Five Things I Love & Hate About You

An article by posted on September 27, 2013

fans sad angry citi field empty seatsBeing a baseball fan brings out the best, and sometimes the worst in people of all walks of life. Being a fan of a bad baseball team often brings magnifies those characteristics.

I’m not talking about terrible things like racism, sexism, or God forbid acts of violence like we saw recently with the Giants and Dodgers. Those thoughts, whether they are an unfounded accusation or an actual action are wrong no matter the situation. They do not belong in a discussion about the game, that’s for sure.

I’m talking about patience, optimism, pessimism, loyalty, and cynicism.

I was always taught that when you’re delivering bad news, start with the positive first.

I am absolutely amazed by any Mets fan who sits and watches the Mets voluntarily right now. Whether you purchase a ticket to the game, or watch the game – my hat is off to you.

With so many other options for better entertainment such as the NFL, Duck Dynasty, NCIS or paint drying, I don’t know how you do it, but I am thoroughly impressed by it.

That level of loyalty is something that should be admired.

There are many, like myself in fact, who have been waiting for the 2014 off-season for the last three years. The upcoming off-season is when many Mets fans expect to see action with regard to shaping this roster for a competitive season.

We’ve been through the trades that needed to be made, we’ve been through the free agents that couldn’t be signed, and we’ve been through the contracts that had to come off the books.

The farm looks healthy-ish, and now it’s time to prove that the Mets (like many other teams) can maintain a farm system while also competing during the regular season.

That level of patience is hard to come by. Understanding that you can’t have something now because you hope it will be better tomorrow is a tough pill to swallow. Many have given the Mets the time they needed to figure this out, and I think everybody is likely on the same page regarding 2014. I don’t need a canyon of hero’s parade in 2014, I need action, and I need legitimate competitive baseball.

It’s time for patience to be rewarded.

There’s those of you who are optimistic about the future. Optimistic that everything with Matt Harvey will be okay, and optimistic that kids like d’Arnaud, Flores, Lagares etc. will be key pieces toward a competitive 2014 if surrounded by the right players.

matt harveyWith regard to Harvey, I wish I could say I share your level of optimism, but I’ve seen this story before written in Mets blue and orange and it doesn’t end well. The truth is, Harvey is trading 2014 for the next 5 years of his career and that’s a huge risk and one that I am not sure was worth taking. You’re optimistic though, so you keep on keepin’ on and hopefully I’ll come around!

I guess that is a good segue toward pessimism. I’m a wait and see kind of guy. I like the idea of Harvey-Wheeler-Syndergaard along with Niese and Gee and many others, but I want to see that it can work before I just assume it’s going to be as good as I hope. Oftentimes we’ve learned, it’s never as good as we hope.

I don’t believe in Josh Satin the way Joe D does. I think he’s the type of player that if he’s in your opening day lineup – you have a problem.

I saw Wilmer Flores struggle in 100 AB’s and I worry that maybe he’s all hype. The same can be said about Travis d’Arnaud. At this point heading into 2014, the Mets need two corner outfielders, a shortstop, a first baseman and a legitimate backup catcher in case Juan Centeno or d’Arnaud do not prove ready for a full time gig.

That gets us to the worst of the worst in my view. Cynicism to me is one of the worst traits to have as a baseball fan.

From the final out in game 162, you’re going to hear everybody’s views on what the Mets WILL do in 2014. Not what they hope they do, but what they WILL do. It’s all going to be negative also. It’s all going to be centered around money, contracts, and draft picks. Want to know the truth though?

The truth is, just like trade rumors in the month of July – 99% of the stuff that comes out about a team’s offseason plan is simply there because a blank piece of paper looks boring. The truth is, nobody knows what WILL happen. Nobody knows whether the Mets will sign players, nobody knows what potential trades could be out there. But, because people want to equate 2011 with 2014 for the sake of being negative, we’re going to pretend we have a clue as to what will happen.

I don’t see value as a baseball fan in deciding my favorite team won’t acquire players just because I haven’t been happy lately. I don’t see value as a fan in always assuming the worst. Why get mad about December 2013, in October 2013?

There’s plenty of time to react to action or inaction that pre-emptively doing so, to me seems like a waste of time and effort.

oscar-wilde

Oscar Wilde once said “A cynic is a man who knows the price of everything, and the value of nothing.”

The Mets fan has been through a lot in the past 8 seasons, and we all deserve a chance at redemption and satisfaction. Whether you like it or not, that satisfaction can only come due to acquisitions made by Sandy Alderson.

If you root against him, you’re rooting against the Mets. I understand not being happy with the last three seasons, but the only way things will change right now – is if he changes them.

You may call me a kool-aid drinker or whatever you’d like – I call myself a realist.

If you head into the 2014 season begging to be disappointed, then nothing they do will ever make you happy enough to buy back in, so you might as well set your DVR and find something else to do with your time.

About the Author ()

Michael Branda grew up a Mets fan watching the mid 1980's teams and his favorite Met of all-time is (and was) Wally Backman. When it comes to sabermetrics versus old school thinking, he's in the middle and believes adopting new ways to get answers is helpful, especially when the old way has not produced results.

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