Yes, as Adam has rightly pointed out, I am a hardcore Mets fan. I don’t remember not being a Mets fan and liking baseball, ever. It goes back to the days when I’d sit on the floor next to my grandfather’s armchair learning the game as he watched. He was an engineer, so the precision of the game fascinated him and I recall learning about the practical realities of mathematics and physics from batting stances and short hops before I even knew those subjects existed in the educational realm. My grandfather didn’t see it as a problem that I was a girl and happily engaged me in his passion for the game, introducing me to “the new team that could” from New York and helping me to adopt it as my very own. He loved that the Metropolitans and I were “invented” around the same time so he “gave me” the team to follow, and our shared history (the Mets and mine) has taught me a lot about life’s vagaries. “That’s life” and “that’s baseball” are fairy equal statements in my world.
For the first time in a lot of years of living out-of-market and/or working the evenings and weekends of life in student ministry, I had the ability this year to watch the vast majority of the Mets’ games. I missed a few, but have probably caught all or part of 130 games in the 2007 season while hanging with my family. I am exceedingly baffled by the agony that has been the past few weeks in Mets baseball. I wish I could say “this changed” or “that happened” to turn the tide… but really nothing did. A solid season full of baseball – complete with some incredible play and personal milestones from several players – has quite simply come unglued. Suddenly, the well-oiled machine that was their corporate play just stopped meshing. The good things (an incredible offensive line-up) and the bad things (serious relief pitching struggles) were exactly the same, and the faithful flailed about looking for someone to blame. The accusations just don’t stick.
I’m just calling it “The Collapse” now. It is that, and as spectacular a September collapse is hard to come by. Adam sympathetically offered the Cubs’ curse, and Brian opined that it could be some kind of baseball karma on the part of the 1964 Phillies, and kindly, Len offered his condolences as a life-long Red Sox fan. I appreciate the baseball love, and the encouragement to keep hoping. In order to despair “The Collapse” I’d have to have a fairly short view of my team’s history. Tough seasons and strange, inexplicable changes of fortune are staples of the Mets fan experience. It’s part of how I know deep, deep in my heart, that life is like baseball and baseball is like life.
So, I’ll watch these last 2 games, and I will hope that the gears work smoothly in the Mets machine. Hope is not lost, not at all. Two wins is not an insurmountable obstacle, unless they’ve already left for the off-season. In which case, guys, I’ll still be here next year hollering at you. I know that makes you feel better already.