Pitchers & Catchers Report to Ft. Myers

Saturday, March 15, 2014

"The Devil's Snake Curve: A Fan's Notes from Left Field"

I just finished reading a book called "The Devil's Snake Curve: A Fan's Notes From Left Field" by Josh Ostergaard, which is an interesting mix of baseball and political history.

Ostergaard, who grew up a Kansas City Royals fan in Kansas, looks at America's pastime through the lens of politics, mixing "colonialism, jingoism and capitalism."

I guess the key word in the title of the book is "left."

I don't usually talk about my political beliefs on this blog. Everyone is entitled to their politics, and Ostergaard's are clearly to the left of center. For me, I am very much an Independent. I like to think for myself. I've learned in life there are certain subjects I generally keep to myself. Politics falls into that category.

So, overall I have to admit I really didn't care that much for this book.

But it wasn't without its merits. Ostergaard talks extensively about his hatred for the Yankees, and really has it in for onetime owner Del Webb, who built the Japanese internment camps in Arizona during World War II. Billy Martin and George Steinbrenner take their lumps in this book as well, and Ostergaard rips into the Yankees and their corporate image. Lots of Yankee bashing here, and that's never a bad thing. (Although I was disappointed to read that he was rooting for the Yankees during a 2009 ALCS game at Yankee Stadium.)

The book goes through baseball and America through the years, and touches on subjects like the treatment of American Indians, black Americans, Japanese Americans, the wars that America has been involved with through the 20th and 21st centuries, the steroid scandals, and much more.

If your politics veer off to the left, I think you will probably enjoy this book. Probably more than I did.

No comments: