Peter Golenbock interview

Bob Andelman, aka Mr. Media, posted this in-depth interview with Peter Golenbock, author of 7, the already-controversial-though-not-yet-released novel about Mickey Mantle.

A veteran of such notable baseball titles as Dynasty; The Bronx Zoo, which he wrote with Sparky Lyle; Balls, (Craig Nettles); Guidry (Ron Guidry); Number One (Billy Martin); and Wild, High, and Tight, written about Billy Martin, as well as team histories of the Cubs, Red Sox, Cardinals and Mets, 7 is Golenbock’s first work of fiction.

Among the highlights:

  • Golenbock admits, "I knew when I wrote it that some people would really love it, some people would like it, and there would be a small majority and probably a vocal majority who would resent it."
  • About the explicit sexual content in 7: "[S]ex is a very funny thing. It’s a very large part of our society. We have Playboy and Maxim and God knows what else, and if you look on TV, there is sex here, there, and everywhere, and yet, you know, for a certain part of society, it drives them crazy. They try to pretend that it doesn’t exist and that nobody does it. And so you write about sex, and they act like you are committing some kind of crime."
  • Golenbock says the book "is absolutely absed on fact."
  • About the question of whether people might be disheartened by Mantle’s off-the-field exploits: "When people want to know what this man was really like a hundred years from now, this book is what’s the book that is going to tell them what he was really like. And people, if they’re wise, are not going to think less of him for it."
  • On the cancellation of O.J. Simpson’s literary project, which, like 7, were both products of ReganBooks:  " have a funny philosophy, which is that under the First Amendment, a writer has a right to write anything. If O. J. wants to write his whatever that thing was, he’s got a right to do it, and I as a book buyer have a right to decide whether I want to buy it or whether not, and I think canceling these books is a disgrace. It’s a political solution."

You can listen to the interview here.

One comment


    Golenbock for years has always struck me as a guy you can’t fully trust, even when he writes books that are good. What I think is really disgraceful of the guy is how he develops fixations and then runs with them for all they’re worth, and the facts be damned.

    Case in point is this interview where he recalls Sparky Lyle and actually has the gall to suggest it was *Steinbrenner’s* fault that Lyle wasn’t pitching to Yaz instead of Gossage for teh last out of the 78 playoff game. In the immortal words of Warner Wolf, “Gimme a break!” Lyle’s poor 1978 when he had to take a backseat to Gossage, a superior pitcher, had more to do with Lyle’s pouting me-first attitude, which included quitting on the team on numerous occasions. But Golenbock, who in the pre-1996 period I will note was one of those with a vested interest in saying the Yankees would NEVER win again as long as Steinbrenner owned the team, is always determined to do what he can to push this idea of George being the bad guy to explain *everyone’s* problems.

    Oh, and as far as the Mantle book is concerned, I leafed through it and it is a revolting disgrace. Golenbock reveals his usual left-wing bias by deciding that he should paint Mickey as enjoying an unrepentant hedonist’s existence in Heaven when talking about all these perverse stories that frankly no one was ever interested in hearing, even as he then tries to talk about Mickey’s regrets at the end of his life. Only a clueless ***** like Golenbock I imagine, would be incapable of realizing that if Mantle’s regrets and repentances at the end of his life were genuine, then he would NOT be in Heaven recalling his earlier exploits in the fun-loving way he has Mantle do in this wretched excuse of a book, that like all other previous versions of this format (think Edmund Morris’s contemptible “Dutch” that made us realize how 14 years as Ronald Reagan’s designated biographer were flushed down the toilet) should be devoutly ignored.

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