Memo to Mets Fans: Enough With The Negativity Already.
Perhaps it’s the nature of the times we live in. We are a disposable society and sports are built around a WIN NOW attitude. I wonder how many Mets ‘fans’ of 2009 would have been able to survive the laughable Mets of the 60’s, the utter incompetent teams of the late 70s and early 80’s and the lackadaisical play of the 90’s. We win a game and no one says anything. We lose a game and the Mets villagers grab their torches and start chasing Wright and Reyes into the windmill as if they were the Frankenstein monster. Ridiculous. Just ridiculous.
We win. We lose. Those things happen in Baseball. But to always pick apart every single defeat and find a ‘goat’ when none exists is ludicrous. Why does every loss have to result in outlandish trade offers and finger pointing?
I’ve read too many times about some who want to trade David Wright. To those I ask, “Are you out of your mind?” David Wright is the most talented, most gifted hitter to ever wear a Mets uniform. He is 26 and is already 2nd in team history in slugging and batting average, 3rd in OBP, 5th in doubles and HR’s, 10th in Runs and by the end of this season will probably be 4th all-time in RBI’s. Fine. So he may not hit in the clutch. Granted he puts too much pressure on himself. So what? I’d rather have a guy who puts too much pressure on himself than someone who just doesn’t give a damn. Anyone remember Bobby Bonilla? So, to those wishing to trade the heart and soul of this team, go for it. I’m sure you would easily find, oh, probably 29 other teams who would be willing to “put up” with Wright and his ‘inability to hit in the clutch.’
Jose Reyes? The guy cant win. First he gets crucified for not being aggressive enough. Then, he gets crucified for being too aggressive. Granted, I don’t see Jose retiring and becoming a manager. So what? He is the spark that lights the fire. In 48 years of Mets baseball, Reyes is, by far, the best lead-off hitter we’ve ever had. No one even comes close. At 25, he already is our all-time leader in SB’s and triples, 6th in Runs and 7th in Batting Average. Fine, lets trade him too because he tries to stretch doubles into triples. I agree he needs to be more focused and ‘think’ about the game. But to vilify the guy and threaten to trade him? Go right ahead. I’m sure there are many others teams who would somehow manage to find a spot on their roster for him.
Beltran didn’t slide. OH MY, stop the presses. So what? I would think it’s safe to say that over the years, Carlos’ positives have far outweighed his negatives. With sincere apologies to Darryl and Cleon and Rusty, Carlos Beltran is the best outfielder we have ever had. EVER. He may be on his way to giving the Mets our very first MVP. He is a 5 tool player and without him, we are nothing. He can beat you with his glove, his speed, his power. Oh–he didn’t slide? There used to be a guy in Boston who would get criticized for never getting his uniform dirty. Some guy named Ted something or other who once hit 406.
And Omar? Lets blame Omar for everything, including global warming, shall we? Omar has done more in 4 years to turn this franchise around than every previous GM we’ve had–combined! In the 4 years prior to his arrival, we averaged 73 wins (including 01 when we were defending NL champions). In the 4 seasons since he arrived, we have averaged 88 wins. Lets see. He brought in Delgado, Beltran, Santana, Wagner and Frankie. Previously we had Mo Vaughn, Timo Perez, Steve Trachsel and Braden Looper in those same spots. But yet somehow, Omar is a failure, too?
What some fans don’t seem to realize is that the Mets don’t lose. Sometimes they get beaten. Yes, there is another team on that field and they are just as eager to win as we are. Baseball is funny like that. But this constant bashing and pointless attack on our own players is downright preposterous. When fans of the Phillies, Braves or Yankees put down our players, that is to be expected. But to hear it from our so-called fans is pitiful. It’s one thing to question, to criticize. But to openly challenge one’s mental capacity or desire to win–or to be willing to trade everyone under the sun cause we lost a game? This is not Fantasy Baseball. You don’t just drop guys and pick guys up day in and day out.
If Babe Ruth played on the 09 Mets, we’d hear ‘He’s too fat.’ If Mickey Mantle was our Center Fielder, Mets fans would want to trade him cause he strikes out too much. If Gary Carter played on the 09 Mets and not the 86 Mets, he’d be attacked for pandering to the media too much. We attack our own superstars. Then every winter we scratch our heads, bewildered as to why many players choose not to play in New York. I can’t wait to hear the complaints after Frankie blows a few saves or if, GOD forbid, Johan allows more than 2 runs in a game.
My dad, who taught me the game of Baseball, grew up a Brooklyn Dodger fan and attended the second game the Mets ever played. He went to Ebbets Field and saw Jackie, Gil, Duke and Pee Wee. He will be 67 later this year and in his entire life, he has only three championships. One of my best friends lives in northern California and is a Giants fan. He witnessed first hand Mays, McCovey, Marichal, Cepeda, Bonds and Kent. And he is still waiting for his first championship. Like many of you, I have been a Mets fan my entire life. I will root for this team until I take my last breath. I’ve cheered, chanted, screamed and cried. I was 7 years old in 1973 when I went to my first Mets game. Shea was considered a ‘new and modern’ park. At that point in my life I was concerned only about getting my homework done, riding my bike and how late my parents would let me stay up. Oh–and the Mets. I am now 43 and am worried about my high blood pressure, saving for retirement, my career. Oh–and the Mets. In 36 years of wearing Mets t-shirts, I’ve got just one championship to brag about. Of the 36 years I’ve been a Mets fan, 25 of those years were a waste. I knew full well going into Opening Day we had no chance to win.
True fans stand by their team for life, through good and bad. There is nothing wrong with second guessing and playing Monday morning quarterback. But to want to tear everything down, clean house and start over after every loss is just plain stupid. It is 2009 and I would love to see David, Jose, Carlos and Johan wearing the blue and orange for another 10 or 15 years. I suggest we all enjoy them. It’s much better to cheer for them now than to cheer for them when they return at a Mets Old-Timers Day in 25 years.
About the Author: Rob Silverman
It was 1973 when my dad introduced this 7 year old kid to Baseball and the Mets. It's been a love and passion that has lasted for 40 years, much longer than my first marriage. Since I was little, there've been 2 things I've always dreamed of: 1) Being a successful author and 2) playing right field for the Mets after Rusty Staub retired. Although 4 decades have passed and based on the current condition of the Mets, I have not given up on either dream
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