Taking the Field: A Fan's Quest to Run the Team He Loves

( 2 )

Overview

In this fearless and half-crazy story, Howard Megdal decides that simply rooting isn't enough-it's time for fans to stand up and take charge. A lifelong and feverish New York Mets fan, he has been there through thick and (more often) thin. And yet, year in and year out, the Mets seem to find ways to disappoint him. The almost-victories, the mistakes, the lost years; it's all too heartbreaking. And so, mustering his energy, heart, and sportswriter's pedigree, Megdal decides to become the general manager of the ...

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Taking the Field: A Fan's Quest to Run the Team He Loves

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Overview

In this fearless and half-crazy story, Howard Megdal decides that simply rooting isn't enough-it's time for fans to stand up and take charge. A lifelong and feverish New York Mets fan, he has been there through thick and (more often) thin. And yet, year in and year out, the Mets seem to find ways to disappoint him. The almost-victories, the mistakes, the lost years; it's all too heartbreaking. And so, mustering his energy, heart, and sportswriter's pedigree, Megdal decides to become the general manager of the Mets. It's not an elected office, but that doesn't mean you can't campaign for it.

Part baseball history and part personal narrative, Taking the Field is at heart the story of a fan who decides to take control. Staging public rallies to gain support, and hustling for interviews and opportunities, Megdal rewrites the rules for being a fan: If you want a championship so badly, maybe it's time for more than praying at the television and buying merchandise. Maybe it's time for action. As he tells his personal story, Megdal intersperses the narrative with a history of rooting for his team: the Tom Seaver trade, the Doc Gooden saga, the highs and lows, the mistakes, and the moments that made it worth the pain. At the same time, he learns the lessons of this history, outlining for the public his campaign pillars: logic, transparency, and passion.

With the unstinting passion of Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer, the humor and business smarts of Moneyball, and the elbow-grease appeal of Julie & Julia, Taking the Field is a love letter to baseball.

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  • Taking the Field
    Taking the Field  

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews

Baseball writer Megdal (The Baseball Talmud, 2009) recounts his 2010 campaign to be elected general manager ofthe New York Mets.

The author was fed up—decades of Mets baseball, and only two world championships and a few postseason appearances. As a lifelong Mets fan, and someone who made his living writing about them, Megdal feared a future of further frustration, especially for his new-born daughter Mirabelle. "No child of the Mets," he writes, "should grow up wondering what October baseball feels like." Convinced the Mets were poorly managed, at a press conference in June, Megdal strode to the podium, giant foam hand securely in place, and announced his candidacy for Mets general manager, declaring, "Ich bin ein Mets fan." He placed his name—the only name—on the ballot on some 20 Mets blogger sites. Though the job was not an elected position, Megdal hoped the Mets' management might at least listen and learn. Their sins were many, and the author recounts them in detail. Too interested in the quick fix, the Mets traded promising young players for soon-to-be-over-the-hill established players. They allowed their farm system to become depleted of prospects, or else promoted such prospects to the Majors long before they were ready. They banished marquee name in trades that made no sense. Also lost along the way were fan loyalty and attendance—the fans were already treated as if they were an inconvenience rather than the lifeblood of the organization. The Mets were dysfunctional, and strong fan response gave Megdal a clear victory, but not the job. Though the author includes plenty of baseball minutiae and a few too many statistics, he balances the narrative with wry humor and endearing vignettes of Megdal teaching the game to his young daughter.

Like the game itself—leisurely and enjoyable.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781608195794
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publication date: 5/10/2011
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Howard Megdal is a writer for the Web sites

SNY.tv, MLBTradeRumors.com,

New York Baseball Digest, and Amazin'

Avenue. He lives in Airmont, New York, with his wife,

daughter, and an organizational depth chart of the Mets on the wall. He has the support of over twenty Mets baseball bloggers, with a collective monthly traffic of over 5 million readers. His Web site is www.megdalforgm.com.

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Table of Contents

Author's Note ix

Chapter 1 We Are the Fans We've Been Waiting For 1

Chapter 2 A Call to Arms: Building the 1969 Mets 10

Chapter 3 Morning in America 23

Chapter 4 The Season of Light, the Season of Darkness 49

Chapter 5 A Day (That Will Live in Infamy?) 65

Chapter 6 The William Jennings Bryan of Baseball Fans 83

Chapter 7 The People Begin to Speak 99

Chapter 8 The Malefactors 115

Chapter 9 A GM Grows in Brooklyn 125

Chapter 10 To Seek a Newer World 142

Chapter 11 The Arc of History Is Long, but It Bends Toward Justice 152

Chapter 12 Our Team, Our Time 163

Chapter 13 Yes We Can 173

Chapter 14 Camelot 184

Chapter 15 The People Have Spoken 196

Chapter 16 When It Was Good 210

Chapter 17 Deus Ex Alderson 223

Acknowledgments 235

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2012

    Banned

    The author has had his press credentials revoked. The author was guilty of using his first ammendment rights to criticize and question the ineptitude and shady business dealings of Fred Wilpon, Jeff wilpon and Saul Katz. These three men are the owners of the New York Mets, a once proud franchise that operates out of the largest, wealthiest market in America. The author has written articles on his blog, some having the nerve to further question The Wilpons and Katz relationship with Bernie Madoff. Other articles asking if ownership has the financial capabilities, overall ability or desire to compete in a market where the New York Yankees have wrestled control of the New YORK market. The Wilpons have only been able to keep control of the team through the cronyism of close friend MLB commisioner Bud Selig. Keep up the good fight Howard.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2013

    Thank you, Mr. Megdal

    A true Mets fan's book written by a true Mets fan. Even though you came up short in your bid, it was a wonderful journey to follow. My memories of the Mets are similar to yours, and I hope like you that one day I can share a Mets championship with my children. Thanks for the humor, the memories, and most of all, the passion.

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