Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Its that time again

Book Review!!!

This month’s installment – The Last Commissioner by Fay Vincent.



  1. After a couple of disappointing books (Kevin Kennedy, 27 Men Out), it is finally nice to have one that at least was enjoyable. The former commissioner assembles a number of tales about his days as commissioner as well as a fan. There are a few too many details about his youth, a bit too much glowing about the Yankees (but not so bad and you end up laughing because Vincent later in life becomes a Mets fan. How does this happen? How do you look yourself in the mirror when turning your back on your childhood team?) and some slightly distorted views of the owners (can’t really blame him since they essentially fired him – but he did say of the owners “they shut down baseball and robbed the fans of the 1994 World Series.” Sure the owners screwed up, but no mention of the players going on strike or anything?) But I digress, there are some interesting tidbits and a few that were new and from a different perspective. Some of his tales leave you wanting for more detail – a lot of them are only one or two pages long. Like his details of meeting certain players or meeting George W as owner, going to the White House with Ted Williams and Dimaggio, dealings with umpires, efforts to reach out to former negro league players (a favorite topic for me), the 89 World Series fiasco, etc.

    Overall I would say this book is a solid double. Not a HR, but not a whiff like the last two. I was ready to call this a great book until page 237 – that is when he begins his two page suck up to GYS whipping boy Murray Chass. The accolades are laughable – making him seem like the Bob Woodward of baseball. Willing to challenge all. Relentless in his pursuit of the facts. A quote on Chass – “a careful craftsman. He cares deeply about getting every fact in every story correct.” I had to do a double take to make sure we were talking about the same guy. Interesting note, though. Chass grew up in Pennsylvania and was a Pirates fan. Ha. Another traitor. The Chass section and the anti owner stance aside (and I did my best to let those go) the book was a winner.

    And finally, my next review is a certified HR so far. Another week or two for that one.... And the sox fans here should enjoy.

  2. Wow, sounds great. Man, one of these days I'll start reading again. Depresses me to hear about all these books I'm not reading.

    Next up: "Mind Game" maybe?

    Yeah, Piniella's pretty good. His voice is annoying, but what he says is pretty insightful. I'd love it if he went apeshit and attacked McCarver.

  3. Also, on the topic of Murray'll be interesting to see what he writes this offseason. Last offseason was probably his best writing in a very long time -- his writing on the Giambi Steroid Clause (very anti-Yankees) was practically old-fashioned investigative reporting. But then the season began, and *boom* -- babck to Fox News-style Rah-rah "reporting" of baseball.

  4. Mind game is not next, but it is on the way from Amazon. That will be the second next one.

    Pinella's voice is a bit squeky

    And yeah, that is right on Chass. We were actually lauding him at one point earlier this calendar year - thinking he might be jealous of Olney for striking it big. but exactly like you said, once the season started he was back in georfe's pocket.

    One good thing was Vincent rips in Steinbrenner quite a bit - it was Fay that suspended George for the Spira-Winfield mess.

  5. Oh crap. If the White Sox win this game on that BS call...

  6. yeah very sad. the guy put his hand up and signaled out. not to mention that Paul caught it.

    I went to comcasdt CHI after the game and their homers were saying regardless of the wrong signal, the unps got the call right - were they even watching the video. I hate when things like this happen.

    I want the series to go 7 for entertainment purposes but i hate to see bad calls. and the unmps will be completely protected by their union and mlb. scioscia was very classy in his interview