MSNBC’s Non-Metallic K.O. is already on record dubbing Dirk Hayhurst’s “The Bullpen Gospels : A Non-Prospect’s Pursuit of the Major Leagues and the Meaning of Life”, “maybe the best baseball autobiography since Jim Bouton’s ‘Ball Four'”. Reliever Dirk Hayhurst’s debut tome hits stores April 8, and the author, a self-described “broken person” who tells’s Benjamin Hill, “I’m not going to write about myself like I’m special. Everybody knows I suck.”

Major League Baseball gets a ton of hype, and people are interested in what goes on, but the same stuff happens in the Minors — just under far more dire circumstances,” Hayhurst explains. “The travel is harder, our eating habits are terrible, and living arrangements can be brutal.”

Thus readers are treated to stories involving harsh treatment of bumbling bus drivers, unappetizing clubhouse spreads served in the bowels of decaying stadiums and the “shockingly awful” accommodations provided by the Lake Elsinore Hotel and Casino. And because the principal characters are all testosterone-fueled young men in their early 20s, booze and women — and the combination of the two — are often obsessively discussed in lurid R-rated detail.

“These are all normal 20-something boys with a pack mentality. … I think the behavior portrayed in the book is almost expected of them,” said Hayhurst, an abstinent teetotaler who often portrays himself as a bemused observer rather than a direct participant.