It’s difficult to reconcile the demands of blogging with the wisdom of holding one’s tongue. Fundamentally, I feel like we are in a “Show me” period with management. It’s early November, the Hot Stove season hasn’t really begun in earnest. There’s almost nothing to say at this point. I wholeheartedly agree with Matt Cerrone at Metsblog: I’m sick of words.
If you happen to work for or own the Mets, and you’re reading this, know that most fans are waiting for action, not words. We’ve been hearing about 2014 since the day Sandy Alderson was hired. The World Series — or even a postseason appearance — was not promised, but it has been signaled time and again that this winter — when significant money comes off the books — is when meaningful improvements will be made… and we’re waiting.
And at the same time, we have this blog. A furnace to feed, and it’s fueled by blather. This is why, btw, there are so many blowhards on sports talk radio. Four hours to fill, and there’s rarely that much to talk about. But talk they must.
Free agency begins soon and some real news will begin to shake out. Things are so cloudy right now with the Mets that it is hard to assume anything until we see some activity around baseball.
During other seasons, maybe I could have banged out my take on the six different directions the Mets could go at shortstop, but who the hell really cares anymore? Not our friend at the Eddie Kranepool Society, that’s for sure. I mean, we care, but the endless chatter just doesn’t seem as much fun these past few years. There’s a futility to it.
Well, since we’re on that, I would not be surprised by Jhonny Peralta (PEDs players are the new market inefficiency!), but we’ll save that for another day. Like I’ve said before, it’s all like a sliding puzzle. Each move effects every other move. And at this point, we’re not at all clear on what these guys want to achieve.
This may be a leap, but do you remember Jimmy Carter’s famous “malaise” speech?
Yes, but I was working two jobs and going to college at night so I didn’t know who he was talking about. I knew a hell of a lot of people who were working harder than ever to stand still. I lived in New York City and the President before Carter had already told me to drop dead, so I had already given up on the government ever being of any use to me. Looking back now, I should thank Ford for making that clear to me at any early age — it served me well.
I was 18 at the time, so I have a personal memory of that speech. I remember the gas lines, the hostage crisis, the energy crisis, the distrust of government, inflation, that whole difficult, rudderless period in American life. There was something rotten in Denmark, something that felt deeply wrong with the country in general. The New York Mets of that period — the de Roulet years of Mettle the Mule — seemed like a microcosm of the nation itself.
I read a book about the circumstances of that speech a few years ago, titled What the Heck Are You Up To, Mr. President? by Kevin Mattson. Pretty thoughtful look at that time. So, anyway, Carter went into semi-seclusion for a week and wrote the famous speech that was later labeled his “great malaise” speech. A speech in which he had the courage (and the political naivete) to speak directly to the problems facing the country, placing American values under question, addressing consumerism and empty materialism. It was the first time since Sputnick that the country’s sense of itself, and its future, was shaken to the core. It really is an amazing speech, almost unprecedented in American history (the closest I can think of is Eisenhower’s warnings about the “military industrial complex).
President Carter said, in part:
The threat is nearly invisible in ordinary ways. It is a crisis of confidence. It is a crisis that strikes at the very heart and soul and spirit of our national will. We can see this crisis in the growing doubt about the meaning of our own lives and in the loss of a unity of purpose for our nation.