Posted by Ernest Dove at 10:00 AM
Well, the time is upon us. The Mets are going to the World Series.....No, seriously, they just qualified to participate in the festivities. There have been some new fans added to the bandwagon lately, and we are ok with that. I mean, besides, we all hopped on the bandwagon ourselves at some point. My earliest memories include basically jumping on the bandwagon of all of the winning sports teams of 1986. That included the New York Football Giants, the New York Mets and the Boston Celtics (wait, what.....hey I loved Larry Bird...it's not like I'm a Tom Brady fan or anything). From that point on I formed my allegiance and have since followed my beloved teams ever since. And in the case of the Mets this has not been easy. From early childhood arguments with Yankees fans to..... well.... adult arguments with Yankees fans, I've stuck with my team. And here at Mack's Mets I jumped at my opportunity as an adult to write about my beloved team.
This year I've spent writing in bliss in early April, to writing in Misery from Mid April to late July, to avoiding topics which may bring about too much 'anger posts', to focusing on the minorts, to now expressing joy and excitement over a now World Series caliber team. We know what got this team here. It's all about pitching. Despite the confusion, number of starters in the rotation, who is in the rotation, and how many innings everything should pitch, the bottom line is that the Metsies for the most part of sent out an average to above average arm to take the mound in a Mets uniform, and the team as a whole has produced. Even without Zack Wheeler, who honestly some still feel may actually have the best pure stuff of them all, the remaining 'four horseman' have all burst onto the scene together within a 3 year period and have taken the MLB by storm.
There's no denying the MLB today is about power arms. Even still, not all teams throughout the league can legitimately field a rotation full of 4 quality arms who all throw 95mph and above, WITH above average secondary pitches. This is what has set apart the Mets from the rest of the pack, even into the playoffs. The Mets have quitely put together exactly the kind of team they wanted to put together. A team with a solid combo of youth and experience, with power pitching, power hitting and just enough defense to make it all work. Obviously the Mets have rolled the dice with many different players, but that happens everwhere throughout the league. (See Cubs and their version of Lucas Duda in left field during that NLCS for example). And right now the Mets are hitting on every role.
As a kid, once I moved to the state of Florida I quickly noticed/realized/understood that the training camp for the team was within driving distance. Of course, I wasn't old enough to drive, so thankfully my mother made that 90 mile drive for me to witness some up close and personal baseball magic. I'll be honest, I've never seen a Mets game LIVE while I lived in New York from birth to age 12. My father was A: not a fan of sports and B: He worked.....alot.... and C: Money was shall we say a little tight. But in my eyes one doesn't have to prove their fandom by attending games in person, purchsing sport items and memorabilia or shaking hands with players to prove your loyatly and ultimate joy of watching this form of entertainment. But anyway there I was, in 1991, seeing my favorate time LIVE and in person. I got a few autographs (I still don't like Kevin McReynolds for walking away and not signing anything from a few us standing around him), and then there's my mother somehow some way being at the right place and right time and randomly picking up a flyout into the stands from old HOJO, who later did sign the ball for her to give to me. It was pretty much a wrap from there. I was hooked.
For the better or worse the Mets are my team. Win or lose, they're my team. It's entertainment. It's an ability now as an adult to 'zone out' and focus on something other than.....well....life. Theh Mets are my community, even though I am miles away from their community. Thankfully again I live in a state where they play a team regularly within the division. And I've had the pleasure of attending a 7 Line Army game (big shoutout to the 7 Line) at Marlins Park. I saw people of all different ages, male or female, traveling from throughout the state of Florida, and out of state, to join in on the madness of Mets baseball and the joy it brings us.
I have a few random shirts that I've been able to purchase over the years, mostly stuff on sale and marked down due to being purchased in states like Florida and California where perhaps they don't worry too much about selling a bunch of Mets stuff. I don't own a jersey, but I do have two shirt/jersey's with the name and numbers of the Dark Knight and the Captain. Both are cherished and worn accordingly. (yes, even my Twitter profile pic (@ernestdove) is a picture of my daugther wearing her own mini Wright shirt. There's only so much analysis, thoughts, stats and projections I can really I really think about right now as I write this, because it's hard to analyze something in which you are so personally invested in. I basically write for a living, but I don't truly live what I write, except when it comes to these here Mets. I've changed my mind a million times about a guy like Daniel Murphy over the years.
I've wanted him to be a regular from the very beginning because he just kept hitting and hitting, and the old 'back-of-the-baseball-card' stats looked so beautiful year to year regardless of number of at bats, so I wanted that number to reach about 600. I've then wavered back and forth recently, and have poked my fun about Murph pulling a Murph.....and well....anyone on Mets or even the opposing team commiting such an act. But right now we are witnessing greatness. I don't wish to overreact about what Daniel Murphy is doing, but let's not forget that hot streaks are the norm for him. And because the playoffs themselves are only a few weeks out of the way, there is nothing truly out of the ordinary about what he is doing, other than the HUGE factor of so many of hits in a short time period being homers.
I can guess that its about many top quality playoff worthy pitchers believing in their stuff and challenging Murph because of it. Maybe it's about the opposing pitchers (i guess minus that one Cubs game) being afraid of Yoenis Cespedes batting behind him, so they risk pitching to contact with Murph. (I say pitching to contact because the fact remains that Murphy is statistically the hardest player in the MLB to strikeout so bad pitches don't often work on him). Maybe it's situation of Murphy also hitting a bunch of solo homers, thus winning that battle of charging full speed ahead while pitchers are pitching minus maybe just a teeny tiny bit less stressed and pressing for the perfect pitchers. Either way he has been magnificent, and his history shows that he can continue such a streak for 7 more games. But again it's always about the pitching. These 'kids' don't have time to worry about history. Heck, they don't even have to worry about future, as in Back to the Future, mainly because they werent alive when the movie came out anyway, so who care, am I right? The Mets find themselves heading to the promised land.... A land which was actually never promised to or even expected of them to enter into this year. But none of that matters.
Daniel Murphy and his contract does not matter. The future of Lucas Duda does not matter (shhh, big shoutout to Dom Smith for being my expected future of the position here). And I'm certainly not concerned by Scot Boras and the future of Matt Harvey in 2018..... I'm concerned about the here and now. I'm thinking of the fact that I am guaranteed at least 4 more Mets games this year. Games in which only two fan bases are truly getting to enjoy in the game of major league baseball right now. I'd be beating that same poor dead horse if i mention the Nationals as prime examples of what its like to see youth and think we'll be here again and again.
So I remain in the moment. This is our moment. Some other teams and franchises can have their 'stars' in support of them. But we've got our Jerry, and we've got our Jim Breuer, and we've go our passion. And this could be the year we get our ultimate satisfaction. I'm not worried about lack of homefield advantage. Our Mets just beat Greinke/Kershaw in a 5 game series mostly played in LA. I'm not worried about slumps or streaks because everything goes back to .000 and 0.00, so they don't matter. This team still has its youth, and experience. They have their captain, who deserves every minute of this, and they have their closer (shoutout to our version of Rivera). Win or lose, we got our teams back. And we got it from all across the country. This is our time Mets fans. Enjoy it. Enjoy every bit of it............... And then we can spend the offseason talking about and over analyzing ways the Mets can do it again.