You'd think nothing could be less complicated than our national past-time. After all how hard can baseball be? Fill the team with quality players, win a few games and voilà the fans will come.
Who the heck knew it was so complicated? Not me- that's for sure.
Growing up in the Bay Area- it was almost mandatory to be a baseball fan. Between the San Francisco Giants and the Oakland Athletics- a great game could be had almost any night of the week. Even living in SacTown, watching the River Cats (feeder team) isn't a bad way to spend a hot summer night. As a fan I rarely think of the behind the scenes action. I don't ever ask myself...What happens when the team isn't winning? When fans flee the ballpark in droves?
Back of the Book: Baseball and bailouts, as American as apple pie. Weaving today's economic malaise with the powerful magic of a Cinderella baseball team, Take Me Out to the Ballgame is a political baseball novel for our times. The Buffalo Matadors haven't won a world championship in 37 years, a dying franchise. Until flamboyant Harry Witowsky, a 21st Century George Steinbrenner, buys them, vowing to do whatever is necessary to change the fortunes of the "Door Mats." Victories and attendance climb as Witowsky creates an Us versus Them mentality at the Stadium. The rally cry of "Where's My Bailout" replaces "Let's Go Mats." Buffalo's surprising surge resonates with a nation afraid of losing jobs and homes, shaken by terrorist threats, frightened for the future. The Matadors become America's Team.
Take me out to the Ballgame is a book for today with (unerringly) realistic characters willing to go to the extreme.
New team owner Harry Witowsky, the Plumber King, is a self-made millionaire determined to do something few have...fill the seats of the War Memorial Stadium. No matter what it takes. Forget Fan Appreciation Day Harry hosts Mortgage Day- one lucky fan wins mortgage payments for a year.
Eddie Olds is a hard hitting reporter of yester-year. Back in the day, Eddie was a contender. His pen was his razor and no one was safe; obnoxious owners, under-performing managers, and spoiled rotten players alike. But Eddie's gotten old and just a little bit tired. Fresh blood is coming in everyday stealing his readership. Soon Eddie finds himself an unwilling pawn in a game Matador management seems to control.
Between the back-office antics, the current American politics and the addition of a scary fan Morgenstein weaves a tales that will appeal to fan and non-fan alike. Part politics, part baseball, part social commentary- the quick and witty dialogue will keep on the edge of your seat.
I give this a great way to spend in a lounger by the pool rating.