Friday, March 12, 2010

Ridiculous

Homeless Man: Boethius once said, 'It's my belief that history is a wheel. "Inconsistency is my very essence" -says the wheel- "Rise up on my spokes if you like, but don't complain when you are cast back down into the depths. Good times pass away, but then so do the bad. Mutability is our tragedy, but it is also our hope. The worst of times, like the best, are always passing away.'

Tony Wilson: ...I know.

- 24 Hour Party People



As Joe Posnanski pointed out a few days ago, Met fans like myself are simply accustomed to failure. That there always seems to be a black cloud hovering over Flushing. But I never seriously considered if we were cursed.

It's one thing for a Met team to be ridiculously terrible (40-120 is still the all-time worst record in a season[1]) or to underachieve when a championship was in our sights (1987-90, 1999, 2000, 2006-08). That's nothing. We just walk that out now. Not to mention that other franchises have similar issues. But 2009 was different. Everybody of relevance spent some time on the disabled list - Delgado, Beltran, Reyes, Wright, Santana, et al. The word "ridiculous" is used too often, but wow, it was RIDICULOUS. After witnessing a season where eighteen different players appeared on the disabled list, an athiest would be led to thinking that the team was cursed. But that was just 2009. An outlier.

Not quite - two players are already not going to be on the field for Opening Day 2010. And not just any two players - the best players on the team [2]. And not just any old illness - Mr. Reyes has a thyroid condition. A thyroid condition?! When was the last time you heard of an athlete possibly having to end his all-star career because of a thyroid condition?

Ridiculous.

(Long breath.) Another thing about Met fans? We're hopelessly hopeful. We've fallen and gotten back up more than any human should. We got back up the first fifty times because we didn't know any better, and we didn't care for the alternative. (Be a Yankee fan? Please.) Now, we pick ourselves off the ground because we've learned that it's never as bad as it seems. The falls are always temporary. The dude I quoted at the top talked about the human condition better than I ever could so I'll stop this train of thought.

There was an article in the New York Times today titled: "Beltran Remains Confident in Mets Despite Loss of Key Players". Yeah whatever. But in the "Inside Pitch" section of the David Waldstein article was an anecdote that made me smile. I immediately copied and pasted it to my Met fan friends that were online at the time, and they smiled too.

The Mets’ game against the Twins at Fort Myers on Friday was rained out, but not before two buses carrying players and staff drove 2 hours and 45 minutes to get there. About 15 minutes after arrival, the game was canceled and the team piled back on the buses and returned to Port St. Lucie. The veteran catcher Rod Barajas said the lengthy trip for naught was a first for him, but he did not complain. “We got to talk and have fun and get to know each other,” he said. “We watched ‘The Hangover’ and laughed together.”

What else were they going to do, watch Schindler's List? It still made me feel a little better anyway. I know there's a word for that, but you shouldn't make fun of a hopeless person.


----------------
[1] I really didn't understand why some Met fans were rooting for the Detroit Tigers to not break the record back in 2003. Not that it mattered: Detroit won five out of their final six games to finish with 43 wins. Of course they did.

[2] Offensively speaking, and with all apologies to Davey. Not coincidentally, Reyes and Beltran are the only Mets on my keeper league fantasy team.

No comments: