Picks and Pans Review: Steinbrenner!
Schaap, the ABC-TV reporter, has bent over backward—six or seven times—to present an evenhanded portrait of George Steinbrenner. This is not easy. Since he bought the New York Yankees in 1973, Steinbrenner has added little but ugliness to baseball, inciting, with his childish tantrums, foul and foul-mouthed responses from the players and managers who have worked for him. Schaap cites instances of Steinbrenner's charitable gestures, such as paying for an operation on a little girl he read about in a newspaper. Still, the overall effect is to leave intact Steinbrenner's reputation as a discredit to the game. When the book ends with the Yankee owner promising to maintain a low profile, Schaap writes, "Not for the first time, I didn't believe him." (Putnam, $14.95)