Can the Mets break hearts a fourth year in a row? I've had several months of not entertaining this question, but now with these first semi-expected-miserable April days, it's the beginning again. I will say two things. First, is that I wasn't heartbroken at the end of last season, since I was telling my dad and Bec that the Mets "definitely have something wrong" about a third of the way through the season. Becky would now assert that I thought all the pieces were in place when they signed Johan, which I can't utterly deny, but that was before the season began and for the most part, a feckless assessment. Bottom line: it wasn't surprising they crapped the bed in the face of the Phillies chase, just sort of impressive that they were able to so thoroughly execute the chokejob we were all afraid of. Not winning the Endy-Catch Game 7 (which I was at, mind you) was horrible. Watching the next season's collapse and attending 2 of the final 3 games including THE Tom Glavine 1st inning implosion game...well that was also horrible but in a new, more nauseating way than the prior horrible. Becky said it best, after attending far more games in one season than I'm sure she would've preferred (thank you, babe): "Baseball seems really depressing - everyone gets their hopes up and then they get disappointed, over and over.*" I guess she's been paying attention.
Here we are though. A new season. A few million have landed us one of the best closers in baseball[Frankie Rodriguez], a potential lockdown setup guy [Putz], a great bit of platoon/pinch-hitting pop in the bottom of the order[Sheff]. Dan Murphy and Big Pelf are looking really solid, and Oliver Perez has to get less crazy at some point, right? Aside from Luis Castillo, I really really like the team this year. I think we're going to the Series. Unfortunately I think the affection-holding Sox might be too, which is a pickle I will have to cross when I count my gift nickles, as they say.
Yesterday I left the house to get a couple of groceries around the 5th inning with a Met lead of 1-0. How could I leave, you might ask. Easy. First of all: I knew the score would be 2-1 Mets in the 8th when I got back, which it was. Secondly, I had the comfort of knowing that there will be baseball for the next 7 months, laconically moseying into the fall with a gradual acceleration of intensity barely perceptible as it's happening, but boiling the frog by the end of September. I love that with baseball (and DVR), I can leave the room and come back. I love that in New York, yesterday's game results track me down even if I've missed them. I'm pleased that despite the big signings, there's a core of guys that really feel like Mets to me. I'm thrilled to watch some games at the new park, even though it's got a paid-for name and ugly brick that undercuts the really nice arch and metal work. I'm psyched that I can see the Mets doing really well, but personally I'd rather lose with a team I like, than win with one I don't.
*Try Pittsburgh, says a smirking Ron Schmal.