The Dh (the Triple Threat, 3) by John FeinsteinThe Dh (the Triple Threat, 3) by John Feinstein

The Dh (the Triple Threat, 3)

byJohn Feinstein

Paperback | September 19, 2017

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Perfect for baseball lovers and fans of Mike Lupica, book three in the Triple Threat series by New York Times bestselling sports writer John Feinstein explores what happens when athletes break the rules. 
Alex Myers’s football and basketball seasons were mired in controversy, and his dad’s been MIA since his parents split up. All Alex wants this spring is to work on his fastball and hang out with his maybe-girlfriend, Christine. But he runs into unexpected competition on both fronts.
Matt Gordon was suspended from sports after he admitted taking PEDs during football season, but the athletic board has decided to give him another chance. So he’s on the team—and he’s got something to prove. He’s also got his eye on Christine. The question this season—is all fair in love and baseball? Or are some things truly foul?
Filled with action, intrigue, and intense rivalries, The DH and the other books in the Triple Threat series follow the ups and downs of one talented athlete’s year in sports. 
Praise for book one in the Triple Threat series, The Walk On:
“All the goods for the sports enthusiast—and more.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Full of refreshingly decent high school students, first crushes, a dose of dating drama, and a cliff-hanger ending, The Walk On will interest even non-football fans.” —School Library Journal
Praise for book two in the Triple Threat series, The Sixth Man: 
“Suspenseful and well-dramatized sports action scenes. . . . Solidly drawn, both on and off the court.” —Kirkus Reviews
John Feinstein is the author of many bestselling books, including A Season on the Brink and A Good Walk Spoiled. His books for young readers offer a winning combination of sports, action, and intrigue, with Last Shot receiving the Edgar Allan Poe Award for best young adult mystery of the year. He lives in Potomac, Maryland, and on Shel...
Title:The Dh (the Triple Threat, 3)Format:PaperbackDimensions:304 pages, 7.63 × 5.13 × 0.72 inPublished:September 19, 2017Publisher:Random House Children's BooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0553535854

