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About this product
- Synopsis"Once again, Andy Zimbalist proves that no one understands the mysterious inner workings of the best game on earth better than he does. With energy, thoughtfulness, and passion, he has parsed the complicated world of baseball and shown how important its business side is to its soul-and its survival." -Ken Burns "By looking at baseball from the perspective of the commissioner's office and its many challenges, Professor Zimbalist has been able to use his scholar's eye and his fan's heart to see the game as an ongoing enterprise that needs refreshment. The fair but unsparing portrait of Bud Selig he paints is of a man who is nobody's fool and nobody's tool-and now, those of us who love the game need him to start the rally that will restore baseball in America's esteem." -Scott Simon, host of NPR's Weekend Edition Saturday and author of Jackie Robinson and the Integration of Baseball and Home and Away: Memoir of a Fan "Baseball books, like the game itself, are often replete with errors. But Andrew Zimbalist has written a carefully researched yet lively review of the record of the nine commissioners that is both fair and accurate. It is long overdue and a superb read." -Fay Vincent, former commissioner of baseball "Tremendously enjoyable and a must-read for baseball fans. Guaranteed to raise the level of discourse on sports-talk radio." -Jim Bouton, former 20-game winning pitcher for the Yankees and author of Ball Four "Andrew Zimbalist has done a very credible, eminently readable, and engaging job describing MLB's commissioners, particularly Bud Selig, who easily has become the most significant figure in baseball in decades. While Selig will not necessarily share all of Zimbalist's views about the game, In the Best Interests of Baseball? has thoughtfully, and perhaps uniquely, tracked many of the thorny issues that Selig confronted during baseball's new golden era." -John Moores, owner of the Padres and member of MLB's Executive Council "I always thought Yogi Berra was the wisest source on baseball, but Zimbalist has hit a grand slam here." -Tom Werner, owner of the Red Sox and former owner of the Padres
- AuthorAndrew Zimbalist
- Number Of Pages256 pages
- Publication Date2006-02-17
- PublisherWiley & Sons, Incorporated, John
- Copyright Date2006
- LC Classification NumberGV865.S45Z56 2006
- Dewey Decimal796.357092
- Dewey Edition22
- eBook FormatAdobe Ebook Reader,GlassBook,Portable Document Format,netLibrary
Table Of Content
- Table Of ContentPreface. 1 Introduction: Running a League. 2 The History of the Commissioner's Role. 3 The First Commissioner: Kenesaw Mountain Landis. 4 The Undistinguished Middle I: From Chandler to Eckert. 5 The Undistinguished Middle II: From Kuhn to Vincent. 6 Bud Selig: A Lifetime in Preparation. 7 Baseball's Acting Commissioner, 1992-1998. 8 Baseball's Permanent Commissioner, 1998- . 9 Governing Baseball: Assessing the Past and Anticipating the Future. Notes. Index.
- Reviews"A book certain to stir debate among sports business experts and fans alike." ( Boston Herald ) "The season''s best book so far gets right to the heart of the game''s survival at the organizational level." ( The Boston Globe , April 2, 2006) "A compelling examination of the national pastime as seen through the prism of the commissioner''s office." ( The Wall Street Journal , April 1, 2006) "Andrew Zimbalist, a man who has become a go-to guy on matters of sports economics, uses an academic approach to explain - and, perhaps surprisingly, defend - Bud Selig''s 13-year tenure as commissioner of baseball." (New York Daily News ) Certain ballgames, no matter how important, turn out to be just plain dull. You want to be kept on the edge of your seat, eager for the action, but it doesn''t happen. This book is like that kind of game. It''s unfortunate because Andrew Zimbalist has a rich subject in Bud Selig, Major League Baseball commissioner and former owner of the Milwaukee Brewers. Many changes, both for good and for ill, have taken place on Selig''s watch. And Zimbalist, an economist at Smith College who has written and consulted extensively on sports, is no rookie. But this book, his fourth on baseball, rarely captured my attention or my interest. For a book that''s subtitled "The Revolutionary Reign of Bud Selig," it takes a long time -- 110 out of its 218 pages of main text -- to get to its ostensible subject, and only five of its nine chapters deal with him exclusively. Some of the early baseball history is intriguing -- from 1910 to 1912, when Ty Cobb hit .385, .420 and .410, he was paid $9,000 a year; and players sent down to the minors had to pay their own way (now that hurts) -- but far too much space is given to Selig''s eight predecessors, from Kenesaw Mountain Landis to Fay Vincent. It was amusing to read about what a strange old bird Landis was, and that Selig, as head of the search committee in 1983, was "smitten" with Bart Giamatti, who left the presidency of Yale to become commissioner and died of a heart attack just five months later. But neither of these sections does much to advance the author''s thesis that Selig''s reign has been revolutionary. In fairness, it should be noted that when Zimbalist does get around to Selig''s performance as commissioner, he asks the right questions, including: Why did Selig wait so long to sell the Brewers after he became commissioner? Did he move quickly and effectively in dealing with the steroids scandal? How much merchandizing is too much? Is Selig acting "in the best interests of baseball" when he makes cities pay for building stadiums as a condition for getting a team (sound familiar)? Unfortunately, Zimbalist''s questions are better than his answers, although quite a bit of added information can be found in the 18 single-spaced pages of notes, many of which contain facts and opinions that would have enhanced the main text. To his credit, in response to Selig''s handling of the steroid crisis, Zimbalist writes, "Thus, as in other areas, Selig might have acted more aggressively, more consistently, and more persuasively than he did. However, arguing that his actions were short of ideal is different from arguing that his actions were wrong or devious." Zimbalist''s prose only becomes smooth and readable when he writes about the economics of the game. And then there''s his fondness for peculiar words or phrases, such as labeling an action of Bowie Kuhn''s "bumptiously dirigiste" or writing that Selig "cathected" two separate elements (cathect, in case you were wondering, means to invest emotional energy in something or someone), or using a redundancy such as "rudimentary pro formas." Speaking of pro formas, each of the commissioners who preceded Selig gets a similar bio bite. For example, "Young Kenesaw, born in 1866, was the sixth of seven children to Abraham and Mary Landis"; "Chandler was born on April 18, 1898, in Corydon, Kentucky.
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