Bleeding Red

Published By: Vellum

Book Category: Non-Fiction, Sports & Recreation

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Reviewed by Al Olsen

Subtitled: A Red Sox Fan's Diary of the 2004 Season

Close your eyes and try to remember October 2004. If you are a sports enthusiast, you'll remember that this was the year the Boston Red Sox did the improbable: they came back from a 3-0 deficit to beat the Yankees and then went on to sweep the Cardinals in the World Series. This is the stuff that dreams are made of...that is, if you're not a Yankee or Cardinal fan. Don't we all like to cheer and root for the improbable to happen? Well, maybe if we aren't fans of the favored team.

This is one fan's journey. In Bleeding Red you will relive the whole year, from spring training straight on through the World Series, through the eyes of a Red Sox aficionado who gives a blow-by-blow account of some of the season's most important games. To say that author Derek Catsam is a Red Sox fan is an extreme understatement. In his short bio on the back cover it talks about when he is not "obsessing" about the Red Sox. That is a very apt description. He recalls his love for the team from a very tender age and some of the Red Sox Hall of Fame players.

It is also interesting to note that geography informs not only the author's choice of baseball team, but any sport. So not only do you get some history on the Red Sox, but also the Boston Bruins, Celtics, and Patriots.

Something else we learn from the back cover bio is that Catsam is a university assistant professor whom has many connections to other institutions. His choice of words at times can be very erudite and apropos. I found, though, that when expressing his anger or disgust at umpires, players, or teams, his vocabulary gets reduced to a very narrow and vulgar range. Given the learned individual that Derek Catsam is, the reader deserves better. Catsam himself deserves better. And certainly the hard-fighting and big-hearted Red Sox deserve better.

Overall, this story of an underdog team's amazing season definitely deserves to be told-- but not as it is, marred by incessant profanity.

Armchair Interviews says: Baseball fans--this is a good story (with an alert about language).

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