Joey's Pigza's life is turned upside down whe his mother allows him to spend a few weeks in a nearby city with his estranged father and grandmother. Joey has an idealized image of his father, and resents his mother's smothering ways, however when he moves in with his dad, Joey quickly discovers the man is actually very much like him in many respects. Carter Pigza is impulsive and has great difficulty controlling his actions and tongue. During Joey's visit, his father convinces him to stop wearing the medicated patch which controls his erratic behavior. Joey's behavior and unhappiness spiral out of control. The climax of the novel occurs during a championship baseball game, when Joey, unable to control his frustration has a meltdown on the mound. His mother is called for and whisks him home. Joey finally realizes that his mother has only his best interests in mind and now has a more realistic picture of his father.