** A review of The Cheater’s Guide to Baseball appears on The Pastime blog.
** The NY Times’ Richard Sandomir previewed the HBO special, Brooklyn Dodgers: The Ghosts of Flatbush, based loosely on Through a Blue Lens: The Brooklyn Dodgers Photographs of Barney Stein, 1937-57 (premieres July 11). The Dodgers played their last game in Brooklyn fifty years ago, and every baseball book fans knows the significance of major anniversaries. See here for a a BaseballBookshelf profile of Stein’s daughter, Bonnie Crosby, following her program (with co-author Dennis D’Agostino) at the Yogi Berra Museum.
** The Day, out of London, Conn. offers this profile of Jonathan Mahler, author of Ladies and Gentlemen, The Bronx is Burning, which is the subject of an ESPN miniseries beginning July 10 at 10 p.m. The early buzz is not promising (although TV Guide‘s Matt Roush hails it as something even non-Yankee fans will enjoy), from either a baseball or theatrical point of view. Oliver Platt as George Steinbrenner? Stick a pair of prosthetic ears on John Turturro to turn him into Billy Martin? Add a cast of no-name supporting actors (Daniel Sunjata as Reggie Jackson? Eric Jense as Thurmon Munson? See picture.) and you have to wonder whether this can really sustain any interest over eight episodes. According to IMDB.com, Pratt/Steinbrenner appears in all eight, but Turturo/Martin only two? Even the characters who portray the players get more screen time, and Martin was a major player in that hectic season of 1977. See here for a BaseballBookshelf profile of Mahler and fellow-Wall Street Journal scribes Seth Mnookin (Feeding the Monster) and Joshua Prager (The Echoing Green).
** Former Times sportswriter Gerald Eskenazi reviews **** and Baseball, Volume I: Entering the American Mainstream, 1871-1948, by Burton A. Boxerman and Benita W.Boxerman in The Forward, a weekly Jewish publication. See here for a BaseballBookshelf profile on the authors.