Dreyfus Affair: A Baseball Love Storyby Peter Lefcourt
Consider the possibilities: In the middle of a pennant race, a team's star shortstop falls in love with his second baseman. Which is exactly what happens to Randy Dreyfus, the best-hitting, best-fielding, best-looking, and most happily married young shortstop in the major leagues. The Dreyfus Affair combines romance, comedy, social satire, and some of/i>… See more details below
Consider the possibilities: In the middle of a pennant race, a team's star shortstop falls in love with his second baseman. Which is exactly what happens to Randy Dreyfus, the best-hitting, best-fielding, best-looking, and most happily married young shortstop in the major leagues. The Dreyfus Affair combines romance, comedy, social satire, and some of the finest baseball writing in years. The result is a rollicking, provocative odyssey through one unforgettable World Series championship.
Author Biography: Peter Lefcourt was born in New York City and currently lives in Los Angeles and Paris. He is an Emmy Award-winning writer and producer for movies and television. Peter Lefcourt is also the author of The Deal, an acclaimed satire about Hollywood. He is no relation to Alfred Dreyfus.
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It was bad enough going 0-for-5and committing a dumb-ass error that led to two unearned runs in the bottom of the ninth that beat you. Not to mention the postgame buffet of overspiced anchovy pizza and lukewarm lite beer. In Cleveland, no less, on a sticky night with a room in the Embassy Suites that had the loudest air-conditioning unit this side of a 747. This was just your average, everyday run-of-the-mill shit.
What was really upsetting was what just almost happened in the shower. Jesus. He didn't even want to think about that. That fell into the category of unthinkable things. That was banished to the Siberia of his conscious thoughts, where, he hoped, it would freeze to death and never be heard from again.
Often of late, following a road loss, I Randolph MacArthur Dreyfus, Jr., a.k.a. The Shovel, found himself having peculiar thoughts. It had nothing to do with the game itself. It was something deeper and more troubling that stuck in his throat with the anchovy pizza and wouldn't go away. He felt like he was about to start crying. Like his insides weren't zipped down securely. He was hitting .335 and leading candidate for MVP, for chrissakes. And he was sitting in front of his locker fighting back tears. What the hell was going on?
The error was already history. The official scorer could have gone either way on it. The ball was in the hole, and even if he hadn't kicked it he probably wouldn't have nailed the Cuban. The guy had led the Pacific Coast League in stolen bases last winter.
Bernie Lazarre, the catcher, had gone over to him before the shower and told him that the scoring was fucked and besides he got Axel Most off the hook on the unearned runs,keeping his E.R.A. below three, so Axel actually owed him a favor. Randy Dreyfus wasn't interested in any favors from Axel Most or Bernie Lazarre, or anybody else, at the moment. He wanted to take a walk and think things out.
But you didn't take a walk in the neighborhood around the ballpark in Cleveland. You took the team bus back to the hotel, or you took a cab. Rennie Pannizardi was trying to organize a trip to Omar's, a downtown strip joint, where for five bucks you could have a nude girl sit down on your lap and gyrate for one minute. It was the cheapest hard-on in the American League.
There was one whirlpool free in the trainer's room, next to the one where Willie St. James was soaking his bad hamstring. Randy climbed in and felt his heart turn over as the rush of adrenaline kicked in to accommodate the heat. Maybe he could just sit in the stew pot and bake the peculiar feeling out. He closed his eyes and tried to drift, but Willie St. James's cracked soprano pulled him out of it.
"You know anything about tax-deferred municipal bonds, man?"
"My tax guy wants to put me into low-yield bonds and some other shit."
"Yeah. He says my portfolio is too high-yield."
"What are you in?"
"Bunch of things."
"You know what Ephard's in?"
Randy shook his head.
"Windmills. Those things up north near San Francisco. Ephard's guy put him into a couple of dozen. Ephard says they're going to look good in twenty, twenty-five years .... "
One of the trainers came in to tell Randy that Charlie Gonse wanted to see him.
