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The Book of Joe: Trying Not to Suck at Baseball and Life (Hardcover)
Lessons in baseball enlightenment from three-time MLB Manager of the Year Joe Maddon.
No one sees baseball like Joe Maddon. He sees it through his trademark glasses and irrepressible wit. Raised in the “shot and beer” town of Hazleton, PA, and forged by 15 years in the minors, Maddon over 19 seasons in Tampa Bay, Chicago, and Anaheim has become one of the most successful, most colorful, and most quoted managers in Major League Baseball. He is a workplace culture expert, having engineered two of the most stunning turnarounds in the past quarter century: taking the Rays from the worst record in baseball one year to the World Series the next and leading the Cubs to their first World Series title in 108 years.
Like his teams, Maddon defies convention. He is part strategist, part philosopher, part sports psychologist, and part motivational coach. In THE BOOK OF JOE, Maddon gives readers unique insights into the game, including the tension between art and data, the changing role of managers as front offices gain power, why the honeymoon with the Cubs did not last, and what it’s like to manage the modern player, including stars such as Shohei Ohtani, Mike Trout, Albert Pujols, Yu Darvish, and Kris Bryant.
But you expect even more from a manager who meditates daily, admires Twain, and has only one rule when it comes to a team dress code: “If you think you look hot, wear it!” And Maddon delivers. Built on-old school values and new-school methods, his wisdom applies beyond the dugout. His mantras about leadership, mentorship, team building, and communication are meditations on life, not just baseball. Among those mantras are:
“Do simple better.”
“Try not to suck.”
“Don’t ever permit the pressure to exceed the
“See it with first-time eyes.”
“Tell me what you think, not what you’ve heard.”
THE BOOK OF JOE is Maddon at his uniquely holistic best. It is a memoir of a fascinating baseball journey, an insider’s look at a changing game, and a guidebook on leadership and life.
About the Author
Joe Maddon is a three-time Manager of the Year award winner. Among his 19 years managing, most recently with the Los Angeles Angels, he led the Tampa Bay Rays to their first World Series and the Chicago Cubs to their first World Series title in 108 years.
Tom Verducci is the lead baseball writer for Sports Illustrated and a lead analyst and reporter for MLB Network and Fox Sports. He is a three-time National Sportswriter of the Year award winner, a five-time Emmy Award winner, and a member of the National Sports Media Association Hall of Fame.
"It’s hard to love baseball these days with all its strikeouts, lockouts and equations that don’ allow for the human heart. In THE BOOK OF JOE, Joe Maddon and Tom Verducci have given us a reason to fall in love all over again. This is a portrait of the artist as a baseball man: a lifer who vanquished the curse of the Cubs, who pulls no punches about the modern game he helped to create, who loves flamingos because of their ability balance on one foot, who issues a clarion call for baseball to regain its footing—'the balance between data and art.' THE BOOK OF JOE is a perfect baseball book, as invaluable as it is unique."
"Peanut butter and Jelly. Macaroni and cheese. Now, a third perfect combination: Joe and Tom. No one thinks about baseball more interestingly than Maddon. No one writes about baseball better than Verducci. Their book is a mind-opening immersion in the game as it unfolds in its grinding, yet exhilarating, granularity. For fans weary of data-saturated baseball talk that is about as fun-filled as a calculus class, this book is an irresistible invitation to again fall in love with the game as it is lived." —George F. Will
"Joe Maddon and Tom Verducci provide the ultimate insider’s guide to how the role of manager has changed in baseball. But THE BOOK of JOE is so much more. Maddon’s journey is chock full of fascinating stories and life lessons that everyone will enjoy. From riding minor league buses to breaking the curse in Chicago to balancing data and art in a numbers-driven game, THE BOOK OF JOE is a page-turning read. If you wonder what happened to the soul of baseball, you’ll find it here."—Joe Torre
"In THE BOOK OF JOE, America's finest baseball writer teams with one of the game's most interesting and accomplished managers to trace the long and winding baseball road he has traveled, and the unique outlook he developed along the way." —Bob Costas
“THE BOOK OF JOE is a can’t-miss: life lessons from a winding half-century in the game from Joe Maddon, baseball’s philosopher-manager, and an entertaining, interstitial history of the sport’s evolution into the analytics era from Tom Verducci, the most elegant baseball writer of his generation. Perfect combination.” —Howard Bryant
“If you love baseball, you have to read this book! Funny, poignant, and brutally honest, it is sports writing at its very best.”—Admiral William H. McRaven, USN (Retired)
“I was so blown away by THE BOOK OF JOE that when I was done I immediately started to re-read it. Joe Maddon and Tom Verducci have packed this book with so many enjoyable life lessons, observations, insights and anecdotes that I had to jump back in a second time to devour it all. I love how it strikes the perfect balance in and out of the dugout: understanding the modern, data-driven game while honoring the timeless values of trust, hard work and pure intentions. I guarantee you’ll love it.”—Joe Namath
"When I became Head Coach of the Toronto Raptors in 2019, the first person I had hoped to talk to was Joe Maddon. I had read, and watched and studied him from afar and wanted to ask a few questions to him for clarity about his leadership style, his vision, and his beliefs. He graciously met with me, and gave me his undivided attention, and rounded out some ideas that I took straight to my first training camp. This book will give you more insight to his incredible insight towards winning and life. Joe makes it real, he makes fun, but most of all he makes it about connections and relationships on the highest level."—Nick Nurse
"My first awareness of Joe Maddon’s baseball talents came from Dave Duncan after their coaching clinics in Europe. Based on Dave’s compliments, I have followed Joe’s career through his roles and successes. After reading THE BOOK OF JOE I understand why Joe connects with winning. Each chapter contains unique and useful leadership keys."—Tony La Russa
"Maddon is 'also one of the best interviews in the game, which veteran baseball writer Verducci (Sports Illustrated, Fox Sports, MLB network) turns into gold in this blend of biography, managerial insight, life lessons, and treatise on motivation. Even casual fans will enjoy this one.'”—Booklist Reviews