To fans, most athletes are like superheroes. In a sense, we like our favorite players so much in part because we don’t know a whole lot about them — to a degree, they’re not human. Human beings are complex and nuanced, while athletes — as far as a fan knows them —- are simplified. We can pretend they have no weaknesses or flaws, and it makes idolizing them even easier.
In reality, this is why situations like the ones surrounding Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson are so shocking — we assume the players we know underneath the jersey were accurate representations of the person underneath the jersey. That simply isn’t always the case.
In that sense, athletes are like actors — hidden behind a curtain, only asked to come out for set amounts of time — time they know is spent in front of an audience. For me, as a fan, the time spent behind the curtains has always been mysterious — almost mythological.
In her new book, “The Best Team Money Can Buy: The Los Angeles Dodgers’ Wild Struggle to Build a Baseball Powerhouse,” Molly Knight uses her access as a reporter to draw back the curtain on the Dodger clubhouse, offering fans a peak into what life as a Dodger has been like from the Frank McCourt saga to the Guggenheim purchase to a pair of high-pressure postseason runs.
Like dozens of other reporters, Knight was sent to Chavez Ravine to cover the dumpster fire that had become the McCourt era. Unlike most of those reporters, however, Knight was a lifelong Dodger fan whose assignment would turn into a journey that resulted in this fantastic read.
“I wrote this because I grew up a Dodger fan,” Knight said. “And so I thought about what fans would want to know. I had access that was pretty unprecedented and I wanted to share it and use it the best that I could.”
While her journey began with the McCourts, it was the 2013 season (with some help from the players) that convinced Knight that everything going on around her needed more coverage than a magazine article.
CONTINUE READING: Knight On Decision To Write Book, Perception Of Yasiel Puig