I stick with things a long time – ratty t-shirts, tattered sneakers, faded easy chairs.
For the same reason, I am glad the Mets did not break up this juggernaut at the trading deadline.
Is this a personality defect, this disinterest in change? Probably. Go tell it to my clamshell cell phone. But some things work just well enough; you get used to them.
I just got an e-mail from a senior-citizen hardball player in the city who says he has stopped being a Yankee fan because of the way they dumped Brian Roberts, essentially an Oriole, to make room for new infielders.
Reminder: guys got dropped to make room for Johnny Mize and Johnny Sain and Enos Slaughter and Pedro Ramos over the years. Pistol Pete helped salvage the 1964 pennant, although he arrived too late to be eligible for the World Series.
As somebody who follows most Mets games, I’m glad they did not scuttle Bartolo Colon. I got used to his constant half smile (is he happy? is it gas?) and his Iron Mike steadiness. I know he’s a one-year wonder at 42, but move him in the off season.
I’m glad they didn’t trade Daniel Murphy because he hustles, old-school, even though he makes fans nervous every time he bends for a simple grounder.
Generally, I hate the trading deadline in the era of free agency. I hated it when the Mets sold David Cone in one of those weasel waiver deals in late August of 1992. I hated it last season when the Mets unloaded Marlon Byrd. By mid-summer, you get used to a player who is doing his job.
These mid-summer dumps happen when players’ contracts are running out, or getting too expensive. It’s the drawback to free agency, which the players earned, although the so-called reserve clause, servitude, contributed to that wonderful decade of my childhood – six pennants in 10 years for the Boys of Summer. That will never happen now. Duke Snider would have opted out. Or Big Newk. Or somebody.
If players have the right to move around, clubs have the right to move them first, for some quick-fix advantage. I get it. Fans have a lust for trades; if they didn’t, there would be no sports-talk radio.
But this Mets’ season is just comfortable enough, given our limited expectations in the hundred-year contamination period from Bernie Madoff. Sandy Alderson is building something – I don’t know what. They made a good move in keeping Duda. Who knew? They sent d’Arnaud to the attitude farm in Las Vegas, and brought him back fast. Who doesn’t love watching Famiglia and Mejia in the eighth and ninth? It’s been fun watching deGrom pitch – and swing – from his first game.
So play it out in Queens, while the Lesters and Lackeys and Prices go flying around, office temps.
Maybe Mets fans would feel differently if the Mets were a legitimate contender. Who has that kind of time?
"Among the things that have long fascinated people about Jesus and explain his enduring appeal is his method of dialogue and teaching. "He asked a lot of questions and told a lot of stories in the form of parables. In fact, parables form about a third of Jesus’ recorded teachings. The Gospels were written decades after he died, so his questions and parables clearly left a deep impression on those who bore testimony to him....
"Some of Jesus’ questions were rhetorical; others were meant to challenge or even provoke. In some cases, Jesus used questions to parry attacks by religious authorities who set traps for him. In others, he used questions to enter more fully into the lives of others and to help people look at the state of their hearts. He asked people about their fears and their faith. Jesus used questions to free a woman caught in adultery from condemnation and to inquire whether people considered him to be the Messiah. He probed deeply into questions not many had asked before him, like “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”
---(Peter Wehner, long-time White House consultant and writer, in the NYT last week about Jesus Christ’s method of teaching by asking questions.)
"Would that I could mention all the illuminating details in this biography, for example, why Wells praised Black Americans so highly, saying, 'I took a mighty liking to these gentle, human, dark-skinned people,' and 'Whatever America has to show in heroic living today, I doubt if she can show anything finer than the quality of the resolve, the steadfast efforts hundreds of black and colored men are making today to live blamelessly, honorably and patiently, getting by themselves what scraps of refinement, beauty and learning they may, keeping their hold on a civilization they are grudged and denied.''
-- "How H.G. Wells Predicted the 20th Century," Charles Johnson, NYT Book Review, Nov. 19, 2021. ***".
...the monsters arrive."
"They come in a deafening, surging swarm, blasting from lawn to lawn and filling the air with the stench of gasoline and death. I would call them mechanical locusts, descending upon every patch of gold in the neighborhood the way the grasshoppers of old would arrive, in numbers so great they darkened the sky, to lay bare a cornfield in minutes. But that comparison is unfair to locusts.
"Grasshoppers belong here. Gasoline-powered leaf blowers are invaders, the most maddening of all the maddening, environment-destroying tools of the American lawn-care industry."
---The great Margaret Renkl, from Nashville, one of my favorite NYT bylines, Oct. 26, 2021.
(She describes our Long Island enclave to every decibel, every stink.)