"If he gives you shit about the error, tell him no one in the whole fucking American League could've nailed Morales. The guy runs faster than a Mexican with a chili pepper up his ass."
Charlie Gonse's office was on the far side of the trainer's room, separated by a glass partition through which he could watch what was going on in the whirlpools while he ate his postgame Greek salad. Ever since he got the bad news on his cholesterol count it was all he ever ate. He was up over 220 and convinced that he would keel over dead if he so much as looked at a pat of butter.
The manager beckoned Randy to a chair across from him. Still dripping from the whirlpool, Randy sat down, and a small puddle of chlorinated water began to collect underneath the chair. Gonse polished off the Greek salad with a plastic fork and meticulously wiped an olive stain from his mouth. Then he took out a fresh toothpick and began to work over his upper teeth.
"Can I tell you what I think the problem is here?" Gonse said finally.
"Lack of focus. That's the problem. E6 in the bottom of the ninth. The bottom of the ninth is no time for E6."
"Charlie, I'm hitting .335. I've got seventy-eight RBI's. So I blew a ground ball. it happens to everyone."
"You're not in the ball game . . ."
Randy closed his eyes for a moment, took a deep breath, and flexed his back. He felt a slight stab in his right rotator-cuff muscle, which had been bothering him since April, when he tried to nail a guy, at the plate on a cold night in Boston.
". . . you're spread too thin, you're all over the place. You're Mr. Baseball. Mr. This, Mr. That. You're going to have a goddamn shopping center named after you, for chrissakes. You can't nail a guy in the bottom of the ninth if you're thinking about what you're going to say when you cut the ribbon of a shopping center in Van Nuys. Can you?"
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Consider the possibilities: In the middle of a pennant race, a team's star shortstop falls in love with his second baseman. Which is exactly what happens to Randy Dreyfus, the best-hitting, best-fielding, best-looking, and most happily married young shortstop in the major leagues. Now I'm gong to have to admit that this is a reread, probably for the 10th or 11th time by now and I still love it every time I read it. I'm actually still waiting for the movie to come since Ben Affleck bought the movie rights to it years ago. So Ben if you are reading this, please get to making this movie. Randy is a lot like a few friends of mine, other than they aren't rich and famous. He is a guy who is living his life and having to deal with an issue he never really took the time to look at before. Not until he started having odd feelings about his second baseman D.J. who also happens to be black. He is a guy who thought he had everything you could want in life, a happy if bland marriage, two kids, a successful career, and admiration from thousands of kids that wanted to grow up and be just like him. How little he knew of himself. This is a book about discovery, about finding out who you really are and accepting it. It's told with a lot of humor and wit and will have most readers laughing at loud, and not always where you think the laughs would come from. Randy's conversations with the shrink he starts to go to because he can't understand why this is happening to him and the shy, awkward why he handles D.J. at first will have you smiling and remembering what it's like to be in his shoes. Who doesn't remember the first time they really, truly fell in love and how excited and scared it made you feel.
The first time I read this novel I could not stop laughing. This is definitely the funnies novel I ever read. The second time I read it I was overcomed by the absolute sweetness of the love story between Randy and D.J. (talk about actions being louder than words). This novel juxtapose nicely with Purdy's, Eustace Chrisholm and the Works (kick as novel!!). While Lefcourt shows us the beauty that results from following your heart, Purdy shows us the ugliness which comes from chosing fear over love. Anyway, the characters in the Dreyfus Affair were eccentric yet realistic, what an accomplishment. If you love gay love stories, check out my picks.
Peter Lefcourt is amazing! I just finished this book, and I laughed, cried, gasped in shock and felt like I was right there all the way as Short stop star Randy Dreyfus 'discovered' who he was for the first time. This is a great read, fun, uplifiting. The perfect book to take with you outside, sitting in the sun, drinking a cold beer on a hot summer day. I can't wait for the movie, there has to be one, it is that good. I already cast the roles in my mind. Can't wait to read Lefcourt's 'The Woody'! I'm going to pick it up tomarrow!