Rock bottom hurts. It crushes your body, mind, spirit and heart. You feel destroyed at your previous attempts to acclaim mediocrity, but the failure forces you back to square one, looking hopelessly at pieces that just don’t seem to fit. I witnessed rock bottom last week and it just wasn’t pretty. I felt for the players, my fellow fans, and for the random concession guy who whimpered on with his shouts of “CrackerJacks”.
“I mean, you can’t watch a game for 20 innings and see a team go 0-for–19 with runners in scoring position and not be… near suicidal.”-Sandy Alderson
Remarkably the sun was shining on this Sunday. It kind of confused me how the sun was able to break through the dust and debris that encrusted this stadium and this team. It was supposed to be a post-apocalyptic realm where people walked in a dazed and confused state, pondering how they would rebuild their life that had just then crashed into a thousand pieces. The devastation of a flailing baseball team should not be something that should be compared to the preventive measures taken by Bruce Willis in “Armageddon” but it sure as hell felt like it. Why couldn’t Bruce Willis save the Mets like he saved the world, and why wouldn’t I have a chance to meet him?
All of these thoughts were racing through my head as I approached Citi Field. You see, the day before the fans were tortured with a 20-inning game in which the home team, the Mets, were unable to gain victory. Most of you may roll your eyes, accounting my melodramatic personality as a key reason for why I care so deeply about this particular game. It would be shortsighted to view my frustration as a product of one game because this hasn’t been a one game problem. The Mets can’t score and can’t compete. Compete being the key word in that sentence.
I asked all of you to simply appreciate the few small pieces of worth that the Mets had in early April. So I pleaded with you to reserve a spot on the couch when Matt Harvey makes a start and to cast your All-Star ballots with David Wright as your third base starter. I pointed to the improved play of Bobby Parnell and Daniel Murphy as examples of fun surprises. You now have the opportunity to hear updates on Ike Davis struggles in Las Vegas and the combined .205 average of everyone not named Murphy and Wright. I apologize for my inability to see through the slog and for my previous demand to give more to your franchise when they field a squad that is 3-8 versus a team that was compared to the 1962 Mets.
I’m here, in my upper-level seat. I’m expected to be an energetic fan that is tireless, ready to root on a team that is winning 4-3 to the Marlins. Here are some of the fun moments of this game:
- Jonathan Niese struck out the side in the first inning
- David Wright doubled in two runs
- I witnessed two bunt hits
- I got a free lemonade
- My leg tan is looking rather nice
The fun kind of ended at that point. Even though I looked longingly at my perfectly toned knees I couldn’t get the thought out my head that the Mets are lousy. I mean, they aren’t even watchable. For goodness sake I was looking at my knees for a portion of the game! The point of the story is that it was the first Mets game I left early. The game went to the 10th inning and after watching the Mets bullpen surrender a couple of runs I left with my family. I’ll never be disappointed at my team because it’s my team, but if there was a day to do so it would be that Sunday. The Mets agreed. Three players were sent down to the minors later that afternoon.
Why would I write a sports article a week after a sporting event happened?
Good question imaginary person in front of my desk. It didn’t seem like a necessity directly after the game because there was no story. It was a bad team that I had the “pleasure”” of watching for three hours. I was ready to call it quits on watching every non-Matt Harvey start until I read this.
“A 26 year old painter on the way up and a 36yr old splicer in a hole, a youngster gasping for air and an old man who had just tasted defeat were among several dozen New Yorkers who paused yesterday to discuss-always with kindness and never with scorn-the city’s champion losers, the Mets."
This is from an article written by the New York Times on April 24, 1962. This team was on its way to a historically bad season, 40-120 bad. Anyway, I forgot what makes the Mets fans different than any other New York franchise, and any other franchise in sports. We accept our fate of subpar play and any team success is seen as a miracle. Ok, maybe it isn’t that extreme but we came into existence out of the ashes of two of New York’s predecessors. Fans were so happy to have a team that wasn’t the Yankees that they rooted their hearts out because they loved baseball. It’s probably something we all should remember. I’d rather root with kindness than with scorn.
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