It was only a few days ago that I was indulging in texting foolishness with another fan who shall remain nameless.
It was during a Mets game – a Mets victory; remember them? – and we were as giddy (and mindless) as a couple of Wall Street tv yakkers during a market mood swing.
Who would make the post-season roster? That was our preoccupation. With every stupid little bounce of the ball, we would make our snap judgments.
Is the slumping Duda healthy enough for the post-season?
Can they afford a space for Young as a pinch-runner?
You gotta have places for Colon and Niese because of the pitch counts for the Youth of America.
What a luxury, to be speculating on the final utility spot, the last seat in the bullpen.
We forgot half a century of more misery than joy.
In the two losses to the Yankees, the Mets seemed to be carrying the curse of the pitch count, their young pitching stars facing limits, like some exotic breed of butterfly.
It is hard to argue against medicine, which knows how to put pitching arms back together. The Mets’ management – even Matt Harvey’s manipulative agent Scott Boras – did not invent pitch counts for rebuilt patients.
The pitch count is here to stay. No sense in harboring nostalgia for bygone days, when wily pitchers could outsmart bitty little popgun hitters. Nowadays pitchers are mostly brutes, some of them bionic, trying to blow the ball past other brutes with bats in their hands.
Somehow the Mets have accumulated a rotation packed with fragile pitching machines. It is not just about the obvious self-interest of Harvey, the Dark Knight, indeed. He’s got reputable doctors telling him to back off at some point. The Mets’ front office did not invent this.
The least Mets’ fans can do is stop speculating on post-season rosters. Remember the last terrible days of 2007 and 2008.
Who’s the long man in the post-season? Who could get lefties out in October? Banish these thoughts and grab the worry beads. These are, after all, the Mets.
With the arrival of LED lighting, which costs so little to burn, every house has become an island of illumination, every city a blazing forest fire of artificial light. In my own backyard, it’s hard to enjoy the full moon because so many of our neighbors now leave their lights on all night long. And that’s without the holiday displays, each one bright enough to guide an airplane from the sky and land it safely in the middle of our street.
---Margaret Renkl, The New York Times, Dec. 21, 2022.