On to Baseball

With the Bruins winning the Stanley Cup, hockey has come to a close. All that is left standing is baseball, so until September or, if the NFL lockout continues, October (yay hockey! good thing you already got your annoying lockout out of the way!) there is only one sport left to watch. Let us all be thankful it is played almost every day.

Perhaps what is most fitting, is the day hockey ends the Mets have reached .500 for the first time in a while. Yes, the Yanks had themselves quite a day as well, but winning isn’t really new to this club. Why don’t we give some much deserved attention to the Mets today, as they have made themselves relevant for probably the first time since 2006. (I know, I know. They were relevant in 2007, 2008 and yes I’ll give them up until June of last season as well)

At the start of the season, I used to joke with a few of my buddies that whenever the Mets were tied they were losing. A one-run lead might as well have been a tie, and if they were losing it was hopeless. Now, I don’t feel that way anymore. If they are within two runs prior to the eighth inning I believe they can pull out a win. Crazy optimism for a team that just reached .500 and can’t even hit a home run during batting practice in Yankee Stadium. Especially when you consider two of their best offensive players (David Wright and Ike Davis) are currently on the DL and, with the Mets’ injury history, might stay there all season.

I don’t know exactly what has changed about these guys, but they have a swagger and a confidence I haven’t seen since April of 2007. I guess some of that credit has to go to Terry Collins. This next line has been repeated a lot by people covering the Mets so I am sorry for repeating it but: He might not be the best in-game manager, but he has kept the players accountable, and has kept them playing hard, while in previous years the players might fold with such important players on the DL. Another factor that is clearly helping the team is the play of the young guys. Gee, Niese, Turner, Murphy, Tejada, and even Pridie have been great. They have been playing so well I almost don’t want David Wright, Johan Santana and Ike Davis to come back. (I can’t stress the almost enough. I am beyond thrilled with the way these guys have played, but I am not crazy or optimistic enough to believe that this is going to continue all season.)

I doubt the team can catch the Phillies this season, but the Wild Card is not out of the question. I am not crazy enough to predict them actually winning it, but with their recent play they at least have me believing it is a possibility. For a sport that has 162 games, that is extremely important. I love baseball, but it is easily the most painful sport for the simple fact that your team can be eliminated at the end of June, and you still have 3 more months with nothing else to watch but your sorry excuse for a team. Staying relevant till football or hockey starts is awesome. Yankee fans, you might not know this, but it is 100% true. Especially if you are a dedicated (and probably stupid) enough fan to watch all the games even though you know there is no point.

Returning back to today’s game, it was awesome getting to .500 beating the Braves in Turner Field to secure a series victory. At the end of the game, when they said
that this was the first time the Mets have taken the first two games of a series from the Braves at Turner Field since… my mind went racing. I started to wonder if I was even born the last time it happened. I’m joking, but it really seemed like forever ago. The Braves have just absolutely owned the Mets in my lifetime, and at Turner Field it isn’t even a contest. When they finally gave the answer as May 2009 I was in shock. I know that is a long time ago, but it just seemed too soon. I’m conditioned to expect a loss when the Mets go to Turner Field. How in the world did they get two straight wins there as early as 2009?

On a side note: how insanely awesome was that lightning? When they showed us that clip I was mesmerized. In fact, I was almost upset they went back to the game. Honestly, during the rain delay, I would have much rather have watched that than the analysis they were giving us. Hell, I would have rather watched that than the Stanley Cup Finals game. I love game 7’s, but when the score is 4-0 and I don’t care about either team, the game becomes increasingly less exciting every second.

Anyway, tomorrow they play the final game of their road trip with a chance to sweep the Braves. I wonder if SNY will tell us the last time that happened at Turner Field if the Mets win. (I’m gonna guess sometime in 1989) With the way the Mets have been playing I really think they have a chance to win tomorrow and avoid falling back below .500. I guess the most important thing about this is: I am actually excited about the game tomorrow. Not interested, not obligated to watch, but excited. That is why, no matter how awful things get, I will always love baseball and sports as a whole. When you get excited about your team, there is no better feeling. NONE.

Leave a Comment