Can You Forgive Her?

I can’t say I’m a superstitious one.  I did adopt some superstitions, which in reality probably had less than zero impact on the outcome of this year’s Super Bowl, but that was because I could look forward to eating my cheesy bread each week during the football playoffs.

This year was kind of an accidental superstition in hockey.  I adopted the #ItsOnlyWeirdIfItDoesntWork philosophy because I had a migraine during Game 7 of the conference quarterfinals.  If you remember, the night of Game 7 against the Flyers, it rained like a mofo all day.  Cats, dogs, horses, cows, every type of farm animal.  I had a bad migraine.  I even cancelled my podcast at the last moment, though I had stuff I wanted to talk about.  Originally, I thought I’d be watching the playoffs, and be either really happy during the show, or really pissed off.  Either way, I didn’t know.  Because I ended up not watching.

I had laid down a bit, since I cancelled the show, and waited for my husband to return home.  Only problem?  He didn’t get home till after the puck dropped.  So I didn’t even have the television on.  And he was following the game on his radio.

Before I knew it, it was the second period.  I was going to turn the game on, but much like Keith Hernandez did in Game 6, he stayed in his chair because, “There were hits in that seat,” as he cracked open a Bud with coach Darrell Johnson in Davey Johnson’s office.

onlyweirdSo in the history of Keith Hernandez before me, I know I was not the only superstitious one during the hockey playoffs.  If you follow hockey, you know the tradition of hockey beards.  There are some weird fuckin rituals in hockey.  But cool rituals too, like the handshake line, handing the Cup to the captain.
The second round, I got desperate.  I was convinced that outside of the Pittsburgh metro area (and the five Devils fans), mostly everyone in America was rooting for the Rangers.  I know, it’s an oddity, because there is a New York superiority complex that other cities try to knock down.  But I’m pretty sure that if you are a) not a Pittsburgh Penguins fan, 2) not from Pittsburgh or D) just a fan of hockey not falling under A) or 2), chances are, you hate Sidney Crosby and it’s your civic duty to not want that team to win.
So there’s that.  I had to go for some gusto.  After Game 4, I became desperate.  One game from elimination, plus with the Rangers’ habit of winning one, losing one…this shit wasn’t going to fly.  Even if they did win Game 5…EVEN if they managed to pull to a Game 7…how would they win?
And yet they did.
And somehow, we were all part of it, by participating in our stupid game rituals that we are convinced helped them win.
For @NotGlenSather, he kept his McDonagh jersey on his couch (only during road games though…it wouldn’t work at home for obvious reasons…reasons, none of us know, of course).

For Metstradamus, he had to take the bus for at LEAST one period (he was lucky that was it…the first time, he was going to pick up an air conditioner).

So my superstitions became the stuff of legend.  When I opted out of Game 5, I figured the worst that could happen was that the Rangers lose.  If they won, I’d play by ear to watch Game 6.  Then they won Game 6.

The irony is, Game 7 wasn’t tough for me not to watch…because I wasn’t home at the beginning.  I had a weekly networking meeting, and I knew I wouldn’t be home till the second period, at the very earliest.

Even so, my husband forbade me from watching the game at all.  I was DYING.  It was absolute torture.  But Twitter did a good job of keeping me updated.  So I got the feel of watching the game.  Then…the unthinkable happened.  They WON. Holy shit, did it WORK???

Truth is, this little superstition I worked up…was only for elimination games.  So I’ll be back for the Eastern Conference Finals.  It feels different this time.  I stress out each series, until this moment.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say…I can pretty much guarantee a Stanley Cup appearance or win, at the very most.  Why is that?

I didn’t get my Rangers seat option this year.  I backed out of it.  It didn’t feel right this year.  I knew I should have held onto it.  But whatever.  I felt like, what were the chances they’d get to the ECF AGAIN?

Yup.

So now there’s a chance they’ll win the Cup.  And I won’t be able to go to any of the stupid games.  I guess somehow I deserve NOT watching the games nor going to them at all.

Bad, bad fan.

