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Frank Deford's 'The Entitled:' A Baseball Novel

Frank Deford
Frank Deford

Sportswriter and commentator Frank Deford's new novel, The Entitled is the story of Jay Alcazar, a power hitter for the Cleveland Indians, and his manager, Howie Traveler, who is dazzled by his star player's enormous talents.

Traveler is the "soul of baseball," Deford tells John Ydstie. "The guy who couldn't make the grade himself as a player but has plugged away and loves the game probably more than anybody. Howie has given up a lot of his personal life chasing the baseball dream. And finally now, at the end of his career, he's gotten to be the manager of a Major League team."

Alcazar, on the other hand, is the "classic American superstar," Deford says. The Entitled's title character, he is attractive, smart and Cuban American.

The plot turns when Alcazar is accused of rape and his manager is faced with a decision that could end both of their careers. Alcazar proclaims his innocence, and the book has readers wondering which one of them — the star or his accuser — is telling the truth.

Deford says he keeps writing about sports because it's "the easiest thing to write about and I guess the most fun to write about .... Every day there [are] winners and losers and there's drama and there's joy and there's glamour. And the guys playing it are young, and so lots of times they say all the wrong things."

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