James Sturm's newly reprinted graphic novel reads like the movie John Sayles should've made instead of ''Eight Men Out:'' In the 1920s, a Jewish baseball team barnstorms the heartland, content to play for love of the game. But when they allow a slick promoter to tweak their gimmick with a golem -- the cabalistic automaton of Hebrew myth -- foretold chaos ensues. Sturm's prose is as elegantly understated as his line work. And every now and then he throws the heater: ''They've been waiting for their Messiah a thousand years,'' says one opponent. ''So they know how to wait on a curveball.''