There’s No “I” In Team, But There Is An “I” In Whining

An article by posted on July 4, 2010

Just last week my boss called me into his office and pointed out a mistake I had made. It was something stupid on my part. He gave me an FYI, we talked about it for a couple minutes and I went back to my desk. However, when I returned, I didn’t have to listen to everyone telling me that I suck or hear my co-workers whispering that I never should have been hired.

Yes, K-Rod’s blown save yesterday was a heartbreaking loss for the club, perhaps the worst this year. But Baseball is a funny game.

Players are human. Closers blow saves. Starters lose velocity as they get older. Second basemen make errors. Managers make bad decisions. General Managers make bad signings. That’s baseball. That’s life. S*** Happens.

In many ways we have become a fan base of whiners to some degree. We boo our own players, we insult them, we label them as a “p.o.s,” we accuse them of not being ‘smart’ or lacking baseball intellect. And then, we scratch our head every winter in amazement wondering why no one wants to come play for us. The same fans who are now frothing at the mouth that Omar sign Cliff Lee will also be the first to scorn him if we DO sign Lee and he doesn’t work out. And if Cliff Lee happens to sign somewhere else instead, we all know what will happen. Some will say that had he been a Latin player Omar would have never let him get away.

As fans we do reserve the right to discuss, debate and argue. There’s nothing wrong with second-guessing a manager, questioning a GM’s move or condemning owners for not spending enough. Fans have been doing this…well, since there have been fans. But the idiotic name calling and insults are ridiculous.

Maybe its due to some of us older fans who have suffered not for years but for decades that are slower to criticize. I remember a time when the middle of our batting order consisted not of Wright, Bay and Davis (and soon Beltran) but of Lee Mazzilli, Steve Henderson and Willie Montanez. I remember when our closer was not K-Rod but Neil Allen. I can only imagine how much negativity would have surfaced in 69 after our ace, 25 game winner Tom Seaver, lost game 1 to Baltimore. Or in August 1973, when the ERA for our closer, some guy named Tug something, stood at 5.05. Or in 86, when we lost the first 2 games of the series at HOME–and were now heading to Fenway.

Should we have won Saturday? Absolutely. If we end up losing the division by one game, or just missing the wild-card, this loss will loom even larger. And yes, we pay K-Rod good money to slam the door–and he failed. But Baseball is a team sport. While everyone was quick to crucify the guy, others can be blamed also. In the 8th inning we had the bases loaded with 1 out. This was our chance to blow the game open. But we only managed to get one run out of it. Tejada hit a SF and then with 1st and 3rd, Tatis grounded out to end the inning. In the 9th, the first 2 guys got on. First and second, no out and the heart of the lineup came up: Wright, Davis and Bay. But yet again we failed to capitalize. Maybe had David or Ike or Jason or Tatis done something, K-Rod never would have been needed.

We Mets fans are an interesting bunch. We always are cautiously optimistic. We hope for the best but expect the worst. Imagine how we will be in mid-September if we have a 5 game lead with 12 left and lose 3 in a row. There’s nothing wrong with pessimism. But it’s gotten out of control. Not only do we see the glass half empty but we want to know who the hell drank our water.

About the Author ()

A Mets fan since 1973, Rob was born in the shadow of Yankee Stadium. Luckily, his parents moved to Queens at a young age so he was not scarred by pinstripes. Currently living in Las Vegas, he writes crime fiction and mysteries.

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