Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Book Review: The Batboy

One of my personal goals for this year is to read more.  I think I finished one book last year, which was an all-time low and something I'm not very proud of.  Perhaps I spent too much time reading about baseball cards around the blogosphere?  Nahhhh, that can't be it.

Well, seven days in to the new year and I already have finished a book. I've decided to start a new irregular feature on the blog: book reviews!  Baseball fans, you'll be pleased to know that my reading list is chocked full of bound anecdotal stories, biographies, nonfiction, and fiction stories centered around the great national pastime. 

Title: The Batboy
Author: Mike Lupica
Genre: fiction
Ease of Reading: 246 pages of 12pt font, double-spaced... moves quickly
Synapse: The book follows a fourteen year-old's summer baseball season and his job as batboy for the Detroit Tigers. Relationships are the focus behind this easy read as Lupica follows the protagonist and how he interacts with his mother, estranged father, and most importantly, Hank Bishop.  Once known as the "Bishop of Baseball", Hank has returned to the Tigers to help bolster Detroit's lineup for a pennant run.  Nevermind that Hank is on the backside of his career and is trying to put two PED suspensions behind him.
Comments:  I'm always up for a baseball story with a Disney-esque ending.  Lupica knows his baseball and some of the funniest parts of the story occur on the "inside" of Comerica Field.  I like that the author tackles the hard hitting PED slant, evening mentioning names like McGwire and Bonds, and I never felt as though it was the dominating element of the book.  This is the perfect book to knock out in a couple of sittings while you're getting from Point A to Point B.
Grade: I'll give it an A.  I like an easy read, one that is baseball accurate, and has some funny moments.  The only reason I didn't go with the A+ is because I felt it ended too early. There's a twelve page preview of another of Lupica's books at the end, which had me thinking I had an entire chapter to go...  but alas, I was done.  Bummer.

If anyone would like to borrow the book I'd be happy to ship it off through media mail. In a way, I'm sorry I didn't save this one for my next airplane trip. 

Stay tuned for other book reviews in the future, which will more than likely coincide with the breaks in my teaching schedule.

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