If your idea of a good baseball book is something by Bill James, this may not be the book for you. This book will not provide you with any groundbreaking statistical insight, analysis, or theories; but what it will do is show you that there is more to baseball than what takes place on the diamond. Jeff Pearlman, who took a leave of absence from his position at Sports Illustrated to write this tale of the infamous 1986 World Champion New York Mets, does a fantastic job of showing how these 25 individuals came together through all of their dysfunction to win it all.
The 1986 New York Mets were a team that everyone loved to hate. They were not a bunch of role players who came together to form a cohesive unit and shock the world. They were 25 individuals, and the only thing most shared was a cockiness and swagger that lead to excess in everything they did. They had excess on the field, destroying their opponents and finishing 21 games ahead of the Philadelphia Phillies at the end of the 1986 season. They had excess off the field, with most players indulging in boozing, drug use, and womanizing, that seemed more fitting for the life of Tommy Lee than a baseball player.
These Amazin’ Mets believed they were on top of the world, and in the end they proved that they were. They overcame a Game 6 extra inning deficit to shock Bill Buckner and the Boston Red Sox, keeping alive the curse of the Bambino. While this book dedicates more than enough time to this epic World Series and how the 1986 Mets came to form, this book is more a story of these fabled Mets, and how these ‘Bad Guys Won’.
This book will appeal to everyone; not just Met fans. Even Yankee and Braves fans should consider giving this book a read. While you will hear about how great this team really was, and how they dominated the National League, most chapters are dedicated to the off-field exploits of Strawberry, Gooden, Carter, Hernandez and all the rest, more than anything else. More booze, sex, and drugs than baseball make this book seem more like a soap opera than a baseball book. While a must read for any Met fan, this book will not disappoint anyone who decides to give it a chance.
David Allinger is one of a growing number of fantasy experts who write for the Cafe. You can catch up with David in the Cafe's forums where he posts under the name of Pokerplaya.
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