Baseball is a business and, as in every business, there are ego clashes, competition, behind-the-scenes maneuvers, and Machiavellian gambits among the power brokers. Not least of these power brokers
of baseball, perhaps the most powerful of them all in his time, was Bud Selig, the league’s commissioner for a fair length of time. Using myriad source documents and interviews with several players (players as in power brokers and not those who played the game on the field), Jon Pessah, formerly of
ESPN The Magazine, builds an interesting and plausible narrative of power at play.
At the heart of the book is the agreement between the owners and the players that informs the relationship between the two. Of course, the union negotiates on behalf of the players and the league has its own representative. However, the owners, having a lot at stake on the outcome
and constantly and regularly interfere in the process, often to disastrous consequence. This is when the commissioner of the league wields his power and influence to essentially save the game for the fans.
Using diligent research and tremendous access, Jon Pessah presents an evenhanded narrative that indicates foolhardiness and egos at play on both sides of the table. Nobody comes across as blameless--perhaps rightfully so--in this narrative.