Why would a well-rounded baseball player bring down his team's chances of winning a championship game? Roy Robbs, the main character of the novel, seems to have reasons for creating this downfall. He experienced numerous, tragic flaws led to his downfall. Roy brings his team down, makes regretful decisions, ignores the coach, and chose to be around the wrong characters in the novel.
Being on a team does not mean one person does all the work. A team needs everyone to contribute and if one person lets up, it could bring the rest of the team down. In this book, Roy brings the team down in a couple of different ways. He started letting the team down after he replaced the best player on the team who had recently passed away. He did not care about being a team player as he said to Harriet, a lady he met on the bus, "I bet some day I will break every record for throwing and hitting"(pg.30). These dreams of wealth and power set him up for failure. Also, shortly after the team started winning, Roy had fallen into a major league slump and the whole team fell apart. This left them wandering if they would ever recover from their losing streak.
His decision making about women was less then desirable. Some of the decisions he made didn't make sense. First, he fell for a women named Memo Paris shortly after he noticed her for the first time. He didn't even know her and he was determined to meet her. After her boyfriend died, she hung out with him and blamed him for Bump's death. Throughout the book, she had been setting him up for disaster. All she wanted was his money and fame. He didn't even realize she was using him. Later in the book, he meets another lady named Iris, who helped him break out of his slump. She was very understanding and kind to him. But he insisted on dating Memo even though Iris was pregnant with his child.
Anther reason I think this book has a negative effect on readers is by the way he handled himself around his coach. His coach, Pop Fisher, gave him a significant amount of playing time. During the team's slump, the coach decided to hire a hypnotist to make the players focus better. Roy opposed the coach and said, "I might be on the team, but no medicine man is going to hypnotize me"(pg.75). So, the coach benched him and Roy became angry. They also had a disagreement when Roy refused to try a different bat during his slump. The coach said, "When will you get rid of that danged Wonderboy and try some other stick?" Roy replies, "Never"(pg.150). If anyone tried that in today's game of baseball, they would be assessed a harsh punishment. I disapproved when Roy thought he was above everyone else and thought he did not have to listen or answer to anyone. This showed that the coach had no control and he was taken avantage of by Roy.
I also disagree with the characters that were portrayed throughout the story along with the ending itself. When Harriet Bird, the women Roy met on the train, heard that Roy had a chance to be the best in the league, she decided to try and kill him by firing a bullet into his stomach. This had no relevance to the story and it seemed unusual.
I also didn't like the way the owner of Roy's major league team ran the organization. Judge Goodwill Barns, the owner of the Knights, tried to find an easy way to make money and loose the pennant. Roy said, "Twenty-five thousand dollars for dropping a game is not enough" and the Judge replied, "Thirty and no more"(pg.228). Roy did squeeze the money out of the Judge and he was satisfied. I think that was quite selfish of the owner to do this to his team by buying off a player.
At the end of the game, the little boy turned to Roy and asked, "Say it ain't true, Roy"(pg.262). He was unable to respond and felt guilty and realized he had lost everything again. The conclusion of the story had a negative impact when the Judge paid him to lose the game and when the boy approached Roy.
This book has negativity because of Roy's bad decisions, Roy inability to listen to his coach, unable to fit in and worked toward being a team player and chose to be around shady characters. Roy was unable to stay focussed throughout the season and he chose women and money over his morals. If had chosen a different major league team, he might not have experienced his downfall and loneliness.