Mike Friere - Is There A Curse?


As a quick disclaimer, I do not own any tin foil hats, I do not think that the "lunar landing" was faked and the Earth is most definitely NOT flat.   I mention these things because I do not want to be confused with any conspiracy theorists that you may know and who you may or may not take seriously.

As the title of this article asks, is there a curse hanging over Citi-Field or even the Mets as a whole?

Before we answer this question, let's review the definition(s) of the word "curse".

1 : a prayer or invocation for harm or injury to come upon one

2 : a profane or obscene oath or word

3 : something that is cursed or accursed

4 : evil or misfortune that comes as if in response to imprecation or as retribution

5 : a cause of great harm or misfortune : torment

Some alternate versions of the word include terms such as malediction, hex, jinx, imprecation, anathema, evil, blight, scourge, plague, cancer, canker, poison and so forth.   I think you get the general message here and the negativity that surrounds this concept.   It sounds familiar, doesn't it?

So, if we review the initial definition, it certainly seems as though someone or something has placed a curse on our beloved team, since there is no other logical explanation for what has taken place over the past few seasons.

In no particular order, here are some forms of "evidence" for you to consider;

1.  An excessive amount of injuries to pretty much every player on the roster at one point or another.  Seriously, can you think of one player over the past few seasons that did not miss a significant amount of time due to injury?  In some cases, these injuries have turned what looked like a generational talent (Matt Harvey) into anything but.  I am sure there are a few exceptions, but as our luck would have it, the healthy folks would likely be players that are already a "curse" on the roster with their poor play.

2.  Personnel decisions that repeatedly "blow up" in the Mets' faces, whether it is a player that was signed/traded for, or a player that was NOT signed or traded away.  Oh the horror......Justin Turner, Collin McHugh and Daniel Murphy to name just a few of the folks that should have stayed.  Or,the other side of the coin includes pretty much any of Sandy's recent acquisitions that either cannot stay healthy or simply forget how to perform once they don the orange and blue (Anthony Swarzak
is the most recent example that stands out).

3. Odd luck at inopportune times, such as the 2015 World Series journey that started out with the Mets running roughshod over everyone in their path.  Well, until they reached the series against a Kansas City squad that was arguably less talented and certainly not as good as the Dodgers and Cubs teams the Mets dispatched previously.  Suddenly, the Mets couldn't hit and they forgot how to field their positions which led to another heartbreaking, high profile loss.

IF there is a curse, it would be fair to ask when it took hold and why.  

Some would argue that the ground that the new stadium has been built on is cursed, so the team is cursed by proxy.  The Mets left Shea Stadium in 2008, with the first game played in Citi-Field the following season. Others would argue that the curse was placed on the team after the unceremonious firing of Davey Johnson.  I am sure that there are other "incidents" that I am leaving out that could have played a role, but there is a moment that is the most likely culprit, in my opinion.

The 1986 World Series and "the play" that involved Billy Buckner!  It has been viewed as one of the best things to ever happen to the team, right?  Wrong!

If you really think about it, the Mets have not won a World Series since then, while the Red Sox eventually "broke" their curse and have been much more successful in the seasons since.   It reminds me of the epic scene from the Exorcist when Father Karras and Regan are clutching each other near her bedroom window.  Karras successfully asks the demon to jump from Regan's body to his own before he goes out the window and down a really long flight of stairs (like our current season).   The Red Sox "curse" jumped from their franchise and possessed ours on that night and it has been downhill ever since.

Unlikely you say?   Maybe, or maybe not.

Perhaps the Mets used up all of their "good karma" on that night and have been bankrupt ever since.  Or, perhaps they made the proverbial "deal with the Devil" that resulted in short term gain (1986 Champions), but the long term costs are what we have had to endure ever since.

Regardless, the question becomes what do we need to do to get rid of the "curse"?

Maybe we could honor Billy Buckner in some way and that would undo the damage that was done?  The Mets play the Red Sox in Boston later this season (September), which is the perfect venue for the antidote.  Both teams could set up a pregame feature where Billy Buckner is given another chance to field a ground ball off the bat of Mookie Wilson.  Only this time, he is allowed to cleanly field the ball and make it to the first base bag before Mookie does!  This won't change the outcome of the 1986 Series, but the small do over would allow Billy Buckner to
make things right and the curse would be history!

OK, so I am only kidding here (mostly), but hopefully this article gives each of you a brief smile in an otherwise dreary month of May for our team.



Anonymous said...

The biggest curse occurred when the Wilco’s assumed sole ownership.

Thomas Brennan said...

Curses follow the stupid and the cheap - it starts at the top.

The Yanks are not stupid, nor are they cheap - and are not cursed as a result.

Mack Ade said...


Does Wilco own the Mets now?

(singing 'California Stars')

Mike Freire said...

Yes, I am sure the Wilpon's conduct has been a factor in the negative vibe around the team.......selling the team would also break the curse, right?

Reese Kaplan said...

The curse that's befallen the Mets is one of acceptance of mediocrity. They never go for the brass ring since signing Carlos Beltran and Pedro Martinez who were at the time the best available players. Since then i.e. the Alderson era they have always tried to find "value" personnel and too often they spend foolishly on Tier II talents or gamble on Tier I talents whose best days are long behind them. In their failed quest for meaningful games in September, they set the goal to contend rather than to win.

Thomas Brennan said...

I did not see Vargas pitch last night. I know he stunk early. Did he show any positive signs at all?

Reese Kaplan said...

His ERA dropped yet again, but still high enough that if it was a blackjack hand he could go bust with a face card.

Hobie said...

Batted out of order in the first inning today.

Didn't see it and have a few questions (which maybe were answered on air):
1- Who protested since the line-up cards posted in both dugouts were incorrect wrt the one possessed by the HP ump?
2.- Why was Bruce the one called out? When CIN batted out o order in the Randolph era, the the batter who didn't bat was declared out & the batter who just grounded out (of-order) batter again (& singled).

Reese Kaplan said...

The opposing manager saw it but you can wait to bring it to the umpire's attention when it is most advantageous to you. The rule states that the next batter is a put-out to the catcher. That is why Bruce was out and Cabrera's double was nullified.

Met Monkey said...

First, find twig. Second, peel end. Third, find hollow log. Fourth, eyeball for decay. Fifth, put stick in. Sixth, angle it. Seventh, pull out. Eighth, eat yummy grubs and ants. Ninth, save twig. Must always do it in THE PROPER ORDER!!!! Or monkey hungry.

Mack's Mets © 2012