This previous Wednesday we bid farewell to 2008 with the usual revelry and fanfare. Safe to say, most Mets fans are happy to see 2008 placed in the ‘last year’ category. We all welcomed the New Year with the usual resolutions: Getting out of debt, quitting smoking, losing weight, etc…However, I would like to propose all Mets fans band together and share the same simple resolution: No booing.
I realize this is not a new subject but I strongly believe that this particular year, for many reasons, it’s more imperative than ever to cheer for our Mets. To show that we ‘believe.’
It was not one but two consecutive Septembers when the Mets fell short the final weekend. Coming back from ‘The Collapse of 07′ was hard enough. Coming back from the Collapses of 07 and 08, will even be more difficult. Lets face it. If we happen to have a 2 game lead over the Phillies in early September, we will all start having flashbacks. It’s crucial that we support our team with boisterous cheering, gut wrenching chants of Lets Go Mets. AND NOT BOOING.
At 7:10 pm, on Monday, April 13, 2009, the New York Mets will officially christen Citi Field as our new home. But it will take some time for the players to get used to the unfamiliar surroundings. Ryan Church will have to learn how to play the carom in right field. Carlos Beltran will need to familiarize himself with how to handle the ricochets against the base of the wall. Mike Pelfrey will need to learn the feel of the pitching mound. Our home will not immediately feel like a “home.”
The same holds true for us fans. The memories of Shea are now relegated to the recesses of our mind. We will have to learn our way around the new stadium. No one can glance at 1B and recall where exactly where Bill Buckner was. The spot where Tommie Agee hit the longest HR in Shea history will no longer be marked. The left field wall that Endy leaped against is gone forever. As the fans learn the park, we must realize the same holds true for the players.
What can we expect this season? There are lots of great memories waiting to be created on the green grass of Citi Field. It’s only a matter of time until we see Jose Reyes turn on the afterburners as he rounds 2nd and slides head first into 3rd with a triple. Or until David Wright dives across the third base line, springs to his feet and throws out the runner at 1st. Soon Carlos Beltran will hit a walk-off HR in the bottom of the 9th and be mobbed at home plate. A confident Johan Santana will matter-of-factly stroll from the mound after striking out the side, as if there’s nothing to it. In a short time, our new closer will walk in from the bullpen, get the inning ending double play and pump his arm in rapid succession as he racks up yet another save. These are the times when it’s easy to cheer.
Sadly, however, we all know that heartbreaks await us also. Jose Reyes is going to get caught in a run down between 1st and 2nd. David Wright will pop up with the go ahead run on 2nd late in the game. Carlos Beltran will in fact keep the bat on his shoulder as a pitch crosses the middle of the plate for a called strike three. Carlos Delgado may once again start slow. K-Rod will blow saves this year. Mike Pelfrey may suffer the ‘sophomore jinx’ and not match last season’s numbers. These are the times when we must support our players. Perhaps not cheering, but definitely not booing. Anyone can clap when their team is winning. It’s when things take a downturn that our true loyalty will be tested. It’s critical that we stand by our team, though thick and thin, through good times and bad.
There was an article on this site a couple of weeks back that asked the question, When did the Mets become so hated? There was a video of fans in Philly denigrating our club. Being a team from New York carries with it an extra burden. Being a team from New York with the 3rd highest payroll makes us an easy target. Being a team from New York with a high payroll that has fallen short for 2 straight Septembers makes us vulnerable on the road. There are 15 other teams in the National League. There are 15 other cities just biding their time until they can boo our Mets. Our team hears enough of that on the road. Booing at home should not be accepted.
Getting out of debt is difficult. Quitting smoking is nearly impossible. Losing weight is easier said than done. Not booing the team we love? Relatively easy. This is a New Years Resolution that we can all keep.