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Can't Anybody Here Play This Game?: The Improbable Saga of the New York Mets' First Year (English Edition)

Can't Anybody Here Play This Game?: The Improbable Saga of the New York Mets' First Year (English Edition) [Kindle Edition]

Jimmy Breslin

Kindle-Preis: EUR 8,93 Inkl. MwSt. und kostenloser drahtloser Lieferung über Amazon Whispernet

  • Sprache: Englisch
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Part sports, part politics, all New York, it tells the story of the American metropolis changing with the help of the likes of Marvelous Marv Throneberry and Choo Choo Coleman. -- Dermot McEvoy Publishers Weekly Breslin's well-written book remains a hilarious read. -- Jeff Diamant Newark Star Ledger A magnificent account of the 1962 New York Mets; their first season in existence. New York Sun


Jimmy Breslin’s nostalgic, rollicking look back at the worst baseball team in history

Five years after the Dodgers and Giants fled New York for California, the city’s National League fans were offered salvation in the shape of the New York Mets: an expansion team who, in the spring of 1962, attempted to play something resembling the sport of baseball.
Helmed by the sagacious Casey Stengel and staffed by the league’s detritus, the new Mets played 162 games and lost 120 of them, making them statistically the worst team in the sport’s modern history. It’s possible they were even worse than that. Starring such legends as Marvin Throneberry—a first baseman so inept that his nickname had to be “Marvelous”—the Mets lost with swashbuckling panache. In an era when the fun seemed to have gone out of sports, the Mets came to life in a blaze of delightful, awe-inspiring ineptitude. They may have been losers, but a team this awful deserves to be remembered as legends.
This ebook features an illustrated biography of Jimmy Breslin including rare photos and never-before-seen documents from the author’s personal collection.


  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 837 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 128 Seiten
  • Verlag: Open Road Media (14. Februar 2012)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ASIN: B00704TRH6
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
  • X-Ray:
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #366.920 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 3.9 von 5 Sternen  21 Rezensionen
15 von 17 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen The Met Mystique 14. März 2004
Von Steve Ryser - Veröffentlicht auf
For years author Jimmy Breslin claimed that "Can't anybody here play this game?" was an actual quote from New York Met manager Casey Stengel. Then several years later in another book that he wrote, Breslin admitted he had made up the quote. When I read his book "Can't Anybody Here Play This Game," I got the impression he used this same approach in writing it. Not that the book isn't mostly true, but what he wrote was for effect. It appeared to me that he wanted to inject a lot of humor and light-heartedness and not necessarily provide a well-rounded description of the season where that would detract from his intended perspective.
That the first run that the 1962 Mets allowed in a regular season game was scored on a balk makes for a great story and is so in line with the Mets image of whimsical ineptness. Breslin?s description of how the balk occurred- who was pitching, who was on base, that the pitcher dropped the ball while trying to pitch- made me believe that that was what happened. But that wasn?t what happened. Later I read on the Internet (and I confirmed it by listening to the original audio broadcast of the game) that the first run scored off the Mets was on a bloop single by Stan Musial. Sometimes fact is not stranger than fiction.
I admit when I read the book I was disappointed- particularly during the first half of the book. I was hoping to read a book providing lots of insight and information about the Mets first season of baseball- such as what Stanley Cohen's wonderful book "A Magic Summer" does for the 1969 Mets. But that's not with this book is all about. It's really more about the Met mystique of the early years as lovable losers. And that mystique is something special about Met history.
The point of this book review isn't to recommend the book or not (it is a very popular book), but it is to help the potential reader avoid having erroneous expectations.
12 von 14 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen A timely reprint! 10. Mai 2003
Von Jason A. Miller - Veröffentlicht auf
Last week, the Dodgers came to Shea Stadium. There's not a ballplayer left alive, except Jesse Orosco, who was born before the Dodgers left Brooklyn, but the residual anti-Dodger resentment which inhabits the ugly orange, blue, green and red seats at Shea still makes these games interesting. The score was tied, 1-1 in the 6th, and LA had runners at first and third, with one out. The batter hit a ground ball to Mets SS Rey Sanchez, less known for his .179 batting average than for reportedly getting a haircut in the clubhouse while the Mets getting clobbered in another loss. Sanchez needed to do just two thing with that grounder, which was too slow to turn into a double play. He needed to A) look the runner back to third and prevent the go-ahead run from scoring, and B) throw the batter out at first.
Sanchez, of course, failed to do either.
The runner on third scored (the winning run) and the batter was safe. Sound familiar?
Jimmy Breslin's 1963 magazine-feature-length rumination on the woeful 1962 Mets (who lost 120 games -- more than the 1985 and '86 Mets lost *combined*) has fallen out of the baseball consciousness for a while. But it's still hilarious. The book is both a celebration of the underdog, and a scathing review of the National League's expansion process, which allowed for the creation of a new team full of players who simply couldn't play.
It takes a while for Breslin to actually get into game descriptions. He talks at length about the building of Shea Stadium (which, true to Mets form, was completed a year late, and way, way over budget) -- "which they are building... for Marvin Throneberry". He talks about original Mets owner Joan Whitney Payson (be warned that, since this book was written in 1963, she's still referred to as Mrs. Charles Shipman Payson without any sense of irony), and reprints some of manager Casey Stengel's unforgettable monologues. He talks about the business of baseball, even in 1963 lamenting that too many were in it for the money, and not for the love of the game.
Finally, Breslin gets to his recap of the Mets season, and gets it wrong from the very first inning. He repeats -- actually, he creates -- the myth that the first run scored against the Mets in their first game, in St. Louis, came in when pitcher Roger Craig balked with runner Bill White on third. Well, that never happened. It happened, but it was already 1-0 at that point and White wasn't on third. Since Breslin makes a big fetish of his scorecard later in the book, I have to assume this is dramatic license.
Breslin's book is now 40 years old, but if you went into a time capsule in '63 and came out again this April, you'd never realize that, for most of their history, the Mets were not actually this horrible. When I have the choice of watching the Mets (who, in mid-May have already lost 60% of their games), or re-reading the epic saga of Pumpsie Green... well, just give me some more Pumpsie!
7 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
2.0 von 5 Sternen Breslin's Bullying Wears Thin 14. Juni 2007
Von Bill Slocum - Veröffentlicht auf
How bad were the 1962 New York Mets? Let Jimmy Breslin count the ways. The Gotham City columnist tells the story of the baseball team's inaugural season in this 1963 book that left me with a few laughs and a sour taste in my mouth.

