Melissa Rose Bernardo
August 17, 2005 at 04:00 AM EDT

Wrecking Crew

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
John Albert
publisher
Scribner
genre
Nonfiction, Memoir
We gave it a B

Hot on the heels of baseball’s latest steroid scandal comes Wrecking Crew, the sometimes too frank tale of ”The Really Bad News Griffith Park Pirates.” (The team is bad news because it’s basically a bunch of drug-addled, alcohol-fueled L.A.-area misfits — to say nothing of the crack-smoking umpires.) Ex-Bad Religion drummer John Albert, a recovering junkie, often goes too far out of his way to give his teammates equal playing time: Shortstop Jacob’s journey through struggling-actordom is painstakingly detailed (it involves a bad perm and pig wrangling), as is third baseman Johnny’s dysfunctional love life (the stripper on speedballs wears out her welcome quickly). Yet he proves an affable, unsentimental narrator; his treatment of Chris, the cross-dressing catcher, is refreshingly matter-of-fact. A solid hit up the middle.

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