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Nine Bucks a Pound [Kindle Edition]

James Bailey

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Book Description

Three seasons into his minor league career, Del Tanner can no longer ignore the obvious: He lacks the power expected of a first baseman. Despite a smooth left-handed stroke and a slick glove, he’s regarded by the brass as nothing more than a warm body clogging a roster spot in A-ball. When his aspiring agent suggests he try steroids, Del makes a choice that will shadow him for the rest of his career.

In his second novel, James Bailey (The Greatest Show on Dirt, 2012) humanizes the players fans are so often quick to demonize. Nine Bucks a Pound ponders life on baseball’s fringe and the dreams that tempt a young man to heed the devil on his shoulder.’s Jayson Stark says, “Bailey hasn’t just given us a great read. He’s given us an important window into a topic we can’t seem to stop talking about.” Adds Russell Rowland, author of High and Inside, “Bailey expertly explores how the desire to succeed at any price can lead to unexpected consequences, mostly involving a man’s relationships with others, not to mention with his own conscience. This is a powerful story about the perils of success at any price.”

Product Description

About the Author

James Bailey is the author of The Greatest Show on Dirt (2012), set in historic Durham Athletic Park. He is a regular contributor to Baseball America magazine, for whom he spent six years covering minor league baseball. He lives in Rochester, N.Y., with his wife and son. Nine Bucks a Pound is his second novel.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 957 KB
  • Print Length: 340 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Sun Field Press; 1 edition (20 Feb. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #861,611 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.7 out of 5 stars  14 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Relevant and compelling story 25 Feb. 2014
By Russell Rowland - Published on
Nine Bucks a Pound is a timely novel, the story of Del Tanner, a minor league baseball player whose inability to break into the majors leads him to experiment with performance enhancers, just to see whether it will take him to that next level. Like many men in his position, Del soon learns that there's a reason these drugs are banned, and popular, as his production rises dramatically. Nine Bucks a Pound is more than a sports novel, though. James Bailey expertly explores that the desire to succeed at any price can lead to unexpected consequences, mostly involving a man's relationship with others, not to mention with his own conscience. Although Del eventually makes it to the majors, and finds tremendous success in his first year without using steroids, it doesn't take long for his decisions in the past to pop to the surface, and Bailey depicts the ensuing struggle so convincingly that it makes you wonder what men like Alex Rodriguez must be going through as you read. This is a powerful story about the perils of success at any price.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly well-written, some baseball thrown in. What's not to like?!? 7 Mar. 2014
By Andrew S Bernstein - Published on
James Bailey's second book does not disappoint. While still centered around baseball, like Greatest Show on Dirt, this story is completely different and exposes another side to the whole PED shebazzle. A fast, fun read with enough below the surface to get your mind chewing. The characters are well fleshed out and Bailey handles the novels multi-year structure well. You never feel, although you may have skipped many months between sections, that there is a loss of continuity to the sotry or the characters. I had high expectations for this one based on Bailey's first work and this exceeded my expectations. Overall a great read with compelling characters, a nice pace, an original structure and implementation and you have a little bit to noodle on as a takeaway....
5.0 out of 5 stars The Cost of Everyman Trying to be Superman 13 April 2014
By Jeff Gillenkirk - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Relationships are hard. So is professional baseball. And when hitting singles and doubles isn’t enough, when you want to hit home runs and “go all the way,” a competitive guy is prone to trot out some white lies to gain an advantage. “Nine Bucks a Pound” is the story of Del Tanner, an ambitious first baseman trying to work his way up through the Minnesota Twins organization and get his time in the limelight. He’s also trying to balance the demands of a relationship with the love of his life who wishes that Del’s career didn’t take him so far from home. But baseball doesn’t only take Del far from the hearth – it leads him far astray from his personal value base. Compelled to show baseball higher-ups that he has the power to “go long,” Del succumbs to the temptations of Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs) for just a brief period – but long enough to boost his stats and ensnare him in a widening net of scandal and innuendo. James Bailey, author of the well-received novel “Greatest Show on Dirt,” does a wonderful job portraying an average man caught up in the big business of Major League Baseball, with its voracious demands that a man be better than average. Bailey has clearly done his homework, delving far beyond the headlines into a shadowy world where the innocent have no business. He's created an absorbing tale with strong human drama, a lot of good baseball, and some surprisingly good sex scenes. For men who don’t read fiction, this is a good place to start. For women who wouldn’t think of reading a baseball novel, this is your chance. Think of it as curling up on the couch with your boyfriend to watch his favorite team in action. There’s plenty in that scenario for you.
4.0 out of 5 stars What is it really like to wrestle with the PED question? 19 Nov. 2014
By John J. Franco - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Del Tanner is a minor league baseball player who isn't making the grade. He's got a sweet swing, but he doesn't have the strength to be an impact player, and he's on the verge of washing out of baseball before he even makes the majors. So he's faced with a tough decision - should he take some performance enhancing drugs to add the strength he needs and make the majors at the cost of his innocence? His roommate thinks so. His agent thinks so. Is a tainted career better than no career?

Author James Bailey does a great job telling the story from Del's perspective. The baseball scenes are very realistic. The depiction of minor league life is outstanding. Bailey also mixes in romantic interests and family drama, and those are well written too. Overall I enjoyed the book. At times I felt like it could be a 5 star book but it wasn't quite perfect.

If you want to put yourself in the shoes of a struggling minor league player faced with a tough decision, this is a great book
5.0 out of 5 stars well paced, excellent baseball fiction 4 Jun. 2014
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I found the writing above average and I enjoyed the personal story of Del Tanner as he fought pressures to get ahead at any chance. The way he responded to his mistakes was interesting and to see how it affected his personal life was also unique. We all have ambition and want to succeed but sometimes we never realize who our blind drive and ambition will affect. The plot was excellent and I would recommend this book to any baseball aficionado.
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