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"Before you know it as the years go by, you're just like other people you have seen, with all those peculiar human ailments. Just another vehicle for temper and vanity and rashness and all the rest. Who wants it? Who needs it? These things occupy the place where a man's soul should be." -- Henderson the Rain King

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Cheater's Guide to Baseball

Book #15 on my '07 reading list was The Cheater's Guide to Baseball by USS Mariner's Derek Zumsteg.

Funny and well-researched, The Cheater's Guide is an interesting look into the lines between cheating and competing and how cheaters have changed the face of America's past-time. Particularly interesting to me were stories about how early innovations like the hit-and-run stretched the limits of the rules at the time and were considered to be unfair by some. Zumsteg also points out some of the hypocrisy around cheating like how we openly accept thing like framing pitches, not sliding into the bag during a double play, or manipulating the field to play to the home team's advantage, while we work ourselves into a rage when we find a smudge on Kenny Rogers' pitching hand.

Some of the content starts to feel like filler towards the end of the book, but on the whole this is an enjoyable, quick read which any baseball fan should enjoy.

Book blog
Salon article
Zumsteg on NPR with Noah Adams
Interview with the Hardball Times
New York Times review
Excerpt from intro

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