Goodman's third novel (The First I Saw Jenny Hall, High on the Energy Bridge)--a tale more programmatic than lively--concerns a baseball player, banned from the bigs for gambling, who gives up womanizing, makes peace with his father, and eventually gets his life together. ``Jewish Joe Singer'' is down on his luck: he's lost his wife and two kids, fans hate him, and he spends most of his time bikini- hunting on southern California beaches. The source of his troubles, it turns out, is his father, Jack, a transplanted Russian whose wife goes batty and who leads Joe astray. As for Joe's ex-wife, ``Joe was the first Jew she'd ever met, and she married him.'' Mainly, though, Joe is between the sheets with a string of beauties--until Emile, a psychopathic husband, blows his wife away on Joe's doorstep (``You think you can ball my wife, then slip back into your Gucci suits, your after-the-game interviews?''). Meanwhile, Joe ``progressed from making love to other men's wives to making love to one man's wife while falling in love with another man's girlfriend.'' Fannie, his true love and the current lover of Reverend Des, gets him involved in gun-control. And the baseball commissioner tells Joe that he'll be reinstated if he gives up politics and if he turns over the man who led him astray, so Joe visits his father. By book's end, the psychopath has killed Des and shot Joe, but Joe recovers in time for his father's wedding (after learning a few things about trust and honor and all that). As for Fannie, well, she and Joe might or might not make it--but the chances are good as Joe goes to the ballpark to ask his teammates to forgive him. A too-contrived comeback story, despite a few moving father- son confrontations.