ISBN - 13:9780553535853


Read from the Book

1  “I won.” Matt Gordon’s grin was so wide as he put his lunch tray down that he didn’t even really need to say the words. Alex Myers knew exactly why he was grinning, but none of the others at the table—Jonas Ellington, Christine Whitford, and Max Bellotti—had a clue. That was because Matt hadn’t told his secret to anyone in school except Alex. “Won what?” Jonas asked. “The appeal of my suspension,” Matt said. “I’m eligible again. I’m out of purgatory.” “You mean you can play football next fall?” Christine said. Matt nodded. “Yup. . . . And I can play baseball right now.” He looked at Alex. “You ready to be the number two pitcher on the team, Myers?” Alex smiled, but he raised an eyebrow. That comment was very un-Matt. Like Alex, Matt Gordon was an outstanding athlete. He had been the starting quarterback for the Chester Heights football team and would have been an all-state player if he hadn’t been suspended during the state playoffs for taking steroids. Alex was a big part of the reason Matt had resorted to steroid use: When Alex showed up as the team’s third-string quarterback, Matt recognized that Alex—just a freshman—was better than he was. He had panicked, and had resorted to taking the drugs that cost him the chance to play for the state title. The suspension handed down by the Pennsylvania High School Athletic Association was for one year. Now Matt filled every-one in on what had been going on since then. “I appealed on the grounds that the penalty was too harsh, that I’d never actually tested positive, I came forward on my own, and since then I’ve tested clean on eleven random drug tests.” He shrugged and grinned some more. “I won. The arbitration board voted two to one in my favor. So, to quote Schwarzenegger, I’m back.” “He said, ‘I’ll be back,’ ” Max said, teasing. “Whatever,” Matt replied. “I’ll be at baseball practice this afternoon.” Every-one congratulated him, but Alex noticed Christine frowning the way she did when something was bothering her. “Look, Matt, I’m happy for you,” she said. “But I’m confused. You did test positive—you just didn’t get caught because Jake switched your blood sample for Alex’s.” Alex broke in. “Christine, it doesn’t matter,” he said. “All that matters is Matt won the appeal.” Alex didn’t really want to relive what had happened four months earlier: At the behest of Matt’s father—football coach Matthew Gordon—Jake Bilney had switched Alex’s blood test for Matt’s to make it look as if Alex, not Matt, was the one taking steroids. Matt had come forward and admitted his guilt the week of the state championship game. Coach Gordon had been fired, and Bilney had transferred. Alex really wanted to move on. Matt waved a hand. “It’s okay, Alex,” he said. “You’re right, Christine. But legally, once the tests were compromised by the label switching, they couldn’t be used against me. The board had to base its decision on my tests since then.” Christine tipped her head, considering. “Okay. Well . . . that’s good for you.” She stood up. “There’s still time for me to get a story into this week’s Roar. I’ll go see Coach Hillier right now.” Tom Hillier was the advisor for the student news-paper, the Weekly Roar. He’d also become the football coach after Matthew Gordon was fired. She walked away, drawing looks from most of the boys in the cafeteria. In Alex’s opinion, Christine was the prettiest girl in the school. He was biased because she was his girlfriend. Clearly, though, he wasn’t the only one who thought she was pretty. “She seems a little miffed,” Matt said. “What’s that about?” “Nah, she just wants to get the story in,” Alex said. “You sure that’s all?” Matt asked. “Totally,” Alex said, hoping he sounded more convinced than he felt. He’d picked up a weird vibe from Christine too. He watched Christine stop to talk to Patton Gormley, one of his teammates from the basketball team. The basketball season had ended the previous Friday, with Chester Heights losing to West Philadelphia in the second round of the sectional playoffs. The Speedboys had beaten the Lions by thirty points in a regular-season game, so the 72–65 loss to them in the playoffs had been disappointing but also a sign of how far the team had come. Basketball season might have just finished, but Alex was so ready for baseball. He was an excellent quarterback and a very good point guard, but he thought baseball might someday be his best sport. He had been almost unhittable as a Little League pitcher. He knew high school would be different, but he was still confident. And now Matt Gordon was going to be his teammate again. He’d been a great teammate in football—Alex’s biggest supporter, even though they played the same position. Maybe . . . “Alex,” he heard Jonas say. “Quit staring at your girlfriend.” “Why shouldn’t he stare at his girlfriend?” Matt said. “She’s hot.” “Yeah,” Max said. “Even I stare at her sometimes, and I’m gay.” They all laughed, and Alex felt himself relax. Why, though, did he feel unrelaxed?   Alex was starting baseball practice a week late because basketball had gone so long, but he knew Coach Birdy would understand—because Al Birdy had been the assistant basket-ball coach. In fact, it’d been Coach Birdy who had helped Alex and Jonas get through a rocky start in basketball after they’d missed the opening practices because they were still playing football. Coach Evan Archer wasn’t a big fan of football and had made life difficult for Alex and Jonas when they first showed up. Alex expected that the transition from basketball to baseball would go more smoothly, even though there were just four days before the opening game of the season. But he had no idea how Coach Birdy would feel about Matt showing up for practice. He also had no idea how good a pitcher Matt might be. Matt hadn’t played baseball the previous two seasons because his father had wanted him to focus on football. Even though Matt didn’t talk about it very much, it was clear that Matthew Gordon Sr. was no longer an influence in his son’s life—at least when it came to sports. When Matt had told Alex that he was appealing his suspension, Alex had asked him what his father thought about it. “I don’t know,” Matt had answered. “And I don’t really care.” Enough said about that. Matt was considerably bigger than Alex, but Alex was the one with the golden arm—which was why Matt had nicknamed him Goldie as soon as he’d seen him throw a football. Matt could throw a football just about as far as Alex could, but he wasn’t nearly as accurate. Alex figured the same would be true in baseball: Matt would throw very hard; the question would be his control. Alex was wondering about all these things when he heard the bell ring. He was stunned that his last-period class was over and Mademoiselle Schiff hadn’t called on him once. His French teacher had a remarkable knack for catching him when he was daydreaming and nailing him with a question. “Nice going in there,” Christine said as he exited the classroom. She was waiting for him. Her backpack was slung over her shoulders, and her long dark hair was pulled back in a ponytail. Alex thought he could hear kids snickering as they passed by. “Nice going