Sunday, April 3, 2016

Bears On Books: Amazin' Again

Just like Mets baseball, your favorite bears who like to sit on books are back!

Happy Opening Day, everyone!  We're Joey and Iggy Beartran and we couldn't think of a more fitting way to celebrate the beginning of the 2016 campaign - a year the Mets open as defending National League champions - with a review of the book that gave us a happy recap of the previous season that the late Bob Murphy would be proud of.

Today, we'll be reviewing "Amazin' Again: How the 2015 New York Mets Brought the Magic Back to Queens" by Greg Prince.  It was a season Mets fans won't soon forget, just like this book is one Mets fans won't soon put down.

Mr. Prince, whose Faith and Fear in Flushing blog inspired the book of the same name and also laid down the blueprint for his second book, The Happiest Recap, wrote his latest work almost as quickly as it took the Mets to erase the Washington Nationals from the postseason picture.  But just because this wasn't a book that was painstakingly put together over a period of several years doesn't mean the quality suffers.  In fact, it's quite the contrary.

When Casey Stengel "perfessed" that the first words spoken by children in the 1960s had changed from "Mama" or "Papa" to "Metsie, Metsie, Metsie", he was clearly referring to Mr. Prince.  The foremost authority on all things Metsie could have written this book in one sitting and we'd believe it.  His love of the Mets permeates throughout the 215 pages dedicated to the 2015 pennant winners.

One thing that rivals Mr. Prince's love of the Mets is his love of the English language.  His pun-tastic wordplay is evident in each chapter, making a story every Mets fan remembers as if it occurred yesterday (or 155 yesterdays ago, if you want to be precise) seem fresh and new.

If a band performed at Citi Field in 2015, Mr. Prince would find a way to reference as many song titles into his review of the game that preceded each show.  Yes, this isn't just a by-the-numbers recap of the season (although numbers do find a way into the story in a way that non-mathophiles can enjoy).  Then again, it's to be expected that Mr. Prince would entertain you even when he's discussing the otherwise somber truth of the team's injury announcements.  You know, the ones that begin with "He's not going to throw today as scheduled" and end with "The Mets haven't yet announced whether they will wear a patch in his memory in 2016."

In an era where people's attention spans get shorter and shorter by the minute, it didn't take too many 60-second intervals to finish reading this book.  In fact, we devoured page after page as if they were bacon on a stick and were done with Amazin' Again less than 36 hours after we started, or about 36 hours longer than the Cubs held a lead in the National League Championship Series.  (And just wait till you get to the chapter on the NLCS.  It's totally Murphalicious.)

So as you get ready for the 2016 campaign with the memorable 2015 campaign still visible in your rear view mirror, take time out to read a wonderful work dedicated to that most recently completed campaign.  Don't be surprised if you end up shedding tears of joy after finishing Mr. Prince's book (even if you weren't just traded for Carlos Gomez).

As the subtitle of Amazin' Again says, the Mets brought the magic back to Queens.  And Mr. Prince certainly brought the magic back into our minds with his amazin' book.  We give it two very enthusiastic paws up.

Amazin' Again was so well-written, we may just have to read it again.

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