what Hayhurst does. He goes off about the player who kept confronting him different reviews speculate differently, but he may just be an amalgam as well as a few others, in large because he's not respecting the game and instead is trying to be bigger than baseball, which is a sin.

In some way all of his books are about his efforts to figure himself out. You get the impression that he was finally getting there at the end of this one. He thought hard about what baseball means and how he should fit into it. He learned how not to care about others' perception of his role in it. Like many other entertainers--such professional wrestlers--the fans see you as a commodity and not as a person. Players buy into the image, which feeds their self-image and self-worth. Everyday dumbasses get on the internet and debate your worth like you're a fucking commodity. But instead of trying to say we're not a commodity, we just want to be the most valuable commodity possible.

Everyone wants to be the hyped, processed, nostalgia-injected product instead of being an actual fucking person p. The player who didn't like him hated the fact that Hayhurst might puncture the bubble they live in and value so highly--just chatting too often with the team's own media person who in many ways helps nurture the image! As he points out, though, this is already slowly changing. Glacially yes, but social media is here now and not going away.

Way too few baseball players write real books but reality is spilling out in bits and pieces. And like the rest of the books, it's funny and self deprecating. As he said to his book agent: I'm guilty of that feeling, and like how Hayhurst has made me think more broadly. If you're a baseball fan, you should check out all three. Dec 22, Reid Mccormick rated it it was amazing Shelves: I find them brainless and totally uninteresting. Why should I care about the daily life of a random person? However, I do spend several hours a week thinking about and studying baseball.

In my opinion, baseball is fascinating and utterly philosophical. What is the difference between baseball and reality television? Sure you can argue some differences, but in the end you are watching the meaningless interactions of egotistical people partaking in fabricated drama. There is nothing that can replace the excitement of a walk off home run or the beauty of a no-hitter, but in the grand scheme of life, baseball is meaningless. This is why I like Dirk Hayhurst. He understands that constant internal struggle all baseball lovers feel.

You love the game so much yet you also loathe its insignificance. Bigger Than the Game is the third book I have read from Hayhurst. His first book let us see the unglamorous life of the minor leagues. His second book showed us the complicated transition from the minors to the majors. Hayhurst then came out with an e-book that was a continuation of his second book which I have not read. In Bigger Than the Game, Hayhurst uncovers the life you definitely have not heard: Here Hayhurst shows us the physical and emotional struggle recovering athletes go through day in and day out.

Like I have said in other reviews, Hayhurst is a great communicator. Hayhurst simply recounts his experiences, how he handled success, how he dealt with defeat and how he suffered with pain. This book offers the least amount of actual baseball than his other books, but if love his earlier stuff you will love this book too. Here is a quote near the end of the book that I think sums things up perfectly: Oct 11, Laura rated it liked it.

I love baseball, and I especially love the stories behind the game. This book fell short for me, however. The first few chapters where Hayhurst writes about his injury and his subsequent depression and anxiety were heart-wrenching. Working on finding his way back to baseball while trying desperately to hide his real emotions from his teammates and trainers - these chapters were well-written, and I'm sure they were difficult for him to write about. Towards the end, the long chapters with a nun, a wrestler, and his new trainers I'm not sure what happened there, I skimmed those chapters seemed to be more of a "you had to be there" situation and they didn't move the story forward.

He wrote about what went on in the locker rooms, the hotels, etc.


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  • Bigger Than the Game: Restitching a Major League Life by Dirk Hayhurst.

His teammates were understandably skittish about this, not knowing if or how they might be portrayed in these books. Much of the book went in a circle of "I promise I'm not going to write about you," yet if these exchanges went into the book, weren't those promises broken? Even if names were changed, the people he promised not to write about surely knew they were being portrayed - the details were too fine and specific. In the end, I had a weird feeling that I was looking into the lives of Hayhurst's teammates in a "TMZ" kind of way - they didn't want to be in the book, but there they were.

This book felt a bit rushed and thrown together, like maybe there was a deadline to meet. I recommend his first two books, not so much this one. Feb 25, Rinku rated it it was ok. Looking forward to hearing about his time in Toronto. Unfortunately, for him his time in Toronto was miserable and injury plagued. Unfortunately for me, this book was poorly written compared to his previous two books. He states in the book how he had signed a book deal i As a Blue Jays fan, when I found out Dirk Hayhurst was going to write about his time with the Jays in his next book, I was ecstatic.

He states in the book how he had signed a book deal in which he had to write two more books. I am assuming he had to rush this book to make it meet deadline. These themes are extremely important, and Hayhurst develops these themes quite well. However, the conclusion seemed a bit rushed. The book does not depict the baseball locker room culture or the Jays organization well.

I was quite frustrated with how the Jays handled things - specifically injuries, rehab and mental illness maybe it has to relate to my personal ideals and how I wish "my team" were to act. I knew the laughs would be few and far between compared to his first two books, but I did expect more humour than was given. Kevin's sarcasm and the time in Birmingham were the only parts of the book I truly enjoyed.

I hope Kevin actually exists and he is berating Luke as we speak. All in all, it was a okay book. Expected better, but glad I read it. Lastly, "I'm going to make you famous just to make you infamous" might just be one of the most badass things I've read in a while. Oct 19, Brent Soderstrum rated it it was amazing. I have read both of Dirk's prior books in which he gave us an inside look of what it is like to be a minor league baseball player and a look at what its like to be a first year fringe major league player.

This book is quite different but still very enjoyable. In this book Dirk shows us what a player goes through when he is injured and has to rehabilitate the injury away from the team. Dirk is injured in the offseason and misses the entire season. He is thankful the Toronto Blue Jays kept him I have read both of Dirk's prior books in which he gave us an inside look of what it is like to be a minor league baseball player and a look at what its like to be a first year fringe major league player.

He is thankful the Toronto Blue Jays kept him and didn't release him. He then goes through the loneliness and isolation of rehabilitation. He questions whether he will be able to come back and what he will do if he can't. You get a glimpse of the physical grind plus the mental and emotional toll that a player goes through. Throw in the flack Dirk takes from certain players about his first book which is released in and you see a down time in his career. Most of us think that being a baseball player would be so great but Dirk shows us that oftentimes it doesn't live up to what everyone thinks it should be.

The best part about this book is that it gives life lessons that are applicable no matter what your profession. We all face downtimes in our careers.