New Book On Stadium Swindles
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I'm sorry if this has been posted before (it seems vaguely familiar?) but I just happened to stroll into Walden Pond Books on Grand and found a book by Jim Bouton just published entitled 'Foul Ball'.
I've read the introduction so far and although the story is about small-town politics playing out around a minor league ballpark, he draws analogies to the majors.
If one reads like a grad student (just the intro!) he claims public ballpark financing is a swindle and only for the elite.
Since I have tomorrow off (Happy California Admission Day!) I plan to plow through it.
Please look for it. He has independently published the book and (drawing from the Michael Moore school?) claims that major publishers won't touch it. Blurbs on the cover are from Keith Olbermann, NPR, Frank DeFord and Kurt Vonnegut. And while we're all in favor of local business 'round here, maybe you could shop at a local bookstore?
| By deajay on Monday, September 08, 2003 - 01:58 pm:|
Jim Bouton published "Ball Four" years ago. Considered to be the first of the "tell all about
ballplayers" books. New one might be interesting. Let us know.
| By eyleenn on Monday, September 08, 2003 - 02:03 pm:|
Here's a review copied from Amazon's website. If anyone wants to buy the book, please remember to use the OAFC link to Amazon.com on the lower left-hand side of your screen.
Bouton has been raising hell with the baseball establishment since 1970, when his landmark Ball Four revealed the frat-party side of the grand old game. Now he lines up against the economic lynchpin of pro sports: publicly funded stadiums. Pittsfield, Massachusetts, is the site of venerable Wahconah Park, home to various minor-league teams since 1892. Bouton and most of the area's citizenry feel the stadium should be repaired, updated, and preserved. The city government, however, along with various business interests, wants to build a new $18 million stadium--at taxpayer expense. This relatively small skirmish is portrayed by Bouton as a microcosm of the publicly funded sports facility battles that have been fought around the country. Typically, taxpayers foot the bill--under the pressure of team abandonment--so owners and players can get rich. Bouton, humor intact and sense of irony sharpened, chronicles the battle between the forces of fiscal responsibility and those who would build the new stadium (on a toxic waste dump). The good guys win this time, as the old ballpark is saved, at least temporarily, but Bouton paints a distinctly disturbing picture of corporate greed and taxpayer exploitation. Interestingly, Bouton's original publisher pulled out under pressure from pro-stadium business interests, leaving the author to publish his expose himself. Wes Lukowsky
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| By deajay on Monday, September 08, 2003 - 02:23 pm:|
"Interestingly, bouton's original publisher pulled out under pressure from pro-stadium business interests ..."
Why do I smell Slug Selig's long arm in this? I mean, what the heck, he already successfully "sold" and pulled off his publicly funded stadium in sleepy Wisconsin. Guess he figures the only legacy he can leave is every club with a new stadium ... by hook or crook.
| By tekgraf on Tuesday, September 09, 2003 - 12:10 am:|
This is a good book. But there is another that is much better and talks about all the stadium projects. Especially the story behind Comiskey Park and a well established neighborhood just south of the old Comiskey Park.
The title: "Playing the Field; Why sports teams move and cities fight to keep them"
by Charles C. Euchner and published by The Johns Hopkins University Press.
I recommend everyone to read it.
| By filthyslurve on Wednesday, September 10, 2003 - 09:47 am:|
Yes, this book is not so good. Don't bother. You can fill in the blanks: "Greed, bad", "Business, bad", "Politicians, bad."
Read Ball Four. My fave book ever.
The only thing of note is (besides warning against the insidious drive for spanking new ballparks, especially the kind we pay for!)that the villain is a media mogul from Denver who tried to buy our beloved A's apparently. Dean Singleton is his name, of the Denver Singletons.
I thought 'Lil might have some insight on this character?
| By diamond_lil on Wednesday, September 10, 2003 - 11:25 am:|
All I know about Singleton is that he is ruthless, and runs his Newspapers with an iron hand. Some credit him for saving the Oakland Trib back in early 90s. They claim the Oakland Trib was losing 1 million/month and Singleton turned it around. He reduced the staff from 700 to 300 and there were reporters making as low as $20K and sleeping in cars in order to keep living.
There's a lot of confusion re Singleton's bid to buy the A's.
Singleton was behind the investment group put together by Andy Dolich to buy the A's in 1999. The media only mentioned the Oakland Tribune and its Publisher Scott McKibben as part of the bidding group, but Dean Singleton is the CEO and owner of the MediaNews Group that publishes the Denver Post, the LA Daily News and other 50 plus daily newspapers around the country. The Oakland Trib and Alameda Newsgroup is part of Singleton's corporation.
The confusion came about when in 2000 Singleton's Denver Post became a share holder of the Rockies.
Some of the newspapers mentioned at the time the fact that Singleton's bid to purchase the A's had been turned down by MLB. One paper even reported that his bid had been turned down by Oakland City Council in favor of another group, which was not true.
The group turned down by the Oakland City Council was the one sent by Selig which was the Lazarus/Campbell/Stone from Chicago.