The publication date tells all, since only baseball fans with severe post-season cold turkey will hang in there for all nine innings of this slow-ball suspense. Club owner Fred Brennan (a New York City fictional team at Shea Stadium) hires retired third baseman Ron Price to keep an eye on and lend an ear to troubled daughter Carrie Brennan, whom rather not talk about her relationship with teamstar Vic Rawlings or about the night she was slapped silly by a couple of goons and dumped in Jamaica, Queens. That's what Brennan wants Ron to know. What he doesn't want Ron to know is that Rawlings, desperate for a release from his contract, is blackmailing Brennan with Secrets from the Past--Carrie's real parentage, ye olde adultery, and voluntary manslaughter. Price, despite being pretty much a laconic dullard, learns the truth bit by bit on an extended road-trip west, in between long sloggings through ball-play and gun-play (Brennan has jobbed in killers to eliminate Rawlings). And it all bobbles on to a stadium confrontation finale--top-of-the-ninth, the pennant at stake, and bodies crashing through penthouse windows down to homeplate. Yes, this is the sort of excitement you'll find at the ballpark. . . during the seventh-inning stretch.