I really wanted to avoid a third straight "manifesto". For as sick as you may be of reading them, believe you me, I'm more sick of writing them.
And while there's no "Manifesto Part III" coming on this site per say, "Manifesto Part III" spontaneously came out at Nationals Park on Wednesday night after Frankie gave up the grand slam to Justin Maxwell. It came out in part because I was able to move up six rows to get right by the field. I yelled at anyone in blue and orange, and I lost my mind ... plain and simple. It was two days worth of frustration which topped off a season's worth of frustration piled on to three seasons worth of more frustration. It's like a Famous Bowl from KFC ... a whole bunch of slop thrown in a bowl (or in this case, a Washington Nationals ice cream helmet).
I lost my mind to the point that I wouldn't be surprised if this ends up on You Tube somewhere down the line. But as I've said, the anger was misplaced. These players, for the most part, have no business being in the majors much less on a pennant contender. The players that are bonafide major leaguers that are still here are either physically beat up, mentally beat up, or have been possessed by the soul of Aaron Heilman. Or in Frankie Rodriguez's case, all three. These are traits whose fault lies very little with the players on the field. (As I know from personal experience, when Aaron Heilman's soul envelops your body, there's very little you can do.)
The anger really belongs to the person who manages this team, the person who put the team together, and most of all, the people who own this team. But with the latter three not even in town (I think), and our manager rushing off to most likely record new bits for Dial-a-Joke, the players were all that were left. So they caught the brunt. And you must understand that Maxwell's grand slam topped off two days of baseball hell. First came Elijah Dukes' catch where you can clearly see me in the front row hoping to catch a home run, which basically makes Dukes Michael Jordan, and me Orlando Woolridge. I was posterized.
Then I realize that that former Yankee punk Tyler Clippard was the winning pitcher. Tyler Clippard has seven major league victories in three years. I was a witness to two of them. I loathe Tyler Clippard ... irrationally, but still.
Then came Wednesday. I was with an old buddy whom I hadn't seen in years, and never down in his new home in the Beltway. The last game we went to together was Game 5 of the Subway Series. We tried every single rally hat in existence, and some that weren't invented yet. We switched hats for the last inning, and if Mike Piazza's last out had cleared the fence, we were keeping each other's hat.
We didn't try that in the bottom of the ninth on Wednesday (since it worked so well the first time), but he was confident that we had the game in the bag as Frankie was facing Ryan Zimmerman. If he was confident, that was good enough for me. I needed an excuse to wash away all of the nonsense of the season and pretend, just for a few minutes, that it was a big game and we actually had a shot of winning it. Zen awashed me ... until BB-Rod and Maxwell combined to make it all rush back to me.
That's when I flipped out. Look, I realize it's not my birth right to see a win every time I go on the road to see the Mets. But for crying out loud, give us something this month ... anything. One warm and fuzzy memory to take to the winter? Just one? Especially when the all-star closer has a two run lead in the ninth?
No. The Mets are the Washington Generals. Think about it: The Nationals, a team with 100 losses and zero to play for, are running around like they've won the World Series and throwing pies at each other, happily throwing t-shirts to the fans. Meanwhile the Mets are playing because the schedule says so ... and they look like it. Who's fault is that? Johan Santana beat the Rockies 7-0 on July 30th. Since then, they have the worst record in the N.L. The San Diego Padres, with guys who should be in A ball, are 33-23 since that date. The Reds, similarly horrible, are 31-26 in that span. Oakland? 32-25. All aforementioned teams had nothing to play for by the time July 30th rolled around, like the Mets. Yet they've decided to show up. The Mets? 18-41. How long are we supposed to lean on all these injuries as a crutch? Eighteen and forty-f***ing-one. That's when cornstarch was patented!
Your manager has put a ton of stock and spent team meetings discussing finishing strong and playing to win. What has that gotten you? 18-41!!! And where has it gotten Nick Evans?
You mean to tell me there's no at-bats for Nick Evans on an 18-41 team? There's room for Maxwell and Ian Desmond on the Nats. But Nick Evans can't break this sad sack lineup?
Let me digress for a second. Can I tell you that we got free t-shirts on Tuesday and free fleeces on Wednesday for the Fan Appreciation Day that we don't have (sorry to keep harping on that, it bugs the ever loving crap out of me.) Now I want you to tell me what you see, or more importantly, what you don't see:
What? A giveaway not slathered with the words "Spongetech" or "US Gold Dot Com" or some other corporate sponsor? You mean teams that give away things to their fans just for the sake of giving them away still exist? Wow!!! Look, I understand the ways of the world ... corporations pay for these things so that you can enjoy them. Bla bla bla. Then how can a smaller market team that draws nothing like the Nationals able to do this? Did they just have some leftovers lying around? Or do the Nationals just simply ... appreciate their fans? What do the Mets fans get?
We get our owners packing up the pitching rubber from Citi Field and presenting it to Mariano Rivera to commemorate his 500th save. No Mets hall of fame inductions since 2002, but Mariano Rivera gets our pitching rubber. "Congratulations on kicking us in the groin, can we bronze your foot?" I mean, what's next ... are we going to plate Luis Castillo's glove in gold and present it to Mark Teixeira for hustling all the way on the dropped pop-up? Or maybe we could dip the broken bat that Clemens threw at Piazza in encrusted diamonds and present it to Roger when he's inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame. Ooh, I know! Let's take the DVR that I recorded Wednesday's game on, have me sign it, encase it in glass, and send it to Justin Maxwell so that he can watch his home run over and over and over again. And let's honor Adam Dunn for his bases loaded walk since we didn't sign him.
Oh, they'll decrease the ticket prices ... what a convenient announcement to make after looking like dogmeat this weekend. But now they have a built in excuse if they do indeed cut the payroll. See, trust nobody.
If the team wants to show their appreciation to their fans, here's an idea for the rest of the season: three forfeits. Just don't show up. Nobody will know the difference.
I'm sorry, I guess this was Manifesto Part III. But I'm just getting started. Once this wretched season is done, there will be plenty more to discuss. You can count on that.