I have not read any of the others. The best part about this book is that it gives life lessons that are applicable no matter what your profession. It is an interesting look into how one sports professional deals with a serious injury and his rehabilitation. This book is exactly what the title says; a documentation of Hayhurst's 2010 season lost to injury and how he fought through that difficult time in his life. Or maybe Hayhurst just needs to show them all how much fun being a head case can be? Expected better, but glad I read it.
It was a treat when I got to be in a major league clubhouse a few times. Dealing with depression, potential addiction, injury and rehab, you follow Hayhurst through some pretty dark, depressing times. 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. Some become depressed and turn to pain meds, some turn to alcohol, and some face difficult home lives. In my opinion, baseball is fascinating and utterly philosophical.
Then fate delivered a crushing hit. Nor am I faulting him for wanting to write about it. Not a book for those looking for a nice, light read, but a good companion to the two earlier volumes. He comes across as very self-centered, but that is to be expected when one of the topics is his mental health. It was published by Citadel and has a total of 320 pages in the book. I only regret that Dirk Hayhurst is not going to, apparently, pitch in the big leagues.
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. Newly married, with a big league paycheck and a brand new house, Hayhurst was ready for a great season in the Bigs. 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. This is the first Hayhurst book I've read. Bigger Than the Game is the third book I have read from Hayhurst. It was also fun trying to figure out who the characters were in real life, although they weren't necessarily hard to solve.
To take any of it more seriously than that was a mistake. He bares all in Bigger than the Game, by addressing the issues of injury, depression, and prescription abuse. His books are all must-reads for fans of all sports, not just baseball. This book covers the time he was on the disabled list getting rehab for his shoulder. That takes the courage that only great writers can put to paper.
Hayhurst blew out his pitching shoulder in an insane off-season workout program. The problem is that once you have gotten your nifty new product, the bigger than the game restitching a major league life gets a brief glance, maybe a once over, but it often tends to get discarded or lost with the original packaging. 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. Professional sports is a business, and as a business it is performance based. The world of the injured player can be a difficult one. This book is quite different but still very enjoyable. I feel like even a nobody with zero writing skills like me can figure something out if I tried hard enough.
I discovered Hayhurst's first book, The Bullpen Gospels, while I was interning in minor league baseball 3 years ago. I wanted to be a baseball player when I grew up; alas, my talent didn't agree with me. It starts with Hayhurst injuring himself offseason, and follows him through his attempted rehab with the team during spring training. That's not to say that this is a bad thing. However, there is nothing really new here: Turns out athletes don't like weakness -- really? Some chapters just went on and on about nothing. The primary crisis is resolved about half-way in and then the rest feels like a lot of hurrying up to wait. This is where the book is the strongest: when it Really 3.
I know firsthand that it can make an ass out of one. The writing is well crafted and easy to read. From I bought Dirk Hayhurst's new book, Bigger Than the Game, as soon as it came out because I knew I'd like it. I'm giving Bigger Than the Game 5 Stars not as a baseball book. This was a free book: I received it as a first-reads win, for which I am grateful.
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. This book shows very little of the actual playing of baseball. So, did I get it? And like the rest of the books, it's funny and self deprecating. 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. It starts out like your average 'How I went from the minors to the Major Leagues' kind of book but then it changes.