[Full Disclosure: Some of you may be thinking, 'Wait, isn't Dave a Yankee fan?' I am. That has not changed. That said, I am a pro-Mets Yankee fan. I watch a lot of Mets games every year - their broadcast package is excellent - and generally wish the Metropolitan Baseball Club the best. Unless they're playing the Yankees.]
"What? Me worry."
You know things are going poorly for a sports franchise when its ownership is being sued for a billion dollars, and its fans desperately want those owners to lose the lawsuit. Such was the case for the Mets, the Wilpons, and the recently settled lawsuit with the Madoff Trustee. With a week until Opening Day, there is a dearth of optimism in Flushing. Jose Reyes is no longer a Met. Jason Bay still is. Team doctors diagnosed one of the team’s young stars with an affliction that may or may not even exist. The team hasn’t posted at least 80 wins since George W. Bush was still President. As a Yankee fan, I’m able to step back and look at the situation objectively. Things may not be all sunshine and puppy dogs in Mets-Land, but the situation might not be as dire as Mets fans are inclined to think. Continue reading →
Maybe. I’d be pretty hard-pressed to remember a better one. I was absolutely riveted by six different games last night – the four that decided the two wild card spots, and the two that ultimately dictated the Yankees’ ALDS opponent. I also had some interest in the game where Ryan Braun validated José Reyes’ decision to pad his batting average with a first inning bunt-hit and call it a season.
Jose doesn't care what you think
First off, everybody needs to knock it off with the Reyes-bashing. Calling it a season upon, more or less, locking down a batting title is a baseball tradition. Bernie Williams did it in 1998. Derek Jeter has called it a season early to protect a .300 average, and he probably would have done it again last night if he had the chance. You’re kidding yourself if you think Braun wouldn’t have done the same thing. The main criticism seems to be “José is no Ted Williams!” Fine. You know who else is “no Ted Williams”? Every baseball player in history not-named Ted Williams. I have no doubt Reyes’ agent was very forceful in explaining the implications of a batting title to his upcoming free agency. Nobody keeps a list of guys who were #2 in the league in batting average, and all of the people who have never been in a race for a Major League batting title need to shut up. Note that does not include Keith Hernandez. The MVP (who also won a batting title) can criticize the move with some credibility.
Next, on to the Wild Cards. The St. Louis Cardinals did what they were supposed to do in absolutely drubbing an inferior Astros team. That added further juice to the Atlanta / Philly game, where it was quickly apparent that the Braves were in a do-or-die situation against a Phillies team that had nothing to gain.
Over in the American League, the Yankees, similarly with nothing to gain, put up a big, early lead against a Rays team fighting for its playoff life. Shortly after a Mark Teixeira grand slam, I tweeted this:
NEW YORK — “They just don’t get it. They don’t understand how it works,” a visibly beleaguered Chris Rothstein said. “I’ve heard so many Yankee fans talking about mass-suicides and chaos in Boston; it’s like they didn’t see what we went through for two straight years right next door to them.”
Rothstein is the founder of a group of Mets fans sympathetic to Boston fans coping with the Red Sox’s September collapse.
“Nobody’s throwing themselves off of a bridge. People are just walking around in a daze, thinking about the meaning of their lives at the moment and what got them here.”
Chin up, Kevin.
Throughout the month of September, Red Sox fans have watched near-nightly horrendous pitching performances (including five losses charged to middle reliever Daniel Bard) turn a nine-game lead in the American League Wild Card race into a dead heat with the Tampa Bay Rays. Even the Wall Street Journal Online ran an article entitled, “Boston Red Sox Are Making Their Fans Sad“.
Locally, sports fans have made comparison to the New York Mets collapses of 2007 and 2008. Rothstein and other Mets fans, recalling the emotions of those years, decided it was time to reach out to fellow sports fans in pain. After being informed that ‘It Gets Better‘ was already taken, they formed the non-profit ‘There’s Always the Season After Next‘ Foundation. Continue reading →