So 50 years of Mets baseball. It feels like I have seen so much and yet I have consciously been around for only about one fifth, from 2001 to present. Today is Opening Day 2012 and I cannot help but be excited once again. Although this time around it is not the same excitement that I am used to, it is an excitement nonetheless.
No matter what happens in my personal life, baseball is always around. And even if we went ahead and won only 69 games like my good friend Alex predicts, I would enjoy each of those victories with the same magnitude that I would enjoy every victory in an 80 win season – if not even more because of the expectations of this year’s team. On multiple occasions, I have expressed my awareness that the likelihood is that this team is not going to do very well and will probably not compete for anything of historical magnitude.
Yet, there is so much to look forward to this season. Why, you ask? Because every game is an opportunity for the first no-hitter in Mets history and every young player that starts for us is a glimmer of hope for the future. The world will not be set on fire if Ike Davis drills 40 HRs or if Johan Santana wins 20 games. Nobody is going to jump to rooftops screaming if Jason Bay hits 25+ HRs again or if the team finishes at .500. But hell, that stuff matters to us – as Mets fans. And if it does not, I should ask you to politely get the hell out.
On Opening Day 2012, every team that is not the Mariners and Athletics have the same record and no one starts in last place. Bottom line is, I can see how much there is to be negative about this season. If that is your cup of coffee, then best of luck to you, because it will just make this season harder to stomach. Expectations are low and there is more talent on this team than people are giving us credit for… for once. I know that a multitude of people are going to read this, scoff, think to themselves “This kid is an idiot,” and laugh. They will say, he has been drinking the kool-aid again and he does not care about winning championships or anything of real substance.
Bullshit. I damn well do.
But if championships were the only thing that were important in this world, I would be worshiping the Skankees and jumping on the nearest bandwagon over in Los Angeles, Detroit, or even Miami. For the record, you will see me using the term Skankees a bit more often these days. If you happen to wonder why, it is a portion of the plethora of things that I picked up from my late mentor – an exceptional man, Adam Baker. It has been a year now, my dear friend, and I still miss you as deeply now as I did then. We sometimes look at life as a difficult journey because we look at it as a whole – where we fear we are not strong enough to persevere. In a similar sense, looking at the 162-game season as a whole also makes it seem that much more insurmountable. Taking life one day at a time, and taking each game as a new challenge, provides a different outlook on everything.
In closing and on that note, I feel it is necessary to remind you to cherish the fact that you are around for another beautiful baseball season – filled with the allure of the unknown. We are not the worst team in the league, we do not have the worst players, and we do not have the worst owner.
And although people will choose to debate me on that previous statement – no one can debate me on this one.
We do not, and will never, have the worst fans.
Enjoy the 2012 MLB Season, MMO Readers. Because here we go again…