Most people tend to become more mellow as they get older … not me. I think I’m just as cranky as ever. See I live in constant fear that some alternate version of myself will breach the space-time continuum and make an attempt on my life … So I’m tense, all the time, and I’m constantly hiding stuff and second guessing myself because I wonder what my parallel-universe self would be doing, or even which cantaloupe he would pick.
Also I live in Minnesota where you aren’t allowed to complain about anything except something called “the Vikings” (and their 45 sacks allowed) who play a game called “football” … This is discernibly true even though it routinely gets in the double digits below freezing with wind chills that can kill a sickly moose, I’ve seen it. So I end up classified a “character” (Midwest code for being a misanthrope or perhaps an ogre) because I “vent.” Whatever …
What people don’t understand is that my crankiness is inversely proportionate to Mets wins – as one increases, the other abates. It’s always been this way — it has nothing to do with the weather or the amount of fiber in my diet. Once the Mets reach that critical mass of 87 – 90 wins I’m good for the calendar year give or take a few weeks in February. It’s better than a sunny day in Hibbing … or Prozac.
My wife likes this new “kinder” person I’ve become over the past couple of years but she knows better than to think it’s really me. She knows for instance that should the Mets find themselves 6 games under .500 in late June I am more likely to make a snide remark about her aunt’s bean dip at a family outing.
But lets stay on topic — this is the winter of Mets content. Nothing really bothers us. Some of you may have noticed phenomena in your daily lives supporting this strange serenity. Random people will come up to you and start talking about kale and you are somehow ok with it.
Stories about Mets spending limits barely register on the Wilpon-agita scale. So what if Russian operatives mess with your cable preferences? Stream Mets games on line! Smashed banana in your book bag? Who cares? Your Mets cap was barely touched. Fake news? Sidd Finch it away with actual replays of Yoenis Cespedes moon-shots!
Of course, being a Mets fan, there will always be times when you feel doubt creeping up. The recent discovery of deep-space radio waves for instance will almost certainly trigger a rescue mission with lots of implantable Space Marines in tow. And how come no one in the galaxy wants Jay Bruce? Will Michael Conforto ever get his groove back with Terry Collins lefty-righty-ing him to death? And will an offense that was 26th in hits and 25th in runs last season ever get into gear? And how in the world will Cespedes top last spring training’s parking lot antics? Because you know he will.
And what about beat writers prattling on about how frequently injured pitchers are more likely to get injured again? That’s like saying someone who makes bagels a certain way is likely to continue making bagels that way. What’s the point of even saying that? That’s why you have Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman people.
Mets pitching injuries last year didn’t keep them from accumulating a third best in MLB ERA (and xFIP) or a best in baseball 24.8 total WAR … there’s that. So buck up, 2017 is shaping up to be all kinds of crazy but as always, it will come down to who shows up on opening day, and right now Mets rotational depth is mad deep. Think of it this way, Mets starters are just as likely to not get injured (at least not all of them at the same time, again) as they are to break down … Especially if one or more of them gets knocked off by an alternate-universe double with better break on his slider and a bigly spin rate.