The New York Mets are, of course, the New York Mets of baseball.
In 2005, Felt and Conklin, lifelong friends and lifelong fans, determined to change the course of their own careers and of baseball history by doing what had never been done: writing their beloved team to a World Championship. The 2005 Mets, with a new manager and some of the spiffiest free agents on the market, seemed ready to take the world by storm. Felt and Conklin believed themselves up to the task. It is, after all, Belief (and free agents) that makes such dreams come true.
Believeniks! is the record of a journey. Felt and Conklin would, alas, fail to see their team attain that golden pinnacle in the clouds of baseball glory. As Believeniks! reveals, however, the season’s unfolding drama would leave two of baseball’s most erudite and excitable fans forever changed.
When Joe Torre took over as manager of the Yankees in 1996, they had not won a World Series title in eighteen years. In that time seventeen others had tried to take the helm of America’s most famous baseball team. Each one was fired by George Steinbrenner. After twelve triumphant seasons—with twelve straight playoff appearances, six pennants, and four World Series titles—Torre left the Yankees as the most beloved manager in baseball. But dealing with players like Jason Giambi, A-Rod, Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Roger Clemens, and Randy Johnson is what managing is all about. Here, for the first time, Joe Torre and Tom Verducci take readers inside the dugout, the clubhouse, and the front office, showing what it took to keep the Yankees on top of the baseball world.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Alex Rodriguez is the highest-paid player in the history of baseball, a once-in-a-generation talent poised to break many of the sport's most hallowed records. In 2007 he became the youngest player, at 32, ever to hit 500 home runs, solidifying his status as the greatest player in the modern game, and months later he signed a contract that would keep him with the Yankees through the end of his career.
His reputation changed drastically in February 2009 when Selena Roberts broke the news in Sports Illustrated that A-Rod had used performance-enhancing drugs during his 2003 MVP season with the Texas Rangers. Her report prompted a contrite Rodriguez to admit illegal drug use during his 2001–2003 seasons with the Rangers, who had signed him to the most expensive contract in Major League Baseball history.
Although he admitted to three seasons of steroid use, the man teammates call "A-Fraud" was still hiding the truth. In the first definitive biography of Alex Rodriguez, Roberts assembles the strands of a bizarre and extraordinary life: from his boyhood in New York and the Dominican Republic through his near-mythic high school career and fast track to the big leagues, the whole of A-Rod's career mirrors the rise and fall of the steroid generation.
Roberts goes beyond the sensational headlines, probing A-Rod's childhood to reveal a man torn by obligation to his family and the pull of his insatiable hedonism, a conflict—epitomized by his relationship with Madonna and devotion to Kabbalah—that led to the end of his six-year marriage. Roberts sheds new light on A-Rod's abuse of performance-enhancing drugs, a practice he appears to have begun as early as high school and that extended into his Yankee years. She chronicles his secretive real estate deals, gets inside the negotiations for his latest record-breaking contract with the Yankees, and examines the insecurities that compel him to seek support from a motivational guru before every game.
In A-Rod, Roberts captures baseball's greatest player as a tragic figure in pinstripes: the man once considered the clean exception of the steroid generation revealed as an unmistakable product of its greed and dissolution.
New York’s waterfront has undergone a three-stage revaluation—from the world’s largest port to an abandoned, seedy no-man’s land to a highly desirable zone of parks and upscale retail and residential properties—each metamorphosis only incompletely shedding earlier associations. Physically, no area of New York City has changed as dramatically as the shoreline, thanks to natural processes and the use of landfill, dredging, and other interventions. Everywhere Phillip Lopate walked on the waterfront, he saw the present as a layered accumulation of older narratives. He set about his task by trying to read the city like a text. One textual layer is the past, going back to the Lenape Indians, Captain Kidd, and Melville’s sailors; another is the present—whatever or whoever was popping up in his view at the moment; a third layer contains the constructed environment, the architecture or piers or parks currently along the shore; another layer still is his personal history, the memories recalled by visiting certain spots; yet another consists of the city’s incredibly rich cultural record—the literature, films, and artwork that threw a reflecting light on the matter at hand; and finally, there is the invisible or imagined layer—what he thinks should be on the waterfront but is not.
Waterfront is studded with short diversions where Lopate expounds on some of the greater issues, characters, and sites of Manhattan’s shoreline. Be it a revisionist examination of Robert Moses, the effect of shipworms on the city’s piers and foundations, the battle over Westway, the dream of public housing, the legacy of Joseph Mitchell, a wonderful passage about the longshoremen and Elia Kazan’s On the Waterfront, or the meaning of the World Trade Center, Lopate punctuates this marvelous journey with the sights and sounds and words of a world like no other.
A rich and impressive work by an undisputed master stylist, Waterfront takes its rightful place next to other literary classics of New York, such as E. B. White’s Here Is New York and Joseph Mitchell’s Up in the Old Hotel. It is an unparalleled look at New York’s landscape and history and an irresistible invitation to meander along its outermost edges.
From the Hardcover edition.