SOME OF MY BEST FRIENDS ARE CRAZY: Baseball's Favorite Lunatic Goes in Search of His Peers by Jay with Rick Talley Johnstone

SOME OF MY BEST FRIENDS ARE CRAZY: Baseball's Favorite Lunatic Goes in Search of His Peers

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Never mind lockouts, strikes, and million-dollar salary disputes: in Johnstone's ballpark, ""Major league baseball is still a little boy's game played by men."" So here's another zesty compilation from the former major-leaguer (Over the Edge, 1987, also coauthored with Talley) of scads of stories about baseball men playing like little boys. After a crow about his own zaniness (""I terrorized teammates. . .gave hotfoots to umpires. . .maybe that's why they called me crazy Jay""), Johnstone reassures us that ""the Crazies are still out there."" And not only on the field. Sportscasters (e.g., Mets broadcaster Ralph Kiner, who announced that ""All the Mets' road wins against L.A. this year have been at Dodger Stadium""), fans (three who watched a 1989 game at Wrigley Field while dressed in gorilla suits), filmakers (whoever cast a right-hander to play lefty Shoeless Joe Jackson in Field of Dreams), and sportswriters (Jay Heyman, attacked by a pigeon outside Anaheim Stadium)--all are bull's-eyed in turn by Johnstone's machine-gun, joke-a-sentence delivery. The feisty author devotes the majority of his anecdote-packed, hodgepodge chapters, however, to playing-diamond dizzies--ballplayers, umpires, and managers--and dedicates a particularly barbed chapter to the Yankees, whose games he now broadcasts for WABC radio (on Steinbrenner: ""He's a powerful man with a toy but it's his toy""). It's a near stream-of-consciousness flow of wackiness, but one that serious sports fans can pan for nuggets of baseball savvy: Johnstone's more than two decades in the sport glitter throughout, from dead-on critiques of varied ballparks to evaluations of assorted players (on Bo Jackson: ""He is the Athlete of the 1990s""). Sportswriting confetti: colorful, cheering, packaged in bits, and for one-time use only.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1990
Publisher: Macmillan