Lewis's old high school baseball coach in New Orleans has fallen on hard, or peculiar, times. He is so popular among his former players that fundraising for a new gymnasium to be named for him has been a huge success. But the current crop of parents loathes him. Why? Because he has a brutal work ethic, demands excellence and commitment, and takes a very dim view of excuses and entitlement. Lewis investigates, prompted by his own memories of his experience (hilarious and touching) as a pitcher under Coach Fitz. The narrative has mostly to do with the crucial lessons that Michael learned - the hard way, of course. He also explores the parallel experience of such former players as Peyton Manning (last year's MVP in the NFL, who also played for Coach Fitz) and finds the same story: 'Coach Fitz made me who I am.' At the end we circle back to the current situation and the moral of the story, which is that parents (usually the ones with too much money) who try to protect their kids from failure or hard lessons are doing them no favor at all.