An MMO Fan Shot by Matt Szatkowski
When describing the Mets, over the past 7 years, this adjective has hardly been used. As the infamous curveball buckled Carlos Beltran’s knees, it also seemed to take down the team’s mental fortitude. The 2007 season would bring more frustration ending in an epic collapse, and there would be more heartbreak in 2008. The Madoff revelations and the financial constraints that followed sent the franchise into a seemingly endless downward spiral.
Now, here we are almost halfway through the season barely escaping the doldrums of the NL East cellar. After a miserable stretch plummeted the Mets record to a season-high nine games under .500, most fans were tossing in the towel.
Curtis Granderson, who is no stranger to winning, found a better use for all these newly discarded pieces. Thus, the Mets rally towel was born. This was a simple concept that led to a newfound sense of camaraderie not seen in these parts for many years.
When Granderson was signed, he was garnering comparisons to another free-agent power hitter that once patrolled Citi Field’s spacious outfield, before he even had one at bat. Nightmares of Jason Bay once again became the leading cause of insomnia in the Tri-State area. Granderson’s slow start earned him a chorus of boos every time he stepped up to the plate. This team, and its fans, have witnessed a myriad of former stars such as Bay, Francisco Rodriguez, and Luis Castillo falter and never regain their form. Granderson’s strikeouts, and Bartolo Colon’s shaky start, cast a state of dread over a noticeably empty Citi Field. A feeling of “Here we go again…” took over.
However, as the heat of summer starts to bear down on us, we can gander at the stats sheet and be pleasantly surprised. Colon has rattled off six wins, including two back-to-back spectacular performances. Granderson, who struggled to hit the Mendoza line, has seen his average creep up to .234 with ten homers, and a league leading 47 walks, to accompany it. There’s no denying that these two have been key contributors to the teams most recent success.
But more importantly they have brought a sense of toughness to this team. Even during his worst struggles Granderson never hid from the media, and remained consistently positive. Both he and Colon realized they are professionals and have been through hardships before. Their resilience has rejuvenated their seasons and put excitement back in the clubhouse.
Travis d’Arnaud was quoted yesterday saying “I forgot how fun it was to play this game.” Baseball will humble even the greatest of players. It’s the only sport where being successful 30% of the time means you’re having a fantastic season. It’s imperative to stay tough, persevere, and good things will come.
Colon and Granderson have given this team a sense that there is still plenty of season left and that there’s still a light at the end of the tunnel for the Mets this season. Even when nothing seems to go right: those two keep fighting and are having some fun in the process. They keep the clubhouse loose. In a division that has is still up for grabs, who knows what could happen if more and more teammates take a page out of Colon and Granderson’s playbook.
Keep waving those towels. Let’s Go Mets!
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This Fan Shot was contributed by MMO community member Matt Szatkowski. Have something you want to say about the Mets? Share your opinions with over 30,000 Mets fans who read this site daily. Send your Fan Shot to FanShot@MetsmerizedOnline.com. Or ask us about becoming a regular contributor.