A baseball novel--about an abiding feud between two major-league managers--that has all the excitement of a routine ground ball. Narrator Charlie Tyke spends nearly 14 years knocking around the majors as a fair-to-middling second baseman before catching on as a third-base coach with the new expansion team--the California Rush. There, his manager is his old minor-league buddy Jay Bates, meaner than both Ty Cobb and Billy Martin combined, who has only two goals in life: to win the division title, and to humiliate his old rival, Davy Tremayne, manager of the league-leading St. Louis club. Years before, Bates' own playing career was cut short by a leg broken when he tried to spike the hated Tremayne, who went on to major stardom and big endorsement bucks. Surprisingly, the Rush gives St. Louis a run for its money, although Tyke has by now switched allegiances--he's coaching for Tremayne after one-too-many run-ins with the fiery Bates. On the last day of the season, the two clubs play a tie-breaking game, which St. Louis wins--but not before there's a riot in the ballpark over a very controversial call, and a melodramatic showdown between Bates and Tremayne. An occasionally engaging first novel, but mainly very familiar stuff.