Greg's Reviews > Ball Four

Ball Four by Jim Bouton
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's review
Aug 10, 2011

it was amazing

So the controversy surrounding this book has long since faded, and although the book talks about mild drug use and general incivility by major league baseball players, don't read this if you expect a huge expose on scandals in the sport.

What the book does talk about, which is fascinating, are all the ways that the sport gets politicized. It's not the meritocracy that it seems - it's not the best players on the best teams getting rewarded for their talent.

It's about sometimes worthless managers who hold grudges, pitching coaches who have no advice to give on how to pitch, well-behaved but mediocre players rewarded for their conformism rather than their skill.

Bouton was an outsider, always. That's why he could write this book to begin with, because he saw the system for how it was, without romanticizing it. Of course he loves baseball, but he knows it's a business and a job, and does a good job bringing it down to earth.

Cheers to him.

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