Am höchsten bewertete kritische Rezension
The Cutting Edge Now Blunted
am 5. Juli 1999
Perhaps Jim Bouton himself says it best: "The books that have come after mine make BALL FOUR, as an expose, read like THE BOBBSEY TWINS GO TO THE SEASHORE."
This is because--dare I say it?--BALL FOUR is now pretty tame stuff. Oh, no doubt, it's entertaining...and Bouton IS a good writer (or Schecter a great editor). And let's never forget that WITHOUT it, we should never have had the pleasure of Dennis Rodman's name on a bestseller.
But the book is hardly shocking anymore, and I doubt the high school toughs of today have even heard of it, much less decided to read it (now, if MICHAEL JORDAN decided to write a tell-all....)
However, the diminished shock value makes BALL FOUR'S merits stand out more clearly than perhaps they could when it was new. Though I wasn't shocked by it, I often found myself laughing; Bouton has a way of sketching characters and dialogue quite entertainingly. Too, being a bit of an outsider myself, I could certainly relate to his one-rational-voice-crying-out-in-the-wilderness persona. And the 1990 edition of the book has value in that Bouton is able to look back and see the results of the changes in baseball he and others worked toward.
So, perhaps, the reader's enjoyment of BALL FOUR is in the approach. Don't expect to be shocked or enraged; that time is past. Rather, expect four or five days of solid chuckles and a good feeling when you finish.