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Book Review: In the Best Interests of Baseball?

How do you feel about Bud Selig? Do you hate him? Feel indifferent? Are you one of the three baseball fans in the world who likes Bud Selig without reservation?

Regardless of how you feel, you're probably not giving him a fair shake either way. For every All-Star Game ending in a tie, you've got to give Bud some credit for the WBC. Steroids got your game down? Well, don't forget about the extended playoffs and how exciting the wild card makes September.

Andrew Zimbalist's latest book, In the Best Interests of Baseball? is an excellent read. I've read the manuscript and I'm going through the released copy again. It's selling the book short to say that it's solely about Bud Selig as it covers the commissioner's office from its inception. If you enjoy baseball history in general, I'm positive you'll get something out of this one.

The thing is filled with interesting insights. For example, Kenesaw Mountain Landis, the man who cleaned up baseball, may have qualified as a midget. He was also a horrible judge, bordering on corrupt. He also liked to curse a lot and was a bigot and enjoyed making decisions with no information to base his decisions on.

How cool is that?

Andrew Zimbalist touches on almost anything you might think of when it comes to Bud Selig. In past articles, Zimbalist has been extremely critical of Bud Selig and his decisions, but this book is a very fair and informative. It's not a bash fest like, say Ball Four, but it's also not a gushing Valentine like 3 Nights in August.

One thing that Padres fans might notice is that Tom "Firesale" Werner is quoted on the back cover, just underneath John Moores. The book doesn't have a whole lot about the Padres, but I thought that little bit was interesting.

In the end, I heartily recommend ITBIOB to any fan looking to get a glimpse at what goes on behind the scenes of the commissioners office. I enjoyed the book immensely and I'm sure you will too.