Fair Ball: A Fan's Case for Baseball

Bob Costas, Author Main Street Books $21.95 (192p) ISBN 978-0-7679-0465-0
Costas isn't the first announcer to write a manifesto on what's wrong with baseball, nor is he the only person to think the game's soul has been debased by hyper-escalating salaries, bonehead revisions to the league and shortsighted owners toeing the bottom line. But he is one of the more persuasive and eloquent. Costas firmly grasps the game's economics, and he marshals mounds of evidence and countless wise insights to show why the sport needs revenue sharing, a salary cap and a salary minimum to restore competitive balance. Next, he dissects other gimmicks of 1990s baseball, such as interleague play, the wild card, the oft-proposed radical realignment. Thankfully, Costas never sits back and says, ""It was better when...."" Instead, he carefully shows that these gimmicks have been implemented poorly, that they've achieved nothing they were supposed to and that they've instead made pennant races obsolete. In the last frame, Costas briefly pushes a few more hot buttons--umpire oversight, Pete Rose, the DH--and offers what may prove his most controversial opinion: he advocates using instant replay during the playoffs. Throughout, Costas remains evenhanded. If he blames most of the game's problems on the owners, he's no less critical of the superstars and their union lackeys, who, he argues, care more for a few huge paychecks than all the guys making minimum. Author tour. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/03/2000
Release date: 04/01/2000
Paperback - 224 pages - 978-0-7679-0466-7
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-553-50263-3
Compact Disc - 978-0-553-71211-7
Hardcover - 174 pages - 978-0-7838-9186-6
Open Ebook - 122 pages - 978-0-7679-0954-9
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