Gil--a devoted coach of an amateur baseball team whose pitcher is losing his arm, whose father is dying of cancer, and whose son doesn't need him--feels his chance for redemption is riding on the championship game, but unforeseen events will alter all their lives forever.
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In his first novel, Scott Lasser takes on that time-honored topic, arms and the man--pitching arms, that is. But Battle Creek is no overblown baseball epic. Instead, the author focuses on a minor-league team--one whose propensity to lose in the final round of the nationals makes its sponsorship by a funeral home somehow appropriate. Can veteran coach Gil Davison turn things around? He's determined to do so, even if it means a touch of dugout downsizing:
He has made up his mind that this will be his last season. He wants to go out on top. In previous years he kept some people on board out of loyalty, or because he liked them, or because he liked their wives or girlfriends, or just to avoid having to fire them, but this year he won't do it. This year a player has to produce, or he's gone.Gil, who's been diverting money from his father's checking account to keep the team in cleats, is the center of the novel. But Lasser introduces us to the rest of the roster, too. There's sexual athlete and power pitcher Ben Mercer, who succumbs to baseball's equivalent of the Dark Side and starts throwing spitballs. (Mercer, by the way, is a stockbroker when he's not on the mound, which may make for a certain harmonic convergence between him and his bond-trading creator.) There's also a young hitter, Luke James, whose promising career gets truncated by a well-placed bean ball. Throughout, Lasser has a fine, glancing touch with "the dance of infield practice and the pop of the ball in the catcher's mitt, the flicker of signals from the catcher with a man on second, and the lean of a ballplayer as he rounds third base." But aside from the generational head-butting between Gil and his father, the author's explorations of the wild and wooly world of American masculinity have something tentative to them. Aiming, perhaps, for the back fence, he has an unfortunate tendency to check his swing. --James Marcus About the Author:
Scott Lasser recieved his M.F.A. from the University of Michigan and M.B.A. from the Wharton School, and is presently the treasury bill trader at Lehman Brothers. He has written for the PBS nature series Wild America, and his short stories have appeared in the Missouri Review, the Mississippi Review, and other literary journals. He lives in New York with his wife and two children.
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Descripción Publishing Mills, 2001. Audio Cassette. Estado de conservación: New. book. Nº de ref. de la librería M1575110555