I have had a lot of time to think since Miguel Batista recorded the final out in last Wednesday’s season finale at Citi Field. My wife and I were among among the 15 thousand strong that watched the book close on yet another losing season of Mets baseball, when I started to thing about what it means to be a Mets fan.
It takes equal doses of loyalty, masochism, pride and mental ilness to be a fan of the team from Flushing. Most of us go into the season with a positive midset ( remember our silent motto is ” Hope for the best and expect the worst!”), and we are on the edge of our seats for 162 games through the good times as well as the bad. We root for both the scrubs ( Danny Heep, Jason Pridie) as well as the superstars ( Piazza, Seaver) as if they were both the same caliber of player.
We have always embraced the journeyman player whether it was Rick Reed or Don Cardwell. We always cheered on past their prime players like Willie Randolph and Larry Bowa when they were eitherin a fortunate ( or unfortunate) season to wear the orange and blue. In short – we always embrace a hard work ethic, a prime example of that loyalty is R.A Dickey.
But that is not to say that us Mets fans are timid to call out a player that we feel is undeserving of our affections. We have booed Bobby Bonilla. We were brutal to George Foster. Face it our howls of discontent sent both Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo out of here so fast that the Mets still sell their jerseys online !
But in my opinion to be a Mets fan means to be strong of mind as well as having a strong sense of commitment. I have always said that it was easier to be a Yankees fan. To be a Yankees fan generally means to sit back , relax and set the season on cruise control until the playoff begin. For us Mets fans it is not that easy. in our soon to be 50 years as a franchise, we have been to the World Series a total of 4 times. Those are not great numbers I admit, but there is a old saying that is “quality and not quantity“. I don’t care if the Mets have a 2-2 record in World Series appearances because all four are legendary. Whether it was Swoboda’s shoestring catch or Jesse Orosco throwing up his glove after the Mets won the ’86 World Series. Even Mike Piazza flying out on what looked to be a sure thing homerun to end the ’00 World Series, these plays have made an indellible mark on the game, and it is seared into the minds of us Mets fans.
But in my opinion to be a Mets fan is to be an eternal optimist. We always feel that there is a shot every season if things break just right, and when it doesn’t we cry, bellyache, bitch and moan – but our love for this team never wavers !
And with that said…. HERE COMES THE INFAMY !!!!!
Mets alumni celebrating a birthday today includes:
Mets middle reliever from ’98-01, Dennis Cook is 49 today (1962). I still think he was one of the Mets most important relievers in the past 15 years.
Sadly on this date in 1975, the Mets lost their principle owner and mother, Joan Payson . Just like William Shea, Payson was instrumental in bringing National League baseball back to New York City. From what I understand she was almost always accessible to the fans ( she always sat in the stands) and she was very passionate about her team. After her passing, the team started on a downward slide into oblivion which took the better part of 6 years to climb out of.
The New York Mets released utility infielder/outfielder, Chico Walker on October 4, 1993.
The New York Mets released reserve outfielder, Ced Landrum on October 4, 1993.
The New York Mets granted reserve outfielder, Ricky Ledee granted free agency on October 4, 2007. Ledee played sparingly for the Mets from ’06-’07. He played in a combined 44 games and batted .162 with 2 homers and 7 RBIs.
Mo Vaughn likes to do the Watusi in the nude while wearing stiletto heels ( DAMN I THINK I’M SCARRED MYSELF FOR LIFE JUST FOR VISUALIZING THAT !!)