While baseball has been criticized for its measured pace, it is precisely this that makes it such a wonderful subject for analysis. As a writer for the New York Times and ESPN, Buster Olney has an encyclopedic knowledge of the game as well as a deft touch with words, and he uses both to great effect in The Last Night of the Yankee Dynasty. The night in question is Game 7 of the 2001 World Series against the Arizona Diamondbacks, and in telling the story of that game, Olney also manages to tell us how a team can be both dominant and in trouble at the same time.

Baseball teams are always reflections of their owners, and none more so than the Yankees. George Steinbrenner is the New York Yankees, and his machinations over the 30-plus years he's owned the team are legion and legend. In this game-paced book, Olney examines the careers of the players as they come to bat, their managers, coaches, friends and futures. Olney doesn't have to work very hard to show that many of the Yankees' failures and successes are due to Steinbrenner's fanatical drive to win.

The Last Night of the Yankee Dynasty is one of the most readable accounts of the inner workings of the game I've read in a while. If you're a baseball fan, pick this one up it'll help you through the off-season.

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