From Publishers Weekly
Hardcore New York Mets fans will be thrilled by this in-depth look at the team's 2005 season by the Mets beat writer for the New York Daily News
. Rubin captures all the highlights of what became a memorable winning season, but he focuses on what was the biggest Mets story in years: new general manager Omar Minaya's signing of two major players, pitcher Pedro Martinez and outfielder Carlos Beltran, after the 2004 season. Rubin's exploration of the impact that the three Latino men made on a team that soon became known as "Los Mets" is entertaining; the author is a skilled sportswriter who knows how to deliver a wealth of detail in an exciting way, using telling quotes, such as Minaya's admission that before he joined the team "it looked somewhat dysfunctional." Yet Rubin's observations, however true, sometimes read like a Mets press release: Minaya "had handed Pedro a four-year, $53 million contract, and the ace had done everything to justify the commitment." Overall, though, Rubin is fair in his judgments, calling Beltran a "disappointment" who was not "the commanding presence his $119 million salary suggested he ought to be." (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Omar Minaya earned his baseball "props" throughout the nineties through his scouting and signing of outstanding Latin players for the financially strapped Montreal Expos. When the Expos eventually moved to Washington, D.C., Minaya was hired as the general manager of the New York Mets. Money alone doesn't guarantee success for a baseball franchise; teams must spend wisely, and to do that they must be able to identify talent. The Minaya-Mets collaboration seems made in heaven. Rubin, the Mets' beat reporter, tracks Minaya's first season with Mets, chronicling the high-profile signings of celebrated free agents Pedro Martinez and Carlos Beltran as well as documenting the charges by another player that Minaya exploits his ethnicity in dealing with Latino athletes. In addition to the off-field drama, Rubin also tracks the team's on-field fortunes in the past year. An enjoyable, informative book that will appeal to baseball junkies, particularly those with an affection for the Mets. Wes LukowskyCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved