Heads the List of an Avalanche of 2008 Baseball Books
Jose Canseco is at it again.
And this time, despite the naysayers, he is as his new book
title says, "Vindicated" (Simon Spotlight Entertainment,
$25.95, 259 pages). The latest tome is all about "big
names, big liars and the battle to save baseball" in the
words of its sub-title.
"Vindicated" is stunning and swift reading from the former
big leaguer who hammered 463 homers in a 17 year career. To
add authenticity to his claims Canseco yielded to three lie
detector tests. There are lots of big names who get the up
close and shocking commentary from Canseco. For the
startling revelations he provided in his first book
"Juiced," the Cuban born superstar was dissed as a liar.
This time around with all that has come out about steroids
and big stars the liar label cannot be trotted out.
A bit padded and not deserving of its price
tag appendices, photos, repetitions all of which could
have been trimmed, "Vindicated" nevertheless is worth the
As an oral historian and sports author, I was most anxious
to read "Change Up: An Oral History of 8 Key Events that
Shaped Baseball" by Larry Burke and Peter Thomas Fontale
with Jim Baker (Rodale, $24.95, 290 pages).
With three authors and 8 monumental national pastime events
as the crowded agenda, "Change Up" reads as if it were a
book proposal, a book first draft or a lengthy committee
Subject matter includes:
the 1962 Mets
Ball Four (Jim Bouton's epic effort)
The Designated Hitter
and Ichiro Comes to America.
We have mix and match and match and mix and a mish-mosh of
oral history, narrative, sub-heads interfering with
headlines. Too much. At times the book reads like a reading
From Skyhorse publishing comes two paperbacks - "Mets By
the Numbers" by Jon Springer and Matthew Silverman ($14.95,
320 pages) and "It Takes More Than Balls" by Deidre Silva
and Jackie Koney ($14.95, 304 pages.)
The tome trained on the Mets is a must have
for the Flushing team's fans providing as it does a lot of
team history by uniform number. An interesting feat. The
other Skyhorse book with the unfortunate title is billed as
"the savvy girls' guide to understanding and enjoying
baseball. It is a primer of sorts, nothing more and nothing
less. Fortunately, it does not claim to be more than that.
NOTABLE CHILDREN'S SPORTS BOOK:
"The Aurora County All-Stars" by Deborah Wiles (Harcourt
Children's Books) $16.00, 256 pages) for 10 and up is a
remarkable book about Jackson, age ,the captain and star
hurler of his team has a lot going for him including the
concerns of a broken elbow, lots of secret time spent with
Mean-Man Boyd. Enticing, interesting reading.