Baseball Book Review – The Bad Guys Won
In an effort to celebrate summer by more than just drinking summer beers, I’ve decided to finally read some of the baseball-themed books that I’ve been collecting for a while. I’ve never written a book review before, so you’ll have to bear with me…
The first baseball book that I read this summer was The Bad Guys Won by Jeff Pearlman. I picked this book up in a used book section of Barnes and Noble, and my heart skipped a beat. About the 1986 Mets, this novel was sometimes vulgar, sometimes sad, and, for a Mets fan like me, always thrilling. The 1986 Mets marked the end of an era of hard-partying ball players, and ushered in the steroid era that the sport is still struggling with.
For those of you who aren’t rabid baseball fans, this novel might be, at best, peripherally interesting. There are a fair amount of baseball trivia, some statistics, and a pile of stories in each section.
Each chapter revolves around a specific event or a specific person or group of players on the team. The chapter about Dwight Gooden and Darryl Strawberry was one of the pieces that was a little bit heartbreaking, and a reminder of just how fleeting potential can be.
Look, the writing can be a bit bland in some parts, and there are definitely members of the team that I wanted to read about who were not featured, like Howard Johnson, while other players that I don’t really care about, like , got their own chapter.
Not to say that no players were focused on that I wanted to read about. Mookie Wilson was, and remains, one of my favorite players on the Mets all time.
In general, The Bad Guys Won is great baseball, and, for ay fan of the Mets, it should be required reading. Mets haters will enjoy the read as well, for the dark light that it shows a great team in. If you see this novel sitting around, it’s worth picking up and appreciating the games.