A. BARTLETT GIAMATTI: Egghead At the Plate

To A. BARTLETT GIAMATTI, former Yale president and future boss of baseball, the game is not just an Edenic pageant but a marvelous mix between individual and community

Many sports fans believe the Pooh-Bahs of professional athletics -- the commissioners, presidents, team owners, the whole briefcase brigade -- should play a role similar to background music at the movies. They are doing their jobs most successfully when no one notices them at all. By this standard, A. Bartlett Giamatti, the twelfth president of the National League and, as of next April Fools' Day, the seventh commissioner of major league baseball, has had a rocky summer.

He was, for instance, the man who suspended Cincinnati Reds Manager Pete Rose for 30 days and fined him $10,000 after an umpire-shoving incident...

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