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The Entitled Hardcover – May 16, 2007
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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)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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 Lukowsky
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Top Customer Reviews
I felt for Harry and his family and their sacrifices. His story (although "fiction") sounded so much like many of the players and coaches we have interviewed in the Minor Leagues ... just waiting for that chance to get called up ... and when you do, will you be able to make the most of it? Harry did - it may have taken nearly a lifetime - but he made it through the lens of a manager and used his experience to lead his team.
I even felt for Alcazar (the "STAR") and thought about the autograph hounds (dealers) we see at the ballpark ... knocking real fans out of the way to secure an autograph they want ... or the disgusting parents who push their kids forward to "pretend" it is just a kid wanting an autograph when it is really for them. It is amazing that anyone still signs - for as Kirk Gibson said to a friend of mine (a true collector - never sells autographs) ... "yea, that's what they all say" when he told him he wasn't a dealer.
But I digress ... The book could use a bit more editing and it could be tightened in parts but overall, I thought it was a sincere read and I would recommend it to anyone wanting to get a feel for the struggle behind the glory of MLB.
I have been a baseball fan since I can remember, so, I'm always looking for a great story about the National Pastime.
Let's get right to it shall we? The basic story line revolves around Howie Traveler. manager of the Cleveland Indians and his star player Jay Alcazar. Jay winds-up getting himself in a bit of a problem with a female visitor and Howie is the lone witness to the apparent misconduct. Howie is the a typical old school manger who after years of working through the minor leagues gets his chance at the big show. But the cost has been heavy. His children grew-up and moved on as the game kept him on the road and away from a stable family life. In the end, even his wife of over thirty years hangs up her cleats and moves to brighter fields or at least, more tentative ones. It is the reality of the sport.
It's obvious the author is a man who has spent many hours in the trenches talking with players and doing his best to get the inside scoop on how a manger thinks and how his players react to his managing decisions. This was very enlightening and educational. I truly enjoyed the play-by-play accounts.
Now, as I read through many of the reviews, I was surprised no one made mention of the discombobulated time line permeating through the whole story. This is the major flaw in the story. I went back several times to validate this claim. Trust me, it's there. It's really a mess. In the early going it's a bit distracting, but not over the top. Towards the end of the story it's impossible to understand how all of the events tie together. Ex: Howie is sitting in his room in Baltimore talking to his daughter about Jay's misconduct hoping the weather will break for a make-up game tomorrow, while Jay is resting in his tub, at the Waldorf, after losing game seven of the World Series to the Yankees. How does this happen? Are you confused? I still am. Why? Well, Howie's waiting to hear about a make-up game while Jay is nursing his groin injury from game seven of the World Series. How did this happen?
Another problem was the writing style at times. Mr. DeFord is an acclaimed sports writer. The writing style mimics a newspaper column at times. Instead of a good flowing story, it bogs down in mediocrity as the author continually stresses points that are better left alone. This is a book and not a story line that requires "X" amount of words per column.
And the end? It was all but unsatisfying.
Look, there is a good story here, but it needs a serious time line overhaul and it wouldn't hurt to go back and reformat the story.
Writing style 4