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Sunday, May 03, 2009

Murray Chass on Baseball: Peter Golenbock strikes again.

Sweet! Right after Murray the Qué? rolls out some “Left-handers Trevor Cahill…” research…he guzzles Golenbock.

What does that mean? It means that Goldenbock has written another baseball book, another book about the Yankees, and that’s not good. In fact, it’s downright dangerous. It’s dangerous because whenever he has written a baseball book, Golenbock has created errors for posterity.

Years from now some kid will take a Golenbock book out of his school library and think he is reading an accurate history. Golenbock and accuracy are an oxymoron.

...In another book, about the Dodgers, Golenbock wrote that Duke Snider was a right-handed hitter. Not that anyone else knew.

The mistakes in the Steinbrenner book are far from the first Golenbock has foisted on the sports-reading public. He has long been a serial killer of accuracy in baseball literature.

 

Repoz Posted: May 03, 2009 at 05:02 PM | 15 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: books, media, special topics

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. BevaquaVelva Man Posted: May 03, 2009 at 05:25 PM (#3162152)
And posterity is not happy about it...
   2. BDC Posted: May 03, 2009 at 05:44 PM (#3162164)
The Martin book, “Number 1,” for another example, said that Martin resigned as the Yankees’ manager in 1978 at the Crownson Hotel in Kansas City. There was no Crownson hotel in Kansas City. It was the Crown Center


Number 1 was the book that Martin "told to" Golenbock, though – I don't know why anyone would read or worry about the accuracy of that book anymore, given that Golenbock went on to write a full biography of Martin after the manager's death: Wild, High, and Tight. It's a good book, as I remember it, though I can't vouch for its fact-checking. Golenbock's book about the Dallas Cowboys – Cowboys Have Always Been My Heroes – is outstanding. I also liked The Forever Boys. PG is basically a reporter, not a historian, and he is usually good at shaping what people say into a narrative. His Mantle novel, 7, is an exception: it's pretty dull, even though it was billed as a salacious collection of all the best gossip about Mantle.
   3. AndrewJ Posted: May 03, 2009 at 05:48 PM (#3162169)
PG is basically a reporter, not a historian, and he is usually good at shaping what people say into a narrative. His Mantle novel, 7, is an exception: it's pretty dull, even though it was billed as a salacious collection of all the best gossip about Mantle.


Number 7 was probably the single worst sports book I've read from a reputable writer.
   4. The District Attorney Posted: May 03, 2009 at 06:17 PM (#3162219)
Holy crap, Chass is actually right.
   5. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: May 03, 2009 at 06:54 PM (#3162278)
Maybe he's mad that Golenbock didn't write about Steinbrenner's backne.
   6. GregD Posted: May 03, 2009 at 07:22 PM (#3162315)
Wild, High, and Tight is kind of fun, but is really sloppy. Lots of it is rehashed from Number 1, which at least has a nasty energy to it. Wild, High, and Tight all but accuses Steinbrenner of murder. I have no trouble faulting George for being a dick, but it's pretty obvious Martin was also a contributor.
   7. bob gee Posted: May 03, 2009 at 10:57 PM (#3162579)
see goodwin, doris kearns under "wait til next year"
   8. Rough Carrigan Posted: May 03, 2009 at 11:47 PM (#3162613)
I thought Dynasty was a pretty good book. (No, it was not about Joan Collins!)
   9. AndrewJ Posted: May 04, 2009 at 12:08 AM (#3162623)
Who's worse: Peter Golenbock or Curt Smith?
   10. bob gee Posted: May 04, 2009 at 12:28 AM (#3162632)
@9 - don't ask roland orzabal.
   11. TerpNats Posted: May 04, 2009 at 01:07 AM (#3162650)
So Peter Golenbock is to sports books what David Bret is to showbiz biographies?
   12. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: May 04, 2009 at 01:09 AM (#3162651)
Merits of attacking Golenbock aside, is Chass using the freedom of his blog only to settle scores?
Sure seems like it.
   13. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: May 04, 2009 at 01:33 AM (#3162663)
I thought Dynasty was a pretty good book.


That may have been the first adult baseball book that I read. I still have it around somewhere. They must've rereleased it years after 1975 because I'm guessing that I bought it around 1984 at a Caldor's.
   14. GregD Posted: May 04, 2009 at 01:54 AM (#3162667)
Merits of attacking Golenbock aside, is Chass using the freedom of his blog only to settle scores?


I certainly hope so! Saves us from reading his theories of baseball.
   15. Repoz Posted: May 04, 2009 at 04:17 AM (#3162728)
Merits of attacking Golenbock aside, is Chass using the freedom of his blog only to settle scores?

And he has a lot.

Murray had Hal Badly quaking in his desert boots during a YES roundtable bit.

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