15 Reasons Why (Against All Logic) I’ll Root for the Mets in 2012
Why do we do this to ourselves?
I suppose those of us who are Mets fans often stop to wonder why we continue to support this tragicomedy of a franchise. I’m guessing that there’s a Charlie Brown masochism to the personality type that chooses to root for the Mets. Jose Reyes is hurt again? Rats. Linus,why do I feel so miserable? It’s simple Charlie Brown. You were condemned at birth by the Gods of Baseball.
So here are ten random, pointless reasons why I continue to justify my loyalty to this franchise:
1) I’m just about as old as the Mets, and, like the Mets, have had a few successes, lots of mediocre years, and a few bad ones. In fact, with a few exceptions, my best years have generally mirrored the Mets successful years as well.
2) Piggy-backing on Reason #1, I’ve been a Mets fan now for 37 of their 50 years of existence. What would be the point of stopping now? It has always mystified me why couples who have been married for, say, 31 years suddenly decide to get divorced. What the hell’s the point of that? You can’t have those lost years back. Did you think things would be different if only you waited 31 years?
3) Tom Seaver was a New York Met. That’s good enough for me.
4) Mike Piazza’s dramatic home run, just ten days after 9/11, giving the city of New York a huge emotional lift.
5) Game 6 of the 1986 World Series, one of the greatest moments of my life.
6) The back of George Theodore’s 1974 Topps baseball card #8 reads, “George loves strawberry milkshakes.” ’Nuff said.
7) Rusty Staub was not only a very good ballplayer, he was an actual chef. I visited Rusty’s Restaurant in 1976, but Rusty had already been traded to Detroit for Mickey (Fucking) Lolich. Still, as I sat at a table eating something or other with my parents and my little brother, I scanned the restaurant in vain for any sign of Rusty.
8) Lindsey Nelson’s sports jackets. If you know what I mean, you are probably also a Mets fan.
9) Dave Kingman’s epic home runs, and his even more epic strikeouts.
10) Ike Davis, Lucas Duda, and David Wright will provide more offense this year than most people will expect.
11) They’re not the Pirates. Or the Cubs. Or the goddamned Yankees.
12) October 8, 1973, Game 3 of the N.L.C.S. Bud Harrelson punches Pete Rose at second base after a typically hard, bush-league slide. This launches a bench-clearing brawl that goes on for several minutes. The Mets eliminate the Reds in five games. Take that, ya bastards!
13) Dwight Gooden’s superhuman 1985 season, the best year I ever witnessed by a pitcher: 24-4, 276 innings, 16 complete games, 8 shutouts, 1.53 ERA, 268 K’s, 0.965 WHIP, 229 ERA+, 11.7 WAR.
14) My step-grandfather, Joe Iritsky, a Navy veteran of WWII, and a war hero, took me to my first game at Shea Stadium in August, 1974.
15) Jon Matlack was a better pitcher than Jack Morris. (Yes, he was.)
- Cleon Jones, Ron Swoboda and Bud Harrelson Set the Stage for the Miracle of 1969 (bleacherreport.com)
- On 50-Year-Old Tape, Sounds of Mets’ Awkward First Steps (nytimes.com)