Pedro, Carlos, and Omar: The Story of a Season in the Big Apple and the Pursuit of Baseball's Top Latino Stars Hardcover – Mar 1 2006
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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 Lukowsky
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Plenty, as it turns out. The Mets went out and did something they'd never done before -- signed a high-profile slugger under the age of 30 to a long-term, multi-million dollar contract. Say farewell to the shameful days of George Foster and Mo Vaughn. Along with Carlos Beltran came Pedro Martinez, fresh off his shutout in Game 3 of the World Series, with the hopes of getting Manny Ramirez right behind. Could Beltran bear up under big-market pressure? Could Pedro keep his sometimes whimsical, sometimes antagonistic attitude in check for a full year? Could he beat the Yankees?
The Mets don't make the playoffs in 2005. That has to wait for a thus-far glorious 2006 campaign that will probably be summarized in an afterword to the paperback edition of this book. However, they did finish third, at four games over .500 -- their best finish since the 2000 World Series season. They re-energized the fan base, capitalized on Fred Wilpon's promise to play "meaningful games in September", and gave a full year's experience to two youngsters who'd energize Queens in '06: David Wright and Jose Reyes. Best of all, they got rid of Braden Looper.
One caution: this is not hard-hitting investigative journalism. Apart from a few glimpses into the future, "Pedro, Carlos and Omar" is told one day at a time, in straight chronological order, and only with quotes taken from game-day articles. No-one is interviewed after the end of the season to provide perspective or commentary. This is not so much the untold story of the 2005 Mets, as a retelling of what we already knew from Rubin's Daily News articles from that year.
However, read in the run-up to the '06 playoffs, this book is a nice training montage showing how the Mets started to put it all together a year ago.
Adam Rubin writes well, as anyone who reads his Daily News pieces can attest to. His inside look at the season provides information even the biggest Mets fans probably don't know, such as Carlos Beltran getting stuck in a Shea Stadium elevator on the way to his press conference.
I'm looking forward to finishing the book, but I can already recommend it to everyone who loves the Mets.