When George Will called last month to tell me that The Baseball Codes is the “greatest book in the history of books,” and that he would be writing about it to coincide with opening day, he officially kicked off a period of terrific anticipation for everybody involved with the project.
I’m not yet aware of the full reach of Mr. Will’s syndicated column, but the first outlet to publish his promised essay is the Taunton Daily Gazette, of Taunton, MA. As promised, he delivers a faithful look at the unwritten rules, as seen through the eyes of the book.
It’s not, however, a review. In fact, save for the considerable subtext, there’s not an opinion to be found about The Baseball Codes. The column is a compendium of brief looks at stories from the book, interspersed with Will’s own interpretation of the Code (which, gratefully, is entirely consistent with our own).
(My favorite line: “In a society increasingly tolerant of exhibitionism, it is splendid when a hitter is knocked down because in his last at-bat he lingered at the plate to admire his home run.”)
I get no small amount of grief from my wife for perpetually spouting sports analogies in reference to non-sports situations, but in this regard, Will backs me up. “In baseball, as in life,” he writes, “the most important rules are unwritten.”
Update: The Washington Post, for which the original column was written , has now posted it, as well.