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  • despite its author keeping detailed journals of his experiences, the baseball memoir Odd Man Out was criticized by many people named in the book as being factually inaccurate?

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Odd Man Out: A Year on the Mound with a Minor League Misfit  
Author Matt McCarthy
Country USA
Language English
Subject(s) Baseball
Genre(s) Memoir
Publisher Viking Press
Publication date February 2009 (2009-02)
Media type print (hardcover)
Pages 294
ISBN ISBN 978-0-670-02070-6

Odd Man Out: A Year on the Mound with a Minor League Misfit (ISBN 978-0-670-02070-6) is a 2009 memoir by Matt McCarthy in which McCarthy recounts his experiences as a professional baseball player in the Anaheim Angels minor-league system. Major themes include steroids, minor league living conditions, players' sexual hijinks, the crass attitudes held by players and coaches, and the clubhouse segregation between white players and "Dominicans" (a catch-all term for Latino players).[1]

An excerpt from the book was published in the February 16, 2009 issue of Sports Illustrated;[2] the book, published by Viking Press, was released on February 19, 2009, and at one time was ranked at #29 on the New York Times non-fiction bestseller list.[2]



McCarthy, the son of two college professors, was born in North Carolina but moved to Orlando, Florida at a young age when his parents took jobs at the University of Central Florida. A left-handed pitcher, McCarthy played for Bishop Moore High School in Orlando, and subsequently played for Yale University.

McCarthy was drafted by the Anaheim Angels in the 21st round of the 2002 Major League Baseball Draft, a draft that was heavily analyzed in Michael Lewis' book Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game. He participated in the Angels' minor league Spring Training and was assigned to the rookie-level Provo Angels of the Pioneer League.

McCarthy would spend the 2002 season going back and forth between the starting rotation and the bullpen. Much of the book describes his life off the field during that season, such as long bus rides to away games, living in a hotel and subsequently with a Mormon family, altercations with teammates, and acclimating to life in predominantly Mormon Provo. He also describes several games from his own perspective on the mound or in the dugout, as well as a different perspective on games such as Joe Saunders' first start for Provo, as well as a game where Larry King was the guest of honor.

The next spring, McCarthy returned to Spring Training. He was placed on three different minor league squads, including the Triple-A squad, but was released before Spring Training ended. After his release, he enrolled in Harvard Medical School, and did work in Cameroon and Malaysia. He was a medical intern at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center at the time the book was published.

Notable people mentioned

Several notable players and other personnel are prominently mentioned in Odd Man Out. The most prominent mentions include:

Other notable personnel McCarthy mentions meeting and/or playing against include Bobby Jenks, Chris Young, Derrick Turnbow, Prince Fielder, Manny Parra, Jonathan Broxton, Brian Harper, Casey Kotchman, Howie Kendrick, Ervin Santana, Mike Napoli, Jarrod Washburn, Bengie Molina.


McCarthy has stated that much of the book's content was taken from detailed journals he kept while he was playing. However, several people mentioned in the book have criticized its factual accuracy.[2][3] Two reporters from The New York Times pored over box scores and transaction listings, as well as interviews with people named in the book, and concluded that "many portions of the book are incorrect, embellished, or impossible."[2] Examples include:

  • McCarthy claims Provo manager Tom Kotchman ordered a pitcher to hit an opposing batter after Erick Aybar had been hit twice, when box scores from all games in that series showed no Provo batter had been hit.[2]
  • Matt Brown denies he was involved in an incident described in the book that involved the son of CNN talk show host Larry King punching him in the groin, as he was not on the Provo roster at the time.[3]
  • Tony Reagins, the Angels' director of player development at the time the book's events took place and the team's general manager when it was published, denies two specific incidents McCarthy describes, one involving a meeting between McCarthy and Reagins where Reagins allegedly restructures McCarthy's contract, the other involving "tears streaming down [Reagins'] face" when releasing McCarthy.[2]

See also


  1. McCarthy, Matt (2009). Odd Man Out: A Year on the Mound with a Minor League Misfit. New York: Viking Press. ISBN 978-0-670-02070-6. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Hille, Benjamin; Alan Schwarz (2009-03-02). "Errors Cast Doubt on a Baseball Memoir". The New York Times. Retrieved on 2009-06-18. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 Davis, David (2009-03-13). "'Odd Man Out' author Matt McCarthy's accuracy is questioned". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved on 2009-06-18. 

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