Thursday, May 5, 2016

Reviewing "Split Season 1981"

I not only review books in philosophy, but also about baseball, strikes, and labor. The Hardball Times has published my review of Jeff Katz's book Split Season 1981: Fernandomania, the Bronx Zoo, and the Strike that Saved Baseball. I can't shake the feeling that, as a longtime Giants fan, that the photograph of Fernando Valenzuela that heads the review is subtle trolling by the folks at THT...but then again, part of the book's subtitle is Fernandomania. But about Katz, I say:
Another way to convey Katz’s storytelling skill is to note, because I’m too young to remember it, that the split season had always been to my mind a statistical anomaly or a turning-point in labor relations, but not really a season like I remember 1987 or 1989. However, by the end of the book, I cursed myself for caring whether the Dodgers or Yankees would win the World Series, I could feel how Reds fans or Cardinals fans might dismiss the results of 1981 with an asterisk or two, I felt indignation at the possibility that Boone was sold to, and DeCinces traded to, the Angels at the end of season as retribution for their efforts on behalf of the union. Finally, I grinned with pleasure when Katz notes that an Angels team packed with union leaders—DeCinces and Boone, but also Reggie Jackson, Don Baylor and Steve Renko—made it to the playoffs in 1982.

No comments: