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The Bad Guys Won: A Season of Brawling, Boozing, Bimbo Chasing, and Championship Baseball with Straw, Doc, Mookie, Nails, the Kid, and t Hardcover – 1 May 2004
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About the Author
Jeff Pearlman is a columnist for SI.com, a former Sports Illustrated senior writer, and the critically acclaimed author of Boys Will Be Boys, The Bad Guys Won!, and Love Me, Hate Me.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Although you will need a basic understanding of the rules of baseball to follow the on-field action, this is not just for the baseball fans. Jeff Pearlman has a clear, journalistic style that captures the energy and drama of the 1986 Mets baseball team - the triumphs and the disasters, the fighting, gambling, beer drinking, drug-taking, womanising and the baseball.
By the time it gets to chapter 19, the scene is set for "the greatest managerial screwup in baseball history", and, in the most unlikely of circumstances, the crushing of the Boston Red Sox' dream of breaking the Curse of the Bambino.
Overall this book fizzes along at great pace and captures the human stories behind one of baseball's most remembered World Series. A great read.
Yearbook browsing, though fun and filled with laughs, inevitably causes sadness. Lost youth, wasted opportunities, and so on. The Bad Guys Won is less a celebration of a season of destiny and more a gossipy, behind-the-scenes exposure of shortcomings, immaturity, and human frailty. For a sports fan, any recounting of the details of '86 are worth reading, and Pearlman's evenhanded coverage is certainly just that -- equal parts sensational and poignant. Was Darryl Strawberry "selfish and vicious," or a good guy possessed of "a warm heart?" Was Davey Johnson a managerial genius, or a lucky guy with the right team at the right time? To his credit, Pearlman simply relays his sources' stories and lets you decide for yourself.
This book really brings to life a cast of characters that you would no longer see in professional sport (more's the pity in my opinion).
I do think you need a basic understanding of Baseball to fully appreciate the drama unfolding. And if you didn't know the results of the games during the post season then it is described in a dramatic fashion.
It is extremely badly written, full of inane similes and ridiculous cliches. The writer simply cannot write, he contradicts himself at length, spending a chapter asking us to reconsider a player and then two chapters later you'll find him happily rehashing the same, easy generalisations himself. His style is overwrought, confused and confusing, at times he switches between players surnames, first names or nicknames for no apparent reason and this is certainly not his most grievous crime.
It has the feel of having actually been written by one of the sozzled players on the drunken and drugged up plane ride back to new york, in which case perhaps it is a startling work of vérité and the product of a misunderstood genius, but I fear not. If you are familiar with this team you will have no reason to read this book and if you are not but are interested I can't imagine there will be many worse places to start.
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