As a fan you want to root and hope. That is the going-in proposition. We want to see wins, we want to see great games, fun games, we want moments. If a person does not let himself get completely jaded (and as a card-carrying cynic I know how hard this can be), every year will have games that are downright joyous. Innings that are unforgettable, at bats that are precious, these things can always be found when you follow a baseball team. All we need to do is keep our eyes open. And 2013 has been no exception, so no matter what happens from this day forward, I’ve considered watching this Mets team daily a fine use of much of my discretionary time. We’ve said it before, a bad baseball season beats no baseball season at all.
It’s only human to want more. For a baseball fan, that’s a pennant race, maybe even the postseason. But in this season, 2013, it has almost felt like the fix was in from day one, that the Mets weren’t even interested in those things. It created a strange spring and early summer, where 2013 felt like one big extended spring training, or perhaps a year-long exhibition game.
But about a month ago the mood changed a little. A promising young pitcher crossed over from burgeoning star to full icon. The front office finally made a few moves to improve the current product. The team began to win a little more than it lost. And all of the teams in the Mets’ division continued to show us daily that they were not particulary frightening. All of which had to make me at least want to think about forty years ago, and 1973.
Only I didn’t want to think about that too much. Anytime my mind wandered to 1973, the sage quote from George Santayana would pop into my head:
Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
So I just stop right there. I make sure not to focus on Tug McGraw, or Yogi Berra, or Rusty Staub. Because I do not consider repeating that experience a condemnation at all.
Now the fact is this has been very easy to do all year as the current Mets owners have been acting all along as if the year 1973 never really happened. Not one promotional date is set up for the fortieth anniversary. No Yogi bobblehead, or even a Tug one. Nope, zippo is being done. For a while this bothered me, but not anymore. Now I’m getting it, they are in on it. They don’t want to remember 1973, they want to repeat it. It’s actually genius. Somewhere right now, I figure Ezra-Meir Zimbler is nodding and smiling.
Well, I’m on board, so I wanted to alert all of you as well. Don’t go looking up any old game logs of 1973. Don’t go look at any of the daily standings from that year. Don’t ever think that there was some lesson that year, and no matter what happens this year — do not believe!
If we all pull together, maybe this can work.
And thank you, Wilpons, for getting the ball rolling.