Review of “The Grind”: Perfect for One of Those Rare Days Off

Barry Svrluga's newest book is perfect for one of those rare days off during the grind.
Barry Svrluga’s newest book is perfect for one of those rare days off during the grind.

Barry Svrluga, The Washington Post’s national baseball correspondent, stopped by the Washington Nationals’ team store on a few occasions in late July to talk with fans and sign copies of his newest book–The Grind: Inside Baseball’s Endless Season.

Readers will find themselves emotionally consumed by the 162-game season as Svrluga presents it through several distinct individual perspectives.  Each chapter, therefore, has its own recognizable mood.

Readers will feel the exhaustion of veterans Ryan Zimmerman and Jayson Werth as they workout with strength and conditioning coaches starting in January to prepare for spring training.

Baseball marriages are revealed to be not “all roses and butterflies” thanks to Svrluga’s deep dive into the relationship between Ian Desmond, his wife Chelsey and his children.

Many casual fans think starting pitchers are lazy because of their “time off” in between starts.  This notion is discredited as Doug Fister’s routine is described in vivid detail from the moment he exits a game against the Colorado Rockies to his next start against the Baltimore Orioles.  Readers will develop a greater appreciation for a starter’s schedule and will understand when Steve McCatty, the Nationals pitching coach, says, “four days off is not four days off.”

Perhaps the most colorful insight in the book is about Kris Kline, the Nationals assistant general manager and vice president of scouting, as he drives hundreds of miles to evaluate potential prospects at college games that most scouts skip.  Readers will feel especially satisfied to “hear” that player’s name called during the draft. 

Readers can finish the 170-page book in an evening, so it is perfect for one of those rare days off during the grind. 

Endure the grind and order Svrluga’s book here.