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Mystery at the World Series (The Sports Beat, 4)
New York Times bestselling sportswriter John Feinstein takes readers behind the scenes at the World Series in this exciting baseball mystery.   When teen sports reporters Stevie and Susan Carol...
New York Times bestselling sportswriter John Feinstein takes readers behind the scenes at the World Series in this exciting baseball mystery.   When teen sports reporters Stevie and Susan Carol...
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  • New York Times bestselling sportswriter John Feinstein takes readers behind the scenes at the World Series in this exciting baseball mystery.
     
    When teen sports reporters Stevie and Susan Carol are sent to cover the World Series, the talk of the tournament is Norbert Doyle—a late call-up for an underdog team. But the more they learn about him, the more conflicting stories they hear. Bit by bit they piece together the shocking truth about this rising star, but once the secret’s out, there’s no going back. . . .
     
    John Feinstein has been praised as “the best writer of sports books in America today” (The Boston Globe), and he proves it again in this fast-paced novel.

Excerpts-

  • Chapter One 1: SUDDEN VICTORY

    Even though he was only fourteen years old, Stevie Thomas considered himself a veteran of sports victory celebrations. He had been to the Final Four, the Super Bowl, the NBA Finals, and the U.S. Open—in both tennis and golf. He had seen remarkable endings, miracle shots, and improbable last-second heroics.

    But he hadn't seen anything quite like this. He was standing just outside the first-base dugout inside Nationals Park, the home stadium for the Washington Nationals, and even though the game had been over for several minutes, the noise was still so loud he couldn't hear anything Susan Carol Anderson was shouting in his ear.

    "Mets_._._._clubhouse_._._._press box_._._._," he managed to make out over the din. Since she was starting to pick her way through the celebrating Nationals and the media swarm surrounding them, he guessed that she had told him that she was going to make her way to the clubhouse of the New York Mets and then meet him back in the press box. She was taking the harder job—talking to the players on a team that had just suffered a shocking defeat. His job was easier: talking to the winners.

    The ending of the game had been stunning. With the National League Championship Series tied at three games all, both teams had sent their star pitchers out to pitch game seven: Johan Santana for the Mets, John Lannan for the Nationals. Both had pitched superbly, and the game had gone to the ninth inning tied at 1-1.

    Nationals manager Manny Acta brought Joel Hanrahan, his closer, in to pitch the ninth, a bold move in a tie game. And it seemed to have backfired when Carlos Beltran hit a two-out, two-run home run to give the Mets a 3-1 lead. In came the Mets' closer Francisco (K-Rod) Rodriguez to get the last three outs needed to give the Mets the pennant.

    He got two quick outs, and it wasn't looking good for the Nats when shortstop Cristian Guzman hit a weak ground ball. But somehow Mets all-star shortstop Jose Reyes booted it, allowing Guzman to make it safely to first base. Clearly upset and distracted by the error, Rodriguez then walked Ronnie Belliard, bringing Ryan Zimmerman, the Nationals' best hitter, to the plate.

    Guzman began dancing off second base, stretching his lead each time Rodriguez looked back at him. Second baseman Luis Castillo kept flashing toward the bag, as if expecting a pickoff throw from Rodriguez. Sitting in the auxiliary press box, Stevie was wearing headphones that allowed him to hear the Fox telecast.

    "Rodriguez and Castillo need to forget about Guzman," he heard Tim McCarver say. "Right now K-Rod has one job, and that's to get Zimmerman out."

    "But if the Nats double-steal, the tying runs would both be in scoring position," play-by-play man Joe Buck said.

    "True," McCarver said. "But I'm telling you, there is no way Guzman is risking making the last out of the season trying to steal third. He's not that much of a base stealer to begin with."

    Rodriguez finally focused on the plate and threw a 97-mph fastball that Zimmerman just watched go by for strike one. Again Guzman danced off second base. This time Rodriguez whirled and did make a pickoff throw as Castillo darted in to take it. Guzman dove back in safely.

    "That tells me Guzman has gotten inside K-Rod's head," McCarver said. "You don't risk a pickoff throw in this situation. The only man in the ballpark he should care about right now is Zimmerman."

    Rodriguez threw another fastball, and Zimmerman fouled it straight back to the screen.

    "That one was ninety-seven too," Buck said. "He doesn't...

About the Author-

  • John Feinstein is the author of many bestselling books. He lives in Potomac, Maryland, and Shelter Island, New York.

    From the Hardcover...

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    August 24, 2009
    Feinstein's fourth mystery starring teen reporters Stevie Thomas and Susan Carol Anderson veers into fantasy—the Washington Nationals (currently with the worst record in Major League Baseball) are in the 2009 World Series. As in the previous books, the play on the field serves as backdrop for Stevie and Susan's adventures in journalism. This time, they stumble into an investigation of a journeyman pitcher, Norbert Doyle, who is starting game two against the Red Sox without ever having recorded a major league win. Before his meteoric rise, the career minor leaguer sat for an interview with Stevie and Susan, during which he revealed a tragic incident from his past. But now that Doyle is the story, his version of events is falling apart. Relying more on luck than shoe leather, the junior sleuths unravel a convoluted tale involving charges of marital infidelity, drunk driving and corrupt police. Sports fans will enjoy all the trivia Feinstein works into the narrative, but his habit of having real-life sports stars make cameo appearances can be problematic—three of the Nats mentioned by Feinstein are already gone, including manager Manny Acta, who was fired in July. Ages 10–up.

  • School Library Journal

    September 1, 2009
    Gr 6-9-In previous books, teenage sportswriters Stevie Thomas and Susan Carol Anderson exposed a scheme to throw a game in the NCAA basketball tournament, unraveled a kidnapping plot at the U.S. Tennis Open, and uncovered a steroid scandal at the Super Bowl. Now they are assigned to cover the World Series, where the underdog Washington Nationals are meeting the Boston Red Sox. While checking out the Cinderella story of the 38-year-old Nationals' rookie pitcher, Norbert Doyle, the friends discover a shadowy incident in the man's past. Although Doyle, his children, and especially his agent attempt to deceive, manipulate, and intimidate them, in the end the two reporters base their decision about running the story on the good it would do versus the harm it would cause. As in the other books in the series, Feinstein brings his insider's knowledge of sports to bear, with good effect. The inclusion of real-life sports and media figures along with fictional characters is likely to appeal to knowledgeable fans. For libraries in which the other books have proven popular."Richard Luzer, Fair Haven Union High School, VT"

    Copyright 2009 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    September 1, 2009
    Grades 5-8 An ethical dilemma tests the mettle of two teenage investigative reporters who uncover a tragic secret in a pitchers past. Thanks to lucky breaks, good connections, and notoriety earned in their previous outings (Last Shot, 2005; Vanishing Act, 2006; Cover-Up, 2007), Stevie and Susan Carol have front-row seats for a hard-fought series in which the Washington Nationals square off against the mighty Red Sox, and Nationals pitcher Norbert Doyle, a career minor leaguer, earns a last-minute spot in the starting rotation. The reporters suspicions are kindled when details in Doyles tearful tale of his wifes death years before dont jibe with facts learned elsewhere. Whats he hidingand is it a story that should be told? As before, sportswriter Feinstein fills the supporting cast with actual athletes, journalists, and sports executives and offers behind-the-scenes details of big-time sports. Stevie and Susan Carol are hardly even two-dimensional teenagers, but the decision they wrestle with as the truth comes out, plus healthy measures of exciting sports action, will keep readers involved.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2009, American Library Association.)

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    Random House Children's Books
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