Originally posted on Baseball Prospectus  |  Last updated 2/22/12
It was screenwriting guru Syd Field who introduced, to the best of my knowledge, the notion of the cinematic “plot point.” Hollywood movies have two of these, the first coming roughly a third of the way in, the second two thirds through. Watch any mainstream cinema product, and you can practically set your watch by them. Dirk Hayhurst’s second memoir, Out of My League (Citadel Press, 406 pp.), the follow-up to his best-selling debut, The Bullpen Gospels, is expertly constructed just like a movie. The plot points are easy to spot. We arrive at the first on page 126, when Hayhurst finds out, after much suspense in 2008 spring training, that he has made the San Diego Padres’ Triple-A club in Portland, Ore. There follows a traditional Hollywood midsection, a “confrontation” period (as Field calls it), the long stretch during which Hayhurst strives and excels on the mound all summer long. This narrative is conjoined to a secondary, but no less important, personal development, Hayhu...
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