Pardon the New York-centric take on the post-season baseball, but we’d better do this fast, inasmuch as I don’t see the Mets and Yankees playing a Subway Series.
The Yankees look tattered as they prepare for their wild-card match with Houston on Tuesday.
They are not the same without Mark Teixeira. Beltran and A-Rod gave it their best shot.
This is not wishful thinking on my part. I would never do such a thing.
The Mets are not the same, either. This was evident in the last few weeks of the regular season. National League pitchers were going outside on Yoenis Cespedes. Then a little more outside. Then way outside. And he kept swinging. Those guys in the stands taking notes were sending emails to the home office confirming what the American League already knew; this guy can be pitched to.
But what a wonderful run it was.
Mets fans need to thank Terry Collins and worthies like Granderson and Wright and Familia and the pitchers, young and old. It was fun. May still be fun for a while.
Meantime, the Mets won the duel of the general managers. in their division. Sandy Alderson made a prophet out of my friend Steve Kettmann, who wrote a book called “Baseball Maverick” with the daring subtitle: “How Sandy Alderson Revolutionized Baseball and Revived the Mets.” Seemed like over-reaching in March. Turned out to be correct.
The Mets fans should also thank Mike Rizzo, the general manager of the Nationals, who did not dismiss Matt Williams in mid-season when it was clear, absolutely clear, that the Nats were less than the sum of their parts.
The Mets could still have some retro fun in October but they need to hang onto those 45 days from Alderson's grand revival at the trading deadline.
"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.)