Hrbek’s “Tales From the Dugout”

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I just finished reading Kent Hrbek’s book “Tales From The Minnesota Twins Dugout”, and was not impressed in the least.  Here is a review of the book that I wrote on Amazon.com that I thought was appropriate to share on this Twins blog:

Before my review, a little Kent Hrbek anecdote: A few years ago, while attending the annual TwinsFest event at the Metrodome, I waited in line to get a picture taken with the big guy at his booth promoting his outdoors TV show. Before the photo, I commented on how exciting it was to be there, while all Hrbek could do was mope about wanting to be out on the lake fishing.

So, with that experience firmly planted in my mind, I was only cautiously optimistic that Herbie’s book would be any more exciting than the man himself. As it turned out, this book only confirmed to me that Hrbek is an arrogant jerk who never really applied himself to the sport that set him up for life.

A few (just a few, to be sure) of the things that bothered me in this book included…

-Hrbek calling baseball a “team sport”, which it is, but then lauding his two World Series rings like they make him some sort of Minnesotan God.
-Hrbek not taking a stand on any issues. He claims to be this straight-shooting personality, but never comes close giving his real thoughts on things like steroids, his off-and-on friendship with Gary Gaetti, and the effort (very little) he put into improving his baseball skills. Instead, he couches his “memoirs” with enough “buts” and “althoughs” to get himself off the hook in every situation.

To me, Kent Hrbek has achieved a very false celebrity status her in Minnesota by cashing in on his Bloomington roots and dumb luck of playing on two championship clubs (he certainly didn’t carry those teams). Thus, the only reason I gave this book even a two-star rating is because I encourage Twins fans to read it…not because of the actual concepts, but so you can better understand the type of man that Hrbek really is.

I don’t like saying those things about a former member of the Minnesota Twins organization, but unfortunately they are true in relation to Hrbek, and this book only exacerbates his negative persona.

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