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

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

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by Howard Megdal
     
 

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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

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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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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“With his tongue both in-cheek and out, Howard Megdal has cemented his role as baseball's Pat Paulsen. The winsome story of his campaign for Mets GM reminds us that all good fans go a little crazy from time to time, and that, in the end, is why we love the game.” —Dan Szymborski, editor of Baseball Think Factory

“Now here's a concept any fan could get behind: Make the GM of every team RUN for election. That was Howard Megdal's brilliant idea. And while I'm not sure how many sportswriters could get elected GM, I have to admit that, after reading this thoroughly entertaining book, I'd vote for Howard. Heck, if Moneyball could work, why not Keyboard-ball?” —Jayson Stark, ESPN

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:
05/10/2011
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.10(d)

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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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