Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Batman's Met Homily

All Yankee fans love to share in their success. And when I won this blog bet, I couldn't resist sharing this moment with my friend/sometime enemy, the Batman...who wanted me to pass this message on to the Met faithful....

On this special occasion as Yankee fans invade Metstradamus territory for one day, it is an opportunity, as I see it, to understand you, the Met fan.

So what was it that made you a Met fan? Can we blame the days before cable, when the rabbit ears gave you a better picture on WOR and bad reception on WPIX? Was it "Banner Day", when you had a chance to parade around Shea Stadium like goo-goo eyed toddlers attending a minor league game in Iowa? Maybe you became swept up in the artificial euphoria that was 1986...a one-hit wonder team who badly influenced you to behave as if a baseball dynasty was growing in Queens.

There could be a myriad of reasons and causes that led you down this dark, decrepit road, but on this July day, 2006, the time has now come for a dose of reality, and hopefully, a wake-up call. I sincerely regret that we can not travel back in time to steer you away from a life of bitterness.

We cannot return to the 1960s, when your team was born out of angst following the Dodgers-Giants exodus out west...the fact that your baseball church is nothing more than a 42 year-old unfinished eyesore built next to a major airport on the Grand Central, not to mention the neon stick figures that adorn the exterior and that putrid, out-dated top hat and apple to celebrate home runs. Do any of you out there really remember "The Magic is Back" campaign??? you older fans remember that your record was 20-and-142 for almost each season of the 60s...or that your '69 championship was only won by default because the Cubs were busy becoming baseball's worst team ever (that's a whole other examination)...

For you, the Met fan, there's no going back to the 70s...the tainted final days of Willie Mays...the 'You Gotta Believe' rally cry that still ended with a thud when the A's won the '73 Series...the night that even horrified Yankee fans like me when the ludicrous trade happened of one George Thomas Seaver, the best player to ever wear the Met uniform...and of course, hearing Lindsey Nelson's sports jackets make more noise than the 1500 people who came out to Shea as the Mets would be blown out by both the National League's best and worst...

The 80s...I would hope you would have a better recollection of this decade than the players themselves, because your entire team was either snorting, shooting, or drinking themselves silly...not to mention the most horrific rally songs that would make a brick wall vomit: "Let's Go Mets", "Shea Mets Shuffle". I would sooner sit through a Lawrence Welk/Tiny Tim DVD collection than listen to that garbage again...and those horrible nicknames, "Doc", "Straw", "HoJo", "Kid", "El Sid"...El CRAP!!! If Met fans believe in saying prayers, the name Bill Buckner should still be mentioned each and every night...

The 90s...Bonilla, Coleman, Murray, Saberhagen...'nuff said...

2000-and beyond: Headlines: Piazza Psych Test for Clemens Nightmares...Rocker Rips 7 Train and Beats Listless Mets...Hampton Rips City Schools, Demands Trade...and the best one of all from October 26, 2000: YANKEES BEAT METS, WIN WORLD SERIES .

The New York Yankees learned what their destiny would hold on April 23, 1923...the day Babe Ruth christened a brand new Yankee Stadium and flood gates of greatness opened wide (to name only a few): Stengel, Gehrig, DiMaggio, Rizzuto, Mantle, Berra, Martin, Ford, Howard, Maris, Guidry, Jackson, Munson, Nettles, Dent, Piniella, Mattingly, Winfield, O'Neill, Rivera, Torre, Jeter...and of course one name that certainly deserves mention: Willie Randolph...the great Yankee that you now depend on to find your greatness. Yes, Joe Torre was once a Met, and both Gooden and Strawberry are two of the most popular players in Met history who wear Yankee championship rings, but no mistake can be made about it...they won their rings in Yankee uniforms.

You continue to express hatred for the team in the Bronx, and yet, there's a team in Atlanta who has deprived you of so much and has shown you zero-respect (look up "Larry" Jones and the aforementioned John Rocker). The Yankees have extinguished their fire for you multiple times, and yet, your Yankee hate still burns. I could waste your time and ask you to abandon the ship in Flushing and come to "The Stadium"...but there is no need to do so, because the work of Mr. Randolph has said it all. Every great accomplishment in baseball, and in sports, is measured by the dominance, class, and progress of the Bronx Bombers. If 2006 is the beginning of something great for the Mets, it is because Willie Randolph has finally brought some, if not all, of these qualities to your side of town. As a song I've never heard says..."You Better Recognize"!


