Anticipation has been high ever since it was announced that Kansas City Star Cartoonist Lee Judge and future Kansas City Royals manager Jason Kendall were teaming up to write a book. While the wider baseball world will have to wait until the book is released, I am now able to provide you, the reader, with some excerpts of what I imagine might very likely might make it into the book. Be ready to have your baseball knowledge increased thanks to Throwback: A Big-League Catcher Tells How the Game is Really Played.
From the Introduction, Page 3:
I was a nervous wreck due to having a new assignment from the Star. I didn't know it at the time, but when walking in, you are to never step on the line in the carpet that divides the clubhouse inside from the room outside. Old-timers call this "The Halfway Step." No sooner had I stepped on it, and Jason Kendall grabs me, shoves me into a locker, and screams at me, "YOU ARROGANT PUNK! JUST WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? THERE IS NO HALFWAY STEPPING IN HERE! WHEN YOU'RE IN THIS HOUSE YOU WILL DO THINGS THE RIGHT WAY AND RESPECT THE GAME!" I wasn't sure what to think. How could I possibly be accepted by these players? Well, the first to eventually accept me was that very same Jason Kendall.
From Chapter 1, Developing Your Game the Way it's Meant to be Developed, Page 9:
The manager then takes out my 1st Round rookie contract, and would you believe, in a scene right out of Major League, he pees on it in front of the entire team and then screams at me, "I DON'T CARE IF YOU WERE A 1ST ROUND PICK, YOU WILL LEARN HOW TO BUNT BEFORE YOU DO ANYTHING ELSE. IF YOU CAN'T PLAY THE GAME THE RIGHT WAY YOU WON'T EVER MAKE IT TO THE BIG LEAGUES IF I CAN HELP IT!" I learned an important lesson right there. I had to develop my game the way it was meant to be developed. There is nobody who is above the game, no matter your draft position or skill set.
From Chapter 3, Playing the Game the Way it's Meant to be Played, Page 45:
After the game ended I took that selfish punk aside and I slammed him into the lockers and screamed at him, "YOU ARROGANT PUNK! WE WERE DOWN BY 4 IN THE 9TH INNING WITH 2 ON BASE, AND YOU HIT A HOME RUN, KILLING OUR RALLY AND LOSING THE GAME FOR US. WE NEEDED BASERUNNERS, NOT YOUR PADDED STATS!" I could tell in his eyes that he heard me, and that I had made an impact. It's not that he was a bad kid, he just had bad teachers. To many guys grow up wanting the highlight on ESPN, but don't know how the game is really to be played.
From Chapter 6: Catching the Game the Way it's Meant to be Caught, Page 84:
5: Darrell Porter, 1978
4: Mike Macfarlane, 1993
3: Ed Kirkpatrick, 1969
2: Darrell Porter, 1979
1: Jason Kendall, 2010
From Chapter 7: Evaluating the Game the Way it's Mean to be Evaluated, Page 107:
That's what bugged me about the whole thing. Why was there any debate? He won the Triple Crown. Hello guys. That's the best batting average, most home runs, and most RBIs. Who cares what kind of other things some punk kid out in Anaheim can do, you can't argue with the historically most important stats. I was glad to see the guy from Detroit take home the award.
From Chapter 7: Evaluating the Game the Way it's Meant to be Evaluated, Page 108:
Fantasy owners drive me crazy, with their simplistic look at stats. Look guys, there are a lot more ways to evaluate the worth of a player than by just looking at batting average, home runs, and RBIs. A guy can do things to help a team win that won't show up in those 3 stats you seem to care so much about.
From Chapter 8: Winning the Game the Way it's Meant to be Won, Page 129:
So I told him, "Look - your team played hard, played the right way, and played with respect, they're winners. It's as if you really did win the World Series."
From Chapter 9: Making an Out the Way it's Meant to be Made, Page 145:
Outs happen. Even the best of players fail 2/3 of the time. So, the key is what do you do with your 2/3 failures? Can you still be productive in those cases? Things most people don't care about, but are still important. Things like hitting the ball in the air to right when the sun is in the fielder's eyes, hitting a foul ball right at the 3rd base coach to make him nervous, swinging hard enough on a strikeout to distract the catcher if somebody is on base, things like that.
From Chapter 10: Leading the Way it's Meant to be Led, Page 163:
So I got in the guy's face, shoved him into the locker, and screamed, "YOU ARROGANT PUNK! YOU WERE IN THE ON-DECK CIRCLE. YOU MUST SIGNAL TO THE RUNNER IF HE NEEDS TO SLIDE. YOU WON'T LAST LONG UP HERE PULLING STUNTS LIKE THAT!"
From Chapter 11: Ending the Game the Way it's Meant to be Ended, Page 173:
That was the toughest call I ever had to make, but I knew. I remember the old timers saying you would just know, and I couldn't understand what they meant, but now I did. Getting injured after just 2 games on a rehab stint in AA - well, I just knew. Anyway, I called the big league General Manager, and when I told him there was silence on the line for about 2 minutes. Choking back tears, he said, "Are you sure? We can give you some more time. We were counting on you to help us make a run at the playoffs." I didn't want to break down myself, so I simply said, "It's time. It's time. I just know."
From the Epilogue, Page 184:
Who knows for sure, but for a guy with as much baseball knowledge and passion as Jason, the sky is the limit. Attention all Major League GMs: The next time you need a manager, somebody who knows the game and can inspire men, the first guy you should call is Jason.