Review: Out in the Field by Kate McMurray

2nd Edition

Matt Blanco is a legend on the Brooklyn Eagles, but time and injuries have taken their toll. With his career nearing its end, he’s almost made it to retirement without anyone learning his biggest secret: he’s gay in a profession not particularly known for its tolerance.

Iggy Rodriquez is the hot new rookie in town, landing a position in the starting lineup of the team of his dreams and playing alongside his idol, Matt Blanco. Iggy doesn’t think it can get any better, until an unexpected encounter in the locker room with Matt proves him wrong.

A relationship—and everything it could reveal—has never been in the cards for Matt, but Iggy has him rethinking his priorities. They fall hard for each other, struggling to make it through trades, endorsement deals, and the threat of retirement. Ultimately they will be faced with a choice: love or baseball?

First Edition published by Loose Id LLC, 2012.

In the interest of full disclosure I'm just going to own up to being a sports junkie, for those who don't already know this. 

I'm also a die hard Red Sox fan so of course I pounced on a baseball book. It took me about a minute to realize this was thinly veiled Jeter/A-Rod fic. Nothing but respect for Jeter, but A-Roid Rod? I've actually met him and he's a box of rocks so, I spent the majority of this read thinking Jeter a.k.a. Matt Blanco could do sooooooooooo much better. 

But I pressed on, tried to put it out of my head. Didn't stop me from punching the air when the "Brooklyn Eagles" got pummeled by the Red Sox. What can I say? I'm only human and Red Sox loyalty runs deeeeep.

The mentions of sabermetrics, farm teams and the superstitions of baseball players made it clear McMurray is a baseball fan too. I appreciate that. Nothing annoys me more than reading a sports book wherein the sports knowledge is sketchy.

Out in the Field is a slice of life tale involving a seasoned baseball player at the end of his Hall of Fame career falling for the young rookie full of promise. Matt Blanco has spent his entire MLB career in the closet. A couple of close teammates know as well as his family, but he's a furtive one night usually in a rented room kind of guy. Ignacio Rodriguez has had a hero worship crush on Matt since forever, but he's also in the closet. One knowing look betwixt the two sets their romance in motion.

There are two things that diminished my enjoyment of this book.

First, the romance gets overshadowed by the agenda on the MLB's lack of support for gay players. It's common knowledge that professional sports aren't all that inclusive. One need not look any further than Michael Sam for proof of that or the sheer dearth of openly out athletes in any professional sport for that matter. I'm sympathetic to the need for change with more inclusion and acceptance as the next person, but it's not very romantic to read about. It read a little bit like an After School Special and was just as predictable-boy meets boy, they fight THE SYSTEM together and ride off into the sunset, or in this case buy a brownstone in Brooklyn.

Second, I've recent binge watched RuPaul's Drag Race and they have the perfect word for what this book needs-zhujing. This book needs some zhujing in the worst way. It needs some zest, some pizazz, some uumph, some vitality. ZHUJING, I tell ya. There's nothing wrong with the writing it's just... dull. I could quote and nitpick but honestly I don't have the energy for it.


I'm somewhere between 2.5-3 Hearts, but there are numerous other top-notch reviewers who completely disagree with me, so your mileage may vary.

An ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review.

Find out more on Goodreads or Dreamspinner Press.

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