Last week, amidst a firestorm of controversial quotes, angered Yankees brass and an "I told you so" from Michael Kay, Joe Torre's book "The Yankee Years" was released.
While I haven't read the book (but probably will), fans have called it everything from a "scandalous tell all" to "am insightful memoir." Each fan will have his or her own perspective on the book, but one thing is sure, the book is already a huge success.
After listening to countless hours of New York sports radio debates about the book's affect on Torre's Yankee legacy, I got to thinking, where are the books about my beloved New York Mets?
I have read two books about the Mets, "The Bad Guys Won", a great chronicle of the 1986 Mets run to the championship written by Jeff Pearlman, and "The New York Mets Encyclopedia", a handy reference book that every Mets fan should own. To be fair, I am also aware of "The Worst Team Money Could Buy" written by Bob Klapisch and Bob Harper. Since that book chronicles the current day Knicks like collapse of the Mets in the early 1990's, I have chosen not to read it.
But where are the books written through the eyes of the former players and managers? Where are the perspectives of the men on the field, not the people on the other side of the glass, or in this case the press box.
I can only wonder, no hope, that the success of "The Yankee Years" will inspire some of the Mets of yesteryear to allow the Flushing faithful access yo the behind the scenes of the team they love.
Here is a list of former Mets and ideas that I think would make great books.
"Momma Said Knock You Out, Mr. Klapisch" by Bobby Bonilla
It ain't easy being the highest paid bust in Mets history. This book would chronicle Bonilla's slide from big time free agent acquisition to his days as Rickey Henderson's bridge partner.
"The Midnight Run(ning out of town) of Willie Randolph" by Omar Minaya
In this book, you will learn from Omar Minaya himself, all the skills to make your own personnel decisions. Everything an aspiring GM needs to succeed is covered, from giving weak votes of confidence to your manager to the lost art of firing employees via email at 3 a.m.
"I Invented the Game" by Bobby Valentine
Bobby Valentine discusses how he invented things like the lefty/righty platoon, the double switch, and Benny Agbayani. He will also chronicle his time in Japan, where he learned to become a master of disguise.
"Sniffing Greatness" by Dwight Gooden
It's the story of how one man's addiction could tear a team apart, turning what should have been the most dominant team of the 1980's into perhaps the most underachieving team in history...finally finding redemption in the Bronx. Forward by Darryl Strawberry.
"Walter O'Malley Ain't Got Nothin' on Me" by M. Donald Grant and Robert Ludlam
The biggest conspiracy in Mets history is unveiled. M. Donald Grant, secretly working undercover a Mets GM for Emperor Steinbrenner in the Bronx, trades Tom Seaver to the Reds so that Reggie Jackson can become New York's biggest baseball star.
"Bases Loaded" by Kirk Rodamski
Stop me if you heard this before. A man, black listed by baseball, seeks revenge by admitting that he introduced dozens of players to steroids during the '80s and '90s. Come to think of it, I hated this book the first time I read it. When it was written by Jose Canseco. (Note: This book is actually scheduled to come out).
With all these great possibilities for Mets books, why aren't any of them on the horizon? Contrary to popular belief, we Mets' fans can read, and we demand more books be written about our team. The fact that they aren't has to make me wonder...do the Steinbrenners control the print media too?
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