The Batman


Anonymous said...

"...and of course one name that certainly deserves mention: Willie Randolph...the great Yankee that you now depend on to find your greatness. Yes, Joe Torre was once a Met, and both Gooden and Strawberry are two of the most popular players in Met history who wear Yankee championship rings, but no mistake can be made about it...they won their rings in Yankee uniforms."

What is your point here? That Joe Torre being a Met first and then a Yankee means nothing, but Willie Randolph doing the opposite is the key to his greatness? Might want to throw some logic in there, just to mix it up.

Also, Gooden and Strawberry have rings from winning the World Series with the Mets, despite your writing as though they only have them because they were on the Yankees.

And to glorify your rivaly with the Red Sox as meaning something, but then to suggest that the Mets' rivalry with the Braves doesn't mean anything, also defies logic.

We Met fans love the Mets and experience both triumph and tradgedy because we love them.

It's no punishment we wish to have you try to go back in time and fix for us. It aint broke. It's an honor and priviledge that we hold dear.

Yankee fans will never ever be able to do anything at all to tarnish or change that.

But good luck trying.

Anonymous said...

yawn. im glad jim in la chimed in before me making the obvious points. i mean, really, who do you want, dwight and darryl in all their glory or as the shell of their former selves as a #5 starter and situation dh?

and, bucky dent is in the pantheon, why not aaron f. boone while youre at it? and lou pinella, please, stop my sides are aching. check out these comps from baseball reference. let me tell you, i knew vic power and, you, lou pinella are no vic power!

Similar Batters
Compare Stats

1. Vic Power (925)
2. Garry Maddox (924)
3. Al Cowens (913)
4. Willie Montanez (909)
5. Tony Gonzalez (908)
6. Curt Flood (908)
7. Pinky Whitney (902)
8. Jorge Orta (900)
9. Jim Piersall (896)
10. Pete Fox (895)

most telling we get to enjoy the fascile mind of the likes of metsradamus while the yanks are stuck with lesser lights to brighten their way.

and chipper named his kid Shea, cant get much more respect than that.

Anonymous said...

Mets fans are pretty well aware of the fact that our team has often sucked, and we also know that there have been many great Yankee teams throughout baseball history. We recognize that the Yankees are a better team, most of the time.

It's not the team we have a problem with.

It's guys like you.

Anonymous said...

do a lot of mets' fans hate the yankees (and maybe even more so, yankee fans)? yes, of course. and for you, the yankee fan, there must be great pride in knowing that. when the whole world hates you, it must be because you're so good. historically, no one can argue with the track record. so, good for you. sit proudly upon thy throne.

i wouldn't trade places with you in an eternity's worth of yankees' world championships.

there are those in this world that like the security of a sure thing, or that which comes closest to it. it's usually not too risky, and more often than not, you get to go away happy. also, there's the added fun of bludgeoning everyone else with past glories, which help augment one's artificial sense of superiority. this is your world, and you're welcome to it.

for others, the thrill is the emotional investment in something less predictable. a team like the mets, red sox, cubs, etc. will let one down in the most heart-rending ways. often, the pain involved with enduring this disappointment is excruciating, and it is all but guaranteed to come. but when our guys win, the high of victory is sweetened that much more by the knowledge that we persevered, the true believers, together, through the agonies of horrific failure (many times against our most hated rivals) to reach this most cherished triumph.

it is a joy that, sadly, a yankee fan will never know.

your team is expected to win. when they do, so what? it's at least somewhat anti-climactic. when they don't, you bitterly revert to your mantra of listing past accomplishments, as if doing so diminishes our joy one iota or eases the sting of your own failure.

what a bland, melancholy toil it must be. i feel fortunate not to be you. i'm sure i'm not alone.

Toasty Joe said...

Great post, Arnold. That says it all.