My wife could hear me shout, one floor away.
“Are you all right?’ she wanted to know.
No. I am not all right. Déjà vu all over again.
I saw the botched play coming. As soon as Bobby Parnell wheeled to second with the easy come-backer, I had a flashback to nearly 15 months ago.
My question is, if I remembered, how come the knuckleheads on the field could not remember?
This is the agony of the fan, now that the Mets are actually in contention.
It’s been so long. Every game, every play, every tapper to the mound, is fraught with meaning.
This was Sunday. The Pirates had a runner on first base, nobody out, tie game. The Mets were on a two-game losing streak all of a sudden.
Parnell induced the batter to bounce the ball right to him. Parnell turned toward second base and I could visualize the same play, May 21, 2014.
The only constant was Daniel Murphy at second base. Right.
I had a memory of a Met pitcher (Jeurys Familia) making a perfect toss to second base to start a double play, only to have the shortstop (Wilmer Flores, that day) and Murphy turn it into a mere force play, as a run scored, the eventual margin in a 4-3 loss to the Dodgers.
The lads had not bothered to communicate who was covering second in case of a throw. Simple stuff.
Last Sunday Ruben Tejada was the shortstop. He floated toward second. Murphy also moved toward second, either flinching or gesturing. Either way, Tejada was distracted.
My Munch scream was piercing the air long before the ball bounced into center field. Soon, three-game losing streak.
Manager Terry Collins later sputtered that reporters are always trying to assign blame. “We” – the ubiquitous “we” – did not make the play.
To be fair, Collins has contributed to the instability – and so did the cancelled trade involving Flores. Because of injuries and platooning, the Mets essentially have two utility infielders sharing shortstop. Murphy has willingly played three infield positions with his mix of grit and klutziness. .
Still, how hard is it to make eye contact before each batter? Before each pitch?
That’s what Tinker and Evers did. What Trammell and Whitaker did. What Marion and Schoendienst did.
Of course, a fan’s memory is not the same as the muscle memory of a major-leaguer in real time.
The scream was involuntary. It shows a fan cares.
8/18/2015 04:06:29 am
Good God, George, why do you see Mets games like Red Sox fans see their games--------through the prism of whether the players are merely a tortured character in an Ingmar Bergman movie? The Mets are the only team in the NL East with a winning record. There is no pressure. They should be as relaxed as a child on a beach in say, Malmo, Sweden.
8/18/2015 04:30:46 am
Hansen, I was at the first home game in 1962...covered them a lot that season (always neutral when working).
8/18/2015 02:06:48 pm
Why George, I would agree with you up to a point, that point being 2004, when the first Red Sox World Series in nearly a century more or less coincided with what I call the end of "the curse of Ingmar Bergman," whose death more or less coincided with the Red Sox drought of championships. Since they are tied with the Giants, at 3 World titles each in the 21rst century, the Sox now have in their heads pretensions that they should win every year, pretensions that are very much at odds with the way we Yankees fans see the world, that we reserve these pretensions for ourselves LOL.
8/18/2015 11:36:17 pm
George and Hanson-
8/19/2015 01:07:18 am
Hanson: good point about three each. That's why I have a soft spot for two Ohio river teams plus mets.
8/19/2015 02:24:27 am
From a Tom Paxton song about the Rubik's Cube:
8/19/2015 01:04:01 pm
Josh, never heard that Paxton lyric. Thanks. He and his lovely wife stopped at our house years ago to promote his "last" album, with a great river song, "Along the Verdigris." (Oklahoma) When I asked him who the amazing backup singer was, he introduced me to the name Iris DeMent.
8/19/2015 07:10:05 am
Being a Mets fan is watching the best reliever walk the 8 and 9 batter with the bases loaded when your star starter/stopper has pitched 7 2/3 and left with a good lead. They won anyway but I had to read for an hour to get to sleep.
8/21/2015 01:19:15 am
Ed, your pain reminds me of when my father and I used to watch the Met games in the early years. One Sunday, after about 3 years of them not being able to get runners home with the bases loaded, my father got up, turned off the television, and muttered, "I can't take this anymore."
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“I don’t think people understand how Covid affects older Americans,” Mr. Caretti said with frustration. “In 2020, there was this all-in-this-together vibe, and it’s been annihilated. People just need to care about other people, man. That’s my soapbox.”
---Vic Caretti, 47, whose father recently died of Covid at 85.
---From an article by Paula Span, who covers old age for the NYT, which currently has 2646 comments, the majority criticizing the American public – and public officials – for acting as if the pandemic is “over.”
Classic wishful thinking, at a lethal level.