There is nothing more gratifying as an author than reading a review by someone who really gets your book. Though it’s been a little more than a year since Nine Bucks a Pound was released, reviews are still slowly trickling in, including one this week from Benjamin Hill of MiLB.com. And Ben captured Del Tanner’s motivations as well as anyone has in a very positive review.
Nine Bucks a Pound follows Del’s career from 2003 through 2010, as he transitions from Minor League roster filler to top prospect to Major League success story. Steroid use plays no small role in his unexpected ascension, but throughout the book the question lingers: Was it worth it? His lies, and the paranoia that accompanies them, place a dark cloud over all that he has accomplished.
As a former Baseball America correspondent (and book reviewer), Bailey is well-qualified to tell such a story. He is familiar with the Minor League locales through which Del ascends, as well as the various personalities — agents, scouts, host families, coaches, players and assorted hangers-on — that populate the landscape. Additionally, Bailey did his research, speaking to (unnamed) former players about the drug testing process and to trainers about workout regimens. Nine Bucks A Pound, though a work of fiction, seems real.
Hill took the time to understand not just Del’s motivations, but that of his co-conspirators, Ryan Edsell and Ian Wicker. Having reviewed many books myself, I know it’s not always easy to really flesh a book out. He did so, and I definitely appreciate the effort he put forth. Now if only everyone in America would log on and read the full review.