My love of baseball is strong enough that I can endure – and even enjoy – books. This off-season I ploughed through delights like As They See ‘Em and You Gotta Have Wa, and I’m not going to lie to you, it barely felt like I was actually reading. Even my current casual reader, a book on Cubs history cleverly titled The Cubs, hasn’t once reminded me of being forced to read The Chrysalids in Mr. Randall’s monotonous Grade 10 English class.
I picked up a copy of The Baseball Codes today, and though I’d love to have a review up while the book is new and (presumably) topical, I simply don’t read that fast. I think I type faster than I read, and I type with my index fingers only.
Timing is everything, however, when it comes to baseball blogging (I hear Chalk loves that word), so I’m not going to let something as trivial as having actually read the book stand in the way of a solid review. Hell, I bought the damn book, what else do you want?
Let’s start this review off with a bang. Jesus H. Christ on a crutch, check out this cover:
Is that awesome or what? Trust me, it looks even better in 3D. When I was in University, we used to cheat on exams by keying formulas and examples into our TI-89s. The cover of this book is kind of like that calculator – full of crib notes for the ill-prepared.
I give the cover 5 out of 5.
The author of the book is Jason Turbow, but he’s not alone! The cover clearly indicates that Michael Duca is “with” him in some capacity. You gotta love teamwork.
I give the author(s) two thumbs up.
The title of the book, as previously mentioned, is The Baseball Codes. The “s” on the end of “Codes” lets us know we’re in for a long read, since there will be more than one code. How many codes are there exactly? I guess you’ll have to buy the book!
The basic title gets an A+
There’s even a subtitle to this book, and it’s a beauty: Beanballs, Sign Stealing, & Bench-Clearing Brawls: The Unwritten Rules of America’s Pastime. I like the wee bit of alliteration in the part before the colon, and although I understand that the reference to “America’s Pastime” is a dig at us Canadians for hitching our wagon to a much flukier and therefore less-rewarding sport, I can get behind the dig.
The subtitle scores perfect 10.
The back of the book has some nifty trivia, like how Dock Ellis handled his team’s 6-12 start by trying to plunk every Red he faced, or how Tommy Lasorda holds a mean grudge. This is top-notch bar room trivia, folks. If you’re going to read the back of one book this spring, make it the back of The Baseball Codes.
The back of the book is rated E for Excellent.
All in all, I can’t recommend The Baseball Codes enough. Just like you knew 2012 would suck even before you saw it, you can tell The Baseball Codes is Pulitzer-material without even cracking the spine.
Oh yeah, the ISBN number for this book is 978-0-375-42469-4. Pretty sweet, eh?