I was so happy to see Tony Stevens return to writing at SOL after a long, long absence. His "Take me out to the Ballgame" series is one of my favorites, and I'm not even much of a baseball fan.
But Tony has a gift for making the trials and tribulations of minor- and major-leaguers (and the people they meet) seem so vibrant and real. The slog of traveling all over the US to play minor-league ball in small towns is so well-described, I feel like I've experienced it.
Many of the stories in this series describe "unconventional" relationships between a ballplayer and a female companion. Might be an age difference, might be a racial difference, might be some other set of unique circumstances. In "Stonefingers," the point of conflict is the woman's job, and also some things that have happened to her in the past.
I won't spoil the ending; I'll just say that it felt a little rushed, a little too much like "well, let's wrap this story up, one conversation, now everything's fine." But that's a minor nitpick, and everything leading up to the final two chapters was brilliantly written, the story developed quite well.
I hope Tony's return to SOL is a permanent one, and I hope to see more stories in the "Ballgame" series. One really nice thing is that the characters from previous installments tend to make guest appearances in Tony's newer stories; so you get a little "follow up" on old favorite characters.
Very well written from a technical standpoint, few (if any) typos, grammatical errors, or continuity problems.
A ball player who can hit but can't seem to play defense finds love in an unusual place. His love interest is also an unusual woman with some serious issues of abandonment. This story tells the tale of their journey through it all.
For plot, I give this an A+ (9), mainly because the author does a very good job filling in the back story of each of the main characters.
For technical quality, another A+ (9). I believe there are only a handful errors left after the last batch of revisions by the author (and yes, I went back to check on them).
For appeal score, I give it an A (8). The interaction between the different characters is good, even though the MC takes a different approach to solving his love interest's separation issues. I would have liked to see a little more development after the author chose to end it, but that is my personal preference. Even a short epilogue would help answer a lot. Did they make it? How long did his elevation last? A short epilogue, possibly dated 20 years further down the road, would answer these questions.