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Musings From a Bewildered Mets Fan

We met fans are a masochistic lot. Experience has taught us this team will find new and innovative ways to torture its most ardent supporters, and time and again the organization fails to disappoint. Yet, we continually come back for more.

Last night, the Mets faced the Dodgers in the opener of a set of weekday games with that always-welcome 10:15 p.m. EST start time. Sadly, I stayed up to watch what transpired. My closest friend, who pathetically shares in my allegiances to the Mets and Jets, offered this account of what transpired last evening. It pretty much sums it up.

Last night is the type of game which makes you question your dedication to a ball club. For those who may have missed it, the New York Mets went little league during the first game of a trip to Hollywood last night. You could point to many reasons why they did not leave the ball park with a victory, but I’m going to share the most obvious.

With the game tied at two in the top of the 11th, and Ryan Church on first base, Angel Pagan drove a ball to the base of the wall in right center. Church cruised around easily to score the go-ahead run without a throw, or so the sleep-deprived fan base of the Mets thought. Joe Torre, settling in nicely to his LA lifestyle, calmly pointed to third, the dodgers appealed, and that’s right, Church was called out for NOT TOUCHING 3RD BASE.

Well, this set me off, I was muttering every expletive I could imagine. This is something you see eight year-olds do in little league. I then sat there in a state of disbelief at 1:30am EST wondering why in the world I even bother. I must have looked like Cameron in Ferris Bueller’s day off after realizing the parking attendants took his father’s Ferrari for a joyride.

Church just flushed the game away. In all likelihood, if Ryan had simply touched the 3rd base (HE HAD ALL DAY TO GET HOME), K-Rod comes in, and most likely puts down the bottom of the Dodgers order quietly to end the game. Forget the fact that the Dodgers wound up scoring the winning run in the bottom of the inning on a walk and two errors (no hits); that normally would be enough to drive a fan crazy, but it doesn’t even get to that if the Mets don’t invent another more ridiculous way to lose.

The thing which frustrates me to no end is how talented this team is. They are not getting outpitched, they are not getting outhit, they are simply beating themselves, they are giving ballgames away. They do this on a regular basis. They continue to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. I would be able to accept it more if they simply didn’t have the players, but they do.

They have the fifth best team ERA in baseball and the top bullpen ERA in baseball. They have the best team batting average in the majors and lead the league in stolen bases. One would expect a team with those numbers to be 10-15 games over .500 at this point. But, these are the Mets, and despite everything looking good on paper, they just don’t have a killer instinct and sit here at a pedestrian 21-17.

The more and the more I watch, the more I’m convinced they are a bunch of losers, and what does that make me for watching them day in, day out? That’s right, a loser. People joke with me all the time about another September collapse with the Mets. I’m not worried about that. Honestly, not one bit. They don’t have Aaron Heilman, Scott Schoenweis, and Luis Ayala in the pen this year.

I’m worried about giving away games in April and May. The games now count every bit as much in the standings as those in September. So when this ballclub comes up short again this year, I’m telling you right now, it won’t be b/c of them not winning enough games when the leaves are falling to the ground. It’s because they are gift wrapping games for opposing clubs before summer even arrives.

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