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When It's Good, It's Very, Very Good, But....
on September 6, 2014
At it's best, "Big Hair and Plastic Grass" is a stimulating, succinct summary of the seventies. At it's worst, it's a salacious, slanted screed of same. The best parts make the book worthwhile, but they also display how good the book could have been. Some of my favorite parts were the chapter on uniforms, the account of the Bull's big heart and the description of Al Hrabosky stomping around like a bull. Unfortunately, that isn't all of the bull in the book. For example, we learn that the Reagans were responsible for the fading away of the afro, greed in baseball and PED's. This lack of balance is evident with the book's handling of many of the controversies it discusses like: Curt Flood vs. Judge Irving Ben Cooper, Pete Rose's hustle vs. egomania, Billy Martin vs. Jim Campbell (by the way, Campbell is sometimes incorrectly referred to as John Campbell), 1970's riots vs. 1980's riots, Faith Days vs. wet t-shirt contests and baseball played on mod sod in ashtrays vs. baseball played in Camden Yards. The author and I agree on The Bird, but, like the Bird, the book's bias leaves me longing for what might have been.