108 Stitches Book Review by Rick “SHAQ” Goldstein
DARLING… PSEUDO OLD-SCHOOL… REAL… NEW AGE BACKSTABBER!
This memoir by former big league pitcher and current TV sportscaster and color commentator… Ron Darling … seems to be a bad decision… a literary “wild-pitch”… if you will… or more accurately… a *BEAN-BALL” of lack of class.
The author describes so many former teammates and managers… in negative and in some cases… extremely cruel lights. Additionally to have most of the book built around describing former teammates in alphabetical order is ridiculous as far as the end user… me and you the readers are concerned.
There is no real beginning middle and end to the story. There is no plot and storyline. Let me give you an example. In one segment Darling is telling you in detail about his first day in the big leagues…September 1, 1983… when teammate Ron Hodges … wordlessly comes up to Darling who’s proudly wearing his brand new virginal white… first regular season uniform… and spits a wad of disgusting tobacco juice on his pant leg. Then the VERY NEXT PARAGRAPH ( Rick Honeycutt ) is the 1992 season in Oakland! This back and forth… here and there… there and here is the modus operandi for the author throughout the book. I don’t know if the editor came up with the idea… or Darling came up with this idea… but whoever didn’t talk the other one out of it… should be highly embarrassed.
The negative… tearing… down… and knifing in the back of former teammates… really paints Darling as an individual who is devoid of any personal integrity. He rips former teammates whether they’re dead or alive. From manager Frank Howard … to teammates Gary Carter … Lenny Dykstra … to Mookie Wilson … who literally told Darling … “I expect more of you than that.” After hearing Darling make fun of his looks while on the team bus. Well… Mookie … perhaps you shouldn’t have expected more… after reading this book… I certainly don’t!
As I write this next lack of character … and shameful exploit by the author… it’s almost too hard to fathom that a highly educated man could possibly even think it was funny… when he shares with the reader how he heckled teammate Junior Ortiz about his stuttering problem. The author even ended the story with this sentence…. “We were the b-b-b-b-b-best, after all.”
P.S. even the title of the book concept is described a bit off by the author. Of course the 108 stitches refers to how many red stitches in a baseball… “BUT”… the author writes on page two… “Those 108 raised stitches that give the ball its seams…” Well the fact of the matter as far as I’m aware is that all 108 stitches ARE NOT RAISED… THE FIRST AND LAST STITCH ARE HIDDEN… so in actuality… only 106 are raised. But then again I didn’t go to Yale… so I could be wrong!
P.S.S. Darling even rips the people in the broadcast booth with him. Apparently he’s way too talented to work with the likes of Hall of Famer… and gentleman Cal Ripken Jr. He says Ripken’s “demeanor doesn’t really lend itself to live television”… and regarding insights… “When he opens his mouth it doesn’t always come out, not straightaway.” His wrath against another Hall of Famer and now broadcaster Frank Thomas is shocking… Darling calls him “THE BIGGEST BABY TO EVER MAKE IT TO THE HALL OF FAME, ONE OF THE GAME’S ALL-TIME MOANERS AND WHINERS!” Regarding playing against “ The Big Hurt ”… Darling says… “He was just a major league pussy, the way he always cried to the ump for that call inside.”
Reviewer : Rick “Shaq” Goldstein