Synopses & Reviews
Baseball is a game of instinct and keen observation, of knowing which way the ball is going to bounce off a broken bat and knowing whether a player wears his pants high or low. At least it is to Howie Traveler, who never made it as a player his one major league hit and .091 batting average attest to that.
After years of struggling his way up the coaching ladder, Howie's finally been given his shot to manage in the big leagues. But America's pastime has changed. Whether Howie can spot a small flaw in a batter's swing won't matter if he can't manage today's megastar players especially his superstar outfielder, Jay Alcazar.
If Howie can't get through to Jay a homerun slugger with giant talents and an ego to match his managing career will be over as soon as it began. But Jay has no use for Howie. Until, that is, one night at the hotel when Howie sees something at Jay's door he wishes he hadn't...
From six-time National Sportswriter of the Year and NPR commentator Frank Deford comes a page-turning novel that takes you deep into America's game. The Entitled is a tale of modern baseball. It takes you inside a ball club and inside the mind of a defeated manager and a champion slugger, as only Deford can. He creates a world where the idealism of the old game meets the reality of today's sports landscape, as idolized millionaires step in to replace the boyhood heroes of yesterday. Deford's writing is authentic and emanates today's baseball. Fans who already know quite a bit about the game will get more knowledge out of this book than they have with non-fiction books on the genre.
"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." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"I wish it were longer, and that's something that I've rarely said about the baseball games I've covered in 30 years as a sportswriter. But it's how I felt while reading The Entitled, the new baseball novel by Frank Deford." Terry Pluto, The Washington Post
"[M]ore than a terrific baseball book. It's a terrific book, period." Sports Illustrated
"Veteran sportswriter and best-selling author Deford creates two fascinating characters in Traveler and Alcazar....Deford has done much better, but expect interest based on his reputation." Booklist
"[R]eaders are exposed to a richly textured understanding of baseball and, no less, of estrangement, ambition, mendacity, and the search for one's destiny....Recommended..." Library Journal
"[A] sweet tale about a baseball-team manager, his moody superstar and their moral dilemma....A decent book enhanced by Deford's great, conversational writing style." Kirkus Reviews
"Frank Deford is not just an immensely talented sportswriter, he's an immensely talented American writer. The Entitled is his wise and pleasurable portrait of a Willy Loman-like baseball manager finally getting his chance in the Bigs late in his career." David Halberstam
"The Entitled is a baseball masterpiece, like The Natural and Field of Dreams; the difference is the plot and the characters depict the true inside world of baseball. Frank Deford writes like he played in the majors for 10 years." Mike Schmidt, Baseball Hall of Fame
About the Author
Frank Deford is a six-time National Sportswriter of the Year, Senior Contributing Editor at Sports Illustrated, commentator on NPR's Morning Edition, and a correspondent on the HBO show RealSports with Bryant Gumbel. In addition to being the author of more than a dozen books, he has been elected to the Hall of Fame of the National Association of Sportscasters and Sportswriters and has been awarded both an Emmy and a Peabody. Sporting News describes Deford as "the most influential sports voice among members of the print media" and GQ simply calls him "the world's greatest sportswriter."