what?” he said. “I didn’t say anything.” Christine smiled her megawatt smile. “I know. I guess you didn’t hear Mademoiselle Schiff say that she was going to congratulate you on the basketball season but figured it was a waste of time since you obviously weren’t paying attention . . . again.” Alex felt his face grow warm. “She said that?” he said. “In English or French?” Christine laughed. “Both,” she said. “First she said it in French, and then she said it in English. You never looked up.” Alex groaned. French was his worst subject. Part of it was that it was last period; by the end of the day, his mind tended to wander in the direction of practice—first football, then basketball, and now baseball. It was also hard. In class, Mademoiselle Schiff was a taskmaster. No English was spoken except in special circumstances, like proving a student wasn’t paying attention. The homework was consistently difficult and always took a long time. “I’d better go back and talk to her,” Alex said. Christine reached up and put her hand on his shoulder. “Go to practice,” she said. “I don’t think she’s mad. Send her an email tonight.” Alex thought a moment and then nodded, and they started down the hallway. He didn’t want to be late for his first day of baseball practice—when he was already a week late. “Did you get the story about Matt into the Roar?” he asked. “Oh yes,” she said. “I spent the rest of lunch writing it.” She slowed for a second, then stopped walking. “How do you feel about all this?” she said, surprising him. “About Matt?” he asked. “Of course about Matt,” she answered. He shrugged. “I’m happy for him,” he said. “Like he said, he never did actually test positive, so . . .” “Stop with the ‘for the record’ answer,” she said. “I’m not asking you as a reporter. I’m asking as your friend.” He would have preferred “girlfriend.” “That is my answer,” he said. “You’re Matt’s friend too. What’s your answer?” “He was punished for taking steroids,” she said without hesitating. “He did take steroids. He cheated, regardless of whether there’s an official test that proves it or not.” “He paid a price—” “One game!” she said loudly, then lowered her voice when she saw people giving her looks. “He missed one football game—that’s it.” “It was the state championship game,” Alex said. “He also stood up and told the whole school what he’d done and dealt with the public humiliation that came with it.” “One game,” Christine said again. “In the NFL, a first-time offender gets four games, automatic.” Alex stared at her. “What’s bothering you about this?” he asked. “Why are you so upset?” “I’m not sure,” she said. With that, she turned and walked away.    2  Al Birdy had asked the three members of the basketball team who wanted to play baseball to meet him in the dugout of the baseball field as soon as their last class was over. Watching Christine walk away from him, Alex realized he was going to be late. He hustled to his locker to drop off his books and then worked his way to the back of the school building, where the athletic facilities were located. Chester Heights had plush offices for the football coaching staff but almost no space for any of the school’s other coaches. Coach Birdy shared an office with three other coaches. That was why he had asked his new players to meet him in the dugout. There, they would have a few minutes of privacy while the rest of the team was still in the locker room getting dressed. Alex was the last of the group to arrive. Coach Birdy was already in workout clothes and was sitting on the dugout bench. Jonas Ellington and Patton Gormley sat on either side of him. Matt Gordon sat on one of the dugout steps. He had apparently been invited to the meeting too. “Have trouble finding the field, Myers?” Coach Birdy said with a grin as Alex huffed up, slightly winded after walking very fast to get there. “Sorry, Coach,” Alex said. He started to say, I had to talk to a teacher, but he figured that beginning a new season with a lie wasn’t a good idea. Coach Birdy waved a hand at him, clearly not bothered. “We were just about to get going,” he said. “What I wanted to say is that every-one under-stands why the three of you who were playing basketball missed practice last week. I’m just going to put each of you into drills at your positions today. If you have a question, ask somebody.” He looked at Matt. “Gordon, you’re different. Once we get all the guys assembled out here, I’d like you to explain what happened and why you’re joining us now. Any problem with that?” Matt shook his head. “No, Coach,” he said. “I appreciate the opportunity. I’d like every-one to under-stand why I’m eligible to play.” “You don’t have to go into detail,” Coach Birdy said. “The basics should do.” Matt nodded. Alex understood what Coach Birdy was saying: No one really wanted to hear a blow-by-blow of Matt’s hearing. “Gordon, Myers, Gormley—we don’t have enough catchers to keep every-one throwing at one time. We’ve now got seven pitchers and three guys who catch. So you’ll take turns—twenty pitches in each rotation up to a total of sixty. Do not try to throw hard. Your arms are bound to be stiff and tight.” He turned to Jonas. “Ellington, you fall in with the other outfielders. When we take BP, you go last. Same for you other guys when your positions are hitting. No big deal—I just don’t want the other guys thinking anyone is jumping ahead of them.” He paused. “Okay?” They all nodded. “You’ve got lockers assigned to you, and I had Mr. Hall put some workout clothes in there for you. So you should be all set.” He looked at Alex. “You have a glove, Myers?” Alex realized the other three guys in the dugout had their gloves. In his haste to get to the field, he had left his in his school locker. “It’s, um, in my locker,” Alex said. “Won’t do you much good there, will it?” Coach Birdy said. “Go get it, and when you get out here, if we’ve started stretching, you can give me three loops around the field. Being late once—okay, I’ll let you slide. Twice in one day—you gotta run.” Alex was embarrassed. He was standing there thinking of a response—maybe something clever like Sorry, Coach—when he realized Coach Birdy was talking to him again. “Myers, are you gonna stand there staring at me or get going?” “Going, Coach,” Alex said, noticing that Matt, Jonas, and Patton were all about to fall over laughing. He began sprinting back across the soccer and lacrosse field in the direction of the school, thinking to himself, Am I ever going to start a season without getting into some kind of trouble? The answer, at least since his arrival at Chester Heights, was no. This time, though, was different, because he had no one to blame but himself.

Editorial Reviews

Praise for book one in the Triple Threat series, The Walk On: “All the goods for the sports enthusiast—and more.” —Kirkus Reviews   “Full of refreshingly decent high school students, first crushes, a dose of dating drama, and a cliff-hanger ending, The Walk On will interest even non-football fans.” —School Library Journal   Praise for book two in the Triple Threat series, The Sixth Man:  “Suspenseful and well-dramatized sports action scenes. . . . Solidly drawn, both on and off the court.” —Kirkus Reviews