Search the Cinema Head Cheese Archives!

August 26, 2010

Book Review: The Bad Guys Won by Jeff Pearlman (2005)

by Al Neal

The Year 1986, the moment; Bill Buckner's error in Game six of the 1986 World Series which created one of baseball's greatest comeback dynasties. By allowing that softly grounded ball off the bat of Mookie Wilson, bounce and skip between his legs as it rolled straight down the first base line. He made it clear that the curse of the "Bambino" would continue to devastate Boston Red Sox baseball.

The Bad Guys Won by Jeff Pearlman is a testament to one of the greatest seasons in baseball for the New York Mets. I read this book for two reasons: 1. I am a Mets fan and 2. I love all things baseball. I usually never read chronicles of baseballs turbulent past, but when I found this book alone in an endless sea of Yankee and Red Sox literature I thought, "Why not, I'll give it a chance." From the first page of the introduction to the last page of the epilogue I was kept on the edge of my seat. Pearlman does a fantastic job in showing us all the ups and downs faced by this club. The personal sacrifices, inner demons, and personality clashes of all the Mets players of the 86' season; as well as how other teams utterly despised them for their straight up, in your face, New York brand of Cockiness.

At only 287 pages long, I found this to a bit too short for all the history/player stats/ random information the author was trying to put in it. I also felt that the author in his excitement was jumpy when it came to the chapters. I never knew when I was going to be taken on a trip through time before 1986, and when I was in 1986. This really did not make it too hard to follow, it just through off the books flow. I enjoyed reading Pearlman's honesty in his acknowledgements when he started it off by stating how hard it was to write this book. As he put it, "On day two of this project, with some hundred thousand words waiting to be written, my computer screen was blank, and I couldn't pry myself away from A-Team re-reruns." I personally feel for him. If you think writing about history is tough, try writing about a history where all the characters are still around to give you conflicting stories of events that were captured on TV for millions of viewers to see.

This book made a great 2 day read for me and I would recommend it to anyone who would like to get away to a simpler time of drug abuse, alcoholism, adultery, chaos, and world class baseball. All found behind the doors of Shea Stadium. Sadly after the 1986 win, the Amazin' Mets World Series winning roster was split up. I guess it's true when they say you can only destroy so many tour busses, airplanes, and start bench clearing brawls. Because eventually management will say," Enough is enough."

If you want to find some real excitement about baseball, I say pick up this book, go out, buy a Darryl Strawberry Cooperstown Jersey, then sit back, relax with your rally cap and remember why Baseball is America's favorite sport!

No comments:

Post a Comment