Make Now, 119p
(Publishers Weekly, March 17, 2007)
Baseball for Dada
Over the years, much has been made of the role of the great radio voices in baseball, but never a book like this. New York-based conceptual arist Kenneth Goldsmith has transcribed every word-play-by-play, ad promo, and conversational banter-uttered by two New York Yankees announcers throughout the course of a five-hour radio broadcast from Fenway Park in August 2006. The book begins with an ad for "1 800 LAW CASH" and ends with "the Yankees win! The Yankees win!," but along the way every precious detail and numbing non-sequitur imaginable passes by in the 40,000-word stream that makes up the contest. For Yankee aficionados, who either love or hate the team's radio voices, John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman, this is a delicious fastball right down the middle, as Ma and Pa Pinstripe become punchy during the long drawn out second game of a doubleheader: "We're in the top of the seventh, one out, no one on, the Yankees are trailing 10-7 in the nightcap which is what I need." "Twenty after eleven in the seventh inning, I don't think so." Yankee fans will know who is saying what in this exchange. For non-Yankee fans and students of the game, Sports (the third in a trilogy, following Goldsmith's Traffic and Weather) is exhibit A in how advertising has deeply insinuated itself into the game itself-"Hideki Matsui may be out but you don't have to miss out. There's always a great show at Benihana." Goldsmith, a professor at Penn and editor of I'll Be Your Mirror: The Selected Andy Warhol Interviews, has, in an off-hand, irreverent fashion, atomized the spirit of today's game better than any boxscore or lyrical paean. Published by Ara Sharinyan's Make Now Press in Los Angeles.