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.
9/21/2015 10:03:29 am
The Met fans looked despondent and defeated, like they did on the Luis Sojo 9-hopper in 2000. Can anyone play a little D in Flushing?
9/21/2015 11:31:47 am
Al, stop it. And don't remind me about Yogi and Newk again, either.
9/21/2015 12:21:41 pm
You guys are both scaring me. I'm just going to crawl up on the couch, invoke all my superstitions, and say nothing (other than to keep fretting about pitching, and now hitting and fielding).
9/21/2015 03:13:05 pm
Josh: I was impressed, too. My fellow Met fan and I had decided this was Harvey's biggest start as a Met. He was terrific. Did it affect his pitching to know he had only five innings? I doubt it. As for my friend Big Al, he likes to do things like, in the middle of winter, dash off an e-mail that asks, "Seriously, how good was Yoggelah, anyway?" Met-Yankee rivalry has never reached the level of Dodger-Yankee or even Dodger-Giant. The man says "Kuzava" and I quiver. GV
9/21/2015 07:52:08 pm
9/22/2015 11:19:02 am
Please keep things in perspective. The Mets are 6.5 games out front with 12 games left. They would clinch with 7 wins, even if the Nationals won all 13 remaining games.
9/22/2015 12:56:41 pm
Not to start a spat with my dad -- who I love dearly, of course -- but if he'd wanted me to follow his footsteps as a sanguine Yankee fan and inherit (and endure) a less fraught history, he should not have taken me to a twi-night Mets sweep in the heat of the 1969 pennant race as my introduction to the game. I'm stuck with the Mets in my psyche now, and both history and my own nature tell me it is too soon to relax and look ahead..
9/22/2015 01:07:21 pm
9/22/2015 02:22:39 pm
An act of pure selflessness. We all want our kids to be better off than we are, and Alan you have accomplished that. Mazel Tov.GV
9/22/2015 02:40:52 pm
What kind of poetry is Jonathon Niese pitching a shutout over 6, with the perfect relief help? If the Met's weren't hurting after the last week's results ending with being trounced by the Yankees, I'll be a monkey's uncle--to coin a phrase. Here comes Jonathon, under-appreciated sixth man and he comes up with a huge game, reversing the psychological direction, (I hope.) Meanwhile, I can't make fun of Murph, he has too many big hits. Besides I remember Pirate first baseman, Dick Stuart, who was known as "Clang" for the sound the ball made when it hit his glove. GO METS!
9/23/2015 12:40:46 pm
George, my man. Enjoy the game. It's baseball. It's fun. The Mets are walking away with their division and into the playoffs. It's fall. The air is cool, the sun bright. If you need perspective, read some "Leaves of Grass," and enjoy and celebrate the young baseball workers and their muscles. Oh, yes, did I plead for you to enjoy yourself? Yes, I did.
9/23/2015 01:13:59 pm
Hansen, thanks. I've unleashed my inner fan -- plus I think I am seeing the game better than I ever did, because of the Mets' broadcasters. I call pitches now, before the umpires. I was always being neutral, thinking of angles, doing six things at once. Sixth Game, 1986, I was all into the Red Sox' finally winning. Amazing denouement, in man-bites-dog category, but I was fine. I am reading a book, the latest by Simon Winchester, on explorers on the NA continent. GV
9/23/2015 02:44:36 pm
9/23/2015 08:18:09 pm
Rest in peace, Yogi. The first game I ever attended in my life, sitting in the Ballantine Field Box, Yogi hit a home run and the Yanks beat Detroit, 6-4. I grew up (well, from age 10) near his golf course, Baltusrol. Whitey played with him a lot. So did Mickey. The Mets are more interesting these days, but those Yanks were always special.
9/24/2015 07:52:21 am
Brian, thanks, I have a Yogi/Whitey/Yankee column up on the NYT site...it will be in the Friday paper, I am told. The link:
9/24/2015 08:25:03 am
Wow, George, great article I'll be thinking about all day and then some. The Chairman and the Yankee Rat Pack. The Chairman would have to double as Lawford, too, as no one else could pass in the class department. Yogi was a better Joey Bishop. Mickey lived the way Dean Martin pretended. Sammy could only dream about being Elston, but was once a decent "Golden Boy" on stage. When Yogi next calls Whitey, and asks him his famous, "Are ya dead yet?" I'd like to think Whitey will smile for all eternity.
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From the great Maureen Dowd:
As I write this, I’m in a deserted newsroom in The Times’s D.C. office. After working at home for two years during Covid, I was elated to get back, so I could wander around and pick up the latest scoop.
But in the last year, there has been only a smattering of people whenever I’m here, with row upon row of empty desks. Sometimes a larger group gets lured in for a meeting with a platter of bagels."
--- Dowd writes about the lost world of journalists clustered in newsrooms at all hours, smoking, drinking, gossipping, making phone calls, typing, editing.
"Putting out the paper," we called it.
Much more than nostalgia.