Synopses & Reviews
A hilarious tribute to baseball and to the fathers and sons who share the love of the game.
Are We Winning? is built around a trip to Wrigley Field to watch the St. Louis Cardinals play the Chicago Cubs--the "lovable losers" to most fans but the hated enemy to the Leitch men. Along for the ride are both Will's father, the gregarious but not-exactly demonstrative Midwestern titan who, despite being a die-hard Cards fan and living his whole life just 200 miles south of Chicago, had never been to Wrigley Field before this game, and Will's college friend, a lifelong Cubs fan. The Cardinals have recently fallen out of the pennant race, and the Cubs, as it turns out, are attempting to clinch the division on this Saturday afternoon in September. The pitchers are Ted Lilly for the Cubs and Joel Pineiro for the Cardinals. It's just a regular game. Play ball.
The book unfolds in half-inning increments where Will gives one-of-a-kind insight on the past, present, and future of the game--from Pujols' unrivaled greatness to the myth that steroids have ruined baseball. Along the way, he shares memories of his father and growing up in the small town of Mattoon, including the year his dad coached his Little League team and nicknamed a scrawny kid "Bulldog," and an unlikely postgame episode involving a biker bar and Mr. Holland's Opus. And there is beer. Lots and lots of beer.
Are We Winning? is a book about the indelible bond that links fathers and sons. For the Leitch men it's baseball that holds them together--not that either of them would ever be so weak as to admit it. No matter how far apart they are or what's going on in their lives, they'll always be able to talk about baseball. It's the story of being a fan, a story about fathers, sons, and legacies. And one perfect game.
"A day at the ball park prompts a meditation on family ties in this loose-limbed, beguiling memoir. Sports journalist Leitch (God Save the Fan) recounts a 2008 game at Wrigley Field at which he and his father watched their beloved St. Louis Cardinals lose to the Chicago Cubs, who were on the brink of clinching the divisional title. His sprightly color commentary covers the bases with adroitly analyzed play-by-play, awed encomiums to Cards slugger Albert Pujols ('an alien using superior technology to mock us feeble humans'), and rabid incitements against the hated Cubs. As in any ball game, there's plenty of downtime for arcane statistics, ruminations on drug scandals who cares, Leitch asks, as long as steroids mean more homers? and commercial interruptions ('I'm a subscriber to the MLB At Bat application, which allows you access to... real-time score updates with full box scores and stats'). Most of all, Leitch delivers an homage to his dad, a laconic stalwart brimming with manly truths some imparted while driving a pickup with an open container that sports bring to the surface. The result is a jaunty, heartfelt, Father's Day ready celebration of baseball as the ultimate bonding rite. Photos." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
About the Author
Will Leitch is a writer based in New York City and the founding editor of the Gawker Media sports blog Deadspin. Leitch is a contributing editor at New York, a contributor to The New York Times, GQ, Fast Company and Slate, and has published three books, Catch, a novel; Life as a Loser, a memoir; and God Save the Fan, a book of sports essays.