web analytics
October 1, 2014 / 7 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Home » InDepth » Monitor »

A Book For Metsaholics


Media-Monitor-logo

Of the writing of baseball books there is no end. Of the writing of good baseball books there is not nearly enough. For every The Glory of Their Times or Ball Four or The Boys of Summer or Baseball’s Great Experiment, there are hundreds and hundreds of instantly forgettable hack jobs, clip jobs and ghost jobs.

So as a baseball fan – and more important, a Mets fan – it was with much pleasure that the Monitor recently devoured a book by Dana Brand, a professor of English and American literature at Hofstra University, titled, with perfect appropriateness, Mets Fan (McFarland & Company).

It’s a slim (201 pages including the index), soft-covered volume with a hardcover price ($29.95) – and it’s the best exploration yet written about what it means to be a Mets fan, about the all too many lowlights and all too few highlights of Mets history, and about the profound emotional and psychological differences between Mets fans and Yankees fans.

Some selections to savor on a cold winter day and, if you’re a fan of baseball and fine writing, to whet your appetite for the rest of the book:

“There is no good reason why I should care about the New York Mets,” writes Brand in his first chapter. “Like all baseball teams, they are a business. I should care no more about their success than I care about the success of a movie studio or television network. Yet I choose to care, deeply and powerfully. I have cared about the Mets for 45 years and probably will for the rest of my life. I enjoy my loyalty. I enjoy the irrationality and intensity of my loyalty.”

Of the “Meet the Mets” theme song Brand writes, “It is so sweet and so tacky. So Mets. This isn’t a song with which you charge to the top of the standings, or celebrate triumph or a glorious tradition. It is not a song for champions. They must have figured this when they wrote it. You can hear in the song an understanding that an expansion team in 1962 could not get away with taking itself too seriously. It would need to get by on charm. It could not compel your respect or admiration. It would just have to be nice and a little corny. You would come and meet the Mets the way you would come and meet a nutty neighbor who put out a bowl of pretzels and a bottle of soda on a coaster on a table with too many magazines. You knew the line about ‘knocking those home runs over the wall’ was, well, not true.”

Here’s Brand on that strange breed of fan who claims to like both of New York City’s big league baseball teams:

“You can’t root for both the Mets and the Yankees because each team offers a different portal into the pleasure of baseball. If you want what the Yankees will give you, it doesn’t make sense to root for the Mets. They’re failures, no fun. In order to root for the Mets, you have to renounce any desire you have for the monotony of dominance. You have to think it’s absurd to get excited about, or have your heart broken by, a team that has won so many times. You have to cherish triumph because it is unexpected and rare. When John Sterling screams ‘The Yankees win! The YAAANNNNNKKEEEESS WIN!!!!!!’ you have to enjoy the contempt you feel for the idiocy of his exuberance.”

Brand’s tale on Ed Kranepool, a Met for 18 seasons, longer than any other player and a symbol of lovable futility: “Eddie didn’t do anything like he was supposed to. He was like a grouchy robot that a kid can’t get to operate…. So the Yankees had Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris and we had Eddie Kranepool. How come theirs worked and ours didn’t? Ours even had a weird name…. He never became a power hitter. He was an okay first baseman. One year he hit .280 and then there was a year when after all the smoke cleared, there was a .323 next to his name and no one could figure out how it got there…. Eddie was more the Mets than anyone else. He was a beloved disappointment. An incompetent who became indispensable.”

Finally, Brand plumbs the psyche of Mets fans: “The pleasure of being a Mets fan is that hitting the jackpot still feels the way it should. You hope. You lose. You lose some more. And someday you win. And you remember the pleasure of winning all your life…. I hope the Mets never become like the Yankees. I want my baseball to be like real life, seasoned with failure and disappointment, ennobled by hope, and studded with just a few spectacular moments of pure joy.”

About the Author: Jason Maoz is the Senior Editor of The Jewish Press.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “A Book For Metsaholics”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Peace partners for hate: Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas (R) and chief negotiator Saeb Erekat.
PA Chief Negotiator Compares Netanyahu with ISIS
Latest Indepth Stories
isis-open-graph

With $2 billion on hand the Islamic State is an extremely well-funded terrorist group that may pose a major international crisis for the U.S. and the world. Learn about their rise to power and the toll they’ve taken thus far.

In the recent Gaza war and its aftermath, we saw a totally illogical reaction from the world.

champions

A., a teacher: “I do not know a single Gazan who is pro-Hamas at the moment, except for those on its payroll.”

terrorists

Is the global community clear in its response to these extremist groups?

Like our fabled character, Don Quixote, President Obama has constantly spawned his own reality.

Boroujerdi was informed that “the pressures and tortures will increase until he has been destroyed.”

Fatah: Hamas stole relief aid for Gaza and distributed it amongst its followers in mosques.

Can teenagers seriously be expected to behave properly when they are surrounded by so much suggestive material? Is it fair to expose them (and ourselves) to so much temptation and then tell them, “Just say no”?

Washington remains ignorant of the need to dismantle alliances with various Muslim countries.

Defeating IS requires bombing its strongholds and recognizing the violent nature of Islam.

Abbas again used the UN to attack Israel, distort history, and undermine prospects for peace.

Israel and the Palestinian Authority cannot even agree to move their clocks back on the same day.

Shemita is about relating to each other by temporarily eliminating gaps of wealth power & status

David transcended adversity to become a leader; Who are we to make excuses for a lack of greatness?

sympathy: Feeling sorrow or pity for another’s tribulations; Empathy:sharing an emotional experience

Last week the president announced a four-point plan. Unfortunately, there’s little buy-in from our European and Middle Eastern allies. Here’s my own four-point plan that may be more palatable to our allies.

More Articles from Jason Maoz
William Safire

“It’s a lousy column and a dishonest one,” Halberstam wrote. “So close it. Or you will end up just as shabby as Safire.”

Charles Krauthammer

Wye would be seen to have set the groundwork for the creation of a Palestinian state

These are not necessarily the best all-around biographies or studies of the individual presidents listed (though some rank right up there), but the strongest in terms of exploring presidential attitudes and policies toward Israel.

The Clintonan “engagement” liberals remember with such fondness did nothing but embolden Arafat and Hamas and Hizbullah as they witnessed Israel’s only real ally elevate process ahead of policy.

What really makes one wonder about the affinity felt by certain Jews for Grant was the welcome mat he put out for some of the country’s most pernicious anti-Semites.

With 2013 marking half a century since Kennedy’s fateful limousine ride in Dallas, the current revels are exceeding the revisionist frenzies of years past, with a seemingly endless parade of books, articles and television specials designed to assure us that, despite everything that has come to light about him since his death, JFK was a great president, or at least a very good president who would have been great had his life not been so cruelly cut short.

As someone who for the past fifteen years has been writing a column that largely focuses on the news media, I’ve read what is no doubt an altogether unhealthy number of books on the subject. Most of them were instantly forgettable while some created a brief buzz but failed to pass the test of time. And then there were those select few that merited a permanent spot on the bookshelf.

George W. Bush has been getting some positive media coverage lately, with recent polls showing him at least as popular as his successor, Barack Obama, and a big new book about the Bush presidency by New York Times chief White House correspondent Peter Baker (Days of Fire, Doubleday) portraying Bush as a much more hands-on chief executive than his detractors ever imagined.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/media-monitor/a-book-for-metsaholics/2007/12/05/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: