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Pick of the Day: A baseball classic

It's no fun rooting for a chronic loser, as any fan can attest who sat through the Washington Nationals' 103 losses last year. But it helps to have a great writer chronicle your team's blunders, as was the case in 1962, when Jimmy Breslin turned the awful New York Mets into a lovable band of losers.

In Sports Illustrated, Breslin told the country about the team's colorful cast, including Choo Choo Coleman, Marvelous Marv Throneberry, and their manager, the one and only Casey Stengel, who sums up the experience of sitting through an unceasing string of dismal performances by saying, "I'm shell-shocked."

In five clean sentences, Breslin captures the team's essence, and makes you want to read more.

"Basically, the trouble with the Mets is the way they play baseball," Breslin writes. "It is an unchanging style of walks, passed balls, balks, missed signs, errors, overrun bases and bad throws. You see it every time. It doesn't matter what day you watch the Mets play or if they win or lose. With this team, nothing changes. Only the days."

Breslin's article formed the basis for his book, "Can't Anybody Here Play this Game?" Check out the piece here.

By Paul Schwartzman  | March 19, 2010; 7:05 AM ET
Categories:  Story Picks  
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