TOMAHAWKED! by Bill Zack


The Inside Story of the Atlanta Braves' Tumultuous Season
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 Georgia sportswriter Zack's first book follows the 1992 Atlanta Braves from spring training to their second straight World Series loss. The result is constrained, pallid reportage that brushes past some of the juiciest controversies in recent baseball history. A last-place team in 1990, the Braves were National League champs in 1991, losing the World Series only 1-0 in the tenth inning of the final game. There was every reason for optimism in 1992 but, as spring training opened, few players were excited: Otis Nixon began the season serving a drug suspension; Steve Avery, an 18-game winner, was furious with the Braves' offer of $300,000; and the ``arrogant and egotistical'' (according to teammates) Dave Justice refused to exercise with the team and threatened to boycott picture-taking if his contract demands weren't met. As Zack notes, as many as nine players demanded trades during the season, and a few publicly looked forward to the upcoming expansion draft. While Justice ``popped off'' about the racists on the team, two-sport hot-shot Deion Sanders exploded when he didn't get to start a nationally televised game. Meanwhile, manager Bobby Cox platooned at every position except third base--domain of MVP and ``spiritual leader'' Terry Pendleton--thus angering almost every man on the team. Finally, poor play, lack of offense, and finger-pointing highlighted the Braves' bitter World Series loss to the Blue Jays. With all this going on, the season should have made for an electrifying chronicle, but Zack expresses no opinions and offers no analyses, letting even the machinations of baseball strategy go without comment. And, despite the title, he has nothing whatsoever to say about Atlanta's ``tomahawk chop'' and Indian war chant, which stirred national debate for nearly two years. Straight reporting with no surprises--or even anything that wasn't obvious to the most casual fan. (Eight pages of b&w photographs--not seen)

Pub Date: May 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-671-86878-0
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 1993