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Game of Shadows: 03/30/07
The BALCO steroid raid was a local headline news "event" for a number of months. I have to admit that I tuned most of it out. Around the same time as the trial I read and enjoyed The Secret Language of Baseball which among its analysis of hand signals had some chapters on previous baseball scandals. So when Game of Shadows was offered up at the local BookCrossing meeting last year, I had to give it a read.
Baseball while an entertaining sport to play and to watch is not all "Mom and apple pie" pure as some would like to believe. Heck, I'd argue that neither is "Mom and apple pie" but I digress. It's a highly competitive team sport that produces a lot more misses than hits. Those team members who can consistently hit the ball well end up being the stars of the sport. With stardom comes the big bucks. Baseball has a history of turning a blind eye to a lot of the underhanded things players and teams do get ahead in the game.
The BALCO thing is just the latest and most recent public example. Game of Shadows covers the people involved in the trial (owners of BALCO, the managers, the players, the investigators, and so forth). It is set up in three equal parts. The first introduces all the "players", the second piece is the events that lead up to the trial and the final third is the trial itself. The trial piece is by far the most interesting piece of the book and I wish more time had been given to it and perhaps to the investigation.