I’ve had difficulty “singing the praises of the Mets” lately…except in some sort of out-of-tune way. Thus, the absence of recent posts.
I keep waiting for the chance to vocalize in a fully supported manner, but this less-than-encore-deserving run of Mets losses has only inspired me to warbling off-key humor.
Fact: the Mets have suffered an unbelievable number of injuries (record-breaking?) this season. Their struggle to stay competitive in spite of this has been admirable if not downright miraculous.
I’ve seen and heard it all:
“The Mets are playing hurt.”
“The Mets are putting a Junior Varsity team out there.”
“The Mets just have to tread water until the regulars get back.”
“Just wait until after the All-Star break.”
“You can’t blame them: some of these players are minor-leaguers.”
But even with those disclaimers and glass-half-full observations, last night’s loss was a new low.
From F-Mart’s blooper-reel-worthy performance in the outfield to our ace Santana’s bases on balls and dugout temper tantrum, it was a night to test even the most ardent fan’s patience.
Meanwhile, in that never-ending side-bar story to any Met fan’s daily digest–hoping the Phillies will at least lose (and barring that, the Yankees)–the Atlanta Braves did manage to help us out: aided by the mere threat of Jeff Francouer donning his magic underwear,
Go ahead and laugh. I am.
Matt Cerrone of MetsBlog recently excoriated manager Jerry Manuel for jokingly looking for his (hidden) offense under the table when asked about the Mets’ bats at his post-game press conference on Sunday night following the derailed Subway Series.
Maybe, at least in Cerrone’s opinion, Manuel is not in a position to kid around. And, granted, the Mets’ falling further and further below .500 is no laughing matter.
I, on the other hand, am in a position to joke around and, in fact, have now arrived at the “what else can you do but laugh” point.
And with that little prelude in mind, I offer up (with apologies to my Mom, a die-hard Braves fan) some contrasting themes between the Mets’ and Braves’ clubhouses:
The Mets’ offense has flown the coop and, especially last night, they are looking like a bunch of birdbrains in the field; the Braves are closing in on us, their right-fielder bluffing about lucky turkey shorts.
The Mets are awaiting the return of Major-League ready jocks; the Braves are talking jockeys.
The Mets need their A-Team; the Braves are talking G-strings.
The Mets desperately need the long ball; the Braves are talking long johns.
You get the idea.
Laughing keeps me from crying:
after all, I don’t want to be perceived as a pantywaist.
Original artwork “Phillie Cheese Steak Brand” From the “Orange Crate Label Series: The Unauthorized History of Baseball in 1-Odd Paintings” (2005) by Ben Sakoguch courtesy of the artist..
How soon the thrill of opening day has vanished.
My husband, though just as shaken by Pedro Martinez’s sudden departure from his first start with an injured hamstring as I am, has tried to comfort me by telling me it could be worse: it could be Wright. Or Reyes. He reminds me that injuries are part of the game.
But why did it have to figure into the game so early in the season?
This doesn’t seem fair.
I’m trying not be melodramatic (although I DO work in an opera house after all), but I am already getting tearful seeing these images in my mind of Pedro and Johan together in St. Lucie, arm in arm, hugging each other.
Is our One-Two Punch not meant to be?
Lest anyone was fearful that Santana’s arrival was going to be perceived as a threat to Pedro, he came out on record with a hardy welcome for the ace.
He also later stated that Santana should get the opening day start.
Basically, he went out of his way to make it clear that in his mind there was room enough for the two distinct, separate pitching “artists” on the roster. Underscoring his own designation of “artist”, Pedro even admonished Rick Peterson for addressing him as “Pedro”, stating that he preferred instead to be called “Picasso”.
I have no doubt whatsoever that what Pedro was throwing in Spring Training was every bit as impressive as Ramon Castro and others thought it was.
But unless that MRI Pedro’s scheduled to get here in New York today shows something extremely favorable, I have a very bad feeling that Picasso–along with me and countless Mets fans–will unfortunately be re-entering his so-called “Blue Period”.
…and how good did that feel to walk into work last night and get to boast to all of the resident Yankee fans who had not gotten their opener in the previous night because of rain!
Everything was right with the world: baseball had returned, a brand new season full of hope and possibility was underway with a Mets win, a Santana win, and nothing on the Daily News back page the next morning to take away the Mets’ thunder for a change!