The Zen of Zim

I just read Don Zimmer’s book, The Zen of Zim. The book has good stories from a great baseball mind. It’s not well-written and he goes off on tangents throughout the entire book, but I can get past all that just because he’s been a part of baseball for so long, and I want to read what he has to say. He’s also almost a little too self-deprecating but it’s genuine so I can understand it. He talks about the way George Steinbrenner treated him in Zim’s final year in New York and it really sucks that he’d act like he did. Things like pulling Zim’s company car, accusing him of leaking a story to a baseball writer, George King, and canning an idea to produce Zim bobbleheads depicting him wearing an Army helmet make Steinbrenner sound really spiteful and small.

Also, he tells of how Steinbrenner abandoned The Gold Shield Foundation after Tampa police arrested Darryl Strawberry on drug charges. What did Steinbrenner expect the police to do? Did he think he was buying his Yankees protection? And what’s worse is The Gold Shield Foundation exists to “Provide immediate financial assistance and insure a college education or vocational training for the spouse and dependent children of Florida law enforcement officers and firefighters of Hillsborough, Pinellas, Citrus, Hernando, Pasco, Polk and Marion Counties killed in the line of duty.” and Steinbrenner abandoned them for doing their job. To be fair I can’t determine whether he abandoned the orgainization (which he founded!) altogether or if he just distanced himself. Either way it’s absolutely shameful.

Of course Zimmer also talks about his bout with Pedro Martinez and he talks about the old Brooklyn Dodgers. There’s also almost an entire chapter written by his wife Soot. Yeah Soot is her name. Anyways, it’s a fine little book and you can find it for virtually nothing. Worth purchasing.

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