First, I know the season started a few weeks ago. I know this not just because as a sentient being I can read the calendar to see it’s that time of year. I also know it because once again my soul is ready for a slow and painful death. Despite the fact that I grew up watching the Mets and having them break my heart year after year after year, the 2007 & 08 seasons may have killed baseball for me. Seriously.
Generally I do not pay much attention to the off season or even spring training. This is not only because I am lazy and the season is long enough already but because I know the Mets. Maybe the new stadium will be different – and I loved Shea – but many great players seem to fall into some malaise when they reach our park. They do well before and after playing for the Mets but, maybe it’s the water?, they flounder with us. Even when they don’t, our classiest-ever front office (that’s sarcasm) will do something to screw things up. I cannot count how many times I have seen talent shipped off elsewhere to do wonderful things with their new team.
Usually I am all about baseball all the time. I check the paper every day, watch as many games as possible and do all the crazy things a fanatic does. If I am at home watching and it seems the team does better when I am paying attention or not, or if I am wearing my old-school jacket or not, I do these things because that’s how superstitious I am.
In 2007, I went to the first game of the now infamous melt down. I wasn’t worried. We had such a strong lead in our division. Surely one loss wouldn’t kill it. No, one didn’t. The others did. Last year I watched the last game at Shea at my apartment in DC and nearly lost my voice screaming at the TV (you know they can hear you when you do that).
I know how this season will play out already. The Mets have a great team – on paper. Their start hasn’t been perfect but they will get better and maybe will be almost in first place by the All Star break. Then they will crash and burn and in August make a run that will get my hopes up just enough to be crushed when they don’t make it to the playoffs, again.
Baseball in a unique sport in a lot of ways. That there is no timer in the game, other than the dates of the season, makes it special. Wake me in October and let me know if we made it.