Friday, March 28, 2014

Angling Towards Danger

The Hero:  Rick Porcello

What You Need To Know:  The 27th overall pick fresh out of high school, Young Mr. Porcello was pitching in the big leagues before he could legally have himself a beer.  He's getting ready to begin his 6th year in the big leagues and the guy just turned 25 years old.  Seriously, wrap your mind around that for just a moment.  Anyway, Ricky has had an up and down career with Detroit, most of which has been attributed to his youth and having to learn as he goes, all while facing down Major League hitters.  He's also what is known as a "ground ball pitcher."  He won't strike out a ton of guys.  He gets guys to swing and hit the ball ineffectually.  Pitchers like Ricky are only as a good as the defense behind them, and Detroit's defense hasn't always been super spectacular - but that should be better this season with a much improved infield (on paper at any rate, we'll see what happens once the season is underway).  He's a Jersey kid, and when the Tigers signed Torii Hunter, Ricky was wearing Torii's preferred jersey number.  Ricky told the veteran he could have the number on one condition - he had to make a donation to Hurricane Sandy relief efforts - which Hunter did.

Also of note, Ricky is constantly rumored to be on the trade block.  Seriously, even as I type this he's rumored to be traded.  But I don't think our GM is going to pull that trigger just yet (we'll see what mid-season brings). I happen to like Ricky.  Yes, power pitches who throw 95 mph are sexy, but that's not the only way to win the game.  Plus, he's a cutie-patootie (Wendy, thou art a dirty old lady).

His Baggage:  OK, sure.  Ricky hasn't exactly lived up to the spectacular hype he generated coming into the draft, but it's not like he's been a vortex of suck.  For his baggage, I'm going to that most wonderful of inventions, the Internet.  What does the Internet tell us about Rick?  He likes to fly fish.  Seriously.  He apparently likes the intensity and solitude of it, which I "get."  Even though baseball is a team sport, being a pitcher is different.  You're one person, out on the mound, all by your lonesome.  Sometimes the game is all on you.  Fishing and pitching, they have a lot in common.

Proposed Category Romance Plot:  After the long grind of the season, he's finally ready to enjoy some time off.  Plus he's more than ready to get away from the trade rumors that constantly seem to follow him.  He's heard rumors of his own, about a legendary fishing guide working in remote areas of Montana.  But chasing the guy down has not been easy, which in this day of cell phone cameras and social media is practically unheard of.  Finally, calling in favor after favor from friends of friends, he's found him.  Sort of.  Turns out "Terry" is short for Theresa.  When flattery doesn't work, he resorts to begging and outright bribery.  Terry agrees to take him out on a fishing holiday, only to find themselves stranded thanks to unseasonable weather and running afoul of some drug smugglers working in the area.  So much of his relaxing holiday.....
The Heroine:  Her old man taught her two useful things: 1) how to live off the grid and 2) how to fish.  Other than that?  She doesn't mourn the man who was like the Unabomber, just without the penchant towards violence.  Living off the grid means she doesn't need a whole lot, and when she does have need for money, she has a few select (in other words, rich) clients who like to fish and pay well.  She's learned that these people are willing to pay handsomely and don't mind confidentially clauses so much because it makes them feel "special" that she's willing to grace them with her presence.  Still, word has gotten around - and she's loathe to take on a baseball player, who is sure to attract attention.  But she needs the cash to get through what is promising to be a harsh winter and the guy is willing to pay her extremely exorbitant (even for her) price.  She can't believe they're stranded now though, all thanks to a storm that turned out to be a lot worse than anyone predicted.  Sure, it had been a while since she'd taken someone to this part of the back country to fish, but damn if drug smugglers didn't find her secluded fishing hideaway.  They're like locusts, and also none too pleased to have their operation found out by a backwoods woman and a professional baseball player.

What Category Romance Line?:  Harlequin Romantic Suspense, with a hat tip to author Jill Sorenson.  Her more recent romantic suspense novels for HQN might have influenced this plot just a wee bit. 


Barb in Maryland said...

Well, Wendy, you've managed to come up with 4 books I would read in a heartbeat. Added to the 6 from last year--why isn't Harlequin beating a path to your door??

Baseball question for you--just what was Max thinking when he turned down that contract extension?? Nasty words like "greedy' and "Yankees" come to my mind. just sayin'.

Wendy said...

Barb: I know, right? They could just hire me to sit around and think up ideas for continuity series!

Sigh. No clue on Max. I'm half-convinced he's been brainwashed by his agent (ugh, Scott Boras) who is still probably smarting over the fact that the last few highly desirable soon-to-be-free-agent-pitchers signed extensions with their current teams instead of testing the open market. Honestly, how many teams can pay more than what the Tigers have already offered? NY and LA? Seriously, that's probably it.

That said, I'm not wild about the Tigers signing him to a huge long-term deal. Signing pitchers to huge multi-year deals makes me twitchy. Hey, there are only so many pitches in that arm - what if said arm blows up during Year 3 of a 8 year deal? ::shudder::

Tracy Smith said...

I'm def. feeling old with all these young heroes! Lol this guy is only 10 years older than my son!

Wendy said...

Tracy: I briefly toyed with the idea of creating a story for the Tigers new manager, Brad Ausmus. He's at least a more respectable age and none of us would feel like dirty old ladies :)