From Left Field: I Have An Addiction

An article by posted on April 13, 2011

I have an addiction.

Unfortunately, many young men my age have bigger problems than I do. Some have fallen to drug or alcohol addictions, which is always a sad situation. They have their whole lives ahead of them, but they succumb to their addiction.

I have an addiction.

The first part of dealing with an addiction is to admit you have one. Just this past week, I came to the conclusion that I am addicted to New York Mets Baseball.

My story is different than a drug or alcohol addict who may have had a string of incidents that led to their downfall. My addiction stems from the passion I have for my team and their affinity for losing.

I have an addiction.

Monday night’s loss is a perfect example of what I’m talking about. The Mets jumped out to an early lead only to give it up. They regained the lead only to give it up again on a Carlos Gonzalez 10-hopper that squeaked through the Mets infield shift. “WHY WAS THE SHIFT ON WITH TWO STRIKES?” I yelled.

To make matters worse, not only were the bullpen arms (except Izzy) pretty bad, but they also couldn’t make routine plays. Ryota Igarashi got a tailor-made double-play off Gonzalez’s bat in the sixth and botched the throw home. Though this was a tougher play, Bobby Parnell overthrew Josh Thole on a play at the plate by almost five feet.

Speaking of Parnell, just when we needed him to keep the game tied, he gives up a three-run laser to Troy Tulowitski, which normally would crush the chances of a comeback.

Here’s where my addiction kicks. First batter in the bottom of the eighth: David Wright home run. Next batter: Carlos Beltran double (by the way, he’s starting to swing a hot bat) followed by an Ike Davis RBI single.

7-6, no outs, runner on first, bottom of the eighth. “We can do this, boys,” I said with a glint of hope in my eyes.

I have an addiction.

Of course, as most of you already know, the Mets failed to score and then looked like little leaguers against Huston Street in the ninth.

At 4-6, the team is far from eliminated, but it has been the way they have lost games recently that has already driven fans away. But not me.

Despite the drizzle last night at around 5:30 p.m., I hopped in my car and headed to Citi Field, hoping I could bring the Mets some luck.

I waited 20 minutes for a Shake Shack burger and settled into my seat. As soon as I took that last bite, the public address announcer came over the loudspeakers.

“Your attention please. Tonight’s game has been postponed due to rain and will be made up as part of a day-night, single admission double-header on Thursday.”

I have an addicition.

For me, last night’s rainout is a blessing. Now I get to sit through not one, but two games of my beloved Mets.

If this was September and the Mets were already eliminated, I’d be there. If the Mets had just lost 10 straight games, I’d be there. If the Mets brought back Luis Castillo and even Oliver Perez, I’d be there.

Now I’m almost certain that many of you readers share in my addiction to varying degrees. I’m sure some of you have been fans since 1962. I can only imagine what it was like those first few years of the franchise. But then 1969 happened. And awhile later 1986 happened.

I had my chance in 2000, but that didn’t end so well. Somehow though, losing to the Yankees made me an even bigger, more diehard fan.

I have an addiction.

Luckily for me and my fellow fans who share my addiction, there is a remedy. If our team can go out and play ball like we know they can, our addiction can be considered a passion. We enjoy seeing good baseball from our favorite players and hope the team can turn it around.

The Mets got off to such a good start which gave me even more hope than I already had coming into this season. However, the team is looking like the Mets of old: not the ’69 and ’86 Mets, but the ’62-’67 Mets.

Let’s just stick by our team and hope they can get hot. The journey toward recovery begins tonight at 7:10 p.m., with the pregame show at 6:30. True addicts watch the pregame, of course.

Follow me on Twitter @JMMancari.

*Note: This piece was meant to be mostly facetious. I understand that an actual addiction is a serious matter, and my thoughts and prayers go out each day to those fighting to overcome their addictions.

About the Author ()

Jim Mancari hails from Massapequa, N.Y. He earned a Master's degree in journalism from Hofstra University. He is a devout Mets fan and takes pride in his team, despite their lack of success over the last few years. Like all Mets fans, Jim has plenty of hope. He also writes as the sports reporter for the Brooklyn Tablet newspaper and the senior editor of metroBASEBALL Magazine. Be sure to visit http://www.jimmancari.com/

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