Breslin here is like the best man at a wedding who does the dinner speech about the groom's sexual misadventures, who keeps going after everyone else realizes he's spent too much time polishing his act at the bar. Breslin can't get enough of telling you how bad the team is, telling stories of questionable veracity in order to serve his need for cruel punchlines about this or that player's total ineptitude. It's a one-note performance that gets tiring long before this short book is over, but Breslin never notices.

One Met in particular draws Breslin's notice so much it makes you squirm. "Marvelous Marv was holding down first base. This is like saying Willie Sutton works at your bank." "Marvin Throneberry's teammates would have given him a cake for his birthday except they were afraid he would drop it." Or quoting Ralph Houk: "If he ever played that way for me, I'd of killed him with my bare hands."

There aren't a lot of quotes in "Can't Anybody Here Play This Game?" and those you get seem suspiciously jewel-cut as zingers for one of Breslin's stories. I'm not saying the guy made it all up. The Mets did lose 120 games in 1962, a modern major league record that still stands, and they did so in some mind-boggling ways, several of which Breslin no doubt got right. But there's a validity that's missing here.

Breslin never gets past the ridicule to get at the heart of what the Mets were about that first year, why they drew nearly a million fans to the disintegrating Polo Grounds and inspired such bizarre and merry glee. The best Breslin manages to offer is they're like the chipped table you wouldn't trade for a new one because you're used to it already, never mind in 1962 the Mets were the new table, chipped or not.

Another problem with the book is that it is written almost exclusively for New Yorkers of the early 1960s, who already knew the story and didn't need to have the facts established. He doesn't bother explaining who Joe E. Lewis was, or Toots Shor, because you're supposed to know. They weren't Mets, by the way, but nightlife figures Breslin was friendly with and wanted to say hello to by giving each a page in his book.

Occasionally he says something funny, or poignant. Breslin tends to do this when he rambles long enough, and his declamatory-as-a-slammed-door prose certainly has readability and bite. He offers a terrific strand of thought on how following baseball makes you realize how fast time passes as you get older, noting his surprise about how fast Gil Hodges went from promising rookie to broken-down legend. There's good information about the Mets' origin after the Giants and Dodgers left New York City, and I enjoyed Breslin calling Walter O'Malley to account for his mendacious greed.

But for the most part Breslin's targets aren't the wealthy or powerful; but a band of luckless journeymen who discovered winning wasn't everything when it came to creating a legend for their fans. It's a story worth telling; unfortunately Breslin can't get past roasting them for easy yucks and leaves the human factor out of the equation.
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen "The Mets is a very good thing. They give everybody a job. Just like the WPA." -- pitcher Billy Loeb 14. September 2011
Von Annie Van Auken - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
The paperback reissue of Jimmy Breslin's CAN'T ANYBODY HERE PLAY THIS GAME? is 117 pages, plus appendices. A photo section that accompanies the original hardcover edition has been deleted.

For a taste of this highly enjoyable reminsicence of a legendary team's first season (1962), here's a couple of quotes from Chapter 1. Whether they're literal or invented by the author is for you to decide.

In 1961, the newly-organized expansion team hired Rogers Hornsby to scout both leagues to see what players would be available. All clubs had to give up two men each to the new Mets and Colt 45s.

Rajah worked from his home base in Chicago. Seeing American League games wasn't a problem as the White Sox played mostly at night, but all of the Cubs games were in the afternoon, and this was cutting heavily into Hornsby's time for racetrack plunging, a real annoyance for him.

Here's a comment about other clubs' possible castoffs that Hornsby made one Wrigley Field afternoon:

"They say we're going to get players out of a grab bag. From what I seen, it's going to be a garbage bag. Ain't nobody got fat off eating out of the garbage, and that's just what the Mets is going to have to do. This is terrible. I mean, this is really going to be bad."

So tell us what you REALLY think, Raj!
Was he ever right! Their first season, the NY Mets lost 120 games, doing so in the most creatively colorful way in baseball history.

On the occasion of his 73rd birthday, manager Casey Stengel drew thoughtfully on a cigarette, sipped a Manhattan at a hotel bar and recalled a particularly shocking game. He told of bringing a catcher up from Syracuse who could possibly control action on the basepath against a steal-intensive Dodgers club:

"...I don't want to be embarrassed. So we bring him and he is going to throw out these runners.

"We come in there and you never seen anything like it in your life. I find I got a defensive catcher, only who can't catch the ball. The pitcher throws. Wild pitch. Throws again. Passed ball. Throws again. Oops! The ball drops out of the glove. And all the time I am dizzy on account of these runners running around in circles on me and so forth.

"Makes a man think. You look up and down the bench and you have to say to yourself, 'Can't anybody here play this game?' "
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Breslin and Baseball 23. November 2013
Von Steven M. Katz - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
Jimmy Breslin writing about one of the (worst and) most colorful teams in major league history. Need I say more.
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