- Audio Cassette
- Publisher: Random House Audio; Unabridged edition (April 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0553502638
- ISBN-13: 978-0553502633
- Product Dimensions: 4.5 x 1.2 x 7.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 88 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,672,066 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Fair Ball Audio, Cassette – Audiobook, Unabridged
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From Publishers Weekly
Emmy Award-winning sports announcer Costas is a natural for audio; his confident, animated voice is enjoyable to listen to (though the rapid-fire speed of his delivery takes a little while to get used to), and he's comfortable behind the microphone. His passion for baseball comes through in every line. This audio is a soapbox for Costas, allowing him to present his strong opinions about exactly what's wrong with baseball today. Like a lawyer presenting his final summation, he intelligently argues his case. He believes 1993 was the turning point: the year that Major League Baseball made radical (and in Costas's opinion, misguided) changes, including the realignment of the divisions, that allow weaker teams to enter the playoffs and potentially end up as World Series contenders. Costas also argues strongly for salary caps and revenue sharing to lessen the unfair advantage currently enjoyed by wealthy, large-market teams. This audio's conversational pace and clear production make it a sure bet for baseball fans interested in the future of the game. Based on the Broadway hardcover (Forecasts, Mar. 27). (Apr.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"Costas is that rare hybrid in sportscasting with converging wit, erudition and superb communication skills."
--Los Angeles Times
"Costas comes out of a tradition of gentle baseball eloquence."
--New York Times
"He is as good a pure broadcaster as I've ever seen."
"Intelligent, witty, good-natured, he is the very antithesis of the shills who dominate most sports programming."
"With his unique ability to weave intellect into a typically anti-intellectual medium, he's the best in the business."
From the Hardcover edition.
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But unlike Mike Lupica's mad, mindless manure spreading in "Mad As Hell," Costas aims facts and proposed solutions at baseball's hard numbers: on the schedule (his criticism of interleague play) at the gate (everything from a proposed revenue sharing plan to the constant between inning noise; he cites the Montreal Expos' and Texas Rangers' star-crossed, strike-shortened seasons as examples), on TV (the disastrous "Baseball Network," wild card folly destroying September pennant game-by-game tension), World Series games starting too late for younger fans and peppered with commercial messages. His description of 1997's Marlins-Indians World Series accurately descibes how interminable and unapproachable the game had become in less than a decade.
Costas outlines his plan to address baseball's large and small, money and image issues: Pete Rose's Hall of Fame induction (he favors it while strongly opposing that gambling that got Rose suspended) the DH (he opposes it despite its extending the careers of stars like Eddie Murray) radical, georgaphical realignment (a disaster still discussed but earlier dismissed).
Costas' book is welcome because, unlike more emotional stories like David Halberstam's "October 1964" or Lupica's "Summer of 98" (both chronicling World Series which changed baseball's image) you don't smell the green grass and hear the bat crack. "Fair Ball" is the work not of a baseball poet (Costas' writing is broadcast-tight, although more charts and graphs would have made his revenue sharing plan more accessible ). Costas here is a baseball doctor diagnosing a decade's baseball owner obesity and union player gluttony, prescribing diet and weight redistribution.
Bob Costas' book is recommended reading for fans, those they cheer for (everyone should read Chapter Three, "The Nature of Sports Leagues," among the most accurate descriptions of player perks and pressures), and all deriving employment, profit or pleasure from the national pastime.