Rites of spring
With spring training under way, here are three very different books about baseball.
Billy Martin: Baseball's Flawed Genius (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) by Bill Pennington is a New York Times sportswriter's definitive biography of the New York Yankees' five-time manager, still one of the sport's great characters more than 25 years after his death.
The Players (Alfred A. Knopf) by Jill Bialosky is a collection of finely crafted poems about family relationships, many of which employ baseball as a protean metaphor for time, change and rites of passage.
Stadium for Rent: Tampa Bay's Quest for Major League Baseball (Mr. Media Books) by Bob Andelman is a newly updated version of the 1993 book by a local journalist that tells the complex, dramatic and sometimes downright crazy story of how the Rays came to St. Petersburg.
Colette Bancroft, Times book editor