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Ball Four Revisted

by Tom King

When I was in my early teen years I read alot of baseball books. Most were hagioraphys that told me little in depth of the players or teams I was reading about. Then came Ball Four. Jim Bouton's scathing, behind the scenes and in the locker room diary of his 1969 season with the Seattle Pilots and Houston Astros was eye popping. It was profane, it was funny... it was raw...it did not shy away from telling the truth about some of the game's biggest stars...and the truth wasnt always pretty. He became a pariah in the game he loved. Baseball never did forgive him...but like Watergate did for politics...Ball Four did for sports journalism. We were never again satisfied with polished up lies. I've read it at least 20 times. I was in the bookstore this week using some gift cards I had received and picked up Terry Francona's book about his years with the Red Sox. Near it on the shelf was a paperback copy of Ball Four. Since my copy had been lost or borrowed somewhere along the way I decided to revisit it again. Before  I chew through it again though I have borrowed it to one of my radio colleagues who has never read it. He's alot younger than me and a huge baseball fan. He's also a child of social media and the internet. Ball Four may seem tame in today's world of TMZ, Twitter and 24-7 sports channels..but for me, for better or worse, I could never view sports the same way again. And when a book can change your world-view on any subject...you know you've got a winner.

The Brewers begin a two game interleague series with Texas tonight at Miller Park. You can hear the game on WSAU at 6:35.

Derrick Rose?? We don't need no Derrick Rose...that would be the Chicago Bulls after beating the defending champion Miami Heat last night 93-86. The Spurs also got a game 1 win in improbable fashion coming from 16 down in the last four minutes to beat Golden State 129-127 in double OT.

Its a triple header of high school baseball today on Foxsports AM1390 & FM 93.9. First up a doubleheader between Wausau East & Wausau West at Jack Torresani Field at East...pre game at 3:45. The DC Everest-Spash game will follow.

Songs of the Day  (From my I-pod)

Love & Happiness-Al Green (1972) Testify Rev Al!!

Love At The Five & Dime-Nanci Griffith (1986) Kathy Mattea had a hit with this one but nothing beats the original, especially the live version here from the album "One Fair Summer Evening". If you ever have the chance to see Griffith live...don't miss it.