Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A Review of The Maple Street Press Mets Annual 2011

Recently, the Studious Metsimus staff received a wonderful surprise when we opened our mailbox. No, it wasn't the Publisher's Clearing House "You May Be Our Next Millionaire" envelope or the latest Victoria's Secret catalog (I read it for the articles). It was the 2011 edition of the Maple Street Press Mets Annual!

From Ike Davis belting a ball to the skies to Jesse Orosco reaching for them, the Maple Street Press Mets Annual 2011 has all the bases covered.

This year's issue offers everything you love and expect from Maple Street Press. From the team preview to player profiles (with stats aplenty...yum!); from the analysis of the minor league system to historical articles by your favorite Mets authors/bloggers, there's something in this issue for Mets fans of every generation.

Without giving away too many spoilers, here are some of the highlights of this year's issue.

Batting leadoff, Matthew Silverman sets the table by recapping the Mets' off-season and giving us a glimpse into what Mets fans should expect from the team in 2011. He also discusses the financial turmoil that the Wilpons are in and talks about the new front office, one that has been working to get the most bang for their buck with their off-season acquisitions.

In the two-hole, we have stats, stats and more stats (as compiled by Silverman and Greg Spira). Is it no wonder that this is the section that got damaged the most while I was reading it? (Drool and magazine pages are never a good mix.) Featuring scouting reports and every possible number other than π, this comprehensive look at the Mets through their 2010 stats provides extensive insight into all of your favorite Mets. (Wait till you see R.A. Dickey's ground ball to fly ball ratio!)

The middle of the lineup features anecdotes and articles by Jon Springer, Sam Page (from Amazin' Avenue), Joe McDonald, and others (if I included all the names and articles here, you wouldn't have something to look forward to, would you?) They tackle everything from Moneyball to Citi Field to our fav'rit knuckleballer (you don't need to take out your Dickeypedia to figure out who I'm referring to).

Every team has a prospect or two hoping to become one of the big boys. As always, Toby Hyde is the premier authority on the Mets' minor league system, and after reading his articles, you'll be much more educated on the state of the farm system. You might even learn how to spell Nieuwenhuis properly without looking it up or asking R.A. Dickey for help.

The Blogfathers themselves, Greg Prince and Jason Fry (of Faith and Fear in Flushing) also contribute to the Mets Annual. Together, they hopped into their blue and orange DeLorean and travelled back in time to the year 2001. Once there, they discussed two emotional moments in Mets history, one tragic (the death of Mets' minor league prospect Brian Cole) and one uplifting (Mike Piazza's home run in the first post-9/11 game at Shea Stadium).

Finally, we get a feeling of déjà vu all over again, as the S & S boys (Silverman and Spira) reminisce about the 1986 World Champion Mets, who this season celebrate the 25th anniversary of their magical season. If you're a fan of that team, (and if you're not, why are you reading Studious Metsimus then?) you'll surely enjoy being taken down memory lane. Featuring stirring photos and the Top 25 moments from 1986, you'll remember exactly where you were when Mookie hit the little roller up along first (or if you're too young, you'll remember exactly where you watched the DVD).

If you're not one of the fortunate ones who received the Publisher's Clearing House envelope instead of this year's Annual, do yourself a favor and buy it at your local newsstand or just click here to buy it. It might not erase the memories of the past two seasons, but it will surely make you anticipate the better days ahead.

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