A colorful, controversial figure, the Oakland As' owner and general manager remains highly enigmatic--at times ""charming, informative and interesting"". . . a man who's occasionally given to unpublicized acts of ""benevolence,"" though more often that not he's just a tenacious, overbearing businessman. Once a bat boy in his native Birmingham, Ala., Charles Oscar Finley would later labor in Gary, Ind. steel mills and lick a serious case of TB before striking it rich peddling group insurance to medical associations. Having bought the last-place Kansas City Athletics in 1961, he had to wait until the team moved to Oakland before they evolved into the mini-dynasty they represent today. An outspoken critic of the drab conservatism of our national pastime, Finley has succeeded in promoting various attendance boosts--mechanical baseball dispensing machines, Hot Pants Day, flashy uniforms and the designated hitter rule--and he's still pushing for orange baseballs and the use of speedy designated runners. Less of an innovator than a manipulator, ""The Owner"" is pictured here as an insensitive, ruthless, self-made man--his credo is ""Sweat. . . Plus Sacrifice. . . Equals Success""--who engenders ""hellish emotional turmoil"" in his ballplayers. For those who enjoy contumacious S.O.Bs.