Buzz Saw

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Over the winter, Jesse Dougherty, Washington Nationals Beat Writer for the Washington Post, sent me an early copy of his new book, “Buzz Saw.”

His book chronicles the unbelievable run the Nats had last year, including their amazing mid-May transformation from cellar-dwellers to the eventual World Series champions.

The official book’s release was in late March, to coincide with what was supposed to be Major League Baseball‘s Opening Day.

Even though he sent me the book in early January, as has been my tradition over the last several years, I usually save reading my non-basketball reading material, fictional and nonfiction, until after the high school basketball season ends.  I try to take a few days to recover from one of our busiest times of the year.  One of my favorite things to do to reset my batteries is to enjoy some good reading material.

Please understand. I really like to enjoy reading and take my time, stretching it out over a several days to thoroughly enjoy the experiences.

Ironically, because of other projects and taking on new duties as we adjust to our “new normal,” I put reading this book on the back burner in lieu of developing new ways of going about our businesses in the wake of the coronavirus.

But this weekend I blocked out significant time out to delve into this book – as a fan of Jessie’s writing, I knew I would thoroughly enjoy it.

I was definitely not disappointed.

“Buzz Saw” is a raw, realistic view of the Nationals season, looking largely from the viewpoint of General Manager Frank Rizzo. Starting from the previous offseason, the book goes through the turbulent and downright bleak first six weeks of the season. Dougherty provides insights on the Nationals front office and everything Rizzo and Manager Dave Martinez were going through, including a more negative than normal Washington fan base.

A large part of the book deals with the time in and around May 24th – when the Nats as a team hit rock bottom in more ways than one.  The team was having significant health issues, including Martinez’s own hospitalization.

The book may not be for younger baseball fans, complete with realistic and frank conversations between management and players.  It is very comprehensive, discussing the players’, coaches’ and media’s perspectives, the fans’ views and includes an incredible attention to detail while recollecting the key moments during the Nationals season.

Jesse had promised me he was going to be a guest on “SportsTalk” again during spring training to talk about the 2020 edition of the Nationals baseball and give his expectations for the new season.

Those plans have been put on hold until we get some better news on the health front and get closer to the official restart of baseball’s preseason workouts (hopefully sooner rather than later.)

Until then, baseball fans, whether a Washington baseball fan or not, you will thoroughly enjoy this inside look on MLB’s reigning champions and their improbable run from worst to first within a four-month span.


PROGRAMMING NOTE: We will have another “all remote access” live edition of RCN SportsTalk this week. Among our guests includes long-time Bethlehem Catholic Baseball Head Coach / Athletic Director Mike Grasso, talking about all the highs and lows during his amazing 45-year career, which came to a premature end this spring.

Over the next few weeks, we will also have conversations with a few other head coaches in the RCN viewing area (all of them with at least 20 or more years at their current school) who are retiring this spring.


Chris Michael About Chris Michael

Chris handles play-by-play for RCN sports events, including baseball, football & basketball games and produces/hosts the station’s 60-minute live call-in show. Among Chris’s other responsibilities include reporting on local news & sports stories, conducting “Take 5” interviews with community and political leaders, producing commercials, voiceovers and promos; and generating blog entries and videos on the internet. Click here to listen to the weekly Sports Talk podcast.

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