By now you may have heard, from several distinguished Mets blogs, that baseball author Howard Megdal has begun a campaign to be chosen by the fans as the next general manager of the New York Mets.
You may have been wondering, “What could possibly be the purpose of such a stunt?”
Well, watch this: http://megdalforgm.com/?p=80. It may explain the project to you.
It looks to me as if Howard is trying to examine, with humor and quite a bit of subversive insight, the assumptions that underly the whole system of baseball. Why is it that in modern America, where we’re pretty much agreed that monarchies and dynasties aren’t smart ways to run anything, we allow baseball, which means so much to so many of us, to be run as if it were the most primitive form of feudal aristocracy? What about our democratic values? Why does no one even advocate the idea that baseball should be run of the people, for the people, and by the people? What would it be like if we lived in a world where our baseball leaders were as answerable to us as our political leaders are supposed to be? Howard poses this question, it seems to me, without being too obvious about it. I think this is very funny and very interesting. It’s the kind of smart, wacky performance art baseball could use. It makes me wonder what it would be like if baseball fans had power, and if we didn’t have to feel, so often, as if we were medieval peasants, passionately loyal serfs, with no power at all to affect our destinies.
And yes, that’s me in the ad shaking fingers with Howard. It’s not precisely an endorsement, but I would like to hear the man make his case.