Are We Winning? opens with a letter to Will Leitch's yet-to-be-conceived son, Bryan, in which Will spells out precisely how important baseball will be to their relationship: "When everything is blocked, when you want to punch me in the face, when you are suffering but can't say it, when you're joyous but too embarrassed to show me how much…we're going to be able to talk about baseball." Will knows this, because it describes his relationship with his own father.
Are We Winning? is built around a trip to Wrigley Field to watch the Cubs (poised to clinch the division) take on the Cardinals (the Leitch men's team). Along for the ride are both Will's father, the gregarious, but not-exactly demonstrative Midwestern titan for whom Will's future son will be named, and Mike, Will's best friend-and a lifelong Cubs fan. As the book progresses in half-inning increments, Will explores various aspects of the beloved game, along with memories of his father, including an unlikely post-game episode involving a biker bar in a trailer park, and Merchant/Ivory's The Remains of the Day—all integrated, batter by batter, with the fate of one perfect game.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Will Leitch is a writer and the founding editor of Deadspin. On Forbes' recent list of the biggest stars on the Internet, he ranked ahead of the likes of Matt Drudge and Seth Godin. He is now the sports columnist at New York magazine, and a contributor to The New York Times, Fast Company, GQ, Sporting News, and Slate. The author of three previous books, Leitch lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Leitch delivers an homage to his dad, a laconic stalwart brimming with manly truths-some imparted while driving a pickup with an open container-that sports bring to the surface. The result is a jaunty, heartfelt, Father's Day–ready celebration of baseball as the ultimate bonding rite.
Are We Winning? has got to be the best book about Midwestern fatherhood ever written by a childless man in Brooklyn. It's also one of the last good arguments for baseball's cultural import.
-Chuck Klosterman, author of Eating the Dinosaur