Sunday December 25, 2011
MLB reports – Jonathan Hacohen: I had the opportunity this week to post on our site my review of the Howard Megdal classic baseball book, “The Baseball Talmud”. Today, MLB reports presents my interview with the baseball author himself, Howard Megdal. We discuss many aspects of Howard’s life- from the process of writing “The Baseball Talmud” to a look to his recently released book “Wilpon’s Folly”. I am looking to forward to getting my hands on his third book and learning Howard’s take on the Wilpon family and state of the Mets. If “Wilpon’s Folly” is anything like his previous works, Howard will have another winner on his hands.
Featured on MLB reports, I proudly present my interview with baseball author, Howard Megdal
MLB reports: Welcome back to MLB reports Howard. Thank you for taking the time for us today to talk about your work. It was a pleasure to read the Baseball Talmud, your first book which I recently reviewed on our site. How long did it take you to research and write the book?
Howard Megdal: Overall, it took over a year. But I’d been thinking about these questions since middle childhood.
MLB reports: What would possess you to pick such an expansive topic for your first ever book?
Howard Megdal: Well, it was a perfect marriage of my obsessions with baseball and Jewish culture. And I thought it was a book that needed to be out there, but wasn’t.
MLB reports: Were you worried on being typecast as a “Jewish Baseball Writer” by writing the Baseball Talmud?
Howard Megdal: Not at all. I knew I had many more books in me on various topics.
MLB reports: Favorite Jewish baseball player growing up?
Howard Megdal: That’s hard, because there was a bit of a dearth as I grew up. By high school, definitely Shawn Green.
MLB reports: After the book was published, did you have any Jewish players approach you to discuss the book?
Howard Megdal: Well, I’d spoken to many of them during the publishing. But one of the most rewarding experiences I had was when the family of Lefty Weinert came to a book signing to discuss his career.
MLB reports: Can we expect a sequel or follow-up to The Baseball Talmud?
Howard Megdal: An excellent question- I am certainly open to updating it.
MLB reports: What did you expect The Baseball Talmud would be like when you originally conceived the book and how did it differ once you started to write it?
Howard Megdal: To be honest, this one stayed true to my vision of it from the very start.
MLB reports: With the release of Wilpon’s Folly- you are slowly becoming a Mets-only writer (after the release of Taking the Field). Fair assessment?
Howard Megdal: No, I don’t think so. For the same reasons that I didn’t worry about becoming a Jewish-only writer after Baseball Talmud, I am sure topics will take me in many different directions.
MLB reports: After Taking the Field, why write Wilpon’s Folly now? Did you consider other baseball topics for your third book?
Howard Megdal: Well, Bloomsbury approached me, because my reporting was addressing the topic in a broader way than most of the other coverage out there. And I agreed that people needed a broader context for what was happening, and what will happen.
MLB reports: Tell us about Wilpon’s Folly- what kind of book is it and what should readers expect when reading it?
Howard Megdal: It’s a story of huge sums being handled by flawed people, and the ramifications reaching far wider than anyone could have anticipated.
MLB reports: Have the Mets contacted you in any way to discuss Wilpon’s Folly?
Howard Megdal: Obviously, I spoke to them while writing the book. But no, all I’ve heard is through the New York Post.
MLB reports: What do you think of the Wilpon family?
Howard Megdal: I think they have suffered a public fall that no one should take any pleasure from, and I wonder how hard life is going to get for them.
MLB reports: What is the future of the Mets organization? Can the team win with the Wilpons at the helm?
Howard Megdal: No, they very likely cannot. The future is bright under different ownership, since it is extremely difficult for a New York baseball team not to be immensely profitable. But as long as ownership needs to divert all funds to simple financial survival, a long-term plan is practically impossible.
MLB reports: What is your schedule going to be looking like with the release of the new book?
Howard Megdal: Same as before: five columns a week for Capital New York, regular writing for the LoHud Mets Blog, MLB Trade Rumors and other outlets. Freelance pieces whenever inspiration strikes. Spending time with my wife and young daughter. Busy, but good.
MLB reports: What is the next project for Howard Megdal? Can we expect a baseball book per year from you?
Howard Megdal: An excellent question. Need to talk to my agent and settle on a next book.
MLB reports: If you were to look into a crystal ball, where will you be in 5 years from now Howard?
Howard Megdal: I hope I’ll be writing, enjoying time with my family, and living essentially as I do now. Wouldn’t want to change a thing.
MLB reports: Last question: final thoughts for your fans?
Howard Megdal: Thank you so much. I am gratified that people enjoy reading what I write.
***A special thank you to Howard Megdal for his time and effort as part of being interviewed for this article. You can follow Howard on Twitter and click here for Howard’s website.***
Jonathan Hacohen is the Lead Baseball Columnist & Editor for MLB reports: You can follow Jonathan on Twitter (@JHacohen)
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