Picks and Pans Review: Pinstripe Pandemonium

updated 05/28/1984 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/28/1984 01:00AM

by Geoffrey Stokes

Win, lose or make abject fools of themselves—and they've done a lot of all three the last few years—the New York Yankees dominate baseball's literature. At this point, though, books about the Steinbrenner-era Yankees are exercises in tedium. Everyone knows by now that Reggie Jackson didn't like Billy Martin or Graig Nettles, that Nettles didn't like Jackson or owner George Steinbrenner but did like Martin. In his book (Putnam, $14.95), Nettles carps at great length against Jackson ("Not that I hated Reggie's guts") and calls one reporter a "backstabbing dwarf." (In magazine excerpts from his own forthcoming book, Jackson accuses some of his Yankee teammates of anti-Semitism and "a subtle form of racism.") Stokes, a Village Voice staff writer, is observant and writes smoothly in his book (Harper & Row, $13.95) but the most involving thing he came up with after spending most of the 1983 season with the Yanks was a portrait of pitcher Goose Gossage: "Much of what appears to be crudity or insensitivity is really no more than a sort of bearish clumsiness."

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