When BallWonk heard that Lord of Misrule was nominated for the 2010 National Book Award, he rushed to the bookstore, giddy at the prospect that a book about Jim Bowden’s reign as Nationals GM was getting the respect it no doubt deserves. When the shy woman with the Yoda pin at the Borders answer desk informed BallWonk that Lord of Misrule wouldn’t be published until November 15, just two days before the National Book Awards ceremony, it only confirmed BallWonk’s glee. Surely, this hard-hitting novelization of Bowden’s reign, or maybe the Nationals doctors and training staff, had an inside track on the prize. Why else would a book that wasn’t even published yet have been nominated? And sure enough, last night the award went to Lord of Misrule. Yeah, baby!
Only it turns out Lord of Misrule is about Southern gothic types at a 1950s West Virginia horse track. It’s not an epic adaptation of the Nationals mismanagement under Omar Minaya or Trader Jim. Talk about a waste of a title. So another award comes, and the Nats receive not one vote. On the plus side, there’s only two days of Nats-not-winning-awards left, and then the 2010 season will be well and truly over.