Synopses & Reviews
A hilarious celebration of the worst in baseball history: The boneheads, cheats, jerks and losers who make the grand old game so fun
Libraries and Internet sites are filled to groaning with debates about who the best ballplayers of all time were—but how many times can you argue about Mantle vs. Mays? Since baseball is a game of failure, it's much more fun to dive into the fray and explore baseball's worst: who was the lousiest pitcher of all-time? the biggest goat? the most despicable owner? the greatest cheater?
Filip Bondy wields formidable research, advanced sabermetrics and his considerable wit to provide this indispensable guide to the less glorious side of our national pastime. Each chapter is filled with rich and colorful stories of the players unfortunate enough to be chosen in each category and is followed by a handy top-ten list, such as Most Overpaid Yankees.
From a delightful survey of batters who fell below the dreaded "Mendoza Line" to a rundown of managers who had long careers distinguished by relentless losing to a roster of players who took steroids but still stunk, Who's on Worst? is a thoroughly entertaining portrait of the personalities who deserve their place in baseball history as much as the immortals.
"New York Daily News sportswriter Bondy offers a compendium of the lore that has elevated baseball to religious status. The title a play on the Abbott and Costello vaudeville skit, 'Who's on First?' is an appropriate summary of a sport that is 'all about failure.' Bondy mixes humor with fact and a fan's passion in unearthing those who have contributed their talents. He reaches back to the 19th century for Frederick 'Crazy' Schmit (a pitcher who kept notes on hitters and 'quite often pulled out his notebook on the mound'), while not shying away from today's stars. The narrative is divided into chapters like 'Too Fat to Bat,' and 'What's an Emery Board?' about pitchers who thought they could use a little help. Deft turns of phrases about players such as Dave DeBusschere, who 'wasted his baseball talent winning NBA titles,' lend irony to an already amusing look at players who have 'elevated failure, or folly, to fresh, artful levels.' Photos. (Mar.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Filip Bondy is a sports columnist for the Daily News, where he has worked since 1993. He has been cited as one of the top ten sports columnists in America by the Associated Press Sports Editors. Over the years, his articles have appeared in such publications as the New York Times, Sports Illustrated, GQ, and the Village Voice. He has also authored or co-authored six books, including Tip Off: How the 1984 NBA Draft Changed Basketball Forever and Chasing the Game: American and the World Cup.