This book should have been so much richer. The author describes life in the minor leagues over the course of a season. However, it was lacking on many details.
The other players on the team were right out of central casting. All the stereotypes of ballplayers were met.
Certainly, some of the guys on the team had layers or a bit of complexity to them. They all couldn't have been painted by the broad brush that McCarthy uses to describe them.
As a result, the reader really doesn't care about his teammates. Though this is non-fiction, he does a terrible job of character development.
He also does not go into enough detail about the drudgery of the season, his own experiences in the games or interactions with other players.
For example, he spends way too much time describing chugging beer with a young teammate in the parking lot before a bus trip. McCarthy had never spoken to this player before. This bonding moment was supposed to be the foundation of some kind of relationship with the teammate. However, he never really mentions the teammate again other than a chance encounter the following spring training.
He also misses a huge opportunity in that he neglected to describe his relationship with his host family, which would have been one of the more intriguing parts of the story.
That being said, it's a very fast read and has some amusing anecdotes.
The blurbs on the back equate Odd Man Out to Bull Durham, Ball Four and other well known baseball tales. Odd Man Out isn't even in the same ballpark.
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