Gary Frisch, the founder and president of New Jersey public relations agency Swordfish Communications, has published his first novel, a speculative look into the business of baseball and its impact on the national psyche.
“Strike Four,” available on Kindle and in paperback, speculates what might happen if Major League Baseball players go on strike and the owners call up the Triple-A farm teams to fill the rosters. The story is told through the eyes of Lew Pearson, an aging player-manager with the minor league Indianapolis Outlaws who had a “cup of coffee” in the Majors earlier in his career and now finds himself guiding his players as they’re thrust into a strange new reality. The book takes readers from the dusty base paths of America’s ball parks to the stodgy board rooms where multimillionaires decide what the public will see…and what’s best for their own pockets.
“Since the early 1980s, every baseball strike or lockout had brought with it talk of promoting the minor leaguers to keep the games going. “Strike Four” plays this scenario out to its logical conclusion,” said Frisch. “What happens when fans tire of million dollar ballplayers with 10-cent work ethics in favor of guys who are playing purely for love of the game?”
Befitting his public relations background, “Strike Four” also focuses on the roles of both the media and the league itself in shaping public opinion about the strike and the owners’ highly controversial contingency plan.
The book is timely, as there are rumblings about a players strike when the current Collective Bargaining Agreement expires in 2021. Just before this season began, USA Todayquoted some players as saying a walkout at that time was a certainty, and that the players union was ready for a fight to squash years of what they see as wage depression.
“Baseball, like all sports, is first and foremost a business. As such, the players are commodities. Keeping the fans happy and paying at the gate, and keeping the TV networks happy is more important that what happens on the field of play,” Frisch said.
“Strike Four” can be found in the Amazon Kindle store.
Founded in 2007, Swordfish Communications is a full-service public relations agency specializing in clients in the consumer goods, food and beverage, technology, recreation, aviation, and professional services industries.