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Disappointing and poorly written
on December 9, 2012
I've only read the first 30 pages of this book, but other than a great introduction by Ron Darling, so far it's a real loser. First of all, the authors completely miss the point about why the early Mets were "loveable losers". While the players may not have been thrilled to be characterized that way, the fans were just happy to have National League baseball back in NY, so they forgave and accepted the losing and the poor play. In addition, a lot of those fans found it easier to identify with the Mets than with the corporate image of the Yankees. By dismissing the fans' cheering for the team as nothing more than sarcasm, the authors demonstrate their ignorance regarding the fans of the early, admittedly inept, Mets. They also imply that the reporters who helped promote the "lovable loser" image did so sarcastically. The truth is, they were just looking for a story to write, so they reported on what they saw and what they heard, mostly from Casey Stengel, who realized that he had to put on a good show to compensate for the poor quality of the on-the-field product. Again I must say that I've only read the first 30 pages, but so far it seems that the authors should have spent more time talking to some of those early fans, and less time copying and pasting paragraphs from the Daily News's coverage of the '62 team. In addition, there are grammatical and spelling mistakes that most third graders wouldn't make (Just one example: Page 28, paragraph 3, they use the word "through" when they clearly meant "threw". I would expect better from two supposedly educated and literate writers.) They also have a lot of their "facts" wrong. While still on page 28, we're reading about the Mets' first season (1962), during which the authors refer to the Pirates as defending world champions. The Pirates had won the World Series in 1960, not 1961. In 1962, the Yankees were the defending champs, having defeated Frd Hutchinson's Cincinnati Reds in 5 games in the 1961 Series. Less time spent paying homage to Yankee tradition would also be nice. (This is supposed to be a book about the Mets, not about Mantle, Maris, and Ruth, as great as they were.) If you want to read an accurate, informative book about the Mets and their history, I recommend Mathew Silverman's "Mets Essential". ADDED COMMENTS DECEMBER 18, 2012: I'm up to page 68 and I'm amazed how many more errors it contains. This may be a fun book with some good pictures (none that you couldn't see elsewhere) but if you weren't there and you wanted an ACCURATE history of the Mets, this is definitely not for you. Briefly; page 45, Tug was a lefty, not a righty. page 46, Koosman led the I.L. in strikeouts in 1967, not 1968 (he pitched for the Mets and almost won Rookie of the Year in 1968); page 47, some misleading language confuses the reader - are we discussing Gentry or Ryan?; page 50, Mets were 73-89 in 1968, not 78-89 (they would have had to have played an extra 5 games instead of the standard 162); page 62, Kranepool, not Swoboda, got the game-winning hit in the opening game of the big series vs the Cubs; page 63, they trailed by 9 1/2 games on August 13, not August 19; page 65, Clete Boyer was a great-field-average hitting third baseman, not a "slugger"; page 66, the quote was "Who's Ron Gaspar", not "Bring on Ron Gaspar". And I'm not even bothering to point out the grammatical errors anymore. Is this trivial? Maybe. But if you're going to write a history book, even a sports history book, shouldn't you check your facts so that the people reading it get the right info?