In the Best Interests of Baseball?: The Revolutionary Reign of Bud Selig

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9780470128244: In the Best Interests of Baseball?: The Revolutionary Reign of Bud Selig

"The season's best book so far gets right to the heart of the game's survival at the organizational level." —The Boston Globe

"A compelling examination of the national pastime as seen through the prism of the commissioner's office." —The Wall Street Journal

"A thoughtful and objective analysis of baseball's labor and economic policy evolution. Interesting, relevant, and a good read." — Randy Levine, President of the New York Yankees and former chief labor negotiator for MLB

"A tour de force. It's an incredibly interesting read that ends with a vision for the sport that is squarely on target and a clarion call to our industry." — John Henry, principal owner of the Boston Red Sox and member of the MLB Executive Committee

"Those who are determined to have Selig's head on a stick will be disappointed; rational baseball fans will rejoice in this tough but fair view of a decent man in a thankless job." — John Thorn, coauthor of Total Baseball

"This thoroughly researched book by one of the foremost authorities on sports business is an oral history of the game through the Office of the Commissioner. Zimbalist provides a fascinating look at the game's history and those who have helped shape it." —mlb.com, April 3, 2006

"The best baseball book I've read in forty years." —Mike Murphy, 670 The Score, Chicago

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From the Inside Flap:

So what impact have Selig's thirteen years at the top had on the sport? How have his policies changed baseball, and how will they influence the future of the game? Few people are in a better position to answer these questions than sports economist, consultant, labor negotiator, award-winning author, and baseball fan Andrew Zimbalist. In this thoughtful, balanced, but hard-hitting critique of Selig's tenure, Zimbalist examines the commissioner's performance in every aspect of the job. Among the more controversial topics he probes into are:

  • Conflicts of interest arising from Selig's original role as owner/commissioner
  • Selig's response to the growing steroids scandal
  • The commissioner's role in promoting and marketing the sport
  • Player relations and the collective-bargaining agreement
  • Major changes in the game made on Selig's watch
  • Leadership—getting owners to think beyond their wallets for the good of the game
  • Selig's growing compensation

Underlying this very public evaluation is a far more challenging question: given the legal, economic, and political architecture of Major League Baseball, can any commissioner act in the best interests of the game? Zimbalist examines the history of MLB, the pervasive effects of its 1922 antitrust exemption, and the ambiguous role of the commissioner's post since its inception in 1921. He compares Selig's performance to those of other commissioners and explains how and why Bud has functioned in a dramatically different fashion from his predecessors and thus has had a far greater impact on the sport.

Based on dozens of interviews with Selig, baseball COO Bob DuPuy, and scores of baseball insiders and interested outsiders, as well as mountains of historic baseball documents, In the Best Interests of Baseball? challenges everything you think you know about the game, the Major Leagues, the players, the owners, and, most of all, the man at the helm.

About the Author:

ANDREW ZIMBALIST is the Robert A. Woods Professor of Economics at Smith College. An award-winning writer, media commentator, and consultant in the sports industry, Zimbalist has worked with players' unions, cities, owners, and leagues.

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