So I’ll test the waters by watching the first few games…but of course, I’m traveling during the first game.  So that means I won’t be able to watch the whole thing anyway.

If they win, is it proof that my silly ritual worked?  Or merely coincidence?

Thank goodness for game ones…and game sevens.

A Special Mets Lounge Podcast TONIGHT!

Think you might need a Subway Series break tonight?  You won’t want to miss tonight’s special Mets Lounge podcast.  And if you’re a cool kid, you’ll certainly find a place here.

My special guest tonight will be Albert Dabah, owner of Simba Productions, and we’ll talk about his passion for baseball, and his pre-production feature film Extra Innings.

We’ll be airing live at 9 pm. Dial in for my pre-interview Mets rants (which is actually a bit happier than normal days).

…And Strawberry Sundaes For All

My Halloween costume from 1983, the year I became a Mets fan

My Halloween costume from 1983, the year I became a Mets fan

I’m guessing it was around June 1983.  The school year was winding down.  It was first grade, for me.  One of our parting assignments was to write about our favorite things (mine included: cats and chocolate and English muffins…still true to this very day, actually).  I forget what my mom’s were (probably chocolate as well…one thing she and I were agreeable on).  My dad was simple: he liked the Mets.

Being seven, I can’t say I knew what “Mets” actually were.  But I’m guessing that it must have been around or just after June 15, 1983.  Because all of a sudden the Mets were on ALL THE TIME.  And Dad couldn’t stop talking about a guy named “Keith.”  (Note: Keith Hernandez was traded to the Mets on June 15, 1983…ironically, my husband’s first Mets game was the day he was traded).  I think I was also aware of the Mets that year because my parents had gone to Opening Day (Tom Seaver returned), and my grandma told me she watched the game to see if she could see my mom.

My dad was rooting for the guys with METS written in script on the front of their uniform.  Well, then, that’s who I was rooting for too.

I started to ask my dad questions about baseball.  Mostly, how to play.  I was an awkward kid, and had two left feet when it came to anything physical.  I never took dance lessons, and I certainly wasn’t picked for sporting teams.  I wanted to learn something, and baseball looked kinda easy.  I guess.

So he’d pitch me meatballs, and I’d practice swinging.  All with him yelling, “KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE BALL!!!!”  (As he took a swig of a Budweiser).

As history has told us, my parents tried to take me to my first Mets game on June 15, 1980.  You may remember the date as the day game after what became the legendary “Hendu Cando walkoff” game.  It was, as history remembered, an unmitigated disaster.  We never made it to the park that day.  And as Matt Silverman has told us in many write ups on the day after, that walkups were discouraged because there were literally no seats in the Upper Deck of Shea Stadium to sit, due to renovations.

Less than four years later, I would be heading back to Shea.  This time, I suppose, with better directions than in 1980.

I wasn’t sure what to expect.  My dad kept calling it, “Shea,” yet in my head, since I was in second grade in 1984, I was learning about phonics and shit, and I kept thinking of the Long “A” that we’d use to pronounce.  But I was surprised, for some reason, that it was spelled the way it is.

I remember the way it looked.  So colorful.  So tall.  I think this was also the age that I discovered that I was indeed afraid of heights.  I asked my dad to not get me the “red seats.”  We sat in what I found out was the Loge, the blue seats.  I was mesmerized by the colors.  I was also wondering just what the hell that smell was (yes, I can still smell Shea Stadium).

The day was a blur.  The date was May 6, 1984.  It was a Sunday game against the Houston Astros, who wore those putrid orange/red/yellow colored uniforms.

The starting pitcher for the Astros that day was a gentleman by the name of Nolan Ryan.  I’m trying to remember if Dad told me that he used to be a Met, or if I found that out later.  I would bet on “later,” because I also was not entirely schooled on the whole “World Series” and “1969” thing either.

nolan-ryan-astros

The starting pitcher for the Mets that day, ironically, was a young phenom named Dwight Gooden.

My dad bought a program.  It turns out that I spent a lot of time reading it because the Astros scored EIGHT RUNS in the third inning. Looking at the box score, it was a bunch of singles.  Single after single after single turned into run after run after run.

I read the program cover to cover.  Had nothing better to do after that inning , I remember the Pabst Blue Ribbon advertisement.  The hot dogs that looked plump and delicious.  Cigarette ads, which I don’t think I thought much about as an eight year old, but find them so odd now.

I also memorized the Shea diagram. Though I sat in them in later years, and I decided to never ever sit in Upper Deck that year

I also memorized the Shea diagram. Though I sat in them in later years, and I decided to never ever sit in Upper Deck that year

The program had write ups on the visiting teams.  I remember asking why Jose Cruz’s name was pronounced “Hoe-ZAY” as opposed to “Josie.”  I may still call him that (and anyone else named “Jose”).  I also remember weird stuff from that day.  The smell of the hot dogs from the vendors.  The taste of the RC Cola.  The awful bathrooms.  My mom agreeing to get me Crunch N Munch, then “forgetting.”  The ginormous Budweiser ad that beckoned fans to drink.

This is the Bud ad I remember from 1984, though I'm sure some Shea historian will tell me otherwise

This is the Bud ad I remember from 1984, though I’m sure this pic is from 1988 or thereabouts (the bigger scoreboard)

Awestruck by the enormity of it all, really.

While going through the program, I also noticed that just a few days prior, had been a date called “Strawberry Sundae.”  A promotion sponsored by Carvel, fans attending a game honoring 1983 Rookie of the Year Darryl Strawberry received a strawberry sundae.  Well, dadgummit.

I don’t remember there being a lot of excitement.  Besides the barrage of singles and subsequent runs scored by the Astros, Doctor K had barely recorded an out in the third before being relieved by Craig Swan.  Swan didn’t yield a run.  Of course he didn’t.

docgoodensheaBut Doc Gooden ultimately became the reason why I was a Mets fan, or rather became one.

I take pride in having gone to one of his very few losses in his rookie year campaign, one where he ultimately won the ROY.

But I had no idea what rookies were or what an award was at that point.  All I know is…I was pretty pissed off that I missed free ice cream at Strawberry Sundae Night.

I still am.

So when I read the upcoming giveaways at that horrific game on May 6, I saw that sports bag day was on Memorial Day (which was Monday, May 28, an afternoon game).  Though the Mets were losing pretty bad, I knew I wanted to come back.  I asked Dad if we could go.  I think we got our tickets that day.

I also remember what it was like to leave before the game ended.  It was a blowout, and we had to go back to Jersey.  It was a long day already.  I do remember that I had dozed off in the car, and there was traffic heading out of the stadium.  That part has not changed, even if Shea is no longer around.  The radio was on, and I suppose the postgame was on too.  I asked if the Mets had won.  (I even knew that ya gotta believe, at such a young age).  No.  The Astros had tacked on two more runs.

10-1 Astros was the final score that day.

 

Screen Shot 2014-05-04 at 9.40.34 PM Screen Shot 2014-05-04 at 9.40.49 PM

I’ll always remember Shea in all her majesty. At Closing Day in 2008, my dad turned to me after the ceremony and said, “You grew up here.” Now, at that point, I hadn’t shed a tear. I had let Shea go in my mind. I was ready for a new stadium, and mostly ready to embrace change (something the Mets desperately needed to do after 2007 and 2008…though I didn’t think it would be, “GET WORSE”).

But my one regret with Shea Stadium is that I never got a strawberry sundae.  Now, that shit still pisses me off.

The irony of the Mets is that I always expected friends in the deal, but I never thought I’d gain a husband out of it.  He went to his first game on June 15, 1983, and that was probably when I first started paying attention to the Mets.  I was also supposed to have had a link to June 15, 1980, and was supposed to go to the game originally on June 16, 1980.

And I got married on May 5, 2010.  And my first game May 6, 1984.

How about that for some shit?

Don’t Mean Nothin’

...till you sign it on the dotted line?

…till you sign it on the dotted line?

I vowed that I wouldn’t comment on the Mets open letter “True New Yorker” marketing campaign.

But when it’s been basically a week since and people are STILL bitching about it (or joking about it), I finally had enough ammo to write something about it.

I was telling someone earlier today that when I first got the letter, I was kind of like, “Whatever,” for me.  I knew, once again, that it was a misguided attempt at trying to “connect” with the fans.  And of course, I cringed at the thought of what the reaction would be like on Twitter.  Because I knew that a shitstorm would be a-brewin’ before I knew it.

I didn’t sign it.  I guess I’m taking the route of Randall “Pink” Floyd in not signing the oath of not drinking or drugging while training for football.  I wasn’t angry about it…I was apathetic.

I’m a season ticket holder.  I not only go to a lot of home games, I go to many road games.  I’m a fan.  I don’t need to sign it on the dotted line.

The open letter, as Richard Marx once eloquently said, “don’t mean nothin’.”

(And please, spare me the grammar double-negative police…if you grew up in the ’80s, you knew exactly what Dick Marx was saying.)

And you’ll be surprised at what riles me up about the whole thing.

That goddamn “True New Yorker” business.

Yes. I do realize it’s mostly metaphoric.  You’re talking to the broad who was told by The Naked Cowboy (who wears a cowboy hat, boots and tighty whiteys in Times Square) that just because he’s not truly naked, doesn’t mean that he’s not. “Naked is just a metaphor, honey.”  Those were his words.

But again, the whole letter and idea of it shows how disconnected the team’s marketing department is from their fan base.

1) You don’t have to be “from” New York to be a Mets fan.

Try telling that whole New Yorker business to my friends in San Antonio, Texas; San Marcos, California; San Francisco, California; Seattle, Washington; and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (to name a few…) that they couldn’t possibly be “true Mets fans” because they are not “true New Yorkers.”  I realize this is kind of a solidarity oath.  Think when the Boston Marathon bombings occurred.  Lots of memes about “We are all from Boston.”  But that was in the name of humanity overcoming the worst of disasters to show support for a city grieving.

We are not grieving.  We are Mets fans — we suffer enough without being condescended to.

2) If you are from New York, root for whoever you goddamn feel like it.

My husband is from the Bronx.  You couldn’t pay him enough money to root for the Yankees (unless he could do it for enough money to reinvest as partial owner of the Mets…actually that’s why I would ever root for the Yankees, if I could make enough money for that…moving right along…).  He is also a Seattle Seahawks fan since 1983 and a Utah Jazz fan since 1988.  He’d never rooted for a local team in either sport.  He became a Rangers fan in hockey simply because I was.

And hey, because I am from New Jersey (and believe you me…I am JerZ TO THE BONE), I get asked all the time about why I am not a Devils fan.  Easy…my dad was a Broadway Blues fan, and the NJ Scums didn’t exist until much later.

But if fandom dictated several things, there would be no Mets fan who was a New York Giants fan, or a fan from the Philadelphia metro area who was not an Eagles nor Phillies fan.

Sure, sometimes I don’t get why there would be someone who grew up mere doors away from Flushing, and was not a Mets fan.  But being a sports fan is a deeply personal thing.  Curtis Granderson in saying true New Yorkers are Mets fans.  (and by the way, I’m pretty sure the reason why people made such a big deal about it is because he played for the Yankees too.)

I guess to some extent Granderson is right.  I mean, most Yankees fans are tourists.  As Metstradamus once said, “You do not love the Yankees…you love SOUVENIRS!”

I know a fellow from New England who is a Buffalo Bills fan (he knew a coach when he was a kid).  Just goes to show that geography doesn’t necessarily dictate your fandom. But trust me, plenty of New Yorkers either don’t give a shit about local professional sports, or root for family interests.

3) Yet another disingenuous attempt at connecting with fans.

“The Magic Is Back.”

teamtimemets

 

 

 

 

 

 

And who can forget this gem from the 2007 collapse?

From Mets COO Jeff Wilpon:
To Mets Fans:

“All of us at the Mets are bitterly disappointed in failing to achieve our collective goal of building upon last year’s success.  We did not meet our organization’s expectations – or yours.  Everyone at Shea feels the same range of emotions as you – our loyal fans – and we know we have let you down.  We wanted to thank you for your record-breaking support of our team this year…

“Equally important, Ownership will continue its commitment in providing the resources necessary to field a championship team. Omar will be meeting with Ownership shortly to present his plan on addressing our shortcomings so that we can achieve our goal of winning championships in 2008 and beyond…

“You deserve better results…

“Many thanks again for your record-breaking support.

Remember the marketing campaign from that year? “Your Season Has Come?”

Oy.

Prior to the 2007 season, the Mets capitalized on a marketing campaign, spending $2mm with celebrity talent.  Though I will admit, at the time, it made sense: they were within their reach of the World Series the year before.  And within two years, they’d need to fatten their populace in a brand new shiny field.

Fans WANTED to spend their money, though.  The economy was also better.

Now?  Apples to oranges.  Sure, 15 wins on a monthly average would net 90 wins total for the season.  And that’s how they started April.  But can you help it if fans are WARY of any performance in April?  I was Suzy Sunshine in my last post, channeling my inner Russell Wilson.  But I think was just feeling good because the Rangers had won.  It might have clouded my inner skeptic.

But just like 2007, and with this sad open letter, it misses the mark completely, and does what the Mets marketing department has always done best, no matter who is in charge, and that’s putting the cart before the horse.

Look at baseball as a business.  Let’s say I am Joe Schmoe business owner, and I sell widgets.  And my widgets suck.  Quality isn’t good, service is questionable.  My clients are not going to do business with me out of loyalty.  They’re going to want to see results.  And in the real business world, signing a letter is basically what Richard Marx says – once you sign on the dotted line, it’s official.

Where in the world can you get a gullible consumer to sign basically what amounts to a purity pledge to stand by our men?

Mets fans are loyal, but also remember that in the middle of 2006, a person who identified himself as a Yankee fan told me that “He liked the Mets now because they were winning.”

No.  Really.  SOMEONE SAID THIS TO ME.

Winning brings out the best and worst in all fanbases.  Losing loses the real fans.  You put a product we believe in out there, trust me, they will come.

Boom.

4) Why the FUCK would I sign a petition anyway?

Photo Credit to Michael Baron of Metsblog

Photo Credit to Michael Baron of Metsblog

I was named the Season Ticket Holder of the game on a Monday night game in April. In Queens. In the cold.

Trust me, guys.  I don’t need no stinkin’ petition.  Nor any badgers.

5) In the end, this is all just more overblown LOLMets stuff.

There was a shitload more stuff we could have paid attention to last week.  A faux controversy, if you will.

At first, I couldn’t care less.  I still don’t, though I managed to write a 1,000 word post on how much I don’t care.

Signing a petition, going to games, owning every single Mets shirt, rattling stats of Mets history.  It doesn’t mean shit.  Everyone is a fan in their own way.

Whether you go to 162 games a year.  Whether you go to zero.  Whether you listen to every game on the radio while you live in the North Pole.   It doesn’t fucking matter.  If you’re a “true fan,” it shows.

Now get the FUCK OFF MY LAWN!!!!!!

Why Not Us?

This meme always cracks me up.

This meme always cracks me up.

I’m relatively new to the whole Seattle Seahawks #12thMan thing, but I did happen to note that Russell Wilson had become America’s sweetheart within a few short weeks late last year and early this year.  His guts and positivity got the Hawks to the big game, and subsequently won it.

See, I’m not used to that shit.  I’m so used to my teams getting my hopes up to the very last possible point, then the shoe dropping and that’s it.  #WipesHands

This year was strange.  A team I adopted, and genuinely *liked* (trust me – I’ve hated MANY of my teams a lot of the time…a little too much, actually) went the distance.  But it was the big heart of the small quarterback Russell Carrington Wilson who said, “Why not us?”

It was no secret that Wilson’s dad passed away several years ago.  And it was his dad’s advice that he claims got him to go to the distance, by asking his team, “Why not us?”

Why not you, Russ?

So it got me thinking – why not us?

And by “us,” I mean my other teams, the Mets and New York Rangers.

Let’s take a look at April.

Sandy Alderson — and not facetiously, mind you —  said that there was a chance the Mets could win 90 games this year.

Once we all stopped rolling our eyes and chuckling — and we did, don’t be that fan that is all self-righteous about loving your team more and supporting them through or think other fans suck if they don’t 100% believe in the team — the Mets started the season 0-3.  And lost their closer on Opening Day.  And didn’t have their star young stud pitcher at all.  Seemed like more of the same.   When they won a game, myself and many others joked and said, “89 more to go!”  (That was facetious, by the way)

Till they started to win.  And started to get good and quality starts from their pitchers.  Except for the guy they kinda expected to be consistent.  But whatever.  The ways they won, and how many games they won (15) in April made us sit up and pay attention.  To the tune of tweets like this.

Why not us?

If you look at that pace, it could theoretically be a 90 win season, if they continue on average winning 15 games a month.

We’ve seen weirder.  Of course, that might not be enough to win the NL East.

And trust me, I don’t like getting ahead of myself.  I even told my husband the other night the famous, “It’s only APRIL” excuse.  Doesn’t mean anything.  The only April or the averaging 15 wins a month to get to a 90 total win season.

Why not us, Russ?

As I sit here writing, I’m watching the Rangers play the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Eastern Conference Semi-finals.  It’s very rare that I actually have a good feeling with ANYTHING remotely regarding the Rangers in the playoffs.  I spend most of my time tweeting about how much the team tortures me, makes me want to poop on MSG center ice or how much I hate them.

But I love them.  I really don’t know what I’d do without the Rangers.  Or if they weren’t in the playoffs.

Two years ago, I was having a rough year, and the one thing that kept me riding high was the fact that the Rangers were playing so well. Then they lost, but the Los Angeles Kings brought me out of hell, and I got over that Quick (see what I did there?).

I said that unless you live in the vicinity of Pittsburgh, or are a bitter Devils fan, chances are most of America is rooting for the Rangers in this series.  NO ONE likes the Penguins.  They’re almost as dirty as Philly, and there are more crybabies than the Capitals.

So it’s good to like to good guys for once…but play better, for fuck’s sake.

It’s been a weird year, what with teams I’ve wanted to win are actually, you know, WINNING.  Or have won.  Whatever.

The Rangers beat the Penguins in OT, 3-2.  We know that OT isn’t exactly ideal, and especially in Pittsburgh.

So why not them?  Or us?

Those who say, “Wait Till Next Year,” will ultimately say, “It IS next year?”

And that’s probably going to be the first and last remotely positive thing you’ll EVER see me posting on this site.

Shhhh…don’t tell anyone.

The Milquetoast Mets’ Daytime Dilemma

Matt_Harvey_finger You know what?  I’m just gonna come right out and say it: I like Matt Harvey.

I like his attitude.  I like his arrogance.  You know why?  Because he has the goods to back it up.

And I have to laugh when I hear other fans complain about how other players aren’t “fun” and are “boring.”  Because they revere alumni like Tom Seaver, who is universally known as a douchebag.

(But he’s our douche, so it’s all good)

But what’s more is that ever since 1986, the Mets front office has been intent on dismantling any team that has any semblance of a personality.  Anyone who is not milquetoast, the more boring and “family friendly” you are, the better.

Forget if they’re actually, you know, *good* and help the team win.  If they stray from the party line (which is: be bland, always), they’re automatically trouble.

Take the 1986 Mets.  They won a world championship, for crying out loud.  They drank, they did drugs, some even got arrested.  Let me reiterate: THEY WON A CHAMPIONSHIP.  No one micromanaged them.  They did what they had to do.

When Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz wormed their way into Nelson Doubleday’s majority stake in the team after the World Series, all of a sudden, the bad ass personality was a “problem,” and let’s get bland boring “Jay-oh-bee” treating baseball players like Kevin McReynolds.

Perhaps if the PR and image people were less concerned with OMG WHAT WILL WE TELL THE CHILDREN, instead they let players be themselves.  I saw the Matt Harvey instagram where he posted about his surgery, which happened six months ago.  He’s a young guy.  His skyrocketing career came to a screeching halt because (and this is just my opinion), his conditioning by the team of Dr. Death Rey Ramirez led to him getting Tommy John Surgery.  I thought the photo was funny.  My next thought was….Oh, Jay Horwitz isn’t gonna like THIS one.

And what happens?  Harvey is asked to delete his post, and he just deletes his Twitter account instead.

Harvey didn’t apologize for potentially “offending” anyone.

Breaking News: Dick Young is STILL dead, Mets fans

Breaking News: Dick Young is STILL dead, Mets fans

I mean, seriously, what’s next?  Are the Mets going to exhume Dick Young to write a scandalous slam piece on how Matt Harvey’s girlfriend is jealous of Zack Wheeler’s girlfriend, and Harvey demands a trade before a weekday day game start, which will forever be known in Mets lexicon as “The Daytime Dilemma?”

#PTMD

The fact is, this team hasn’t had anyone with a goddamn personality for YEARS.  You want Wonder Bread David Wright?  You got him!  Any flashy players who show an iota of a personality are kicked the curb and chased out of town.

Look at Ike Davis, and he started his career with a bang in Pittsburgh.  Yes, I know it’s a small sample set.  But a change of scenery looks to be helping his Valley Fever or whatever the hell was ailing him.

The truth is, perhaps Davis was suffering what a lot of former Mets players who are kicked the curb or given the slam treatment after leaving town: Walter Mittyitis. And if we’re not careful, that’s exactly what’s gonna happen to Matt Harvey. The Mets are intent on driving away the only talented guy they have on the team, for fear that OMG WHAT WILL WE TELL THE CHILDREN actually matters.

Look at other teams.  Ryan Braun returned to the Brewers with little to no fanfare after a suspension.

His teammate instigated a bench clearing BRAWL, and no one gives a shit.  Except for maybe the “purity of the game” sanctimonious pricks.

And soon, I think Alex Rodriguez will finish his career and people will quiet down about him too.

When you stop having fun, it’s time to quit.  And good for Harvey for recognizing it.  Yet, the same people who forced him into a corner are also the same folks who are trying to make players more accessible and personable to fans.  Something that has been missing for years, decades even.  You can’t have it both ways.  Otherwise, I’m gonna see David Wright and Daniel Murphy sharing cookies and milk and playing checkers instead of the players having fun.

I’ll be talking about this and a lot more on the Mets Lounge podcast tonight at 4 pm ET.  I had to bump the start time a bit earlier, so I could drink at the cocktail hour at the Mets game social hour I’m attending.  I definitely want to be sober for my rants.

CitiField Memories With Coop and Rich – TONIGHT! TICKET GIVEAWAY!

Coop_rich No Mets games tonight, and none till Friday **night**??? Whatever shall we do???

Have no fear, the Coop is here!

Hang out in the Mets Lounge tonight, with good friend Rich Sparago, twitter personality and Rising Apple contributor, at 9 pm ET tonight!

Grab a martini, a beer, or a margarita (like me) and listen to us as we discuss happy days at CitiField.  Yes, there have been a few.  But also a reminder that good days will be here again.

Here is an incentive…come hang in the chat room, and ask us questions…or better yet DIAL IN!  Share your CitiField memories.

I have TWO Caesar GOLD tickets for next Tuesday 4/22 game against the Cardinals.  So yes, I am bribing you to dial in tonight to talk to us.

When Coop and Rich get going on the Mets, there’s no telling where the conversation will take us.  So grab a brew, take a seat, and hang out with the cool kids tonight!

I Am The Warrior

ImageI haven’t watched pro-wrestling since the late ’80s, early ’90s maybe.  I remember as a kid, my cousin and I would play in our grandma’s backyard, and pretend to be our favorite wrestlers.  I forget who we were, but I was probably Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka and he might have been Hulk Hogan a few times.  We’d play our “entrance music,” slap “high fives” with the tree branches, and make our way to the “squared circle” (usually the trampoline).  We’d pretend to beat the crap out of each other (or sometimes, for real) as our wrestlers.  Then we’d play with our WWF action figures.

That’s how old school I am.  I used to watch the old World Wrestling Federation (now World Wrestling Entertainment, which was good for me as a change, since I was probably one of those geeks who got all excited then simultaneously disappointed when the WWF stood for “World Wildlife Foundation”).  This was right around the time Hulk Hogan got famous.  Then everyone got in on the party.  The Iron Sheik. Nikolai Volkoff (I think that’s how his name was spelled).  Old timers like Bruno Sammartino and Gorilla Monsoon.  Tony Atlas. Shawn Michaels before he was the Heartbreak Kid.  All Vince McMahon’s vision.

Before The Rock became a household name (even prior to being movie star Dwayne Johnson), there was another Rock known as a Blade Runner.  You may remember his tag team partner, Sting, who went to become one of the most famous wrestlers.  But Rock turned into the Dingo Warrior, and then ultimately “Warrior.”  The Ultimate Warrior.

Like The Rock after him, I think fans were getting antsy about being told who to “like” and who to “boo.”  The good guys, the bad guys.  There was always a defined role.  The Warrior was different.  Like his contemporary, Randy “Macho Man” Savage, they didn’t give a crap who cheered or booed them. 

Something about Warrior drew me to him.  I wouldn’t say I was his biggest fan, but I certainly remember his matches.  His infamous WrestleMania match with Hulk Hogan.  Him beating the Honky Tonk Man, whom I LOATHED. 

Then I guess I became too cool for school and stopped watching pro wrestling entirely.  I have to say, it was easy to keep up with the story lines, especially since that cousin I referred to earlier still followed it somewhat religiously.  I knew enough about the characters that one time I played “Shag, Marry or Throw off a cliff” my theme was pro wrestlers: Chris Jericho, The Rock, and Hulk Hogan, respectively. 

Clearly, something rang with Warrior, who embraced this persona to the nth power.  Fans, even if they didn’t love him, appreciated him and his value to the brand.  In his post-wrestling career, he gave inspirational talks.  He was a family man.  And like many pro wrestlers before him, left us all too soon. 

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It’s easy with Twitter and Facebook to follow the goings-on each Monday night or any Pay-Per-View spectacular like WrestleMania or Survivor Series (does that even exist anymore?). But what I did know that the last WWE Hall of Fame induction, Ultimate Warrior rose once again.  Then he made an appearance on RAW to give what was to be his last inspirational talk. 

Every man’s heart one day beats its final beat, his lungs breathe their final breath and if what that man did in his life makes the blood pulse through the body of others and makes them believe deeper in something larger than life, then his essence, his spirit will be immortalised.

James Brian Hellwig was Warrior’s birth name, but he legally changed it several years ago.  He was only 54 years old.  He was younger than my parents.

You don’t know where life will take us.  We can literally be here one minute, and gone the next.  This was true with Warrior, as he blew up Twitter several times this week, the last time what pretty much anyone who followed his career hoped to be a cruel hoax.

I can’t help but wonder, from my point of view where I worshipped these legends as a child, that someone, somewhere has failed them.  If we think about the late ’70s/early ’80s, and senseless substance abuse deaths like John Belushi or Douglas Kenney from National Lampoon, I feel as if in a way that pro wrestlers seem to take the fall. 

Like Mickey Rourke in The Wrestler, his only identity in being Randy “The Ram” Robinson gave him life, but also was his demise. 

I don’t know how Warrior died, but these men tend to leave us way too soon.  I wish I had paid closer attention to his last few appearances, but so goes life I suppose.  We are each one day closer to our last breath.  And his was just ironically too soon after we all saw whom many of us recalled as an old friend.