SQUEEZE PLAY by Jane Leavy


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Former Washington Post baseball writer Leavy bats about .200 here--in a tepid first novel about a woman sportswriter's trials and tribulations covering the reborn Washington Senators. It's 1989, and--after an 18-year absence--baseball has at last returned to Washington, D.C. Wealthy, unctuous televangelist Jimy Boy Collins has resurrected the team; only problem is, they're unbelievably awful--a collection of highly paid cast-offs and misfits, nearly as bad as the 1962 Mets. Covering the team for the sleazy Washington Tribune is narrator A.B. Berkowitz, who watches the boys lose for a straight month and writes headlines like ""Senators Go O for April."" When Berkowitz isn't avoiding lecherous and/or chauvinistic ballplayers, she's dating fellow Trib reporter Michael Holliday--though she has a sneaking crush on Rump Doubleday, a veteran catcher ""on the downside of a Hall of Fame career."" As the season progresses, Berkowitz weathers an attempt by the Senators' manager to silence her and later exposes Jimy Boy Collins in a Jim Bakker-like sex scandal. Finally, she sleeps with Rump--who turns out to be good around the sack, but not in it--and heads back to Michael as the Senators close out a losing season. Drags along at the slow pace of an August double-header--with little in the way of action, humor, or even inside baseball info (aside from Berkowitz's locker-room gloss on male organs: ""You see a lot of penises in my line of work: short ones, stubby one, hard ones, soft ones,"" etc.).

Pub Date: April 17th, 1990
ISBN: 0060567740
Publisher: Doubleday