Kakutani is one of the toughest (and sometimes harshest) book critics writing today, so a rave from her is noteworthy. About Bryant's new book, she says," "In 'Juicing the Game,' Mr. Bryant...provides a smart, savvy appraisal of the steroid scandal, looking at its genesis and evolution and its implications for the game." She continues:
Mr. Bryant's book, which draws upon in-depth interviews with players, baseball executives, union leaders, team managers and journalists, is informed by a deep knowledge of baseball history. And it's valuable not only for its lucid, unvarnished account of the steroid scandal and its long-term consequences for the game, but also for putting that scandal in context with other conflicts like the decades-old clash between owners and players, the divisiveness fostered by the growing importance of television (which tends to showcase individual heroics over team efforts, home runs over less spectacular plays) and pitchers' complaints that the game's recent infatuation with offense has devalued their own craft.You can read the full review online (the NY Times requires registration). I also highly recommend Bryant's excellent first book on the Boston Red Sox, race and racism, which decisively clarified and historicized for me many of the negative anecdotes, factlets and arcana that I'd heard over the years about last year's Major League championship team.