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The coauthor of the bestselling corporate expose Barbarians at the Gate presents a fascinating look at how America's favorite game became one of its biggest businesses. "The ultimate chronicle of the games behind the game."-- The New York Times Book Review.
Posted February 7, 2002
For the serious and intelligent baseball fan who is perplexed by the recent idiocy of Bud Selig and his fellow baseball owners, 'Lords of the Realm' is a must-read. Helyar summarizes a century of business shortsightedness and mismanagement that continues to characterize the ownership of our former national past time. The type of people who have run the business of baseball is best encapsulated by Helyar's depiction of contract negotiations between the NY Yankees and Mickey Mantle, at the height of the latter¿s popularity. Rather than give Mantle any raise after his triple-crown winning season, the Yankees decided to black-mail Mantle into signing a new contract at the same salary by threatening to send Mantle's wife pictures of Mantle¿s late-night dalliances during the season. Especially enjoyable is reading of the various miscalculations made by the pompous windbag Bowie Kuhn and his band of nincompoops in their battle with Marvin Miller and the emboldened player¿s union. The business of baseball is in trouble, but with little revenue sharing and the deserved distrust and resentment of the players, it is foolhardy to expect this current crop of owners, led by the woeful Selig, to orchestrate any real solutions to such troubles. ¿Lords of the Realm¿ tells you where such foolhardiness all began and where it has been over the last 100 years.
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