The Baseball Novel Store: For All Your Summer Reading Needs

Theo GeromeCorrespondent IIIJune 22, 2009

PHILADELPHIA - APRIL 4: The Tampa Bay Rays play the Philadelphia Phillies on April 4, 2009 at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  The Rays won 9-7. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

For those of you going out of town to the beach, or flying, you’re going to need reading material. So, why not check out...

The Summer Baseball Novel Store. There’s something here for everyone; look around.

Rays II: Return of the Underdogs

By Andrew Friedman

Genre: Sports

Summary: One season after their incredible run to the World Series, the Rays are back out of first place. A slow start seems to have condemned them to miss the playoffs. Can the Rays turn it around and return to the top? Will Evan Longoria’s bat lead the team to victory?

Review: “A generic sequel to a surprise sports novel. It has its bright spots, especially in the narrative’s offensive punch, and has some lights-out pitching—by the author, in favor of the Rays.”—Harry Pitts, New York Times

Yankees vs. Red Sox

By Brian Cashman and Theo Epstein

Genre: Action

Summary: A pair of giant robots, Pinstripe and Red-Foot, duel for dominance in an explosive battle for control of the world—or maybe just the AL East. Soon to be a major blockbuster directed by Michael Bay.

Review: “Fast-paced...action-packed...does get one-sided by the middle.”—Clay Potts, LA Times

The Central Wars

By Al Central

Genre: War Drama

Summary: A fictitious historical epic of five rivals with an intense hatred for each other. When a war breaks out between them, they fight to the end. But this war may be too even.

There may be no winner—and even if there is, the end results may not be good enough...the winner of this battle may not have enough left in them to fight again for the league title.

Review: “Intense combat scenes...but I can’t help but feel that the winner of the War couldn’t stand up to Rays II or Yankees vs. Red Sox...”—Fanny S. Huge, Houston Chronicle

Nightmare on Roosevelt Avenue

By Omar Minaya

Genre: Horror

Summary: The Mets dreamed big for 2009, hoping to put the past disasters behind them. But unfortunately for them, there are two big problems: a pair of monsters named “Injury” and “Choke” that can kill the Mets in their dreams.

Slowly they begin going down...Reyes, Church, Perez, Delgado, Putz, Maine... Will the survivors, led by David Wright and Johan Santana, stand a chance against these foes? Can the remaining Mets stave off “Injury” and “Choke” long enough to survive until the playoffs?

Review: “Well-written...The monsters seem shadowy and insubstantial at first, but grow in power with each victim...Chilling, especially for a fan...”—Doug A. Hole, Washington Post

Philadelphia Romance

By Ruben Amaro, Jr.

Genre: Romance

Summary: The Phillies had it all: a good team, homegrown players, a World Series title...but when Pat Burrell left, if felt like he could never be replaced. And that’s when Raul arrived.

He comes and takes Philadelphia by storm. But things get rough: Raul is wrongly accused of a crime; an injury takes Raul out of commission. Can Raul and the Phillies be together and repeat as champions?

Review: “Fairly strong novel. Raul is impressive, but the crime he is ‘accused’ of (I use this word lightly; it seems more like an offhand remark blown out of proportion) seems ill-supported. His reaction also seems overdramatic, but I suppose it makes sense.”—Flo N. River, Newsweek

A Comedy of Errors

By Jim Bowden (afterword by Stan Kasten and Mike Rizzo)

Genre: Comedy

Summary: For the Washington Nationals, nothing is going right. Their GM pulls several incompetent moves that hinder the team and is fired right before the season. One of their top prospects is actually 43, and they didn’t know it.

Their pitching staff is an ever-growing list of mysterious names, and they are beating the ’62 Mets in futility. Can they improve, or will they bring pathetic to new heights?

Review: “Hilariously bad. There are some bright the Zimmerman(n)s, Dunn, Strasburg...and you won’t believe who gets traded in the twist!”—Jenny Raider, TIME

Trade Off

By Neal Huntington

Genre: Tragedy

Summary: A once proud Pirates franchise is ravaged by years of stupidity in management. When a new, young leader takes charge, he is left with a heart-rending choice: sell off their best shot for immediate improvement and alienate their remaining fans, or rebuild and work to a stronger future.

Review: “Depressing to read...does have some unintentional humor...I mean, they traded Aramis Ramirez for those guys?...and then Jason Bay, and then, there’s also...”—Chuck LaBall, Chicago Tribune

The Astros Go to the Playoffs

By Ed Wade and Drayton McLane

Genre: Fantasy

Summary: The Astros rally to an incredible second half and storm to their first World Series title on stellar seasons from Berkman, Lee, Oswalt, Pence, Bourn, Wandy Rodriguez, Miguel Tejada, Geoff Blum...

Review: “Gets a little unbelievable...There’s a difference between ‘fantasy’ and ‘delusion.’”—Berry Tree, Miami Herald

The Bionic Team

By Dan O’Dowd

Genre: Science Fiction

Summary: Following a disastrous start that leaves the team without a head, the Rockies are rebuilt from the head down and become even stronger, taking down all those in their way. Will it lead to a wild showdown in the (NL) West with the Dodgers?

Review: “Unbelievably strong...Goes on a streak where it refuses to surrender your attention.”—Pete Moss, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The List

By Bud Selig

Genre: Mystery

Summary: There exists a list with the names of 104 lawbreakers. One group of fans will stop at nothing to uncover every name. But another group will stop at nothing to stop them.

Review: “Keeps you guessing until the end whether they’ll find every last name...You'll be shocked at who’s on the list...”—Amy N. Fire, USA Today


    Yanks' Bullpen Shuts Down Nats in Nightcap

    MLB logo

    Yanks' Bullpen Shuts Down Nats in Nightcap

    New York Post
    via New York Post

    Potential Landing Spots and Packages for Syndergaard

    MLB logo

    Potential Landing Spots and Packages for Syndergaard

    Joel Reuter
    via Bleacher Report

    Kelvin Herrera Traded to Nationals

    MLB logo

    Kelvin Herrera Traded to Nationals

    Alec Nathan
    via Bleacher Report

    Harper Shaves Iconic Beard Amid Slump

    MLB logo

    Harper Shaves Iconic Beard Amid Slump

    Joseph Zucker
    via Bleacher Report