On Sunday, the New York Times’ Sunday Book Review will weigh in on The Baseball Codes, but those who can’t wait to read it can already find it online.
The piece’s overall tone is positive, including this: “The stories the authors have unearthed to illustrate ballpark justice and morality are often delicious.”
Still, the author, Bruce Weber, while clearly knowledgeable about the game, does not appear to be a proponent of the unwritten rules as a whole. (Sample sentiment: “How players follow this principle takes some interesting forms, and in many places ‘The Baseball Codes’ reads like a lab report by a psychologist who has been observing hostile toddlers whack one another with plastic shovels in a sandbox.”)
This bias clearly does not work in our favor.
Still, the book is referred to as casual sociology, which was intended, and Weber takes the time to recount four stories from within its pages (not bad for a review of fewer than 900 words).
Also, he manages to call us “obvious baseball obsessives,” which is nice.
2 thoughts on “New York Times Sunday Book Review: The Baseball Codes ‘Delicious’”
Not to get political but I think the baseball codes (as, yes, deliciously described in your book) promote a fairer sense of moral justice than do the viewpoints of the NY Times editorial writers. In fact, I’d take a sandbox full of hostile toddlers over the NYT editorialists.
As someone whose byline appears occasionally within the pages of the Times (not to mention being grateful for the attention they’ve given the book), I am hardly one to criticize in this situation. Mr. Weber, clearly an informed baseball fan, is entitled to his opinions, and is paid to convey them — which he did, with not just a little panache.
Of course, none of that kept me from giggling out loud when I read your post . . .