The Reshaping of America’s Game: Major League Baseball After the Players’ Strike

Rowman & Littlefield. Apr. 2021. 240p. ISBN 9781538145951. $45. SPORTS
In an exhaustive examination of Major League Baseball over the last 25 years, Soderholm-Difatte (America’s Game) provides keen insight into the current state of the sport. In many ways, the book covers the same ground as a book like Jon Pessah’s 2015 The Game, but this account is a useful update, which includes discussion of baseball’s decision to proceed with a shortened, but highly eventful 2020 season amid the COVID pandemic. This book makes clear that, like to other businesses, the MLB is concerned with making the highest profits possible. Much of the last two and a half decades, since the 1994 lockout which abruptly ended the season without a World Series, have been a long and public labor dispute between owners and players. Each side wanting to claim larger pieces of the financial pie has not endeared them to fans, the author says.
VERDICT Soderholm-Difatte’s great strength lies in his examination of the steroid era and the damages it wrought, representation of non-white people in baseball management, and new baseball analytics which look for the most productive players through statistical scrutiny. An engaging overview of the sport.
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