I’ve heard a lot of this in, oh, the 30-some years I’ve paid attention to baseball. What could be a “typical” Mets move is signing some guy who has been great elsewhere, but comes to the Mets and promptly sucks. Only the Mets, however, would get the shit end of the stick with a bad baseball deal. Only the Mets have had a shitty bullpen in their history. Only the Mets have lost a playoff game on a called third strike.
Et cetera, et cetera, so on. Hi-sign.
I am a Mets fan. Quite frankly, I am tired of being the butt of the joke…mostly by our own fanbase. Mostly, in any fanbase, there are two extremes – the ultra-negative mong, or the positive everything-is-wonderful and ya gotta believe, and fuck you if you think any differently. I like to think I am somewhere in the middle, since I can certainly identify. A little lower than the top mong extreme is self-deprecating Mets humor. I don’t think this is indicative of just us, but other fanbases too. Yet, recently it’s started to grate on me.
Last week, I hit the roof with some of the attitude thrown around, namely in response to Matt Harvey going down with a season ending injury. Yes – you see, only the Mets’ phenom young pitcher can go down with an injury and might need surgery.
Then in another interesting turn, the Mets went and traded Marlon Byrd and John Buck to Pittsburgh for young talent. Of course, this took place on what was to be Marlon Byrd t-shirt night.
**Only** the Mets, they say, would trade a player that had his t-shirt giveaway.
Well, I have sufficient evidence that this is not just a Mets-specific thing, but what’s more, it has happened to our arch rivals more than once. In recent memory too. Here’s a list.
Phillies – Our City of Brotherly Love rivals parted ways with their manager Charlie Manuel last month, in favor of a younger leader Ryne Sandberg. Instead of doing this at the end of the season like a normal team would, Manuel was let go the day the Phillies were to honor his 1,000th career win as a manager. They also parted ways with Hunter Pence prior to Hunter Pence bobblehead day (Pence also went on to be key to helping the San Francisco Giants win the World Series). Do I also need to remind you that their Cole Hamels and Ryan Howard contracts make the Johan Santana deal look like a steal? You guys stay classy over there.
Nationals – Remember when Stephen Strasburg missed an entire season due to surgery recovery? Hard to believe it wasn’t long ago. Then famously, the Nats brass had Strasburg on a strict innings limit and benched him when his team MADE THE POSTSEASON in the first time of ever. When they lost, it was generally agreed upon that Strasburg was being coddled for the future of the team, not just the one year. I mean, as a Mets fan, I understand the concept of the future and not thinking that *this* might be our last year to do, you know, anything. It may take close to a miracle to get the Nats to the playoffs this year. Cart before the horse?
Marlins – BWAH HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Shiny new stadium, signing all high-profile free agents, fooling even the players into believing they were part of the future, when clearly, they were not. I mean, talk about totally going against the grain of Marlins history. The best? Getting these players to sign long term deals in Florida where there is no state tax, and trading most of them to Toronto, a place with a shitload of tax penalties? Also, they won two championships by accident. All the LOLs for the MarLOLins. (And that doesn’t even touch the fact they once had the best player in baseball on their team, now on the Tigers).
Blue Jays – A team with just the worst luck since the days of Joe Carter, they had a bunch of trades (including trading for 2012 NL Cy Young Award, former Met, R.A. Dickey – one of the most popular pitchers in Met history, to be fair) that were to keep them competitive in the AL East. Holding strong in last place, they are the only team under .500 in their division. Oh, and the Mets got one the most highly touted prospects in the game from that trade…a prospect the Blue Jays got from the Phillies…who are under water with several contracts of their own.
Red Sox – Remember when the Red Sox felt out of playoff contention on the last day of the season in 2011 in one of the infamous Game 162s, then they had to fire their successful coach Terry Francona because of the Chicken n’ Beer-gate? Then hired Bobby Valentine, whom was promptly smeared? Makes me realize that not only the Mets fuck up on the last day of the season.
Cardinals – Just follow the Twitter handle @BestFansStLouis to see how ungrateful some of these fans can be. Best fans, my big fat ass.
Angels – They have one of the best managers in baseball, some of the best hitters on paper (Pujols, Hamilton), one of the most complete young players in the game (Trout)…and they still suck.
Twins – Remember when they had the former MVP (Justin Morneau), the best catcher in baseball (Joe Mauer), two of the best pitchers in baseball (Santana, Liriano)…yet, they could never beat the Yankees in the playoffs? Oh, and they still have half those players on their team.
Brewers – I still love Ryan Braun, even though he turned into a giant asshole. They’re currently keeping their cellar warm with the Cubs…who…
Cubs – Yeah. Moving right along…
Giants - They traded Zack Wheeler for a half-year rental named Carlos Beltran in a year they won nothing. Only the Mets, right?
Tigers – Their best pitcher (Verlander) isn’t even their best pitcher (Scherzer) this year. And a Triple Crown winner can’t even guarantee a World Series championship.
Orioles – Always proof that there is a worse ownership group than the Mets.
Yankees – Proof that money and general managers don’t always mix. Just ask Lisa Swan.
So let’s not get ahead of ourselves. The Mets are not the **only** team to whom bad shit and bad deals happen, where players get hurt, where Septembers suck.
I don’t like to dictate fandom. But please. The joke is old already.