Hi everyone, Mack asked me to introduce myself.
So, I’ve always followed the Mets from afar. My dad’s job as a diplomat took us all over the world and after playing little league in places like Indonesia and the Netherlands, we moved to Canada at age 12, finally a place where I would finally see Real Life Baseball… the night we arrived I ran straight to the TV: it was ABC’s Monday Night Baseball, it was 1984 and Gooden was pitching… I was sold.
Over the next years and decades, I caught the Mets in every way I could. I My dad took me to some Mets games in Montreal, and during a family visit to New York I had the dubious distinction of seeing Dwight Gooden pitch the one time in 1985 that he got shelled for 5 runs…. back home in Ottawa I could just get the AM signal from New York state and I would listen to the Mets broadcast fade in and out until it ended with Kool and the Gang…. and after we moved back to Europe during the summer of 1986, I would wake myself at 1 a.m. to listen to the Armed Forces Network broadcast those amazing playoff series against the Astros and the Sox.
After that I lost touch with the Metsies, traded baseball for cricket, but was visiting the US in October 2000 and saw Armando Benitez blow what seemed like several crucial leads! Caught some spring training games in Mexico City and Lakeland, Florida, saw them play the Marlins in Miami. And then MLB.TV came round, and blogs, and so here we are….
Amazingly, I have never shaken the bug. Why would anyone follow the Mets if it wasn’t their local club? Why spend time watching a bunch of millionaires throwing a ball to other millionaires, on another continent? I’ve asked myself this question many times and I even tried, in the dark years of 2011-2012 to become a fan of the Red Sox or the Dodgers, on the grounds that at least they were franchises that were better run. But these attempts never even left the ground and I’ve had to realise that I will bleed blue and orange forever. I’ll never play down that Monday night game with that 19-year old pitcher throwing flameballs at the Cubs.
Professionally, I’ve been a banker, an investor in environmental businesses and a journalist. My most bizarre Mets anecdote is meeting Fred Wilpon just before he traded Kazmir. I was covering the annual zillionaire’s get-together in Sun Valley, Idaho, in July 2004, and saw Fred Wilpon and his wife come down for their taxi. I went over to him (I hadn’t yet developed my current degree of contempt for the man) and introduced myself. - Hi Mr Wilpon, I said, I’m the Mets’ biggest long-distance fan. Just wanted to say hi. How are the Mets? - Well, he said, as a matter of fact I just got off the phone with a few more trade ideas for the deadline - and he looked down at a crumpled post-it note clutched in his hand. He genuinely looked excited. Two weeks later they traded for Victor Zambrano….
So you see, even though it’s not the typical Mets past, in a way it is. An unshakable love and so many brushes with tragedy…
Favourite Mets: # 16 and #18 of course, and #17, but also Gary Carter with his connection to Montreal and also my own position being catcher.... Living near Montreal, I had a taste of the Expos, a franchise even more soaked in bittersweetness than the Mets. Tim Raines, Andre Dawson, two of the most underrated players ever. Did anyone else notice that outside Canada?
I absolutely think Harvey will leave the Mets for the Yanks, but I also think we will sign Cespedes in the offseason… I can put up with Terry Collins given his clubhouse skills, but it's the Wilpons we have to get rid of someday...
Let’s Go Mets!