From Publishers Weekly
Sportswriter, screenwriter and author Deford (Alex: The Life of a Child
; Everybody's All-American
) scores another hit with this novel of athletes behaving badly. After a career spent knocking around in the minor leagues as a player and manager, Howie Traveler has finally made it to the majors as manager of the Cleveland Indians. The team, however, is struggling, and Howie's job is in jeopardy when the team's star player, Jay Alcazar, is accused of rape. Though Howie's playing career stalled out in Triple A, his big league management career depends on how well he can handle Alcazar, heralded as "the best player in the game." Alcazar insists he's innocent—perhaps even believes it—but Howie suspects otherwise, having witnessed a troubling scene involving accused and accuser the night of the alleged rape. Now, Howie has to choose between his conscience and his dream job. The resolution won't please everyone, but Deford tackles timely and provocative issues without flinching. (May)
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Howie Traveler is the manager of the Cleveland Indians, and Jay Alcazar is his star player. Never quite good enough as a player, Traveler spent two decades in the minors as a coach and manager, building his resume oh so slowly. Alcazar, on the other hand, is the son of a wealthy Cuban immigrant. Even if he hadn't become a baseball star, he would have enjoyed myriad opportunities. The pair share a mundane player-manager relationship until one night Traveler inadvertently spies Alcazar in a physical dispute with a woman trying to escape the star's hotel room. When the woman comes forward with a rape charge, Traveler must balance his career against doing the right thing. In a parallel plot, Alcazar tries to unravel the mystery surrounding his real parents and his birth in Castro's Cuba. Veteran sportswriter and best-selling author Deford creates two fascinating characters in Traveler and Alcazar, but the pivotal rape crisis seems contrived and is resolved very oddly. Deford has done much better, but expect interest based on his reputation. Wes LukowskyCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved