— The Coop (@Coopz22) October 29, 2015
Sometimes, it’s hard to be a Mets fan. Maybe all the time. We’re constantly straddling the line of being afraid to let ourselves be happy, yet at the same time marrying our belief that “believing” and “hoping” is part of our DNA. I think I’m somewhere in the middle. I’m not an optimist, nor a pessimist. I consider myself a realist. Optimists think I’m too negative. Pessimists think I’m too positive. I guess I consider myself “right.” For me, anyway. I couldn’t give less than two shits if a fan is either one. Just don’t be surprised if I call you out on either.
Here’s the reality: this Kansas City Royals team is REALLY good. Like, seriously, the biggest competition and realest threat that the Mets have seen this year. Of course, the “realest” threat is because they’re meeting in the World Series, and the stakes are very high.
Perhaps most of us are not rational beings. But I like to keep things in perspective. Like wanting to deck someone who tells me to cheer up because the Mets are in the World Series, and we totally didn’t think that shit would happen on Opening Day. While true, now that my team is in the big dance, I don’t want them to roll over like teams in the past, take it in the ass and get a trophy for just showing up. That’s not how any of this works.
On the other hand, I want to throw shit (like, literally *poop*) if someone says the series is over and see you next April. Uh, no. This is the best of seven for a reason.
But perhaps you’ve seen this meme going around.
Or maybe this one too…
This is my problem with it. I see very faint similarities with how the 1986 team and 2015 team operate. The 1986 team was SUPPOSED to win it all. If they didn’t, and remember they were very close to losing game six, it would’ve been considered not only a massive failure, but a loss would’ve been more difficult to overcome because their veterans weren’t getting any younger. (And to think we didn’t know about Doc Gooden’s problems with drugs at that time). I could point to the year 2000, and, well, there is a reason we don’t really have a soft spot for them. It was the 1999 team who we all loved, they were truly the little team that could. The 2000 team had Mike Bordick. Nuff said.
I’ll take it a step further. The Mets lose game one in 2015 on an error by their star third baseman. The Mets lose game one in 1986 on a run caused by an error by their second baseman. Let’s not try to compare David Wright, someone who will be a Mets legend and Tim Teufel, who is only a legend because he played on the ’86 team. Meanwhile, the Mets should not have even been IN that position of Wright making an error in extra innings because Jeurys Familia had ONE bad pitch in the 9th. (And hey, did game one of the ’86 World Series have a lead four base error that was scored as an inside-the-park home run? On the VERY FIRST PITCH????).
Or was game one of 2015 like the 2000 World Series where Armando Benitez blew a save. Even better, Timo Perez to this day is still vilified for not running hard around the bases, causing the Mets to not score in a hot inning. Yoenis Cespedes was the defensive version of Perez, la-la-la-ing in centerfield on that play.
The 2015 team is much better in so many other ways. Take the pitching. Harvey, deGrom, Syndergaard, Matz and Wheeler when he’s healthy is a HOLY FUCKING SHIT rotation.
So we’ve got the optimists pointing to 1986, you know, a team that was SUPPOSED TO WIN IT ALL. Or the pessimists on the other side saying the last two games were like the year 2000, a team that was in WAY over their heads.
Know who/what I think this team is playing like RIGHT now? The Chicago Cubs, circa a week ago.
John in Palos Hills blaming Theo for the loss and not picking up another pitcher before the deadline. The Mets beat our best pitcher, dummy.
— Elisa (@Eukadanz) October 19, 2015
//platform.twitter.com/widgets.jsSo you wanna know why people are concerned? THIS IS WHY. Our stop em, drop em ace got shelled. The Mets squandered a Harvey start. Bears repeating that Jeurys Familia had ONE BAD PITCH.
So yes, “ya gotta believe” and all that shit. I was on a podcast a week ago, and I said, “Why Not Us?” Repeating the refrain that got Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks all the way to the Super Bowl championship in SB 48. Except the Seahawks made it look so easy that year. Oh yes, 30+ years of being a Mets fans reminds me that shit does indeed happen, and the Mets have literally not made anything easy for me ever as a fan. Literally. Ever.
I can look at how the New York Rangers got to the Stanley Cup Final in 2014, and squandered two leads whilst complaining about officiating instead of just growing a pair and winning the fucking game. Then they went home down two games, and made game three a “must win” game. And they didn’t win it. And they lost the SCF in five.
How can I compare three different sports and three entirely different teams? I’ve seen it, recently, but most of all, comparing and contrasting two teams in different years is just as asinine. If I’m cautious, I have seen this with my teams. So if I’m not thinking of 1986 here, it’s because I see no similarities with that team except maybe the difference in scores. And that is a stretch. The Mets didn’t lose game one of the 2015 World Series 1-0. If I’m thinking about 2000, and Perez and Benitez, I know the 2015 team is light years better than that team. And will be for years to come.
It’s because my teams have bitten me in the ass before, and I refuse to roll over and take it again.
Russell Wilson says the Seahawks treat each week as “going 1-0.” Just need to treat the next games as such. In the meantime, I’ll realize that my love of sports and its accompanying history will somehow bite me in the ass and make me do weird things in the name of post-traumatic Mets disorder.
(Oh, and get off my lawn)